Because They’re Sinners, That’s Why! [A Book Review of David Murrow’s book Why Men Hate Going to Church]

written by Hiram Diaz [Involuted Speculations]
Original article found [here].

From Adam to the wicked servant who hid his one talent in the ground (see, Matthew 25:14-30), men have always blamed others for their sin. For instance, when God called out to Adam, who was responsible for Eve as her spiritual head and ours, our forefather did not take responsibility for his sin but instead told God that it was the woman whom He had given to Adam that was to blame for his breaking of the Law. Well, if you are at all familiar with the Fall Narrative (see Genesis 3) then you know that God didn’t buy the man’s excuse. So why is it that today, in our contemporary Christian culture, books like “Why Men Hate Going to Church” can be written for the masses, read by the masses, and positively appraised by the masses? I received a free copy of Why Men Hate Going to Church for review from BookSneeze.com several weeks ago, and I have had the difficult task of trudging through page after page of answers to a question that Scripture answers very clearly. That question is: Why do men hate going to church? And in response to it, Scripture emphatically declares: “Because they are sinners, that’s why!”

David Murrow’s book was a difficult and burdensome read, but not because it is an academic tome, nor because it is thousands of pages long, nor because it is poorly written. In fact, it is none of those things. Why Men Hate Going to Church communicates its arguments very clearly for all to understand, it is short, and is written in a friendly and accessible style. The difficulty I faced, therefore, was with the content of the book and not with the style, length, or any other superficial feature of the book. You see, David Murrow’s research into the issue of the gradual decline in male church attendance reflects the type of thinking that is all too common in the culture of stuff that we live in. Murrow’s book, in other words, sees the decline in men attending church as a phenomenon that is the result of women removing the things that men find exciting and interesting from church. The irony, however, is that there are many valid criticisms that Murrow makes. For instance, he criticizes the “Jesus-is-my-boyfriend” “Praise and Worship” music that is characteristic of the non-denominational denominations for being practically erotic in its tone.

And he’s right, but there is a bigger problem behind such awful music: Scripture is left out, trodden underfoot, and treated as a ouji board by many professing Christians. Consequently, it is not Biblical Truth that determines the content of the music in church, but the emotions of those who write the songs. And why is Scripture treated this way? Because it doesn’t agree with the sensibilities of those who many are too eager to call “seekers” and whom God identifies as “goats.” Page after page, I was enraged and saddened by the condition of the church – but not because it has pushed men away from worshiping God. Rather, my anger and sorrow were the fruit of seeing how blind so many in the pews, behind the pulpits, and in the Christian writing industry are of what is really going on. It is the commercialization of pseudo-Christianity that is really the problem. Instead of preachers who preach the Word, we have charlatans who give pep-talks; instead of the Gospel of God’s free grace, we are given self-help swill that we can find on the back of a cereal box or on Oprah.

Why Men Hate Going to Church is a good book if only for this reason: When set beside the Scriptures, even the most impenitent and blind can see how far the church at large has fallen away from the Truth. Men hate going to church for the same reason that women hate going to church: Because apart from a Sovereign work of grace in their hearts, we all hate God. Rather than preaching for liturgical reform, we should be on our faces repenting for turning the house of God into a house of merchandise, filled with wares of every kind but lacking what is truly important: The Truth of God’s Law, that declares we are sinners who deserve God’s unmitigated wrath; and the Truth of God’s Gospel, that tells us Christ underwent the wrath of God for all who, having been shown the worthlessness of their works and their rightfully deserved end, turn to Christ in faith, completely trusting in His merits to save them.

Why do men hate going to church?

Because they’re sinners, that’s why.

-h.

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3 thoughts on “Because They’re Sinners, That’s Why! [A Book Review of David Murrow’s book Why Men Hate Going to Church]”

  1. i left church because:

    first church:

    i was a student and my allowance isn’t enough. the praise and worship leader encouraged me to go to church and gave me fare… i was delighted until sunday, the Pastor said that if we truly love JESUS, we have to walk to church if we have no money.Not that we wait for others to help us.

    and our house is on the other island.

    second church

    my mother told me that i was penniless because of the church. i was disheartened because i had been giving more and more to my family financially and to my mom, it’s not enough. i told my church leader about it.but she did not let me finish.she went somewhere.saying she needs to do something.then for several sundays, the Pastor indirectly accused me of not providing for my family. painful stuff yet i decided to endure it because i really wanted to know more about the LORD. all i wanted is just a prayer from my leader.that’s all.if she had let me finish she would have known that i had been giving my family more than what other children had provided to their parents. then just this year, my Pastor offered me a free ticket to a seminar.i accepted it happily.then that sunday, he blurted out that there’s someone that won’t go to seminars unless given a free ticket.that i was getting fat and won’t even give…i am broke, i don’t have a job…i can’t understand it…i didn’t beg him to give me a free ticket.he offered it to me… so why he is so mad that i accept it?

    because of that, i almost backslided if it the LORD didn’t intervened.

    if this is what it means to be a christian in a church. i would have nothing to do with it

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    1. Giselle, that’s a tough situation. I will definitely pray for you today. Providing for your family is a great work. In fact, Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:8, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

      If we give to the church, we are instructed not to do so out of compulsion, but to be a cheerful giver. In other words, if you feel pressure to give to the church, feeling like you must give – then don’t. Give freely. If you only have enough money to provide for your family and the rest is for bills or food or something, then continue to do that without worrying about giving to the church. In the future, you can do that if the situation allows for it.

      A lot of churches put pressure on the congregation to tithe. But tithing was a law given to the people of Israel that doesn’t apply to the Christian today. It went away with the Old Covenant. It was something that had to be done. We, however, give freely and cheerfully.

      I think that your pastor acted immaturely if he had given you a seminar ticket and then made a statement about people who won’t go unless they get a free ticket. For your pastor to say that “if you really love Jesus, you will walk to church,” is a manmade law that isn’t in Scripture. As Christians we should never bind people with laws like that. Christianity isn’t “Do this to prove yourself.” Christianity is, “Jesus did this for those who believe.”

      I realize that it is very disheartening, and I’m not going to pretend that I understand what it’s like because I don’t. What I can tell you, though, is that Christ gave His life to satisfy the Father’s wrath for those who would believe and cancel the sin debt that those who would believe had against the Father. He rose again 3 days later for their justification, and sat at the right hand of God the Father. For those who believe, there is no condemnation. They are in Christ. I mention this, because you mentioned almost backsliding. This truth doesn’t change. People change and and we change and people mistreat us and we mistreat others, but the gospel and the Word of God doesn’t change and stands forever. Take heart in it. Find comfort in it. Don’t feel burdened by those things which you don’t do perfectly. We are depraved sinners. Rest in Christ.

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