Perpetual Boys and the Empty Pew

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As Father’s Day approaches, Touchstone magazine challenges the church to recognize an often ignored biblical truth, overlooked even in many of our annual Father’s Day sermons. Fathering is not about some abstract idea of “family values” or “quality time.” Fathering is not even first of all about being a “Christian role model” isolated from the people of God. First and foremost, fathering is about the church.  Louis R. Tarsitano hits the target when he identifies the gaping problem of ecclesiologically deadbeat dads:

“Given the hard work that it takes to be a Christian man, it isn’t surprising that around the world every Sunday morning perpetual boys throng the golf courses, sleep off Saturday night, or otherwise occupy themselves with pleasures instead of worshiping their God in his Church.  The may even feel like he-men for doing so, but they’re not.  They are leaving a hole in their families, where a grown-up Christian man is supposed to be. They are leaving a hole in the churches, where boys are meant to learn how to be Christian men from the society of Christian men, and where girls are meant to learn from observation the difference between a godly man and a moral slob.”

This entire issue, on men and fathers, is important and engrossing.  And the magazine itself is consistently worth twelve times the subscription price.

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).