Photo credit: Anzaa Makena (church in Braga, Portugal)
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 wellbeing 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.