Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A rift between the males in church?

Circuitously - in other words, via the sustain-if-able kiwi blog - I came across a piece by a blogger I'd never discovered before, but will definitely be keeping an eye on: Richard Beck, on his blog, Experimental Theology.

The piece is entitled
: Thoughts on Mark Driscoll...while I'm knitting, and looks at whether educated men in churches tend to dismiss, or lose track of, the guys who are 'blue collar'. There's a video of Driscoll doing his usual in-your-face thing about what the church isn't doing right - and, as Beck says, he's mostly right on this. However Beck has more to say on the subject, and he's right too. Here's a quote from it.

Most church leaders are highly educated. This means that most church leaders are culturally divorced from the average NASCAR [National Association for Stock Car Racing] fan. The very group Driscoll is targeting.

But here is the very important point about all this. A lot of the reaction to Driscoll isn't even about gender. We are actually talking about the little discussed fissure running through many churches: Education.

I see this everyday in my own church. The educated teach, preach, and have the public leadership roles. The uneducated are marginalized. Worse, if you are an uneducated male, you are force-fed those feminine metaphors. Educated males, being chickified, don't mind or even notice the feminine metaphors. But Joe Six Pack notices the metaphors. All this creates a disjoint in the church. Two groups of males who find each other alien and weird. So when Joe Six Pack wants to start a Wild at Heart study the chickified church leader just blinks uncomprehendingly. Or, if you are me, turns back to his knitting...

I've added the word, chickified, both my spellchecker and my personal vocabulary. Read the rest of Beck - and watch out that you don't get distracted by a host of other pieces he's written, such as those on Calvin and Hobbes, or one on 'pants.'

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