I decided to review Why Men Hate Going to Church (2011) by David Murrow because the title intrigued me. Most of us know at least one couple that consists of a churchgoing wife and stay-at-home-on-Sunday husband. In fact, there really can be no doubt that overall Christian churches are more heavily populated by women than by men. Don’t believe me? Just check out church attendance on the weekends when the women are away at their women’s retreats and men have no one to drag them to service. I read Why Men Hate Going to Church because I really wanted answers to this phenomenon and I got more than I bargained for. I was expecting an upbraiding of men but what I found was a wake up call to the Church in one of the most important books I have ever read.
Murrow’s main point is that men have not simply left the Church, but rather that the Church has left them. He points to a feminizing of both the Church and of Jesus himself. As a woman I rejected this premise at first but the more I read and thought about what Murrow was saying, the more I realized the truth of his words. One example that he gives is the presentation of Jesus in modern Christian illustrations, sermons, and music as soft and gentle and looking like he just came from a spa treatment.
Once again, modern marketing created a Jesus who does not exist. The true Christ of Scripture is more akin to a gritty super-hero. As a homeless man, he was no stranger to grit and grime. As a tradesman, he must have been well muscled. Like a video game hero, Jesus was a fighter who left a trail of mayhem in his wake. He vanquished demons, destroyed stuff, and made people so mad they tried to kill him. Camp counselors don’t get nailed to the cross. (p. 119)
I do not want to give too much of this book away because I really do believe it is a must read item for all Christians. Even if you have read this book in the past, this newly revised and updated version is worth a reread since 70% of the content is new.
As I said, this book is one of the most important books I have ever read. It was frightening in parts and hopeful in others. It is not just a list of problems but also a list of solutions. I recommend that you buy this book today and read it and then pass it along to your pastor or other church leader.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are mine.