There is an interesting side-bar article by Christine Miles in today's issue of The Church Times (link here) entitled: 'Women are a Turn Off'. In other words, many men view the church as being a pervasively female-dominated culture, even though most church leaders are still men.
There are too many mother and toddlers' groups, too many children's groups and too many women's groups. The songs we sing are subjective and declare our feelings about Jesus as our lover. (I have to admit that some of the 'Jesus is my boyfriend' songs really make me want to gag too.)
According to this article, many men are motivated by money, sex and power and they think that they are going to find life's answers in these things rather than in church.
Men apparently don't want feelings in church, they are apparently more likely to relate to objective truth, declaring who God is. They want the church to support and enable them in their work-place and to support and enable them to have friendships outside the church. The article links to the The Christian Viewpoint for Men website.
I have a lot of questions about the viewpoints that this article highlights from The Christian Viewpoint for Men; as a woman, I'm in no position to dispute their findings and some of them ring true to me. I'm also reminded of a conversation on Ship of Fools by a young man in his 20s who said many similar things.
A big question that it raises for me, however, is how far does the church go to accommodate some of these 'needs'?
'How to apply Christian principles in the workplace' sounds like something we should definitely do for men and women; applied theology at it's best.
Enabling people to have friendships outside church seems right too although I remain confused exactly how the church 'makes' this happen.
But 'motivation by money, power, and sex'? OK, I accept that a lot of non-church going men buy that they can find the meaning of life in these things, but I don't see how Christianity can pander to that philosophy without being untrue to itself.
And 'objective truth declaring who God is' - I'm not sure what that means? If it means 'theology my way or the theology highway' well, then again I have a problem with that. If it means more theology in church than we have now, bring it on!