1 Timothy 3:15 - The Church Effeminate

It's Good To Be A Man  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:30
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Churches drive men away when they force them to choose between their masculinity and their Christianity

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I want to start off this morning with a brief thought experiment—I want you to imagine a football field. And on that field, imagine that every single person that you know—family, friends, co-workers, neighbors—is standing in a group centered on the 50 yard line. Now, of those people (and just use your best estimate), imagine that you asked everyone who has no affiliation with any kind of religion or church to go sit in the stands. So now everybody that’s left on the field is active in or committed to a church. For the next step, I want you to imagine that you ask all of the women on the field to go sit down—all the women who are regular church attenders or members go sit in the stands. Here’s my question—are there enough men left on that field to make up an entire football team?
For far too many people, the answer is “No”. And the results of this thought experiment are borne out by the statistics: On any given Sunday morning in the United States, about sixty percent of church attenders are women. The immediate response that comes to mind might be, “Then we need to do a better job of sharing the Gospel with men!” That seems like a logical conclusion until you discover that
More than 90 percent of American men believe in God, and five out of six call themselves Christians. But only two out of six attend church on a given Sunday (https://www1.cbn.com/churchandministry/why-men-hate-church, retrieved 9/22/2022)
Something is going on here—why would the vast majority of men who identify themselves as Christians, not bother to go to church? If the Church really is what my brother Steve showed you from the Scriptures last week—if this institution really is meant to image the manliness of Jesus Christ in this world, if it really is meant to be the demonstration of the power and vitality and sacrificial strength of the King of Kings under the authority of the Father in Heaven, then why has Christianity become considered a religion for women? Why is the Church of Jesus Christ, the household of God the Father—the place most focused on serving Him and magnifying His Name, an institution that has been commissioned by God to ransack the gates of Hell itself, and tear down every lofty argument that sets itself against the knowledge of God, the place where Christians are told to
1 Corinthians 16:13 (ESV)
13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
—why has this place become a wretched hive of of forty-year-old man-boys in fauxhawks and skinny jeans standing up on a stage, unctiously inviting people to “do life together” and “love on each other” and “let go and let God”, while the worship band warms up for the interpretive dance troupe? How did the church of the living God, the pillar and buttress of the truth, become a “safe space” for LGBTQ perversions and Critical Race Theory abominations and cowardly pulpiteers that wouldn’t celebrate the Lord’s Supper during COVID unless they got permission from a transvestite in Harrisburg?
The short answer, beloved, is that the church in America has become thoroughly effeminate. The church in this country has rejected masculinity for so long and so thoroughly that it has become virtually powerless to accomplish the dominion-taking role that Jesus Christ has commissioned it for. Just as God has ordained one flesh male and female union as the foundation of households that drive dominion through children and grandchildren, so He has placed men and women into His spiritual household, the Church, to drive the Gospel dominion He commands to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you...” (Matt. 28:19).
And it is absolutely undeniable that the church in this country and in this age is powerless to exercise that Gospel dominion, because
The church is an IMPOTENT household when it rejects MASCULINE glories
The same dynamics of toxic sexuality that have crippled and poisoned the physical dominion that God called Adam and Eve to exercise has also crippled and poisoned the church. When men abdicate their rulership and women seek to usurp it in the home, the result is brokenness and isolation and fruitlessness. When men in the church abdicate their rulership and women seek to usurp it, the result is an effeminate church that forces men to choose between their Christianity and their masculinity—and four out of six men choose their masculinity every Sunday morning.
The Scriptures are clear that

I. God has ORDERED the GLORIES of His household (1 Timothy 3:15)

As physical households are the building blocks of all civilization, so churches are the building blocks of the Kingdom of God. It is the place where the masculine glories of men and feminine glories of women are designed to harmonize to the glory of God and advancing Gospel dominion throughout all nations. As God orders the roles of His household, he gives roles to both men and women as together they build and adorn the Church, the household of God and the engine of Gospel dominion.
God calls men and women to different roles in His household;
Masculine glory DEFINES and DEFENDS the household (2 Thess. 2:15)
Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica:
2 Thessalonians 2:15 (ESV)
15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
And Paul writes to his son in the faith, Timothy:
1 Timothy 6:12 (ESV)
12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:14 (ESV)
14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
And he tells Titus to deal firmly with the false teachers who are threatening the church:
Titus 1:13 (ESV)
13 ...Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
God intends men to use their holy, redeemed masculinity to defend the church from false teaching, to stand firm in the godly traditions the apostles established, to fight the good fight of faith, to protect the purity of the faith and hold fast until Christ Himself returns to take possession of His Church. Everything we have been seeing in the Scriptures about the good purposes for masculine aggressiveness and boldness and assertiveness and drive is meant to be harnessed in the Church to define and defend the household of God!
God has ordered the glories of His household to fit the unique strengths of masculine and feminine nature—godly masculinity defines and defends the household, and
Feminine glory ADORNS and UNITES the household (1 Timothy 5:9-10)
In 1 Timothy 5, Paul gives the church some qualifications to look for in widows who are in need of financial support. The characteristics he describes give us a glimpse into the way God has designed feminine gifts to build up the church:
1 Timothy 5:9–10 (ESV)
9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.
The interplay between masculinity and femininity in the church is gloriously complex and rich and vital—but just in these few things that we have seen, notice how masculine glories in their proper place in the church will work to separate people from heresies, drive out false teachers and sharply rebuke them; feminine glories in their proper place in the church will work to unite people—showing hospitality, making a place for belonging and peace, caring for those who are hurting. Where men are called to cause discomfort—sharply rebuking false teachers, women seek to remove discomfort, to eliminate barriers between the saints.
Both men and women are called to utilize their masculinity and femininity in glorious and holy work in the church. And when the household of God is ordered this way, the Church is a powerful, holy, pure, secure, delightful, warm, nurturing family that is a powerful engine of Gospel dominion in this world.
And so, naturally, Satan hates it. And just as he seeks to destroy the households of husbands and wives by attacking and subverting their God-given gender roles, he has done the same in the Church. The Serpent’s lie led Adam to abdicate his role and Eve to seek to usurp Adam’s role—and when this happens in the Church, the result is disastrous. God has ordered the glories of His household, but

II. The Fall has COUNTERFEITED the GLORIES of God’s household

When our father Adam fell, his fall took the form of abdicating his role as the head and spiritual authority of his household—Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:14 that Adam knew what he was doing; he was “not deceived”. In other words, Adam chose to give up his role as spiritual head, and chose to let stand the deception that his wife suffered.
And so we see it today; the masculine glory that is meant to strengthen and define and defend the household is abandoned. And in its place is the counterfeit glory of
WHITE KNIGHTS ” in the pulpit
Here’s what I mean by that. Part of a man’s masculinity is driven to elevate and honor women—because they are our glory (as 1 Corinthians 11:7 tells us.) And another tendency of masculinity is to defend and protect women, because they are the “weaker vessel” (as 1 Peter 3:7 teaches.)
So men are wired to both respect and protect women—but when that masculinity is corrupted by passivity, when a man abdicates his role as a spiritual leader, the result is a “nice guy” attitude that “just wants everybody to get along” and never wants to ruffle feathers, and doesn’t want to have to do the hard work of confronting sin or rebuking heresy or setting boundaries. And so this kind of passive man becomes a “white knight”—always rushing in to rescue the feelings and sensibilities of the women from any kind of unpleasantness or discomfort (and then basking in the glory of being an “ally” for women, or being such an understanding, sensitive, agreeable man…)
And so instead of a spiritual leader who is willing to ruffle feathers where God’s Word demands it, who is more than capable of stepping on toes that have crossed the line into sin, a pastor who will be unpleasant when necessary to defend the faith or rebuke heresy, you have a “white knight” whose main concern is that nobody ever gets their feelings hurt--and such a man is especially careful to “rescue” the women in his congregation from ever being made uncomfortable, because he basks in the counterfeit glory of being their champion and defender, rescuing them from anything that might make them feel uncomfortable.
And so as a result, the church’s spiritual climate is governed exclusively by feminine sensibilities. Feminine glories in their proper place in a church focus on relationship building and connecting and fostering fellowship—and so anything that threatens that sensibility is avoided. A “white knight” preacher will swing for the fences when preaching against the sins of men—but would never even know how to preach against the sins of women (or even be offended by the thought that there is such a category of feminine sins.)
(Add to this the reality that the daughters of Eve share her temptation to rule over men, and the presence of white knights in leadership sets up the potential of a church where all of the positions that God intends to be filled by men are actually filled by the counterfeit glory of men who are totally beholden to pleasing all the women in the congregation…)
When the gender roles God has ordained in His household become corrupted, the pulpits of His churches become occupied by “white knight” leadership. And inevitably, such leadership will decide that it is
Better to be AGREEABLE than ORTHODOX (cp. Rom 16:17-18; Jude 1:16; cp. 1 Timothy 2:12-14)
The worst sin that can be committed in an effeminate church is to hurt someone’s feelings. And a white knight, “nice guy” pastor (or elder or other or church leadership) who wants to avoid “hurting feelings” or “disrupting fellowship” at all costs will inevitably drift away from the faith once for all delivered to the saints.
And some of you have been there, haven’t you? You’ve seen false teachings or other sins creeping into a congregation and been bewildered as to why nobody does anything about it. A church that is led by “nice guy”, effeminate “white knights” (or, in some cases, led by actual women) is not equipped to deal with church discipline or sharp rebukes or standing firm like men—because they are not men!
But, do you know who is really good at being agreeable and kind and reasonable? False teachers:
Romans 16:17–18 (ESV)
17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
Or as Jude writes,
Jude 16 (ESV)
16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
What is necessary at those times is a firm, unyielding, thoroughly disagreeable MAN to stand up and say “Enough!” But an effeminate church that has rejected masculine glories is impotent against false teachers, and has no “immune system” against sin—unless the sins under discussion are typical of men, in which case they have a lot to say!
Here, then, is the answer to the question we asked earlier—why do men who identify themselves as Christians stay away from church? It is because they are expected to abandon their masculinity when they walk into the church! They are expected to stand and sway their hips and wave their arms and sing about their girlfriend Jesus and then listen to a message (or watch a video) all about how to feel good about yourself and be nicer to other people and repent of your nasty male urges so that Jesus can love you as much as He loves the women (who really should be able to preach in the church if they want to, because Jesus empowers women after all!) Do we really need to ask why men aren’t interested in such an experience?
The Church is an impotent household when it rejects masculine glories—God has ordered the glories of His household, but the Fall has counterfeited those glories. And so the only way to see the household of God become the potent force for Gospel dominion for His Kingdom is not to double-down on our abdications and usurpations. Instead,

III. We must SUBMIT to the HEAD of the household (Colossians 1:18)

Jesus Christ, our Lord,
Colossians 1:18 (ESV)
18 ...is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead... in everything he [must] be preeminent.
One of our family’s favorite musicals is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Adam Pontipee brings home his new bride Millie to his backwoods cabin, where his six rough and uncivilized brothers live with him. In one memorable scene, Millie overturns the dinner table because of their shockingly bad behavior at the table— “If you want to act like animals, you can eat like animals!” In the next scene, she has fixed a delicious breakfast, and also has taken all of the brothers’ clothes to wash while they slept. So they had to come to the breakfast table clutching blankets around themselves and were forced to sit still and eat with one hand. She civilizes the Pontipee brothers in a uniquely feminine way!
This is what godly, strong, wise femininity does—it civilizes, it unites, it turns a house into a home, it creates belonging and builds relationships. The rough, aggressive masculinity of those men who had carved a homestead out of untamed Oregon Territory wilderness was civilized and glorified by her faithful femininity, and their hard, stubborn, energetic vitality defines and defends her (and the other six women who eventually join them!)
And so, brother, embrace the manly nature God has given you—your masculinity is not something to eradicate; it is something that God redeems and sanctifies. You are charged by Christ Himself to be the guardian of His household; its protector and watchman. To
1 Corinthians 16:13 (ESV)
13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
Come here to worship God the Father as a man—sing warrior psalms like David, intercede in prayer for your family, your nation, your world, train your sons to laugh and sing and fight and build, be willing to be thoroughly disagreeable when the world insists that you lay down the truth of God’s Word or compromise the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Be ready in your manliness to say:
“Here’s the TRUTH, there’s the DOOR
And sisters, in the same way, embrace the nature that God has given you--your femininity is not a second-class station that is inferior, it is the way you glorify the glory of God! You are the nurturer and adorner of this household, you are the very embodiment of love and joy and fellowship in the Holy Spirit; you are the vital and indispensible counterpart to the orthodox disagreeableness of masculine defense of this household. Where God calls men to spiritual leadership that says, “Here’s the truth, there’s the door”, you are called by God to proclaim
“Here’s your HOME in the TRUTH
Show hospitality, wash the feet of the saints, care for the afflicted, devote yourself to good works, train your daughters up to be women who will live their husbands and children
Titus 2:5 (ESV)
5 ...be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to {your} own husband, that the word of God may not be reviled.
And once again—how can any of us hear God’s commands to us for our roles in His household without recognizing that it is only in the power of God’s Spirit that indwells us that we can hope to untwist the corruption of abdicating masculinity and usurping femininity?
Brother, have you been succumbing to the temptation to just “check out” of your duty to be the spiritual head of your home, to be the man who stands for truth? Have you decided it’s easier to “go along to get along” rather than step on toes for the sake of the truth, that the most important thing in the world is never saying or doing anything that might suggest that one of your sisters in Christ may need to be called to repentance? Then you come in repentance to your Savior, Who came not to bring peace, but a sword, Who came
Matthew 10:35–36 (ESV)
35 ...to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.
You can be masculine without being righteous, brother, but you cannot be righteous without being masculine. So submit to the head of the Church, Jesus Christ, in your obedient masculinity.
Sister, have you been succumbing to the temptation to take over where men have abdicated their spiritual authority? Have you allowed your desire as a Daughter of Eve for dominion over your husband to create an atmosphere in your home where he can do no right and you can do no wrong? Where it would be unthinkable for him to point out—no matter how gently or reasonably—any sin in your life? But where you can go after anything in his life with impunity?
Then come in repentance to your Savior, who calls you to
1 Peter 3:1–2 (ESV)
1 ...be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
Jesus calls you to take His yoke on you, to learn from Him what it means to be gentle and lowly of heart, and find rest for your soul, to learn to walk as He did—in perfect submission to your Heavenly Father—and in so doing adorn the Gospel of God as you adorn your home and the household of God with
1 Peter 3:4 (ESV)
4 the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
God calls His household to fight for the truth and adorn the truth; to stand for the truth of God’s Word and to be nurtured by and drawn into fellowship around God’s Word. To take Gospel dominion over every lofty opinion that sets itself against the knowledge of God, and to bind up the brokenhearted who have been ravaged by the sin of a broken world. The household of God—the Church—is the engine of Gospel-dominion in this world, and He calls all of His redeemed sons and daughters to labor with the glories He has ordained until that day when we meet face to face with our King, our Savior, and our Head, Jesus Christ!
Ephesians 6:23–24 (ESV)
23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. AMEN


Think about the Christian men that you know. How many of them are committed to a local church? What are some of the reasons men give for not regularly attending church?
How are masculine attributes (drive, aggressiveness, ambition, “disagreeableness”) meant to serve the church? How are those attributes viewed in Christianity today?
Why are false teachers often good at being agreeable? How does too much agreeableness in a church lead to failure to discipline and the decay of orthodoxy?
What is a “white knight” church leader? How are good masculine impulses counterfeited to create a “nice guy” type of masculinity?
Why are the particular glories of men and women both essential for a healthy church? Read 1 Corinthians 16:13 and 1 Timothy 5:10. How do these verses illustrate the differing glories that godly men and godly women are to pursue in the household of God?
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