Thursday, July 7, 2016

War on boys?!

While some may disagree with the assessment, I fear that it is pretty much on target.  If this is true in school, could the same criticisms be leveled at the way the Church treats our boys and young men?  Sermons that address faith almost exclusively in terms of emotion, hymns and songs that sound like love ballads to Jesus, and an emphasis upon participation which targets feelings all say something to boys and men.  Just a few thoughts. . . on a touchy subject. . .


Janis Williams said...

Salient point/s. Even our touchy-feely evangelicals have noticed this problem. There are books out there with more 'manly' spiritual themes. More war-related speech concerning prayer, more sermons supposedly devoted to getting men back into church. Unfortunately, most of them fall short. They are either feelings-oriented with a little violence thrown in as cover, or totally devoid of real spiritual content. Are there any more masculine characters than those we see in Scripure? Yet today's sermons emasculate them by teaching the moral of the Biblical story, and psychoanalyzing the character. Tell the story, and find Jesus in it! Once again, Law and Gospel to the rescue. We don't need plastic spiritual armor toys for boys. They need to know they (like girls) are really sinners, and that Jesus died for their sins. No more bearded-girlfriend Jesus. If boys love blood and guts and beheadings, Tell the true story of today's martyrs and the why. Tell the story of Jesus, God and Man, living and dying, shedding His precious blood for us to buy us back from slavery.

Kirk Skeptic said...

Janis, it's not just the evangellyfish doing this; look at "Fairest Lord Jesus" in LW and ask yourself how anyone with a y chromosome and all that follows therefrom can sing such a homoerotic ditty? Think also how the church has treated distinguishing Law and Gospel as separating wheat from chaff: when was the last time you ever heard a sermon on how to live like a son fo the King, rather than the LCMS version of Jesus-loves-you-&-has-a-wonderful-plan-for-your-life? IfLuther heard what passes for preaching in the church which bears his name, heads would roll. This is part of the downside of a lectionary; ie so much Scripture is left unpreached and hence unlearned. Face it: church is of, by, and for women, and Lutheran preaching is an oxymoron on the level of military intelligence. Your thoguths?

Anonymous said...

Kirk Skeptic, just a small point of disagreement, if you will, please.

None of this is an argument a lectionary, although it may well be an argument against the 3-year lectionary.

The classic lectionary, that served the Church for over a thousand years was a one-year lectionary, that taught the primary points of Church doctrine. This was preserved in the Book of Common Prayer, up through the 1928 edition in the USA, and is probably pretty similar to that in the 1941 TLH. By the way, the BCP 1928 lectionary has readings for every day of the year, for Morning Prayer and for Evening Prayer. That covers a whole lot of Scripture, if people will but use the lectionary. There is certainly nothing feminized about the classic lectionary!

The three year lectionary introduces so much variety with each particular lesson repeating only once every three years. Nothing is therefore familiar, nothing is pounded home, year after year.

Continuing Anglican Priest

Unknown said...

I'm with you, Pastor Peters—emotional sermons, love songs to Jesus, and feelings-oriented worship likely do send a message to boys and men. At the same time, my daughter and I aren't fans of this stuff, either (while some men seem okay with it). So what else is going on here?

Maybe this isn't so much a war ON boys and men as a war FOR boys and men (and millennials, and women, too--I just ran across a Pew analysis from May 2016 that shows the gender gap in attendance is tightening, primarily due to a decline in women's attendance). The trends are pretty disheartening, and its hard to know where to start in addressing them, given the myriad factors in play—e.g., cultural pressures, socialization, changing norms, role modeling [or lack thereof], etc.

Kirk Skeptic said...

@Fr D: I nowhere called the lectionary effeminate, but insist that the sort of messages in which everything comes down to "wuv" and Jesus-died-for-you gives no guidance on "how shall we then live?" and can/does often become rather matronly. There also appears to be a disconnect between catechism and life, treating the former as more of a rite of passage than a practical application of Scripture

My experience with Continuing Anglicans is restricted to REC and CANA, which are Reformed and hence tend towards competent preachers (even if I don't always agree with the content). In which body are you, as you sound a bit like an AC?

Carl Vehse said...

A related discussion on the leftists' attack on males is in the January 2, 2015, Pastoral Meandering article, "What have we done to our boys?."

BTW, the January 2, 2015 at 8:03 PM "Anonymous" comment is from Paul T. McCain, Concordia Publishing House Publisher, with a delusional understanding of history... and reality, for that matter.

Anonymous said...

Kirk Skeptic nailed it: "Face it: church is of, by, and for women"
Church is for girls. The chief problem is way too much emphasis on "life applications" and precious little on apologetics.