Excuses & Blame
November 11, 2021, 9:00 AM

Here's a quote from David Murrow's book, Why Men Hate Going to Church, “I remember the good old days when preachers used to have affairs with women.” (p.81)


Murrow's book is a pathetic work that's all about excuses and blame. It's nothing more than a modern-day 223-page continuation of Genesis 3:12 where an apathetic, disobedient little boy named Adam said to God Almighty, “The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit and I ate it.” Murrow's book is nothing more than a woeful dissertation on little boys posing as men to justify excuses, blame, and disobedience.


“It’s women’s fault…”


“It’s culture’s fault…”


“It’s the church’s fault…”


According to the author, the solution to getting more men to go to church is more "manly" lures. It's about "manly" music, "manly" decor, "manly" programs, and "manly" conversations. The solution isn't repentance or a new heart. The solution isn't dying to self and being reborn by the Spirit in Christ through the power of the Cross. The solution for getting more men to love -going- to church (rather than being the church) is more "manly" lures. Murrow's solution is all about catering to little boys. If we make our church campuses and worship services look, smell, and sound like a cross between Lowe's, Hooters, and Harley Davidson... that's the thing that'll get REAL men -going- to church faithfully.


The fatal flaw underlying everything in this book is the author’s definition of manhood. It’s not a biblical one by any stretch of the imagination. He's talking about little boys who need to be entertained and enticed. He's talking about immature adolescents with no accountability, no guts, no integrity, and a superficial exterior of "manhood": i.e. the bushy beards, the 4x4 trucks, no education - or if you have one certainly don't admit it, sports fanatics, weekend warriors, sell my wife for a weekend hunting trip, and the biggest guns and most toys wins mentality. There is certainly nothing wrong with having a beard, a truck, no education, enjoying hunting, sports, or hobbies... but despite what culture tells us, those things aren't the essence of manhood.


The author sees the church as somewhere for men to “go” (see the title), rather than our new identity, God's masterpiece in Christ (Eph 2:10). Murrow sees the church as some nebulous cultural institution or a religious business with a mission to accomplish: Make men feel welcome - and by Murrow's assessment, the church is failing miserably. The author fails to grasp and understand the church as a supernatural entity, i.e. the Body and Bride of Christ. It's mission isn't to woo little boys. The mission of the church is stated in Genesis 12:3, and the Gates of Hell will not prevail against it, nor will whiny little boys full of excuses and blame deter it from accomplishing its God-ordained mission.


The author’s low and irreverent view of Scripture is blatantly obvious. According to him, it’s everyone else’s job to woo little insecure babies posing as men into their comfort zone. Apparently, most are failing miserably because church doesn't look like what immature little boys are looking for to make them happy, content, and comfortable. It's something "men" hate going to.


Historically, throughout Scripture, we see women take the reigns when those insecure little boys posing as men (consumed with their manly projects and manly toys) don’t have the mettle or fortitude to do it. Those times, like today, are the darkest. The solution isn’t a yielding consumer-minded church that coddles children posing as men (that’s the very definition and nature of a hypocrite, i.e. an actor, poser, charlatan). The solution isn’t changing the music, decor, or writing books that put the blame and responsibility out there.


The God-ordained solution is for immature little boys to repent and yield in obedience to God’s ordained calling upon their lives as courageous, bold, devoted leaders in their families, communities, and in the church... the solution for little boys hiding behind the cultural bunker of "manhood," fortified with crude talk, large-caliber guns, an abundance of power tools, notches for sexual conquests, and stories about drunken stupors... is repentance. Worldly sorrow leads only to death, but godly sorrow leads to repentance and salvation.


Jesus wasn’t some pasty-white effeminate metrosexual. He literally embodied the fullness of manhood. The Lamb of God told people exactly like it was - and He left it to the Father's will and the Holy Spirit to do the supernatural and miraculous work of changing hearts. King Jesus had no problem offending depraved and sinfully delicate sensibilities with statements like, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”


The Apostle Paul wasn’t so insecure in his masculinity and manhood that he blamed the church. Paul loved Christ so much that he was gladly beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and willingly suffered countless trials in order to plant, lead, encourage, and build up numerous churches for Christ's glory. Paul's love for Christ drove him to write from prison, "I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,"


Paul wasn't some fat and sassy sycophant sitting back with a beer at a sports bar with equally pathetic dudes complaining and whining about what others needed to do to entice them into “going” to church. Paul planted them. He gave his life to build up the church. Like Christ Jesus (Eph 5:25), Paul died for the church.


Guys can’t have it both ways. We can’t claim to manly-men and then with hypocritical words and actions say, “I don’t go because I don’t like the music and decor,” or “The pastor hurt my delicate sensibilities.” Man-up or shut-up.


If you are someone who read Murrow's book and said, “Yes! Exactly! That's why I don't go!” I’d encourage you to take a good long and hard look in the mirror through Scripture, i.e. the Bible. Murrow’s book isn’t gathering with Christ, it’s scattering (Matthew 12:30). Just like Dan Brown’s DiVinci Code and the current trend of consumer-minded, ear-tickling, crowd-pleasing prosperity preaching, Marrow’s book is full of garbage based on partial “truths,” which aren’t truths at all.


Seriously guys, take a good long look at Ephesians 4:11-16 (in context!), Christ gave church leaders like pastors "to equip the saints (everyone born-again in Christ) for the work of ministry, building up the Body of Christ until we all reach unity in the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, growing into maturity measured by the full stature of Christ. Then we will no longer be little children tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit... let us grow in every way into Him who is the head - Christ! the proper working of each individual part.


That's not something you go and do for an hour on Sunday. That's our new identity in Christ. Members of His Body and Bride - the Church. "I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the Body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."


Frightened little boys posing as men can certainly continue to hide in the shadows blaming churches, culture, pastors, and big-scary-strong-bold-intimidating women for their own pathetic impotence and inaction. Little boys can surrender to Satan's schemes to steal, kill, and destroy. Seared consciences and hearts deceitful above all things might even allow immature little boys to buy into the excuses and blame in their own depravity, sin, and disobedience.


But Christ Jesus went to the Cross so that pathetic response doesn’t have to be our story. That doesn't have to be the way this all goes down. King Jesus paid our sin-debt in full so we don’t have to make excuses, hide, blame, pretend, or pose anymore.


The Lord said, “If anyone wants to follow me, let him deny self (quit all the lame excuses and blame), and take up his cross (get to being who God created you to be and do the good works He prepared in advance for us to walk in as members of His Body & Bride), and follow Me (consider others more important than self - even though it costs you your life)!”


That’s biblical manhood. That’s what it is to be a man in God's eyes. Marrow wants guys to remain enslaved to sin, stuck in bondage and irons as whining, immature, excuse-ridden childish church consumers armed with half-truths perpetuating the devolving cycle of depraved cultural “manhood.”


King Jesus, on the other hand, wants us to be men after God’s own heart. He desires for us to be the kind of men He created us… He created you to be - in the church… His testimony (Acts 1:8)… the proper working of each individual (Eph 4:16)… doing nothing out of selfish ambition or promotion, but in humility considering others more important than self (Phil 2:3)... bringing about the obedience of faith among all the nations for His Name’s sake (Rom 1:5).


Little boys make excuses and place blame. Men take responsibility and get to the task at hand. If being the church isn't your thing, just be honest about it. Don't make excuses and blame others for your depravity, sin, disobedience, and immaturity. It's not the church's job to entertain or entice you, to file off the rough edges of the Gospel to make it a more palatable experience for "manly" Church consumers. If you want to be part of a truly "manly" church, then be the kind of man God created you to be. Step up and be a complaint-free contributing part of one week-in and week-out. Show the kind of devotion to the very thing Christ died for that you show to the stuff that's important to you. That's what real men, godly men, do. If you can't find a good church, plant one. Paul was a man. He planted several.


Offended? Good. Maybe that's the wake-up call you needed to finally start being the man Christ died to make possible. Maybe you'll stop hiding behind excuses and blame like a coward and finally get on to the business of being a man in your family, your community, and in the church.


"But the cowards, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice manipulation, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

-Revelation 21:8


“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, skill, and correction, but fools despise all this.”

-Proverbs 1:7


Murrow's version of "church" will certainly be more attractive than Christ's, for the path is wide that leads to destruction, and many take it.


Immature coward, whining fool full of blame and excuses, or legit man after God's own heart full of repentance, thankfulness, and obedient service in the Body? It's your call.



Kevin M. Kelley

Pastor, PBC