David Murrow recently posted an excerpt from his book, “Why Men Hate Going to Church”. There are a couple of interesting thoughts in this article, and I’m curious to know what you think about them.
First off, Murrow states that the most common description of Christianity evangelicals use is the phrase, “personal relationship with Jesus Christ”. However he states that “it frames the gospel in terms of a woman’s deepest desire—a personal relationship with a man who loves her unconditionally. It’s imagery that delights women—and baffles men.”
What do you think? I personally have shied away from using this phrase but for other reasons. I realized long ago that the phrase “personal relationship with Christ” never actually appears in the bible. That’s not to say it’s completely off track. However the New Testament seems more focused on a community of people following Christ rather than a bunch of isolated individuals having a relationship with him. Yes, a community is comprised of individuals, and they have to have some kind of relationship with Christ in order to follow him. But it does seem that talking in terms of us following Christ and/or being his disciples captures the idea better.
Nevertheless, do you think there is something to what Murrow says? I can certainly see the potential for phrases such as “Jesus fills all our needs/desires” and even the Jesus is my boyfriend concept working much better for women than men. I know those concepts have never resonated with me. Do these and the “personal relationship with Christ” resonate with you ladies?
I have somewhat of a different reaction to the second part of the post where he discusses the words love, intimacy and relationship. I see his point to a degree, however I feel a major part of the problem is the way these words have been used in our culture. And I think this is an issue for everyone regardless of gender. As I’ve discussed many times on my blog, the problem is that we’ve focused too much on the “romantic” relationship, such that we now have difficulty thinking outside this, specifically when using the terms love, intimacy and relationship. I think we ought to reclaim better use of these terms. However it does mean that we have to define them often as we use them.