Saturday, 1 January 2011

A reply and my response

Evangelicals who believe that the bible is the word of God you would expect churches that follow the biblical pattern to buck the trend. In the USA where conservative evangelicals are a much bigger part of the church, it is much easier to see the results of holding on to a biblical worldview. In churches like Mark Driscoll's in Seattle, probably the most secular city in the USA, they have slightly over 50% men. So yes it can be done. And we know how.

Yes I agree with you that certain ‘conservative’ churches have a slightly higher ratio for men at church than the normal 2:1 or dismally 3:1.

When you consider the gender ratio for the USA population at approx. 50:9 Female to 49:1 Male, I think the church gender ratio complies with the stats; more women all round :)

http://www.nationalatlas.gov/articles/people/a_gender.html

Even Seattle, where Mars Hill Church is based, has a percentage ratio much the same as the national average:

Total Population: 563374

Total of Sex Male: 280973Total of Sex Female: 282401

Percentage of Sex Male: 49.9%

Percentage of Sex Female: 50.1%

http://www.maps-n-stats.com/us_wa/us_wa_seattle_a.html

A slightly different ratio from http://www.city-data.com/city/Mars-Hill-Maine.html gives the % at 52.7% Female 47.3% Male

Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church only slightly bucks the stats - I could not find the gender ratio for Mars Hill Church – obviously not asking the right ‘search’ questions.  So yes it can be done, but are we asking for the ratio to change 60:40 in favour of men, 70:30 in favour of men, or are we asking 50:50? 

A gender stat. I did find however was interesting:  http://www.thisischurch.net/church-news/the-churchs-deadly-ratio-part-i-the-problem/

Of course it is good if more men and women attend church, be it conservative or not, as that would be good,; good for them.  Maybe it is a case of men, and women, need to fight of the falsehood of secular media led society - have you watch any of the UK soaps lately, EastEnders, Coronation Street, or the popular Sex in the City and Desperate Housewives drama-soaps?  Chills me to the bone.  So banal and degrading to men and women; huge viewing figures though.

However, from what I've read, Mars Hill Church is male impassioned, which is nice because it gives power to men who maybe do not know where they are at in relation to their gender; if you are told you are the important one it boosts your moral and confidence.  Maybe that is what men really need.  To be told they are the important ones, the leaders... Who knows, but I do hope it is the Word of God they are listening to and not ‘the Man?  I have seen that happen a few times.  Sad but true.  So obsessed with themselves, and yes, their gender, those male leaders and sadly church members, forgot to reach out to others as Christ did.  Personalities lead the way, biblical men and women or not, and a kind of idolatry follows. 

See the following for my reason for some of my comments:

http://stackblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/time-to-give-mark-driscoll-a-sabbatical/

http://lklouise.com/392/driscoll-misogyny-masculinity/

I personally veer towards Billy Graham, his daughter Anne Graham Lotz, Joyce Meyers, David Pawson, N T Wright and Nicky Gumble biblical teachings. 

Anyway, all-in-all any church based in biblical doctrine, however flawed or warped it may be, not the doctrine or the Word, but the way it is implemented, and I believe the Holy Spirit will deal with such churches accordingly in time, is better than a church that relies on tradition and cultural patterns to exist and hold on to its power, which is a very Pharisee mentality, think the Catholic Church as in Roman and Eastern, Church of the Latter Day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses.  Good doctrines/theology badly used, with the Message of Christ being substituted for ‘we rule ok?’; excuse the disdain, but I do wonder sometimes what book some preachers are reading from.

Any church that can bring in both more men and women if spiritually led is a good thing.  If men, or women, need empowering to feel important again then that may be a good thing.  Personally I think cultural attitudes do play a part, and I would prefer a system of teaching that had a division of the sexes, maybe my single sex schooling has something to do with this, as when my school went co-ed both the male and the female grades dropped, as well as co-ed sessions as I have found, in both my working and advisory experience, that it is important for men and women to have an outlet and a safe environment to be taught and to be encouraged to express themselves without fear of being seen as foolish, feministic, machoistic, and being intimidated by such.

I think you would say the problem might be the feminisation of the church and education system, “that treat the decline of men in the church as the outworking of a process of feminisation”…. “the same process [that] has been happening in society with the decline in boys performance in education".

Two schools of thought about feminism: (A) the right to be treated as an equal with equal pay for the same work, access to the means of provisions, education and life chances through reversal of discriminatory ‘rules’ and the implementation of ‘positive discrimination’ to level the ‘playing field’ of life chances and aspirations; role playing, who does what, and the subverting of, is not on the agenda.  (B) the expectation of women to behave and take on all role models of men, and visa-versa, though this is often frowned upon and ignored by ‘evangelists’ of feministic views, they see all men oppressing all women through the structures of society – home, education, work-place, religious - and there is therefore a call to either de-masculine society structures and power bases, or to coerce women to ape the masculine behaviour, which leads, in my view, to confusion and conflict for both sexes.

Both hard-line views, the (B) feminisation of society,  and the re-masculinisation of society, which in order to correct the (A & B) feminisation of society, could come about, which ideologically could end up a subversive truism if not looked at and amended seriously, are bad for both the church and society.  Disastrous for Men and Women.

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