It is in my uneducated opinion that Christian culture lacks masculinity. Every time I interact on some level with a men's group in the Christian milieu it feels like I am watching a small child reaching for a candy jar on a shelf six feet above its head. There is always something off. The non stop agreements to confidentiality. The unwavering amounts of awkward stints in conversation. I cannot express the amount of times I have wanted to scream "WHO GIVES A FUCK!" just for the sheer pleasure of seeing their stunned faces. I want to explain the standard format of these groups just so you have a general understanding. You walk in, sit down and in some capacity, this is what happens in the next couple hours. An activity (icebreaker), worship (sometimes), a presented topic (through a speaker, audio track, or video), then breaking off into small groups is common, and lastly the best part in my opinion is after all that formality you just hang out and talk with the other men. The reason I am bringing these groups up is they are the only source of masculine development the Christian church provides. I will say though, I do not feel anger at the groups I have been apart of, rather it is more a lack of satisfaction and concern that I am trying to express.
I recently have been reading a book called "Iron John by Robert Bly". So far it has been a thought provoking enjoyable read. What has stuck out to me the most through it is the concept of a wild man. In essence Bly uses an old tale about a wild man that is locked up and a boy that sets him free and the crazy events that transpire. This book helped give me language to a belief that I hold, which is that there is a lack of HEALTHY CRAZY in "Christianity". I am unsure if those two words can really go together, but it is my conviction that men just need to do "crazy" things. I have yet to be involved in a men's group where all you do is blow shit up, build a catapult, fly a kite, go fishing, sit in a chair and drink beer, or setting up a hammock village of relaxation. I feel that if the agenda was not focused on fixing our (men's) cyclical shortcomings, but rather teaching strengths through exercises (blowing shit up) and daily life, the world would be a better place. What if there was actually a safe place for men to exist, be wild, emotional, and pushed to work on themselves. Regardless of the lack I have personally experienced, I have not given up hope. I still go to groups and try new ones out. I have this innate desire to feel like a man and be around men. To be affirmed and accepted.
It is my observation and opinion that these "men's groups" that are currently provided are just a sad attempt at band-aiding a massive, infectious, puss oozing problem. Men are leaving church or not attending because apparently, it is not worth their time. Men's involvement within modern day church is significantly declining. Just go ask google if you don't believe me. It's not because satan has possessed them or it's football season. At the end of the day there is very little a man can identify with in Church. You have to leave your balls outside before you walk through those sacred doors. You are demanded to passively sit there in a pew/chair and accept everything that is taught or said from the pulpit and the very second you say/believe otherwise, you are ostracized and cast out. Thank you protestantism, for creating a mentality that if you think differently you need to part ways. Needless to say it would be arrogance, to say that mens attendance of church is growing. It is my personal belief that a reformation in the church will not help draw men back. Sunday morning church is an archaic system that has more pagan roots than Christian, and it needs to be put on the shelf.
I am wagering that that last statement will most likely make some of you shudder, or judge me instantly. Reality is though, you are just uncomfortable with the idea of something that is so foundational to Christian culture possibly needing to be removed. It is time the "Christian Church" set aside its security blanket and push itself forward into the unknown. It seems as though the lack of masculinity Christianity holds is finally being exposed through men drifting away to other sources of development. Sadly I do not have the answer or solution to this problem I see. I am on a journey to find one though. Your ideas and opinions are more than welcome here!
Who wants to join me...lets be healthy crazy......
What are your thoughts?