From Adam to the wicked servant who hid his one talent in the ground (see, Matthew 25:14-30), men have always blamed others for their sin. For instance, when God called out to Adam, who was responsible for Eve as her spiritual head and ours, our forefather did not take responsibility for his sin but instead told God that it was the woman whom He had given to Adam that was to blame for his breaking of the Law. Well, if you are at all familiar with the Fall Narrative (see Genesis 3) then you know that God didn’t buy the man’s excuse. So why is it that today, in our contemporary Christian culture, books like “Why Men Hate Going to Church” can be written for the masses, read by the masses, and positively appraised by the masses? I received a free copy of Why Men Hate Going to Church for review from BookSneeze.com several weeks ago, and I have had the difficult task of trudging through page after page of answers to a question that Scripture answers very clearly. That question is: Why do men hate going to church? And in response to it, Scripture emphatically declares: “Because they are sinners, that’s why!”
David Murrow’s book was a difficult and burdensome read, but not because it is an academic tome, nor because it is thousands of pages long, nor because it is poorly written. In fact, it is none of those things. Why Men Hate Going to Church communicates its arguments very clearly for all to understand, it is short, and is written in a friendly and accessible style. The difficulty I faced, therefore, was with the content of the book and not with the style, length, or any other superficial feature of the book. You see, David Murrow’s research into the issue of the gradual decline in male church attendance reflects the type of thinking that is all too common in the culture of stuff that we live in. Murrow’s book, in other words, sees the decline in men attending church as a phenomenon that is the result of women removing the things that men find exciting and interesting from church. The irony, however, is that there are many valid criticisms that Murrow makes. For instance, he criticizes the “Jesus-is-my-boyfriend” “Praise and Worship” music that is characteristic of the non-denominational denominations for being practically erotic in its tone.
And he’s right, but there is a bigger problem behind such awful music: Scripture is left out, trodden underfoot, and treated as a ouji board by many professing Christians. Consequently, it is not Biblical Truth that determines the content of the music in church, but the emotions of those who write the songs. And why is Scripture treated this way? Because it doesn’t agree with the sensibilities of those who many are too eager to call “seekers” and whom God identifies as “goats.” Page after page, I was enraged and saddened by the condition of the church – but not because it has pushed men away from worshiping God. Rather, my anger and sorrow were the fruit of seeing how blind so many in the pews, behind the pulpits, and in the Christian writing industry are of what is really going on. It is the commercialization of pseudo-Christianity that is really the problem. Instead of preachers who preach the Word, we have charlatans who give pep-talks; instead of the Gospel of God’s free grace, we are given self-help swill that we can find on the back of a cereal box or on Oprah.
Why Men Hate Going to Church is a good book if only for this reason: When set beside the Scriptures, even the most impenitent and blind can see how far the church at large has fallen away from the Truth. Men hate going to church for the same reason that women hate going to church: Because apart from a Sovereign work of grace in their hearts, we all hate God. Rather than preaching for liturgical reform, we should be on our faces repenting for turning the house of God into a house of merchandise, filled with wares of every kind but lacking what is truly important: The Truth of God’s Law, that declares we are sinners who deserve God’s unmitigated wrath; and the Truth of God’s Gospel, that tells us Christ underwent the wrath of God for all who, having been shown the worthlessness of their works and their rightfully deserved end, turn to Christ in faith, completely trusting in His merits to save them.
Why do men hate going to church?
Because they’re sinners, that’s why.