29 January 2013

Men and Worship

Today, I want to begin looking at two topics that concern me: men and worship. I am combining them for a critical look at how men relate to what worship has become today.

Men don’t want to go to church.  There are numerous surveys and polls looking at church attendance in the US. Most indicate that women constitute anywhere from 60-75% of the congregation in most churches on Sunday morning. In very informal and non-scientific studies here in the Czech Republic (I've actually counted) I have found the ratio of women to men in corporate worship services to be six or seven to one! There are a lot of possible reasons for this. 

Some reasons given by men on why they don't like going to church are as follows:
·      Men want as much time for themselves as possible when they are not working
·      Socializing does not come easy for men as it comes to women
·      Men do not feel the necessity to go to Church considering that they can pretty much worship God at home
·      Men hate listening to a boring lecture which they really cannot relate to
·      Men consider singing in Church to be sissy
·      Men think there is no point in going to the Church and sleeping. They might as well sleep at home
·      Most men consider going to church a waste of time

Many Men don’t like church because they don’t understand it.
·      What am I supposed to do when the pastor is praying? Even worse, what if there is a time of silence?
·      What if I make the effort and still don’t understand what he’s talking about?
·      What does he mean “examine myself”

This is not a new problem. Thomas Boston, in a book first published in 1720, wrote that “The unregenerate would find fault with heaven on several accounts.” Admittedly, he is addressing a group of unregenerate folk here, but he takes up the idea of despising worship. His “accounts” 5 and 6 read this way: 

5. They would never like the employment of heaven, they care so little for it now. The business of saints there would be an intolerable burden to them, seeing it is not agreeable to their nature. To be taken up in beholding, admiring, and praising Him that sits on the throne, and the Lamb, would be work unsuitable, and therefore unsavory to the unredeemed soul.

6. They would find this fault with it, that the whole is of everlasting continuance. This would be a killing burden in it to them. How as now account the Sabbath day a burden, brook the celebration of an everlasting Sabbath in the heavens!

(Human Nature in Its Fourfold State, p. 247-8.)

I will be looking at this over the course of a few weeks (probably not all in a row). Care to join in the discussion?


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