“Well-meaning people of faith” are the entire reason there’s a culture war, because they’ve gone all French on it for more than half a century. All they want to know is who they can surrender to so all those unpleasant things will just stop.
So, how’s that neutrality and appeasement thing workin’ out for ya, Mrs. Politics is Icky and Mr. Art Is For Fairies? Has running away and jamming your head in the sand up to your shoulders helped turn Hollywierd around, since you abandoned it to the Leftards somewhere around Eisenhower’s first term? How’s music working for you since you burned those demon Elvis records, and retreated to your churchianity muzak, where Jesus is your boyfriend and God’s your fishin’ buddy? No “Onward Christian Soldiers” for you lot, it’s all the women swooning about how your former savior really came down to be like Oprah, but with more empathy and cars for the audience. And you’re stunned when you look around and realize that other than the pale limp-wristed minister, the church is full of your fellow cat ladies and children still too small to escape on their own, while all the pitifully few men there formerly have drifted off to watch NASCAR and football, and can’t stand five minutes in a church with everything feminine from the music to the message, and probably even including lace doilies on the pew armrests, and pink satin dust ruffles on the kneeling benches.
Peter and Paul told Roman emperors to shove their self-declared deity where the sun don’t shine. Daniel stood triumphant among a den of lions. You folks in the same circumstances would be wondering which flavor of cat food to bring along.
While a few orthodox preaqchers try to stem the tide, they’re overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of soft-headed soft-hearted peace-at-any-price appeasement mongers, more worried about not sticking out too much from the culture than about grabbing by the horns and bulldogging it into submission to timeless precepts of morality and righteousness.
A generation moving into your leadership has been entirely raised by pussified men, or worse, in single-parent fatherless households, because you decided better to cater to single mothers with daddy issues than to stand athwart the culture and yell “Stop!”, and demand that the men among you lead that effort, so you’ve lost the men you had, the up and coming ones can’t run out the doors fast enough, and the women you’ve kept are the ones no one else wants. And after three failed marriages apiece, that’s not a guess, or a slam, it’s a description of the problem.
You don’t know what to do with the three young men who haven’t left yet, one of the three is gay, the old men who still come are mainly there because they give the old biddies someone to tend to, and if you even reach out to the men from 20-70, it stops at 1PM Sunday, and maybe includes pancakes once a week.
You don’t have to reach out to the women, because 98% of everything you do day in and day out is geared to them.
If your church has ten men worthy of the appellation you’re church is in the top 0.5% of all of them nationwide, and if anybody’s house was on fire, in most cases, you couldn’t find enough manpower that was literally men to even staff a decent bucket brigade, let alone tackle anything more serious.
And whoever’s leading worship never served in the military, probably hasn’t done anything resembling hard physical labor his entire life, and hasn’t lifted anything heavier than a Bible or a pencil since his teens. Jesus was a carpenter when that work meant everything from cutting down the tree to turning it into lumber to hand-powered tool and joinery; he’d beat Bob Villa into the ground with one arm tied behind his back. He recruited his help from among fishermen and roughnecks down at the docks. He hung around with prostitutes and guys who cursed like sailors, because they were sailors, and those people enjoyed his company.
If your pastor or minister hung around a tavern near the wharf for half an hour, he’d probably die of fright, and if he, (or God forbid, she) tried to convince so much as one of them to stick around, let alone follow him, they wouldn’t expect to get as far as the men’s room without needing to ask for help.
So it’s not fair to blame the church for lacking anything like drive, vision, energy, or muscularity in dealing with the culture. The church has been acting like a bunch of women for 50-100 years, because that’s all it is, most days in most places. Most average boys figure out by 16 or so that there’s no place for them, they’re not wanted, and that their input will be unwelcome, so they self-select out the door and into sports, cars, partying, work, the military, or just about anything else, because they aren’t about to sit still for having their testicles slammed in a drawer 20 times a day every Sunday for the rest of their lives.
In the one time out of a thousand where there’s anything approaching muscular, principled, vertebrate Christianity, it looks like a zombie stack from World War Z as people try to get into the parking lot Sunday morning. In the other 999 churches, it looks like another episode of Ellen, except with worse music, poorer comedy, and fewer men than in her studio audience.
Good, strong, discomfiting stuff. If there’s any sector of Western civilization where the Left has enjoyed more complete success with their program of infiltration, cooptation, and incremental destruction as the Church, I can’t think of it right offhand.
His point about “whoever’s leading worship” resonates quite well with me. My whole life, my entire family and a good percentage of my friends went to the United Methodist Church. As I grew into my teens, I became aware of the struggle between our local church and the UMC leadership, which was tilting ever more sharply liberal through the late 60s and into the 70s. After I moved out on my own in the early 80s, I pretty much let my church ties go by the wayside, excepting the occasional wedding or funeral; years later, when I married Christiana, I had a close friend’s father who was a retired Southern Baptist pastor tie the knot. Pastor Rowe is a great guy: very down to earth, approachable, highly intelligent and well-read, not particularly shy about letting a mild cuss word fly after hitting his thumb with a hammer—which, being know to be pretty handy with tools, wouldn’t have been often.
The choice was a no-brainer; I was completely out of touch with whoever the pastor of my old congregation was, but I knew the ever-more-Leftward bent of my church and wasn’t in accord with it. On the other hand, I knew Pastor Rowe as a man of unswerving, deep commitment to more traditional Christian values—more than that, as a Real Man, of the old-school, country-boy, Southern working-man sort. He had raised two boys to be excellent, worthy men: hardy men, men who inspire respect and admiration, men whose friendship is cherished and counted a blessing by all whose lives they touch.
As I’ve grown older I’ve begun to feel drawn back to the church again; this tug has been strengthened by events and changes in my own life over the last decade, beginning with the death of my wife and working from there. So many of the old faces are long gone, of course. But many remain, and many of my own generation now have families who have been raised in the church as I was, with children of their own. The resilience of my old church has come as a pleasant surprise to me; the congregation fought the good fight against liberalization and bowdlerization, and it has maintained its standards and traditions against the best efforts of the namby-pamby, PC Oprahfication Aesop righteously blasts above. I’m glad for that.