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Summary: The Bible does not present Jesus as the sissy the church presents him as.

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Ancient Secrets of the Bible

#3

The Not So Gentle Jesus

What is the first thought that comes to your mind at the name of Jesus? How would you describe his character or emotional makeup? What is your image of Jesus as a man? Isn’t He sort of meek and mild? One man said “I mean the pictures I have of him show a gentle guy with children all around. Kind of like Mother Teresa.” They are predominantly the kind of pictures we find in our churches and homes. They leave us with the impression that Jesus was the world’s nicest guy. Like Mister Rogers with a beard. From Sunday School on we see a gentle, meek, Savior, well-groomed and tidy man wearing a shining white dress. In these paintings He taps gently on a door, plays with children, or stares lovingly into the eyes of a lamb nestled in His arm. Although these images are comforting, they do little to suggest masculine strength and resolve. Jesuit priest Patrick Arnold laments Christ’s frequent portrayal as a bearded lady.

The typical American churchgoer is a woman. The US Congregational Life Survey pegged her as a fifty-year-old, married, well-educated, employed female. An ABC News/Beliefnet poll found that a worshiper is most likely an older, black female who lives in the south. P 53 Men hate church.

Dr Woody Davis asked one hundred men why they didn’t go to church. Their number one response “Church is for women, children, and wimps.”

A common fear among men is that Christianity will turn them into a nerd or a nut.

Lee Strobel p118 Men hate church

Lee Strobel before he was a believer would look at the church and think, "Boy, I never want to end up like that." If Christianity requires a person to become a social misfit who has no social life except church services and prayer meetings, count me out. He said, "I saw Christianity as being boring, out of touch, and living a plain vanilla lifestyle that’s devoid of excitement, challenge, or fun.

No man wants to be a "Ned Flanders" Bart Simpsons Christian neighbor on the Simpsons.

Of all the world’s great religions, only Christianity has a consistent, nagging shortage of male practitioners. What is it about modern Christianity that is driving men away?

This is scary. Islam is growing in the US, and has made its strongest inroads into the African -American community. More than 90% of the converts to Islam in the US are African-American males. They seen Christianity is for women and Islam is for men.

Rick Warren says 80% of American Churches are family reunion churches. The greatest commandment is to be nice. The pastor’s job is to keep the peace. Keep’em happy and in the pews. It’s velvet coffin Christianity. Everything is so easy, so sweet, so nice.

It hasn’t always been this way. Jesus began with 12 men. According to Dr Leon Podles men began to withdraw from church life during the 13th century when a new bridal mysticism began to sweep the church. A call to weakness and passivity replaced the churches historical emphasis on struggle and self-sacrifice. The Virgin Mary took center stage. Mother church took care of everything spiritual. Medieval men simply attended Mass, took the sacraments, and paid tithes and indulgences.

The great evangelist Charles Finney wrote in the 1830’s: “Women composed the great majority of members in all churches.”

Apparently, Jesus is so nice he prefers to lose. P134 Why men hate church.

Kevin Leman tells the story of a mother who caught her two boys arguing over who would get the first pancake. Mom thought she had a teachable moment so she said, "If Jesus was sitting here, He would say, Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait." The older boy turned to the younger and said, Ryan you be Jesus."

Liberal Churches have re-created Christ as a benevolent Teacher who is always gentle, tender, and accepting. This Christ would never offend anyone, judge anyone, and of course, never send anyone to hell. If Christ were a radio station, His slogan would be "all tenderness all the time."

pp134 Why Men hate church

There are two problems with this view of Jesus: (1) it’s not accurate (2) no man wants to follow a feminized man. P134 Men are looking for a real man to follow:

Is Jesus More like Mother Teresa or William Wallace? p24 Wild at heart

If you remember William Wallace is the hero of the movie Braveheart. He was the warrior poet who cam as the liberator of Scotland in the early 1300’s. When Wallace arrives on the scene Scotland had been under the heel of England for centuries. Without a leader the rebellion was failing. At this point Wallace rides in with his band of warriors, blue warpaint on there faces and ready for battle. Wallace challenged the fearful men with "Sons of Scotland.. you have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. And goes on to say "Dying in your bed, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!" He goes out to pick a fight with the English army and leads Scotland to freedom.

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