Much has been made in recent years of the demographic commonly called the ‘nones’ in Western civilization. This is the group who, when offered the choice on a survey between the myriad different religions and none, are prone to check the box next to none. There is another group I fear are being overlooked in the discussion. These are the dones.
On April 9, The Federalist published an article that was later shared by Gene Veith over on his blog entitled “If You Want Men In Your Church, Stop Treating Them With Contempt.” Honestly, this article was not very eye-opening for me. I have seen it for years. As pastors preach through books like Ephesians and they arrive at texts that place strong requirements on both men and women, they profusely apologize to the women before preaching “their” sermon and then, the next week, commence to berate the men.
The question isn’t whether or not sin should be called out. The problem is that there is clearly partiality at play in the way that men are being regularly bludgeoned over their sinfulness while their wives are being made out to be near sinless. Every Sunday is just another reminder of their failure and guilt, not of the kindness of God that has the power to lead them to repentance. Is it any wonder men struggle to remain at such churches.
As the topic of ethnic strife has been on my mind over the past few years, I have wondered how much of this is not crossing over into the way ethnic groups “in power” are also being addressed from the pulpit. Recently, my suspicions were confirmed by this testimonial originally published on October 1, 2017. The berating of men and the berating of the “privileged” from the same pulpits seems to be clearly linked.
Hence, I fear that we are fast approaching an age of mass exodus from the church. I can see many men and women, and people of all ethnicities, who are tired of seeing their brothers and sisters in the Lord berated merely because of their gender or skin color leaving otherwise good churches for less solid churches less likely to so behave, as I am sure many already have. I can see many Christians who have striven to foster impartiality and gospel unity in the church, after being nonetheless berated for months / years on end from the pulpit, simply throwing their hands up and saying, “I’m done.”