That's what I hope the Ordinariates will become. I hope and pray that they will help restore a muscular "Onward Christian Soldiers" style of Christianity. Not that I mean Christian men be bloodthirsty Crusaders, but that they not be afraid of the internal spiritual warfare a robust faith demands and, in the end, they have the wherewithal to stand courageously to defend what's good.
Here's a link to a great article by William Kilpatrick at Front Page Magazine on the feminization of Christianity. How are we going to make sure the Ordinariates are an antidote to this kind of sentimental version of the faith that drives men out of the pews? Here's an excerpt, but please read the whole thing.
Meanwhile, Christianity, which ought to be the rival for the affections of wayward youn men, seems to be undergoing a prolonged sexual-identity crisis. There is a serious problem in Christianity today, but it’s the exact opposite of the one the popular media focuses on. To read the papers and certain works of popular fiction you would think that the main problem with Christianity is that it’s too patriarchal: no women in the priesthood, no voice for women, no recognition of the divine feminine.
But the reality is a different matter. Look around you the next time you’re in church, and count the ratio of women to men. Normally, it’s about two-to-one in favor of the women. Moreover, women are much more involved in church activities. The Notre Dame Study of Parish Life showed that 80 to 85 percent of those involved in parish ministries or in teaching religion were women. As one writer put it, “the Roman Catholic Church has a rather rigid division of labor. The men have the priesthood, the women have everything else.” As for Protestants, all the mainline denominations have female priests or pastors, and the Episcopal Church even has a female Presiding Bishop (who prayed to “our mother Jesus” at her installation). About twenty-five percent of Episcopal priests are women, as are about twenty-nine percent of Presbyterian pastors. But this has failed to produce the miracle of renewal that Catholic advocates assure us will follow upon women’s ordination. Instead, mainline congregations have dwindled. As recently as 1960, mainline churches accounted for forty percent of American Protestants. Today it’s about twelve percent. If present trends continue, the mainline churches will end up with an all female clergy, preaching to mostly female congregations in the few remaining churches that haven’t been converted to mosques or condominiums.
Contrary to what liberal Christians think, the feminization of Christianity is not the solution to the problem, it is the problem. Christianity is unattractive to many, not because it is perceived as too masculine, but because it’s perceived as too feminine. Moreover, when you add the gospel of the divine feminine to the fact of lopsided church attendance, the problem only gets worse. Da Vinci Code theology is highly titillating, but it won’t bring the men flocking back to the churches. Men have enough trouble as it is with female spirituality and with sentimentalized hymns and sermons. To think that the notion of Jesus as the first feminist will sit well with them is sheer fantasy. Men are not inclined to take up their daily crosses to follow the androgynous one. If men can be persuaded that the picture of Jesus presented in The Da Vinci Code is the true one, that gives them one more reason to avoid church.
But many Christian leaders still don’t get it. As David Morrow points out in Why Men Hate Going to Church, many of the songs now sung in church “have the same breathless feel as top forty love songs.” In addition, women are now encouraged by some Christian pastors and writers to think of Jesus in frankly romantic terms. Naturally enough, such forms of piety tend to create psychological barriers for men. The idea of Christ as our brother challenges a man to become a better man, but the idea of Christ as boyfriend is challenging in a different sense.
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