Why men leave church...

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When I was serving my former churches (a yoked parish of two congregations) an hour north of Madison, Wisconsin, a young man working toward a graduate degree at UW(Madison) served the congregations as a pastoral intern and we became close. As time went by, he decided to enter the ministry and to train at the Christian Reformed Church's Calvin Seminary.

Even then, back in the eighties, Calvin Seminary was going down the tube. Turning our backs on God's Order of Creation, Adam first then Eve, was all the rage and Calvin was drowning in this rebellion. Dutchmen were reaping the fruit of their diffident-to-cold relationships with their wives and children and, having sown the wind, they were about to reap the whirlwind.

Ortega y Gasset pointed out that true thinking begins with exaggeration, you understand.

Another pastor in the area was on the board of Calvin and he told us the school was going liberal and it was only a matter of time before the Christian Reformed Church would follow...

the feminist revolutionaries of her seminary and approve the ordination of women as elders and ministers of the Word and Sacrament.

Prior to his matriculation, my friend visited Calvin a few times and saw the school was just like UW(Madison), but with the Bible and Jesus Christ trotted out to lend a certain respectability to their rebellion. After settling his affairs in Madison, my friend and his wife were off to Grand Rapids. Before leaving they came up to Pardeeville to visit us and, as they left, my friend said to me, "Tim, you've got to hold me accountable not to give in to Calvin's feminism."

...but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. (1Timothy 3:15)

I've never forgotten it. Sadly, there was no holding him accountable once Calvin became his alma mater. It's very difficult to get babies to spit out poison while they're nursing, but this wasn't just one bottle of contaminated milk. It was a whole bulk tank.

About twenty years later, this man was a pastor of the CRC which had long since approved woman exercising authority over man as elders and pastors. We only had contact every five years or so and one night he called and asked if I had some time to talk? I said "yes," and he explained he was in a church where they were having difficulty attracting men. The church was filled with women and he wondered if I had any suggestions as to how they could turn it around and get some men in the church?

Here at Clearnote Church in Bloomington, we're having a Men's Carnivore Cookout tomorrow night to kick off a new year of our Saturday morning David's Mighty Men training. David's Mighty Men is a three-year-curriculum training men in the biblical duties of sons, husbands, fathers, and grandfathers in our households, the Household of Faith, and the city gates. For about seven years, now, we're averaged around fifty men in attendance and it's one of the most Biblical and helpful works done in our congregation.

So did I tell my friend about our Men's Carnivore Cookout or David's Mighty Men?

No, I didn't bother with that. It wouldn't help. Instead I explained it would be hard for him to get men involved in a church with women officers who rebuke and admonish and correct and exhort and teach men.

Men do not and will not compete with women. They can't. So the church that has women exercising authority over men is dead in the water. The men will leave: first, spiritually and emotionally; and then, numerically. And as time passes, the numbers will tell what idolatrous ideology tries to hide.

All those clean, organized, emotionally distant Dutchmen (can you picture a Dutchman crying and hugging and kissing the Apostle Paul down at the harbor in Miletus?) said "yes" to Domine when he told them they should accept the new ways and not be such male chauvinist pigs refusing their bitter wives and oh-so-very-bright daughters their rightful place using their gifts of church leadership given them by the Holy Spirit. (Yes, that bit about gifts is a main talking point among the rebels.) So weighted down with bad consciences over the way they've failed to love their wives and daughters, the men caved and their beloved CRC began ordaining women elders and pastors.

Meanwhile Calvin moved on from discussing women's ordination to discussing sodomy.

For the men of the CRC, the change was a relief, really. Home visitations had been such a burden for men who had cleanliness at top of their hierarchy of needs, so the guys were happy to stay home while their wives went off to church and met with the Domine to discuss the budget and the security of the children in the nursery--that's what consistory meetings became. The years have passed and now those men's sons have noted their Dad's heart isn't in church, so after first communion they've left the church and many of them now are Christless.

Twenty years later my friend was on the phone asking how he could get men to come to church?

Please sit down and fasten your seat belt for this one.

Leadership is male. This is the plain teaching of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation and those who defy God in this matter will be crushed by the DNA God has placed in man (using that noxious word as God Himself ordained it to be used throughout His Word--as a male inclusive). The male sex doesn't and won't and can't compete with woman because he is made by God to lead and provide for and protect woman. Look at her breasts. Look at his shoulders. That's our natural revelation moment for the day.

A week or so ago I was reading an account of the Olympics mixed-doubles tennis competition and one of the U.S. competitors, a woman, was joking about her male partner. The mainstream media reported with neither gasp nor exclamation mark her comment that, in their next match, she didn't expect her man to smash the ball at the woman on the other side of the net. He was no cad, she said. In other words, he went easy on their female opponents and reserved his greatest aggression for his male opponents.

For ten or twelve years I watched my youngest son, Taylor, play soccer on a travelling soccer club. Once in a while his team had to play a team with a female player or two or three. Every last time this happened, you watched the boys back off the girls.

After one of those games in which the boys' deference tied their hands for the entire game, I asked Taylor if the coach had said anything to them about the girls during halftime? He said yes, his coach had ordered them to go as hard at the girls as they did at the boys. Then Taylor added in a soft voice as if to himself, "None of us would ever do that."

Not sure what I had heard, I asked Taylor to clarify and it was just as it had appeared the first time around. In a condescending way he explained to his stupid father that no boy would ever slide-tackle or check or even shoulder any girl. Ever.

Understand that, except for Taylor and one or two boys, the other members of his team were from liberated university and university-corrupted households whose brains had been power-washed leaving no trace of that benighted antediluvian life-form of Christian manhood. To every one of them the command of God that woman not teach or exercise authority over man was dead-dead-dead. Their mothers earned more than their fathers, there was no family dinner, and they were there playing soccer games around the state on Sunday mornings when Taylor and I were in church worshipping our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yet not one of those boys had been gelded severely enough to erase the DNA that kept him from slide tackling a girl.

Here's the moral.

If you're in a church where weddings are gender-neutered and the pastor avoids preaching and teaching on God's Order of Creation; where women and men serve together without distinction as deacons or "deeks"; where women serve the Lord's Supper alongside the pastor and elders; where good-looking blonds lead the worship music and read the Scripture and pray and everything else in worship except maybe preaching; where brashness is a family value and all the daughters are above average and headed to Wheaton for their inspiration to change the world; where little boys are on Ritalin and older boys are not allowed to hunt or even shoot, and certainly not own any gun; where the dogs are mere whisps of air and cats rule; where the custodian goes to a Baptist church and the only blacks work in the nursery and are paid; and of course, where men are silent, absent, and rich enough to have lots of toys...


Sex is the most basic category of our lives and those who claim the Name of Christ while denying sex any transcendent meaning or purpose are not disciples of Christ because they are not obeying some of the most basic and all-encompassing commands He gives us day after day by His Spirit and Word.

If we can live our entire lives without submitting to His commands concerning who we are, man or woman; if we can sit in church for Lord's Day after Lord's Day without receiving simple clear commands to submit to and obey our husbands and to provide for and lead and protect our wives, we are not a part of a church where the Word is rightly preached.

And where the Word of God is not rightly preached, there is no true church.

The notes of the true Kirk, therefore, we believe, confess, and avow to be: first, the true preaching of the Word of God, in which God has revealed himself to us, as the writings of the prophets and apostles declare; secondly, the right administration of the sacraments of Christ Jesus, with which must be associated the Word and promise of God to seal and confirm them in our hearts; and lastly, ecclesiastical discipline uprightly ministered, as God's Word prescribes, whereby vice is repressed and virtue nourished. - Chapter 18, The Scots Confession.

The church that avoids God's Order of Creation in her preaching and teaching and discipline does not have the true preaching of the Word of God. How can any Christian church defy God and His Word concerning the meaning and purpose of sexuality and still be considered part of the Church of the Living God, the Household of God, the pillar and foundation of the truth?

Where the marks of the church are missing, it's time to depart for a true church where you and your family will be fed and rebuked and exhorted and encouraged in that most basic place of your being--your manhood or your womanhood.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!