1000 Wells

Written on January 08th, 2007 by Shawn Anthony

Are you a testosterone-driven manly man who can no longer endure the feminization of mainline churches? If so, you might be interested in GodMen. What is GodMen? The site’s about page says: Welcome to GodMen, where you’ll find power, honesty, courage and your tribe of brothers. The truth is that on any given Sunday, 60% of church attendees are women, and something about church today is keeping men away. We are attempting to create a worship place for men that looks nothing like church. It is a place where men of no religion and men who have left the church break bread with followers of Jesus. Where simply being a man, created in God’s image, is celebrated. An environment familiar with and conducive to the way men are made comfortable and the unique way men interact. Interesting. My church isn’t feminized (it’s not mainline either), and there are a lot of women in the pews. So, I think I’m in good shape. Here’s a pretty good video promo, for your viewing pleasure.

16 Responses to “Fleeing the Feminization of Mainline Churches”

  1. Hey Shawn,
    Can you explain what you mean by “feminized”? I’m assuming you don’t mean it as a pejorative term (there’s nothing inherently wrong with being female), but I’m curious.

    ck

  2. I mean that feminism is not the ethos.

    The claimed and proclaimed ethos inherently includes very practical ideas and concepts that feminists advance at the expense of ethos, but it [the claimed and proclaimed ethos] is not totally enveloped or engulfed by these very specific ideas and concepts. This ethos works well because it addresses and makes accessible the total human experience and reality.

    I have been very much a part of groups (read: serious and substantial time and relational investments) in which feminism is the sole ethos. I must admit it is nearly impossible for me to even relax in such settings. I think this is the inevitable result of any group in which a branch is mistaken for the trunk (to use a cool tree metaphor).

    Shawn Anthony

  3. Okay, I’m still confused (and it’s probably me). When you say “not the ethos”, you mean it is not the whole focus of Christianity? (I’m assuming when you say “ethos” you are meaning something like “the impetus for the message of Christ”).

    So you’re trying to say that in “feminized” churches, feminism overtakes concern for the whole body of Christ, male and female? And that GodMen, as “masculinized”, is sort of a counterbalance? But that the aim is to have both men and women together?

    ck

  4. No. You asked what I meant by “feminized”. The context for the term was: “My church isn’t feminized (it’s not mainline either), and there are a lot of women in the pews. So, I think I’m in good shape.” So, by “ethos” I mean the “ethos” of my church, which isn’t feminized, in contrast to most mainline churches, which are feminized. The ethos of my church is the orthodox Gospel of Christ, which inherently includes the things feminists advance, but only in relation to a healthy balance constructed around the totality of human reality, existence, and other-ness. It is obviously different than the mainline Christian philosophy.

    Also, I do think Christianity is characterized by a much bigger impetus of which the issues advanced by feminists (who make feminism their impetus/ethos) are only a part.

    I guess I’m actually saying no thank you to both of them. I don’t need either, thank you. I think they are unnecessary. The Gospel will do. That said, I can seriously sympathize with men who are active in mainline churches and desire a bit of testosterone in their worship experience. I don’t think there are too many left in there though … so.

    Shawn Anthony

  5. OK, maybe this will help me. Can you replace “ethos” with another term that will clarify your intention? I think that’s where I’m lost. “Ethos” implies something about the speaker’s expertise or experience, in rhetoric. So I’m hung up trying to fit “feminized” with that term.

    ck

  6. Ethos: the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution. - Merriam-Webster

    Shawn Anthony

  7. Ok, thanks. I still don’t understand what “feminized” refers to, but I’ll leave it at that. Best, ck.

    ck

  8. You’re kidding, right? It’s right there … spend some time with it, maybe you’ll see it. Again, just in case you can’t find the point, “feminized” refers to churches (largely mainline) that make feminism - rather than the Gospel - their “ethos.” Surely you can see that point.

    Shawn Anthony

  9. Also, “feminism” in liberal religious settings often brands maleness, manishness and testosterone as social detriments of sorts … that should be considered when defining “feminized”.

    Shawn Anthony

  10. ck: So you’re trying to say that in “feminized” churches, feminism overtakes concern for the whole body of Christ, male and female?
    Shawn: No….
    Shawn: “feminized” refers to churches (largely mainline) that make feminism - rather than the Gospel - their “ethos.”

    That’s why I was confused–I thought I understood and you said no, then said about the same thing as I thought I did! lol…. sometimes communicating through blogs is more complicated than helpful! No need to clarify further, I get where you’re going now.

    ck

  11. LOL! It’s cool. I think when two people pay attention to words, like both of us do, textual conversation can become very, very … specific. I think that’s the word. Maybe a better word for it floating around out there? At any rate … you got it! Thanks for pushing me towards clarity.

    Shawn Anthony

  12. I think Shawn just got “feminized” by CK. ;-)

    Robin Edgar

  13. Uh, hardly. The “no” that confused ck was a real “no” and still stands. We were not talking about the same thing at all. She was heading that way, but not there yet. This is evident in the use of the term “counterbalance”. I said “no” to the term. I was not talking “counterbalance” as she thought (read her comment), I was talking about the uselessness and non-necessity of one side or the other (militant feminists and Godmen), and ultimately “counterbalance” in light of the Gospel of Christ. I was talking about a Gospel ethos which makes left and right sides (feminists and Godmen) sort of ridiculous. When these things are made the point - or ethos - an imbalance results. The imbalance is unfortunate because a healthy approach to the Gospel includes issues advanced by both, and then some. The “then some” is important.

    You UUs need to … read … slowly … and worry about a retort later. It’s kind of like a conversation wherein the “listener” is not really listening, but thinking of what he/she is going to say next.

    Shawn Anthony

  14. Yeah, Shawn, I looked back and figured out where the disconnect was. Partly wording (my not being clear) partly substance, as you say. And no, Robin, Shawn did not get “feminized” (although I object to that as an insult), rather we had a friendly conversation where we tried to *listen* to each other’s clarifications.

    ck

  15. Yeah, I know ck. Thanks. It is always a joy conversing with you, seriously.

    I, as an unabashedly manish-man, for lack of a better term, do have an allergic and very visceral reaction to the accusation of being “feminized” by anyone. I don’t think my position is an insult either … which ironically has everything to do with the point of this whole conversation.

    Shawn Anthony

  16. I was joking about how CK was pushing you towards clarity. . . ;-)

    The Emerson Avenger

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