A man’s mind is not wired for the church. A sincere church going man is like a grass-eating lion; very rare to find but nowhere close to extinction. Allow me the honor of taking you on a tour of the makeup of a man which causes him enormous discomfort anytime he finds himself on a church seat.
The Spiritual Tourist
Most men are in church because of their women. Any man, at least the reasonable one, will do just about anything for the woman who has somehow managed to tame his wretched heart, which includes accompanying her to church. The church dictates total conformation of every soul within its walls. Let it be known that a man who attends church is not necessarily a convert. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian in the same way visiting an arboretum does not make you a tree. Most men in church are like tourists; watching and aping but never fully conforming. Their manhood does not permit them the luxury of conformation.
The Street Soldier
The church is like a horse ranch; it takes the wild hearts and attempts to tame them. Our society does the exact opposite, especially when it comes to men. Our society is designed to convert a regular gentleman into a creature with a heart harder than the bumper of a garbage truck. The once humble young man turns into a beast rougher than a rhinoceros, more ruthless than a ghetto hustler and more cunning that the self-educated call girl. From sun-up to sun-drop, for six straight days, this man lives a routine similar to a military ‘pass out’ drill. How then do you expect this same man, this rigid civilian street soldier, to automatically turn into a ‘jelly-back’ hand-lifting servant during the Sabbath day? If a man can be tortured and battered out of shape every day yet won’t even shed a single tear, how then do you expect such a hard soul to enter a place that people express brokenness? Imagine hoping that this soldier tears up upon hearing a soft worship song. The good book says that some things can only be overcome through prayer and fasting; I believe breaking this street soldier is one such thing.
The Independent Deviant
The church teaches on helplessness of the self. It constantly lectures on total reliance on an entity that is much greater than you; that is Jesus/God. The typical male driver would rather find his way by getting lost than ask for directions. The only time a man will sincerely ask for help is when he begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel; that is, when he is almost at the point of death. Let me be straight with you, if a man could burry himself, I mean, if he could pick up a shovel, dig a ‘3 by 6’ feet hole, enter it, then somehow push down the soil back in and burry himself, you would never hear of male funerals anywhere. Men are not programed to ask for help. For them, asking is not only a sign of weakness, but also an expression of defeat and inability.
Now, imagine expecting to see such a man going on his knees, tears in bubbling in his eyelids and expressing a heightened form of helplessness; the same man who would rather die before requesting assistance from another air-breathing human being. Even more tasking is that he is expected to ask help from a Man he has never actually seen, save the fabricated Michael Angelo paintings of the Savior that we find on the walls of the Vatican and catholic sanctuaries. The message of living it all to the Messiah does not flow well with the soul of the independent deviant.
Helplessness is not a trait that a typical man will voluntarily portray. Such a man is not designed for the sanctuary. Before he asks WWJD (What Would Jesus Do), before he goes on his knees to ask for divine guidance, he will go for many sleepless nights trying to figure out an innovative solution to his present condition. He will thoroughly torture his mind before he admits defeat and only then, with his dying breath, he just might call upon the Most High; rarely does he make that call.
The Desperate Lad
They say church numbers will continue to boom as a long as poverty and desperation persist. One may then be curious to ask, “Where does the desperate man relinquish his desperation if not the church”?
Yes, many will turn to the knob of the pope’s confession door but most prefer to swim in cheap liquor stores in those dark and crowded shebeens. There is too much pity for the desperate especially in those sacred buildings; too much sympathy without empathy. Men don’t like to be pitied; they prefer to be celebrated and recognized despite their woes and dented pockets. That is why they will flock the bar before they call upon the name of Jehovah!
The Skeptical Saint
Our people have a saying that you can rearrange the spots on a leopards skin but that won’t make it a kitten. Say by chance you succeed in getting a man through the gates of the church; getting him to pay attention will be like persuading a lion to sing soprano. His mind is always alert and questioning everything. The church is very cynical about skeptics.
The mind of a man is a radio which is only receptive to the frequency called logic. To many men, organized religion is nothing short of sanctified magical conglomerations. There are too many uncertainties, shifting variables, diverging speculations and mystical improbabilities. Then there are the miracles. The term miracle rarely finds a seat within the ears of a man. Men believe in sweat. The good book, which is the foundation of the church, exemplifies many miracles. To a man, the superstitious believe in miracles, the lazy subscribe to luck and real men deify hard work. If anything, a man believes luck and miracles are the fruits of sweat. The harder you work, the luckier you become and the more miracles you attract.
The male is inherently skeptical of the church; then the church is bold enough to ask him for 10% of his cash every month; a sacred tax of some sort. The pastor says it is for the widows and orphans. The man, a natural critic, is convinced it will be used it to pimp out the church windows and by a few ‘official’ cars.
Most men do not trust the government that is why they do everything to evade tax. Now, a man is more skeptical of the church than the government; if he won’t even pay tax, why would you expect him to put in a cent of his sweat toward tithe?
The Watchful Beast
Our people believe a woman is the closest thing to the creator due to her ability to create life through birth. Well, a man is the closest thing to a wild beast. His instinct prevents him from ever lowering his guard whether in the world or in the church; he won’t drop it even for a moment for he knows his everyday survival and well being depends on the sharpness of his instinct. That instinct is a combination of logic and reason.
His woman will see the pastor as a saint, a prophet, a loving father, a God-called anointed holy spirit filled being. The man looks at that preacher and sees an ordinary man like himself. To him, the preacher man is a product of the same environment; a cunning hyena in sheep’s skin prowling around for a ripe opportunity or naive victim.
The Sacred Submission
Even if a man refrains from being a spiritual tourist, drops the street soldier mentality, shuns the independent philosophy and denounces his skepticism, he still will not make the cut for church because of one thing: Submission.
In the DNA of a man is instilled a drive to conquer, succeed, dominate, manifest indisputable courage and strength. It is something inscribed boldly in the male self. To be a believer, the church demands submission to the Savior. A man is structured to surpass and subsist not to submit to the Christ. It is a hard request to ask a man to place his heart above his mind. If anything, it will take quite a chunk of time to achieve.
The Last Hope
We live in a society that sculpts a man to be anything and everything except being spiritual. The male is taught to dominate and take charge of his own destiny by any means necessary. The young male lad turns into a hard societal product that has never felt the luxury of expressing weakness, fear or submission since its initiation to manhood. Now the church expects this societal soldier to return to its childhood; exhibit affection, weakness, helplessness and submission. Such is a chemical reaction that many chemists will say is not easily reversible.
Unless we change the systems that nurture this species called man, from when he is young, no man will ever find or feel at total ease within a church building. Like Fredrick Douglas profoundly stated, “It is easier to raise strong children that to repair broken men.” If we raise our kids well, in a spiritual sense, they will grow up to be men who find strength and comfort in any church, sanctuary or chapel.