The Feminisation of the Church: Conclusion

Ian Hodge’s 5 part series dealing with The Feminisation of the Church has probably left you a little challenged, as it has me. In this conclusion I would like to draw attention to a number of his points.

1. Firstly, Hodge emphasises that music became man centred. Quoting from Ann Douglas’ book, “The Feminisation of American Culture,” it was only when the church itself had been redefined in domestic terms that hymns could be central to their forms of worship” (pp. 217-218, emphasis added). Church music needed to be made more palatable for people; perhaps we would say today, “contemporary.” This would inevitably mean that scriptural songs (such as the psalms) would be utilised progressively less.

2. Thus it became less fashionable to emphasise God’s law, and more fashionable to emphasise God’s love.

3. This opened the door, to beginning to sing songs about what individuals would like; what they think and feel, rather than God’s holy requirements for His people.

4. This permitted the emphasis on more emotional aspects of the faith, as opposed to the legal: the objective facts of redemption, justification and sanctification. The… new important word would be "love" rather than holiness — emotional intimacy rather than moral righteousness.1 So, we would begin to sing songs obviously written by females, such as, “and He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am his own…”

5. Music which has the capacity to stir people emotionally begins to be utilised, rather than music which has a distinct melody, along with a mild harmony and beat. The objective is rejected; the subjective is preferred.

6. The Christian life now in its music, begins to be “all about me,” rather than emphasising our service and duty towards the King of Kings; His dominion in the earth, and our associated responsibilities.

7. This leads to a refusal to face our obligations to bring the world under the authority of Jesus Christ, and to be pietistic. Furthermore, women are permitted to be church leaders, to preach in church, and lead worship in a feminine manner, (despite what the scripture says on this very matter- Isa.3:12) which many men find to be an affront to them. (I Tim.2:11) A woman’s contribution towards “ruling and having dominion,” (Gen.1:26-28) is largely, to want to nurture and care for others, but men want to contend, to confront, to “fight the good fight…” (II Tim.4:7) to set things in order, and rule.

8. The outcome? An emasculated, inoffensive form of Christianity which would hardly be recognisable as “Christian” to those living four hundred years ago.

What Must Be Done

1. “Putting Scripture — the Psalms being central — back into the worship service will be an important step to create Biblical manhood which will, in time, halt the feminization of our church, our schools, our homes, and therefore our culture.” 2
(When I was a young Christian in the late 1970’s, the Charasmatic movement of the era had a strong emphasis on for scriptural songs, which were a great encouragement.)

2. “Christian culture of the past was not possible without having something to say about the music. Christian culture will not be restored without the reconstruction of a Biblical view of art and music that speaks the language of Scripture.”3

3. The Church is going to have to re-consider the role of God’s Law in the New Testament era. The perpetration of the myth that the Law of God is irrelevant in the New Testament era, has contributed to the insipid nature of the modern church. If Paul could say, “I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man” (Ro.7:22), so should we.

4. “And therein lies the problem of the modern Christianity.  An anti-intellectualism driven by a feminine view of life and Christianity. And that is what will have to change, if we are to affect the nations of the world.” 4

1) Hodge, I., Feminisation of the Church (V) “Radically Change the Theology.”
2) Hodge, I., The Feminisation of the Church, no.1
3) Hodge, I., The Feminisation of the Church, no.2.
4) Hodge, I., The Feminisation of the Church, no.4.

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