Sundays are for Emasculation

It's Sunday Morning.  

People swirl into the sanctuary and slide into seats. Pastor Jim ascends the platform, welcomes all and delivers a message. It’s funny, meaningful, bright, encouraging and challenging.

And every man in the building suffers another snip between their legs in the process of American church emasculation, the loss of potency by a thousand cuts all in the same direction.

Hidden structures are at work, hidden in plain sight. Because the way it’s done this Sunday was the same way it was done the Sunday before, and the Sunday before that, and the Sunday before that, we have slept on these hidden structures though they operate right under our noses.

What are these hidden structures?

One Person

The same person delivers the sermon almost every Sunday. The professional, paid, qualified spiritual leader speaks while all are mostly silent, or make verbal calls in agreement.

The hidden message: There is one, the “man of God,” the priest, the pastor, the bishop: He, the one who is specially qualified to speak spiritual truth into the tens or hundreds of families who have assembled to hear him. All the other men are silent, women nod their head in agreement at the truth being spoken.

A chorus of women’s heads look up to see a singular person, often a man, and he becomes the main man speaking spiritual truth and life into that family while the husband and father listens silently.

The Platform and the Seats

A row of seats in a theater say, “Watch and be entertained.” In a football stadium, you seat yourself as the fan, not a player. At a concert, you are a grooving to the music, not making it. At a broadway show, you are tapping your foot, humming the tune, delighting in the story, but no one is there to see you. You are not player.

When you “go to church” you are not player in the game, but a spectator, possibly a fan of what is happening on the platform.

Without a platform, and without seats, there is no game, or we leave that game to watch a different game entirely.

The Tithe

Feeling guilty for not doing enough? You can join the ranks of the mature by opening your wallet. “Give! Give to what we are doing here.” Become a part of the team, not by actually doing something, but by supporting through your faithful giving. Oh, and double honor: We are paying the man of God’s salary, his house payment, his car payment, his grocery bill.

Let him who has ears to hear…