American statisticians report that the majority of men say they believe in God and call themselves Christians, but fewer than one in four attend church on a given Sunday. When men look for spiritual sustenance, they go to the wilderness, the workplace, the garage or the corner bar. They watch their heroes on the racetrack or at the stadium. Church is one of the last places men look for God.
This was not so in the first century church. The church was a magnet to men, a place where bold leadership and strong action were the norm. Men were irresistibly drawn to Jesus because He was the model men could aspire to be like, a model of what it is to be a man and to be spiritual.
The tendency of the modern church is to feminize Jesus – to make him meek and mild. We imagine Him skipping along the shores of Capernaum with His twelve buddies all in perfect lockstep, picking Galilean daises and learning to “be nice.” We like Jesus to be safe and tame, because then He does not mess with our worlds. “Tame Jesus” does not ask anything, expect anything or inspire anything. We like our religion with padded pews, fake ferns and pious platitudes that only inspire polite golf claps. The religious pews of today are not reflective of the passion of Jesus.
Jesus was a man on a mission. Leaving the throne of Heaven, He stepped onto the footstool of earth. When He got here, He was anything but nice. He tossed tables in the temple. He sharply confronted the authorities. He called people names. His favorite targets were people who were comfortably religious. At the same time, Jesus was a champion for the outcast, the marginalized, the prostitute. He called His disciples to the highest standards of commitment and ethics and He corrected them when they got out of line. He was courageous about His calling to the point of His own death. At any point Jesus could have called it all off and commanded the angel army to come to His rescue, but He never copped out. He knew that His mission required beatings and suffering and death. So He just took it like a man. And the church has never been the same.
Like Jesus did, it is time for the church to rise up. It is time for men to model their lives after the ultimate man. Starting April 11, CCC’s message series will teach about the life of Jesus and appeal to men. Don’t miss a week of it. Bring every man you know who has been utterly uninspired by standard religion. Your life will never be the same, and neither will theirs.