Everyone's bored with the church and that everyone includes both men and women.
Men find the church too safe, so they create a church for men.
Women find women's ministry boring beyond belief, so they blog about it.
All of it completely understandable, but not really all that helpful. Novel ways to look at church, and reading and writing blogs are great (I'm writing one and you're reading it), but they don't address the underlying issue, which is authority.
Because we have arranged church around the concept of authority - who has it and who doesn't - we have also created a model that requires people to ask for a permission to do something, anything, really. And because even asking for that permission can be an uncomfortable experience ("What will they think of me"), most people just follow along.
We have a lot of sheep who are well-fed and need to exercise.
But this spiritual exercising would require doing something, and that's where things get tricky. You see, women are told to obey and defer to men. So they talk about safe subjects, and spend inordinate amounts of time learning how to make flower arrangements, and hand-painted plates. Because if they talked about things that actually mattered, such a hunger, poverty, or child trafficking, they would have to challenge a whole lot more than their designing skills. And that would require them to go up against the men who perpetuate these social illnesses.
When we listen to the response from the Vatican to calls for social justice from Catholic nuns, we understand why Protestant women hide in their homes and church basements. It takes more than just a smile to deal with the spiritual abuse the ecclesiastical authorities subject anyone who challenges their words and actions. Such is the power of authority over those who believe they have it.
But what about men? Surely they should be able to challenge other men? And they are, in more ways than women, but the problem is that they would have to challenge the way the church insists women should obey men in order to do so, or they will end up solidifying more power to themselves, which would only exacerbate the problem.
In the end the blogger got it right, and the creator of the church for men, well, not exactly. But we need to do something more than just revamp women's ministry and make men feel at home in the church. We need to re-think church. And that's something we all need to come together and do as one body.