Reviewing "Why Men Hate Going to Church"

Thursday, January 5, 2012
Today I finished reading David Murrow's book "Why Men Hate Going to Church." I was reading the revised edition. I've never read the original. I'm not sure how they compare. I'd be curious about the difference, but I'm not sure I could bring myself to read it.

I really wanted to like this book. When I picked it up, I had high expectations. Our church struggles to get guys involved. I was eager to learn about changing that.

I almost didn't finish it. In fact, had I not agreed to read it in its entity I probably would have dropped out in the middle. It's a bit like reading the Bible cover to cover. It all starts strong, but then around Numbers things go off the rails and the repetition just about kills it. Here's what I mean: he bashes churches that repeat the same praise chorus until everyone is in what he calls "a worship coma" but does practically the same thing as he repeats again and again all the things that churches do to repel men. I get it. churches turn men off. And not only is he nauseatingly repetitive, at times he comes across homophobic. I'm sure he doesn't mean to, but he's got to let up on how "gay" some church practices come across.

If you'd like to read the book here's my recommendation: read the first two chapters to get his point, understand where he is coming from, and to begin to wrestle with the need. Then skip to chapter 16. All the qualities, the redeeming characteristics, and the value of the book begin in chapter 16. Then you'll be able to read something helpful. There is some good stuff in there, but I wonder how many will have the patience to find it. I'm sure men won't.

I suppose the irony of all this is that the book itself is incredibly man unfriendly. All the things he says the church does wrong in regards to men are done in the book. The only way it could have been worse would be if each copy came with a crocheted book mark.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 


A. Amos Love said...

Was wondering...

I can’t seem to find anyone - “Going to Church” - In my antiquated KJV.

Could the simple reason for “Why Men Hate Going to Church” be...
It’s NOT in the Bible.

In the Bible - Jesus never mentioned to “His Disciples” about - “Going to Church.”
In the Bible - NOT one “Disciple of Christ” taught about - “Going to Church.”
In the Bible - There are NO men and NO women - “Going to Church.”

Seems to me, these “Men Who Hate Going to Church,”
are a lot more biblical then those who do...
Because, NO one - man or women - ever went to church in the Bible. ;-)

What is popular is not always “Truth.”
What is “Truth” is not always popular.

Chris Miller said...

You're right. It doesn't matter what translation you use, the phrase "Going to Church" isn't in there. If it is, I haven't found it either. I also haven't found any guy saying they aren't going to church because it's not in the Bible. Men usually skip church because they either have other things to do, or because they find it irrelevant to their lives.

I hope that I haven't communicated that I think salvation is dependent on church attendance. I don't believe that it is. I'm not trying to suggest that church attendance is necessary for a right standing with God. Jesus didn't call us to go to church but to be the church. The closest Biblical argument for going to Church comes in Hebrews when the writer urges the readers not to give up meeting together (Hebrews 10:25).

That being said, I believe very strongly in the importance of "meeting together." Just as I believe strongly in the importance of prayer, studying the Bible, giving to the needy, worship, or confession. Gathering as believers, like any of these other spiritual practices, is about spiritual development, and maturing in faith. We, men and women, need to be connected to a community of believers to grow spiritually.

So far I haven't been able to find in the Bible verses supporting life outside of a community context. Until then, I'll continue to encourage others to grow in community, develop relationships rooted in Jesus, and "go to church."

A. Amos Love said...


Thanks for the response.

And much agreement when you write...
“Jesus didn't call us to go to church but “to be the church.”
And - “I believe very strongly in the importance of "meeting together."

I spent a lot of years “Going to Church.” Because that’s what I was told to do.
I never questioned it. I even taught others “Going to Church” was scriptural.

Then I read the Bible. Printed out every verse with “church,“- “ekklesia.”
Read them, over and over again. Couldn’t find anyone “Going to Church.”
And a whole bunch of other stuff I was taught was “scriptural”
BUT - found out it is NOT in the Bible. :-(

Doesn’t the Bible warn us about...
The Commandments of men?
The Doctrines of men?
The Philosophies of men?
The Traditions of men?

What I now see as important is - If “Going to Church” is NOT in the Bible...
Could “Going to Church” be a “Commandment of Men?”“Doctrine of Men?”
That eventually becomes our “Tradition” that makes “void” God’s Word?

Found out I was teaching “Traditions of men,” “Commandments of Men.”
And NOT the Bible - NOT what Jesus was teaching “His Disciples.”

Mark 7:13
KJV - Making the word of God of “none effect” through your tradition...
ASV - Making “void” the word of God by your tradition...
NIV - Thus you “nullify” the word of God by your tradition...

If a simple example of “Going to Church” is NOT in the Bible...
Could there be other “Commandments of Men” we follow - But...
Are NOT in the Bible? And we wind up worshipping God in vain?

Mark 7:7
Howbeit in vain do they worship me,
teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Found out - folks have to get it from Jesus for themselves.
What was it that Jesus was teaching “His Disciples?” And - Why?

It is written in the prophets, And they shall be “ALL taught of God.”
John 6:45

Every one that is of the truth *heareth My voice.”
John 18:37

Out of heaven he made thee to *hear His voice,*
that *He might instruct thee*
Deut 4:36

Chris Miller said...

For sure Jesus took major issue with people caught up in an empty religion based on the doctrines of men passed on by the religion teachers of his day. I'm wondering though, what your stance is on the epistles of the New Testament. Are they words of God or words of men?

And what do you make of Matthew 16:18 where Jesus says he's building a church. What do you think Jesus is talking about? And if Jesus is building a church, whether it's church as we know it or we're missing the point and need to find church as Jesus intended, what is our responsibility to be a part of it?