Do pastors tear down men on Father’s Day?

This past Friday, I read the following quote from the blogger Dalrock:

Father’s Day predictably brings out diverse sentiments in our post marriage world.  For Christian leaders it brings out contempt for husbands and fathers, including the now traditional (if not obligatory) sermon tearing down men in front of their families.

 

I’ve heard men’s issues bloggers express this before, that Father’s Day is a time when churches express contempt for fathers, and I thought that was so odd because I’ve never heard a Father’s Day sermon preached in the 12 years I’ve attended and been a member of our church.  So when I read this quote from Dalrock, I sort of rolled my eyes a little and thought that maybe there was a bit of exaggeration there or something.

On Saturday, Insanity Bytes disagreed with Dalrock, writing:

Complete poppycock, Dalrock. Even here in the 9th circuit of hell, in liberal utopia, our Christian leaders don’t tear down men in front of their families nor do they mock fathers. That is no more a true representation of what is really going in the world  than the Westboro Baptist church is actually a church.

And I thought, “Yeah, what she said!  Poppycock, Dalrock.  I’ve certainly never heard a sermon about Father’s Day at all, let alone one bashing men!”  I felt happy about this because I don’t want there to be such a thing as sermons that bash men on Father’s Day.  I also don’t want there to be such a thing as ticks, yet I just removed one of those bloodsuckers from my ankle after walking our puppies in our meadow, so apparently what I want doesn’t dictate reality.

Anyway, who is right?  Dalrock or Insanity Bytes? I wanted IB to be right, and even felt like she must be right and not Dalrock who was probably just being a sour-grapes whiner, but from whom could I find out for sure?

I know, how about a pastor!  How about even my own pastor?

My husband and I went to church shortly after I read IB’s post, where I was shocked to hear my first ever Father’s Day sermon.  You can watch the video of the sermon here:

http://northridgechurch.com/talks/unlikely-heroes/abraham/

Start watching at the 6:00 minute mark, where my pastor says:

“Like us, Abraham was far from perfect and yet he became a hero of the faith.  Here’s actually the truth that I want to share with you on this Father’s Day weekend.  This is the truth from Abraham’s story: a life of a faith, a life where you experience a relationship with God that’s so intimate, that’s so close that God Himself would call you His friend, that kind of life does not demand perfection.  A life that God ultimately honors and celebrates and holds up like he did Abraham’s doesn’t demand perfection.  And if that’s true – and it is – then there’s a lot of encouragement and motivation for us in that truth for those of us who are dads, for all of us.

I have to tell you, it’s our goal on this Father’s Day weekend to lift you up and encourage you.  And I have to tell you from history I’ve learned that often Father’s Day is one of the worst days that dads can ever choose to go to church.  Because often it’s the only time churches feel like they’re going to have the ears of dads and so what they do is they plan to beat them up royally for all they’re not doing right.  Ever been to one of those Father’s Day services?  Oh man, I have.  In fact, here in the early days of my ministry here, you know what we’d do?  Oh man, we planned.  We planned for you guys.  And then what we did is we’d sing “Cats in the Cradle and the Silver Spoon”.  And we’d talk about how you have so royally blown it, the world has gone to hell in a hand basket, and then we’d try and help you recover.  And we wondered why dads didn’t like Fathers Day at our church.

We don’t do that anymore.  What we want this to be is an encouragement to you, we want this to lift you up, and I can’t think of a better story than Abraham’s because he’s like us – far from perfect.  And yet he was used significantly from God.”

My Pastor straight up confesses that our church used to do exactly what Dalrock says and that he had heard it at other churches as well.  Therefore, I am chastened and sad to report that IB and I are wrong and Dalrock is right, according to my pastor.

Edited to add: The quote from the video begins at the 6:00 minute mark, not the 26 minute mark as I originally wrote.

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45 thoughts on “Do pastors tear down men on Father’s Day?

  1. Well, our pastor’s sermon yesterday was one that left my entire family a little cold. It was an admonition to fathers, but it was…really not well received. After going through all the *stuff* and mistakes that fathers make, there was an offer for fathers who related to those sins and struggles to stand. Not one stood. Not one!

    Later my husband and I discussed it, and this was the conclusion he reached,since you know my husband had one oow child when I married him: “He failed to address that for many of the men who are estranged from their children, it isn’t because they neglected their children, or because they didn’t make every effort. He just heaped all the blame on the men when for most of them, that narrative is patently false.”

    If mothers were admonished similarly on Mother’s Day, there wouldn’t be as much push back. As for Insanity Bytes’ post: She has a point about being careful not to wander in the darkness while ignoring 10 foot tall the light switch in front of us. That’s actually a danger of Internet commentary in general, the tendency to spend too much time complaining and and not enough introspection and seizing opportunities to pull ourselves and one another up to a higher plane.

    Basically, both IB and Dalrock are a little bit right and a little bit guilty of ignoring the other side of the coin. But that’s what we do. We gravitate toward the thing we focus on the most.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As for Insanity Bytes’ post: She has a point about being careful not to wander in the darkness while ignoring 10 foot tall the light switch in front of us.

    Yes, I agree with much of her post, and interestingly my pastor focused on lifting up and encouraging fathers, which is something IB says that Christians are (and should be) about. And I agree with her.

    Basically,, both IB and Dalrock are a little bit right and a little bit guilty of ignoring the other side of the coin. But that’s what we do. We gravitate toward the thing we focus on the mist

    Very true. I know I’ve been prone to doing that.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My pastor ignored Father’s day in his sermon, and preached on the beattitudes. Then a bunch of women got up after the service and had the fathers stand, handed them a bag with a cookie and ice cream and then had their children stand. Cookies for all in the eating area!
    No bashing, most churches I’ve been to believe father’s day doesn’t belong in the sermon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • For years, both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were ignored in the sermon at our church too, Jenny. It happened that this past year, one of our associate ministers has been preaching more as our senior pastor has been moving toward other things before he retires (church planting, writing, etc).

      This minister (who has admirable qualities) is much more prone to using Scripture to extrapolate to a more culturally relevant narrative. I for one preferred it when holidays not germane to Christianity were ignored. That is as it should be.

      The interesting thing about what happened at our church is that there are an atypical number of married men given the community that it’s in, and an atypical number of men married to the mothers of their children compared to other churches in the community.

      There’s also (even among those divorced or with children from previous relationships) an atypical number of MC and UMC men who have truly made an effort to do the best they can despite whatever past mistakes they may have made.

      That they simply refused to stand and feign guilt where they felt none was sort of refreshing and startling at the same time. I think if fathers will be bold enough to stand and say, “Yes, I made mistakes as I am human, but I refuse to own sin that is not mine to appease some sick cultural meme”, you’ll see less of the nonsense Dalrock says he sees and more of the kind of constructive encouragement that husbands and fathers can receive without feeling beat up and spit on.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband and our family moved recently and joined a church. We were very curious to see what the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day services would be like. It was very refreshing that instead of a sermon on Mother’s Day they had the kids choir do a little program. And on Father’s Day our pastor also acknowledged that the norm has become to enshrine mothers and beat up fathers on Father’s Day and he was not going to do that. Instead he preached on the power of fathers in their families lives, how influencial men are in their children’s lives and encouraged them to build a strong relationship with God to be the head of their household. It has made us feel pretty good about our choice of church.

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  5. No bashing, most churches I’ve been to believe father’s day doesn’t belong in the sermon

    I should point out that I personally STILL have never heard a Father’s Day sermon that bashed men, so it can’t be as ubiquitous as Dalrock’s quote would imply.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I haven’t heard anyone that bashed men either. Even the one we heard yesterday was really full of grace. But that actually was the first actual Father’s Day themed sermon I’d heard in our actual church in several years. Perhaps even a decade. Some years I go to my father’s church on Father’s Day, but his pastor doesn’t preach Father’s Day messages either.

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    • Sunshine, love your Blog.

      One of the things that is unequivocally true is that the male experience gets categorically ignored.

      The “Fathers Day” sermon is a truism and a fact of life, and the reason our sisters in Christ don’t consider it as such is because the message is merely an extension of the overall message to men in the body of Christ that has been expressed in this past generation…so it’s not noticed.

      I’m not talking about you or Elspeth specifically, because you two are likely to be a bit more aware of the issues of the day, being those who lean towards RP thinking, but for the rest of the population, Father/men bashing is the course of the day, so when it comes out in a Fathers’s Day sermon it’s nothing notable.

      Nothing notable, that is, but to the Fathers/Men…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. IB completely misses the point of Dalrock’s posts, and apparently you gals are too. Dalrock’s blog is specifically aimed at exposing feminization in the Church and culture. That is what he has done for the past years, and that is what it continues to be in the future if you look at the various topics of his posting. His blog is not about what IB claims it should be about, and it probably never will be.

    That’s OK. Not all blogs have to cover everything from every angle. Personally, I try to touch nothing else but Christian masculinity with occasional Christian femininity.

    Frankly, IB’s posting falls on deaf ears for good reason aside from it being non-sequitur. She’d get a much better response if she actually did what she says like asking the question: “How can Christian women effectively encourage and build up the Christian men in their lives to assist them into stepping into their God-given roles” rather than going around claiming what “real Christian men” should do. The vast majority of Christian men have all heard what “real Christian men” should do from pastors and other men who do the same thing on father’s day and many other days of the year. I have no clue what makes her think that men are suddenly going to listen to women on the topic when it’s not performed in a godly context.

    Aside from that: I’ve sat through both good and bad father’s day sermons. The encouraging ones are always better because the church and world takes a crap on men 24/7 throughout the year… it’s good when they actually attempt to do what the Scriptures say and encourage and build up. I’ve rarely met Christian fathers who don’t want to be become better fathers and who don’t know they can do “better” however nebulous that word is. It’s not like they need to keep being told that zillions of times.

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    • IB completely misses the point of Dalrock’s posts, and apparently you gals are too. Dalrock’s blog is specifically aimed at exposing feminization in the Church and culture.

      As a general rule, I think IB has her head in the sand about a lot of msandry in the church, but it is fair to ask how ubiquitous is the Father’s day beat down sermon in this context. Is Mark Driscoll standard Father’s Day fare for people in churches without a nationwide spotlight? Because that’s where the real work of the church happens and so to examine the question of the Father’s Day beat down sermon (a sphere doctrine accepted without challenge) seems to me to be exactly in keeping with discussing how much feminism has infected the church writ large. Or so we just pretend that good churches don’t exist for the sake of a narrative?

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      • I don’t see the word :ubiquitous” or “all” or “every” church in Dalrock’s comment.

        We’ve gone over it enough that men tend to speak in generalizations. We all know there are some good churches. Just that the “bad” churches usually outnumber the “good” churches to some large extent. Hence, the generalization. Both Cane and Dalrock acknowledge Voddie Baucham, so they know there is at least one.

        Here’s another. If I say “American Christian women are unmarriageable” it’s a generalization but it will anger a lot of people (usually women). There are obviously some Christian American women that are marriageable… but they’re rare and hard to fine.

        You’re reading into it too much.

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      • But DS, no one here is bashing Dalrock. Well almost no one.

        Sunshine asked a question, and those of us who attend churches or have attended churches for along time answered the question. No one used the word “ubiquitous”, but it is a fairly widely excepted “truth” that most churches bash men on Father’s Day.

        This is why I made a note of asking about the difference between so-called Christian leaders and other self-ordained Christian celebrities, and the pastors on the ground in churches we never hear about. I fully agree that in general churches cater to women, but that’s a different thing from actively bashing men.

        Perhaps my mistake is that I was not focused so much on Dalrock per se as I was on the question offered here, by Sunshine. I thought that question was more pertinent than whatever IB has to say about Dalrock because they are like comparing apples and oranges, as you noted.

        And yes, Cane (whom I respect tremendously) and Dalrock have acknowledged Voddie Baucham. But even saying that he is proof that there is “at least one” leaves open that door of the Father’s Day beatdown as “ubiquitous” whether you use the word or not.

        Thing is, I agree that Christian “leaders” routinely beat up on men. I have never questioned the feminization of the church. What I am wondering is that if it’s just possible (given that we all are tossed hither and yon and attend decent churches as Allamagoosa noted) that hidden away from the spotlight are good churches, with good pastors, and support for men that is hidden away precisely because people are too busy looking at the ones in the spotlight.

        Bottom line is that preachers who are more Word focused are more likely to ignore Father’s Day when preaching. So perhaps the answer as a first step is to find a church that generally ignores the Hallmark holidays. The pulpit is no place for them anyway.

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      • @ Elspeth

        Thing is, I agree that Christian “leaders” routinely beat up on men. I have never questioned the feminization of the church. What I am wondering is that if it’s just possible (given that we all are tossed hither and yon and attend decent churches as Allamagoosa noted) that hidden away from the spotlight are good churches, with good pastors, and support for men that is hidden away precisely because people are too busy looking at the ones in the spotlight.

        That’s the point I’m making. Dalrock’s blog is about exposing feminization of Churches and society. Of course he’s going to focus on the areas of the church that men bash.

        His blog does not focus on the pastors who don’t men bash. Maybe that is a niche that a blogger should cover, but he doesn’t really do that.

        This is why I made a note of asking about the difference between so-called Christian leaders and other self-ordained Christian celebrities, and the pastors on the ground in churches we never hear about. I fully agree that in general churches cater to women, but that’s a different thing from actively bashing men.

        I think that simplifies the issue too much.

        The issue is not how much time is spent on women to men: after all, Jesus spent much of his public healing and teaching ministry with those that were broken. Those that need the time should get the time.

        The issue is rather in the attitude or how exactly the preaching is done in reference to men. Like I’ve said, attitude reveals more about the state of the heart than actions in many cases. Often the heart is revealed in the subtle humor digs against men or implied message that men aren’t somehow living up to their responsibilities in a nebulous manner. Heck, even your church did that. There is the underlying assumption is that men must be some model of perfection in their role or responsibility and anything less is a sin. Here’s the rub though: “mistakes” are sometimes sin, but sometimes they aren’t.

        Whether pastors or other men do this intentionally or not it doesn’t really matter: it means they have absorbed culture to some extent whether willingly or unknowingly. It does manifest in how they speak to men and women.

        (This post was written in haste so my thoughts may not have been made clearly… excuse me if they are confusing or I need to clarify later)

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Sunshine, thanks for the link back. These are harsh truths here, but I know of no other way to make my point. The fact of the matter is that we all have a choice about what we focus on and what we immerse ourselves in has a way of becoming our reality. That is not always such a good thing. There may well be a pastor somewhere who bashed fathers, but is that the truth about “the church?” Is that the message of Christ? Is that the kind of thing we are supposed to place our eyes on or are we to keep our eyes on Him?

    For example, I could speak to you of the pastor who gave 3 members of his congregation aids while preaching every Sunday about sluts and whores and the sins of Eve. I could rant on endlessly about lectures from the pulpit about submission, about the endless sins of women…..from a man who was discovered to have impregnated his own 13 year old daughter. Many women do speak of these things and many women are “right.” I could link you to atrocious stories about unwed mother’s homes operated in the name of Christ and the graves discovered out back or the bodies of infants found thrown in a cistern.

    Like it or not, sexual sin and the conflicts between men and women have been going for centuries, have permeated the church, and have driven not only women away from faith, but also driven away the men who care about us.

    I could focus on these things but it’s an ugly and horrific reality that in no way honors
    Christ, instead it creates contempt, it promotes bitterness and resentment, and it encourages blame, shame, and prideful attacks on men. This is what Dalrock does too, but he does it in reverse, he encourages bitterness and resentment towards women, not healing. There are men there that speak of pouring their hatred out, who speak of welcoming ISIS when they take over the US and start chopping our heads off, who laugh and celebrate a woman having her eyes gouged out by a thug she fell in love with. That is simply ugliness and hatred, allegedly justified under the guise of Christ’s name.

    I have all the empathy in the world for men, but what many of those red pills engage in is not dominance but rather destruction, it is not a celebration of masculinity, but rather a promotion of endless bitterness and revenge. By their fruits you shall know them. Their fruits are flat out rotten. If I believed for one moment that that was the authentic nature of men, or the nature of Christ for that matter, I’d reject both and become a raging feminist and an atheist. Many have for that precise reason, but their own rebellion is only one piece of the puzzle, often what they are responding to is personal experiences with men’s hypocrisy, sexual sin, and relentless shaming from the pulpit.

    As Christians however, we are called not to look to the world for validation of who we are, but to look towards Christ Himself and to focus on what He teaches us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @IB

      “I have all the empathy in the world for men”

      Unfortunately, this has never been evident at all, and this is why even the least vitriolic or outspoken of men in the Manosphere don’t trust you…your words, or that you love the Father enough to love MEN properly. Even men who are skeptical about some of the things written by Dal and others are cool with Dal and ‘nem because it’s unquestionable that Dal and ‘nem men loathe the generational toxicity and faithlessness that has even made all the RP talk necessary in the first place.

      Get past all of what you consider to be resentment, bitterness, and hate that you surmise from the men in the Christian manosphere and what you don’t get is that the LACK of empathy is what has lead them down diverse paths of despair, hurt, confusion, bitterness…and yes, even untoward and ungodly thoughts and words.

      But what doesn’t happen is that these men don’t go into spaces where the sisters frequent and tell them to get over it and stop feeling whatever they feel. You speak about the message of Christ and such, but doesn’t Paul speak of meeting people where they are?

      You had better start accepting the brothers where they are. Read/listen to what they emote, and then go back to your own space and teach WOMEN to NOT BE ASSOCIATED or accused of anything that gives the appearance of the evil that has led so many men down that unfortunate bunny trail. It’s not your place to do anything else if you consider yourself a Titus 2 woman.

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      • “what you don’t get is that the LACK of empathy is what has lead them down diverse paths of despair, hurt, confusion, bitterness…and yes, even untoward and ungodly thoughts and words.”

        Yes, men have been perverted. I call it “splitting the Adam.” It is actually their empathy that has been used against them so that they must become psychopathic to combat some of the worst manipulation and abuse that can be heaped on them, if they allow it.

        But, I understand IB’s overall message to be an attempt to bring men back from the brink. What is being taught by leaders to show them how to have good relationships? What wisdom can they provide as a proven path to success? What evidence is there that any of these men even want to do anything other than pay lip service to the idea that they would change if things were different? Avoiding life and love is not a success story.

        The reason I admire both SSM and IB is that neither presents herself or relationships as perfect. They illustrate that there is work and effort that go into it. Where is the evidence these men are willing to put in that work?

        Part of the reason I am not yet a Christian is because of the horrible examples of it I saw at places like Dalrock. And that is a fact. I guess cause I’m not a Christian I can say what I like?

        Yes, its important to meet people where they are, but if that place is so awful no one can expect anybody to stay there that long.

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  8. Our priest isn’t one for bashing fathers or mothers – he’s pretty much a cheerleader for parents doing the hard work in raising their children and holding on to each other through good and rough times.

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  9. I think by the very fact that we are here, in this part of the internet, suggests that we have probably had a very different experience than a lot of women (or people in general) have. We all obviously belong to good churches that inclined us to realize the truth. Therefore, it is only natural that father-bashing sermons are less common or non-existent in the churches we attend. So I don’t think it is right for us to assume our churches are examples of the norm or even proof of a large trend.

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  10. I attend a small rural church. Our pastor was away so one of our elders spoke about how fathers play an important role, despite modern society’s tendency to portray them as non-essential to the family unit. He also spoke about how a father’s legacy will continue for generations, citing some biblical examples.

    At the end of the service, every father got a hunting-themed devotional (most of the men in our congregation hunt) and a large jar of salted peanuts.

    Interestingly, church attendance was about half of what it usually is. Maybe the dads were out enjoying brunch or golf? Our Mother’s Day service is always well attended.

    I think that Dalrock tends to be hyperbolic even when there’s a grain of truth to his posts.

    At our house, dad got homemade crepes with apple filling for breakfast and our girls gave him a headset to wear while he mows the lawn and some perennials he’s been wanting for his garden.

    I bought him a fire pit (he’s been wanting one for years) and build a stone base for it. Took a few hours as I’m not very handy, but he was quite happy.

    Later I made him a chocolate raspberry cake while he and the girls went cycling on the local recreation path.

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  11. I can’t really think of a lot of awful sermons on Father’s Day. I have, however, heard from time to time the assumptions that tend to destroy Biblical families, the ones that more or less assume that feminine affection must be secured by the judicious application of vacations, romantic comedies, wine and fine dining, and the like–and that it can only be secured so often, and….

    We got to the point where we loved to (and still love to) joke about breaking the rules that way. We’re at the point now where my son doesn’t like John Wayne movies because there’s too much lovey dovey stuff in them.

    Yeah, it was a good Father’s Day.

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  12. It’s good to hear NorthRidge having turned from tearing down to building up. It appears to at least be on the right trajectory if a quick web search suggests that your pastor has also clarified that “non judgmental” is not what they are about, but rather a correct understanding of when to be wise like serpents, when to be innocent as doves.

    There has been an ongoing revival in Michigan. I’d point to Piper’s “Together for the Gospel” having engendered a lot of that. There has also been a stronger understanding of the need to build up men into leaders rather than doing the cult-of-the-pastor no-other-man-measures-up approach.

    Perhaps you see less of it because the counter-revolutionaries may be making some progress to getting God-ordained and Spirit-driven exegetical teaching and serious leadership training back into our churches. We can hope.

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  13. To some degree, you find what you go looking for. If you want to find Father’s Day sermons that tear down fathers, they aren’t hard to find. Example:

    http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/FewGoodMen.html

    A few quotes from this sermon:

    We men are bad about trying to be “in control”…to “make things happen.” Often ladies find it easier to “rest in the Lord” and lean on Him for salvation.

    and

    Headship isn’t being the big boss…it’s loving leadership. God is no respecter of persons…women are equal in His sight.
    Ill.—bible says she is the “weaker vessel”. This is not an insult…rather, it’s a compliment to her. She is not less valuable, rather, she is more fragile, and in need of strong, yet loving, leadership.
    Women are like fine silk. Men are more like corduroy.
    Silk and corduroy: which is more fragile? Which is more valuable? The answer to both questions is “silk!”

    I’d say that sermon most certainly did not encourage the men who listened to it.

    However, despite Deep Strength’s comment that we can’t say Dalrock meant “in general” because he didn’t say “every pastor”, using a generalization like “For Christian leaders it brings out contempt for husbands and fathers” means that in general this is true of Christians leaders. However, a generalization that isn’t true of most people is a false generalization. So the question really is: Is this generally true of Christian leaders? I don’t know; it’s certainly true of some Christian leaders, maybe even many, so it’s entirely valid for Dalrock to point out that it happens (even if he perhaps overstated the generalization) so that Christians can learn to guard against it.

    IB said this doesn’t happen (again, “in general” is understood). But since we have here examples of it happening, we know that she isn’t correct when she says that it doesn’t happen. However, she is correct, as proven by my own pastor’s sermon, when she says:

    You know what real Christian men are doing right now, Dalrock? They are leading, they are encouraging others, they are lifting people up in the face of great odds.

    My own pastor was leading and encouraging very well this past Father’s Day. But he noted that he used to discourage and tear down. It’s important to acknowledge that it happens but also to note that plenty of pastors don’t engage in this destructiveness.

    [I edited this comment to remove a bit of unnecessary sass I directed at Deep Strength. I didn’t agree with what he said but there was no reason for me to be sassy, so I’m sorry about that, DS.]

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    • Legalistic twisting? Seriously? You of all people should know that men tend to speak in generalizations as evidenced on your former blog. Deti is the king of generalizations. That was my point: to show that it was a generalization.

      We can debate whether such a generalization is true or false (or mostly true or mostly false), but that is a different issue than what was being discussed.

      However, to think that Dalrock was not speaking in a generalization is operating in bad faith just as asserting I’m engaging in legalistic twisting. You’re jumping to the conclusion that I’m being intentionally antagonistic where you should know that in my interactions with many of you that I do not do that.

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  14. Often the heart is revealed in the subtle humor digs against men or implied message that men aren’t somehow living up to their responsibilities in a nebulous manner. Heck, even your church did that.

    And yet…there as no weeping, gnashing of teeth, or back circles being rubbed. Another thing that I have mysteriously missing from my church, and we go to a fairly large church. Not Northridge large, but more than 1000 people. And recall what I said: No men stood to receive forgiveness for the outlined sins of fathers. It’s not as if that’s a normal thing either. There are men who answer altar calls and what not.

    But in a church that was at least half full of men (another meme bites the dust), no one answered to say, Yeah I did that, pray for me. It actually reminded me of something my father used to say (since we’re on about Father’s Day): “I have enough sins I actually committed to give account of and repent of before Jesus. I’m not taking yours and I’m not confessing more just because you say so.” That’s basically what those men in my church said yesterday.

    I think that’s a testament to the fact that there are men in the churches who are coming into the truth about what it means to be a godly man, husband and father, and what it doesn’t mean. I don’t know how that can be possible if they are used to routinely being beat down from pulpits.

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    • @ Elspeth

      I think that’s a testament to the fact that there are men in the churches who are coming into the truth about what it means to be a godly man, husband and father, and what it doesn’t mean. I don’t know how that can be possible if they are used to routinely being beat down from pulpits.

      Meh. Church is not the be all end all of spiritual growth. I’d generally consider it the minimum as what you do the other 6 days of the week is who you are more than what you do on Sunday. If church is just a social activity like it is for many then there’s no growth in Christ. Those who are growing in Christ will recognize they shouldn’t take responsibility for sins they didn’t commit.

      I think vision is more important. Those who focus on sin keep wondering why they sin. It’s like fixating on the guard rail of the road wondering why you keep running into it. Instead, we’re supposed fix our eyes on Jesus — the road — and by extension we won’t sin because we are doing the right thing.

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      • See DS, I don’t think it’s about taking or not taking responsibility for sins you didn’t commit. None of us are perfect mothers, wives, husbands, or fathers. That goes without saying, or it should.

        I think it comes down to refusing to wear sackcloth and ashes in perpetuity, which is what the constant drumbeat to run forward and confess something that is long behind you amounts to.

        When you read the OT, you see that those who mourned or were in a state of repentance wore sack cloth and ashes for a set period of time, then they brepented and got on with life, hopefully doing better in the future than they did in the apst.

        THAT is the real issue that comes up with those who routinely berate men or castigate them for any and every sin they ever committed as a husband or a father by saying to the effect (what we heard Sunday): “If you can relate in any way to having been in this place, come down front.” It was catch all and of course when someone touches something you experienced, there is an element you relate to.

        I have no doubt that there were some people who could have gone down front. My husband among them. But how many times are you supposed to do that? Does repentance and forward progress matter not?

        This is the problem with focusing too much on things that are long behind. The other thing I thought about was with regard to your comments about who needs the attention.

        Most preachers almost never even preach about things related to sex, marriage, masculinity of femininity over the course of a year except 2 or 3 times. Much of the message of the Bible is universal and applicable to all believers and that’s where most ministers focus their time and energy.

        The catering to women takes place with regard to how sin is addressed in individual lives and families when it comes up. rarely from the pulpit, which is another reason why even the best pastors may seem as if they “don’t care” about men, when in reality they are 1)just not paying attention to things like that, and 2) are much more used to women coming out with their version of events first and most passionately when their marriages hit the rocks. The men are mostly silent. Which leaves all the attention and the narrative to perceived through the lens of the damsel in distress.

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      • @ Elspeth

        1. I agree with that.

        I don’t think sin-specific altar calls are good to do anyway. If you want to celebrate “Father’s day” just have all of the fathers stand and have the congregation lay hands on them and pray for continued growth in the LMord.

        2. Yes, most pastors are too “scared” or whatever you want to call it about preaching or discussing sensitive topics like sex, marriage, masculinity, and femininity.

        Generally speaking, sin can and should be addressed mostly in private. Public congregation wide teaching should be addressed toward living abundantly in Jesus.

        The western church has too much fixation on sin and not enough fixation on Jesus.

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  16. This was a divisive Father’s Day for me. I lost my positive attitude when I commented elsewhere. What is referred to in the original post has been remarked on for years. Not only that but, on returning home and turning on the TV, Dad hears it again from the President of the United States. All institutions have been tainted with feminism and i8ts insidious men are evil and women are angels meme.
    It’s my hope that we are seeing less of that.

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  17. @ Kate

    Part of the reason I am not yet a Christian is because of the horrible examples of it I saw at places like Dalrock. And that is a fact. I guess cause I’m not a Christian I can say what I like?

    If you base your decision on whether or not to follow Jesus based on issues with His followers or supposed followers you’ll never make a decision. Half of the people at Dalrock’s aren’t even Christians and have admitted as much.

    You should make a decision based on the gospel of Jesus and if you’re willing to follow Him. Simple as that.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: Do pastors tear down men… | See, there's this thing called biology...

  19. I went to my Independent Baptist Church that I just began attending about a 8 months ago. In the first 10 minutes of the Father’s Day sermon, the obligatory, “Ok men, I’m gonna give you a stern talking too,” and proceeded to talk about how men aren’t living up to their responsibilities. I walked about immediately.

    I’m glad I intentionally missed the Mother’s Day sermon.

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  20. This Father’s Day, I went to my Independent Baptist Church that I just began attending about 8 months ago. In the first 10 minutes of the Father’s Day sermon, the obligatory, “Ok men, I’m gonna give you a stern talking too” came up the Pastor proceeded to talk about how men aren’t living up to their responsibilities. I walked about immediately.

    I’m glad I intentionally missed the Mother’s Day sermon. This was the first sermon I walked out of and probably won’t be the last.

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  21. We had this as a topic at the old blog and it was a lively discussion. What I hope is that there is less of it now than in the past. When the cngregation is two thirds women, man bashing is a cheap shot.

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  22. I’d say around around 1/3 to 1/2* of the father’s day sermons I remember hearing have been of the “fathers’ aren’t living up to their requirements [including all of you lot]” variety. This is over about a group of four or so Evangelical Churches of less than 500 people here in Australia that I attended regularly for any significant period of time, and about a dozen more that I have visited. While the mothers’ day sermons have always been of “aren’t mothers great? That’s rhetorical of course they are” variety.

    I’d guess the churches I’ve attended have been better than average on this front, since both of my parents would have been concerned about the treatment of men when I was younger, and I would be watching out for issues myself now days. If we take into account all the churches I’ve attended once or twice that I suspect would do this sort of thing, and the fact that I spent almost my entire teen years attending a single church that mostly managed to stay out of it, I’d say it would probably be more like 3/4+ of fathers’ day sermons would be of this nature.

    They often talk about the problem of failing fathers, and then follow it up with “and you lot are just as bad”. If they where following it up with “so we should appreciate the fathers in our midst” and/or “and I know there’s a lot of good fathers in our church, who I want to encourage not to give up, even when we are feeling like we’re not making any difference in our childrens’ lives, or society is telling us that we’re basically just the family appendix”.

    * I’d say over 3/4 of the ones I can think of where problematic, but bad ones probably stand out more, so the real number would be somewhat lower.

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  23. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/06/28) | The Reactivity Place

  24. Pingback: Modern Christian culture’s deep antipathy for fathers. | Dalrock

  25. My church generally ignores Father’s Day, although it makes a big deal out of Mother’s Day. If Father’s Day is mentioned, it is usually in the context of apologizing that even if you have a bad earthly father, you shouldn’t hold that against your Heavenly Father. Virtually all sermons about God as a Father figure have the same apologetic premises, that He is perfect unlike our flawed earthly fathers. It’s pretty much required.

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  26. Actually, Dalrock’s post pretty well sums up the majority of the Father’s Day sermons I’ve heard in the 15 years that I’ve been a Christian. They boil down to some variation of “Men, there are a lot of single mom’s here with kids who don’t have a father in their lives. You need to step up and fill that role for these fatherless children.” Meanwhile, I have several friends who want to be father’s to their own children, but their ex-wives make that impossible.

    I will say that the recent Father’s Day sermon at my new church is probably the first one I’ve attended that didn’t feel like an hour long attempt at a guilt trip. But you’ll notice it’s still filled primarily with all the ways they were falling short. But at least it’s their own personal stories of it, instead of a lecture to the men in the church of all the ways they are wrong.

    http://communitychurch.info/watchandread/message-series/fathersday/

    But the big difference to look at, with any church, isn’t just the message given on Father’s Day. It’s the difference between that and the Mother’s Day sermon. Mother’s day is typically an hour of “Mom’s are so awesome and amazing, and we’re so lucky to have our mother’s in our lives.” Father’s day rarely has anything even remotely resembling that [i.e., the “honoring” that Dalrock discussed today].

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  27. I think there may be some over emphasis of the word “bashed”, in saying you’ve never heard a sermon that bashed men on Fathers Day. I guess berate is also too much.

    But this isnt about word parsing or splitting hairs. It was the Mothers/fathers Day dichotomy that was my first Ah Ha moment in the manosphere realm more than 10 years ago. I was set to searching sermons online and downloaded over a hundred Mothers Day Fathers Day pairs, then another few dozen so called series on marriage where one Sunday the sermon addresses the wives and the next Sunday the husband.

    I dissected all of that. The results are still on an old HP desktop from 2000 that sits in my home office but has no monitor. I found some 8/10 sermons to fit my assertion that Men are admonished on fathers day, and when husbands are taught about marriage, and 10/10 sermons encourage women on Mothers Day and when wives are taught about marriage, the encouragement usually including how they are doing wonderful things despite how tough we men make it on them.

    Its important to first break your confirmation bias and really truly hear the words. To say “Men you can do better and here is how…..”…..thats whats being included as bashing. And if you have heard fathers day messages in 5 or more churches, you have heard man bashing and just dont realize it

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