Jesus and other Heros on the Bathroom Wall

Written by Father Bill 6 Comments

At least they didn’t put photos of Jesus right next to the toilet.

Yikes!  I’ve found another advocate of Christianity in the men’s room! I had thought that the previous example of this was so freaky that readers would think I made it up.  Now, I’m fearful that this may become a trend.  You know — churches getting their knickers in a twist about how feminized they are, so they butch things up by putting hunky pictures of Jesus on the bathroom walls of the men’s room.

 This is exactly what someone at a Methodist church did, and it seems he got run out of town for it. So, what does he do for an encore?  He starts a local Church for Men.  No “wishy, washy, lovey, dovey music.”  No pews or flowers.  There’s nothing about the decor of the men’s room, but since it meets in rented YMCA facilities, we will have to wait until they own their own property to see how they make a men’s room Really Masculine and Religious at the same time when they don’t have anyone objecting at the top.

Now, at the Very Top, things may be different, to judge by what He has said about such environments previously.  “But, hey!  This is the 21st Century, right?  Who cares what that Old Testament God said about His holiness.  Let’s bring Jesus into the toilet where He belongs.”

I need to blog further on this.  The guys griping about feminized church have some legitimate gripes.  But, the solution to this problem is NOT to accept the premise of those who want to keep the church woman-friendly in the way it has become woman-friendly.  Making Christian worship “man-friendly” by littering the sanctuary (and, evidently, the men’s room too!) with counterbalancing man-stuff (Harleys, Pennzoil oil-change signs, trophy deer-heads mounted on the wall) — all this administers as medicine the very toxin that has infected the churches:

It’s all about ME. 

According to these folks, a truly just worship environment would change from Sunday to Sunday, to accurately reflect the gender-demographics of the crowd that has shown up that day. Indeed, if you read the comments here, you’ll see that this is exactly what some are proposing.  Again, it’s all about ME. 

Blech.


6 Comments

  1. Ralph   |  Friday, 09 November 2007 at 6:54 pm

    Hey Fr. Bill,

    I was just going through some of the links that you had in this post, and actually read through most of the comments that were left, especially at the last link in your post. This whole male’s are left out because of the feminization of the church, while somewhat true, is not the way to get to an answer with men’s growth of involvement in church ministry. Well of course the problem isn’t just found in church ministry, it’s also found in participation in family, and life in general as a man. But I believe that this has always been a problem with men, ever since the fall, we are just seeing it through a different lens in today’s world, more so today’s church. I know of some really godly men in my church home, and they have a desire to lead (thankfully I belong to a church that still advocates male leadership for elders and pastors, and rightfully allows women on the deacon board, which makes my move to this First Alliance Church feel like a good fit for me), and they are not afraid, nor need to feel fearful to be “men”.

    I believe that if the focus is on gender equality, or gender anything; that you’re then heading into problem areas… the focus has to be on Scripture, and being the man or woman that Scripture dictates. Now there’s nothing wrong with some programs, or helps, like your Five Aspects, but progression in sanctification is what’s needed in my opinion, and pointing especially men to become deeper partakers in God’s word.

    In some ways I felt it was strange that after one week at this new church home I was asked to come onboard with men’s ministry, but looking back it has become one of my greatest blessing, and in it see God’s purpose now. What has occurred in this men’s ministry is that they no longer view it as an evening of having a Bible Study for the guys, but they actually have moved into what I see as ministering to one another. Where am I going with all of that, and to reply to the topic that you present, well it’s that you’re not going to get men to return to be the spiritual leaders of the home or church, unless you get them to grow deeper in their faith. The greatest way to change the men in a congregation is to start with a core group of guys who will then seek out other guys and take the time to mentor and encourage them. It’s not a fast process, and some guys get frustrated when they don’t see change happening fast enough. For example, we had over 50 guys show up at our Men’s Retreat in September, and one of the guys who is a deacon in our group asked where are they all, we’ve only got half that number in our ranks. Retreats and activities for men are great, they are meant to get men closer, but they can’t replace the one-on-one relationships that we need with other men to grow in faith.

    I strongly believe that the way to get back to a healthier male concept in our churches is to first address spiritual bankruptcy, look to change that, and in doing that I believe will automatically change what church feminization has distorted, through God’s provision in and through sanctification. When guys grow spiritually they grow more confident of who they are, and they grow towards service in Christ, and the issues of life with their families. It’s not about US, it’s truly about the Son of God living His life through us, albeit men or women, and finding truth in Scripture is an absolute necessity.

    Blessings,
    Ralph

  2. sprocket23   |  Monday, 12 November 2007 at 9:26 am

    Bill, Great comments, and yeah, pretty astounding stuff. The only thing that comes to mind, though, is that in light of the whole Sen. Craig incident, getting men to meet in restrooms might not be the direction that we want to lead the church.

    Gathering in the restroom is not really a man thing anyway. Ever see a bunch of guys out to eat get up and go to the loo at the same time? Nope, that’s more a female thing. We tend to get in, get out (unless there’s good reading material, then it’s Katy bar the door).

    Enjoy reading your thoughts, thanks for the link!

    -Garbage Man

  3. Fr. Bill   |  Monday, 12 November 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for dropping by Sprocket, or Garbage Man.

    You know, my wife this past weekend, in connection with explaining to an audience of women how indebted women generally were in this society to men, commented “Twice every week, men come to my residence and carry off the trash. When I hear their truck, I often think of the generations of women who were never served in this way, the trash building up around them, or their extra labors in carrying it off.”

    I don’t know if you’re a garbage man in real life or not. But, my wife was telling the truth about something most women (and men too!) never think about — the life-enriching service rendered to all of us when they do their jobs well.

    And, of course, you’re right about everyone getting up and heading for the loo. Definately a woman thing. And, from what I’ve gleaned from comments and explanations from women, the purpose that the women’s room serves, as far as architects and building inspectors and code-enforcers are concerned, is actually pretty far down the list as far as the users of women’s rooms are concerned.

  4. Kamilla   |  Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Ralph!

    I’m glad to hear of your continued involvement in men’s ministry. I know from what you’ve said here and over at CCC, that it’s a ministry dear to you.

    Oh, and Bill, about men’s rooms? I can only say from my last experience that I found no posters but did find that it was cleaner than the ladies! (OK, now before anyone gets any idea about a smart aleck come back – I was on a “code pink” sweep for a possible infant abduction at the hospital).

    Kamilla

    P.S. And if you have to ask me why it’s code “pink”. instead of code “blue” I’ll just have to ask, in return, which rock you’ve been living under!

  5. Ralph   |  Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Hey Kamilla,

    It’s hard not to make a comeback comment on that one, but I’ve heard what you said before from gals that had to take a looksie into the men’s room, who said it was surprisingly cleaner. Well at least you went in there on your own, you didn’t have to find another gal to make it a duo :).

    Sprocket made a great comment on that subject, but just wait, some clever commercial writer will come up with guys heading to the loo together.

    Kamilla, I’ve just had so many wonderful mentors as I grew in Christ, that I now understand that that is the way to grow stronger men, and women accomplish this also. It’s not about the men’s room or any other clever thing… good grief :).

    Going back under my rock.
    Ralph

  6. Kamilla   |  Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Oh, I forget people don’t know hospital lingo – sorry Ralph!

    “Code blue” is a standard overhead page term for a cardiac arrest. They page overhead like that because, in most hospitals, designated members of staff are required to respond to assist (Anesthesiologist, respiratory therapist, lab, etc.). So then infant abduction became code pink. Fire alarm is Mr. Gallagher, and there are other code names for overhead paging on other types of emergencies.

    So I guess I have to amend my snide little crack – for those who don’t work in hospitals or spend too much time in front of the idiot box watching medical dramas.

    You’d better stay out on top, I’m sure it’s too cold to crawl under a rock up there at this time of year, yah?

    Kamilla

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