Today’s post features two related but different subjects. Both relate to the Church, but one is focused on the present and the second on the future. The latter gets most of my attention today.
No Place for Men
Rollo, of the Rational Male, left quite a comment recently in Dalrock’s latest post. It is too long to post in its entirety here, so I will instead post just the beginning:
I think it’s high time men acknowledge that modern Christian culture simply does not have men’s best interests as part of its doctrine anymore. Christianity in particular is for women.
Church culture is openly hostile towards any expression of conventional masculinity that doesn’t directly benefit women and actively conditions men to be serviceable gender-loathing Betas.
I recently read a study that our current generation is the least religious in history and I think as far as men are concerned much of that disdain for religion is attributable to church culture’s constant and open ridicule and debasement of men’s endeavors or anything characteristically masculine.
That’s not an indictment of faith, but rather a fairly measured observation of the way feminine-primary church culture has shaped that faith. In the future, any man with a marginal capacity for critical thought will avoid the church and religion for the obvious misandry it espouses; the only religious men you will find will be those raised into a life of religiously motivated Beta servitude.
While Rollo and I disagree about a lot, I agree with him that most churches are hostile to men. Even further, I agree that women have, to a large degree, captured most churches and re-purposed them to serve women. Most understand this, to one degree or another, and this is partially responsible for the disdain that most men hold for Christianity.
At the same time, I disagree with Rollo that “any man with a marginal capacity for critical thought will avoid the church and religion.” While most churches are like that, not all are. I happen to attend a Church that is anything but anti-male. Masculinity is not only accepted, but celebrated. Women serve the Church, not the other way around.
Mine is not the only Church like that, either. As a Catholic, I can say that most Traditional Latin Mass Churches and Eastern Catholic churches will be a very different experience from what Rollo describes here. The same can be sound for most Eastern Orthodox Churches. The reason why is such churches are, by their nature, counter-cultural. They are deliberately set apart, and this has helped preserve them, to a degree. If a man is looking to sate his thirst for righteousness, I would encourage him to look there.
But in the meantime, I definitely think that most Protestant Churches will be a hostile environment for men. Nor do I see that changing anytime soon. Mainstream, i.e., liberal Catholic parishes might not have that hostility, at least not yet, but they are getting there. Further, they are already geared up towards serving women. So avoid them guys. Really, just stay away. As Jesus said, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead.”
The New Catacombs
This brings me to my next subject, the future.
I will be honest with you, I think the near future is going to be very dismal indeed for devout Christians. Persecution is coming. The Church is going to contract greatly as people flee it for the comforts of the secular world. In fact, I suspect that the worst persecutors of the True Faith will be our “fellow Christians”, who will use their zeal to bring us down as proof that they aren’t like us.
Now, the Church has survived persecution before. More than survived, it has flourished there. So I don’t really fear it, both in an abstract sense and in a visceral literal sense of what I might experience.
All the same, I am worried. You see, it is more than just persecution that threatens the Church. It is also a dangerous rot within. This rot has many forms, but what concerns me most is the danger to marriage and the family. Those two, which are really just one and the same, are under attack by the general culture. And that attack has been largely successful, even within the Church.
I have seen for myself, and have heard it from plenty of others (through this blog and off-line) the damage that has resulted. Very few young Christians take marriage seriously. Many express little desire to marry. This is especially prominent, from what I have seen, among Christian women. And this isn’t merely limited to “mainstream” churches, but even more traditional ones too.
The Church had to adapt to survive before. For many Christians, that meant huddling in the Catacombs. Well, that option isn’t really available to us this time. Hiding from the secular world won’t help us when we bring their ideals with us. Before the Church had to adapt to a society that wanted to crush it. Now it has to adapt to deal with a society that has struck at its foundation- the family.
How does the Church manage when many of its youth don’t want to, or can’t marry? For the confessional faiths, Catholics and Orthodox, where will the next generation of clergy come from? Conversion might bring new people in, but rarely are they young couples with a growing family. No, what conversion might do is slow the Church’s shrinking. But until this marriage crisis is resolved, I don’t see it stopping, much less growing again.
I was talking with a priest recently, and he remarked that what the Church needs to turn it around is more good men to marry a good woman and raise a large family of devout and orthodox Christian children. He mentioned that men need to take charge of their families and demonstrate how the faith is meant to be lived out. I agreed with him on this. But then I asked how can we expect things to turn around if good men *can’t* marry good women. I pointed out how few women were actually interested in marrying. He acknowledged this, and really didn’t have an answer for me.
And that really is the crux of it- there is no answer for this. Not now, anyways. We are off the map now, in uncharted territory. The Church needs to find that answer, and soon.