It is often said that pastors fail to speak, or fail to speak enough, on women’s issues such as immodest clothing. This is true, but the reasons offered for why pastors don’t speak on it are, generally not true:
- The pastors don’t want to interrupt the flow from the purse to the collection plate.
This is repeated by men who don’t go to church, and don’t want to go to church. As such they don’t know who gives, and who doesn’t. A little clear-thinking and honest questioning should lead one to consider these questions: “Who is it that takes church imperatives seriously? Is it women? If it is, then why do we notice so much activity from women that is against the imperatives; such as immodest clothing?” No. It is men–particularly married men–who contribute the bulk of the offering.
- The pastors don’t want to upset the women because then women will drag their families out of church.
This is also mostly wrong. The truth is that husbands whose wives get upset will drag the family out of church. Sometimes he simply didn’t care to be there anyways; perhaps he was just appeasing the wife, or he somewhat thinks he should attend, but would really rather relax at home. His wife’s offense is enough reason to justify it. But for most husbands, a sermon offensive to modern women’s sensibilities will cause the men to leave the church because they are eager to be offended on behalf of their women; especially their wives. It is a chance to play (what they believe is) the role of “The Man”.
This is counter-intuitive to a lot of the talk in the Men’s Sphere, but it is the absolute truth and it critical to understand. If we’re going to make any headway in leading the correction of problems in each of our own little families and social circles, then this must be recognized. Dalrock’s posts on Mark Driscoll make this plain.
It must be understood that Driscoll railroaded thousands of men for years, and was rewarded for doing so; particularly by the men under him. “Hurts so good!”, as commenter Darwinian Arminian hilariously quipped. While the pile of broken men toppled upon his head as he fell, the real reason for his sacking was his effect on women, and how men responded to that.
If you read the letters and essays of former pastors and parishioners who’d felt his whip, they all reference the breaking point in their support of him as the point at which Driscoll made a wife cry. Journalists who committed themselves to cataloguing Driscoll’s crimes and errors made much of Driscoll being a misogynist even though he slung spittle at men a hundredfold of what went towards women. Yet it was misogyny that ended his career at Mars Hill.
So, why don’t pastors address women’s issues head-on and in a sustained fashion, as they do men?
- Because women don’t want to hear it.
While men who go to church want to hear how they can be better; women want to be told they are better. There are some proclivities of the female sex involved here, but they are grossly exacerbated by our Feminist, Oprah-fied culture. Any time a pastor spends correcting women will be accompanied by a sense of wasted efforts.
- Because it is a primary responsibility of a husband and father, and a secondary responsibility of older women.
Any consternation a pastor experiences about whether or not he is passing the buck on women can be ameliorated by the fact that it’s someone else’s job, too. He can tell himself that others are filling in the gaps. This is not so for men. In the church, the only authority over men are pastors and bishops. Some efforts spent on women will be wasted or redundant, but all effort directed at men is profitable; from their perspective.
- Women routinely (almost automatically!) lie when confronted with unpleasantness about themselves; even the good ones.
There are few things more frustrating to the earnest man than dealing with a flat-out liar whom he is trying to help. A pastor who (for example) says men must be more active gets at least an amen from everyone, even if the follow-up is poor. A pastor who (also for example) says women must be more meek and gentle, gets many understanding nods that he must be talking about someone else, and pensive glares to let him know that her situation is different, you see.
If you add to that the fact that men are ready and waiting to be offended on behalf of their women, then we begin to understand that it takes either a sociopathic, or a supernatural, effort to give a sermon about women dressing immodestly.
 Single men give just as faithfully, but they–due to their younger average age and lacking a family-driven impetus to earn more and attend church in the first place–give much less . And, I’m speaking of Protestant churches. Just a glance at the offerings will reveal that American Roman Catholics don’t give as much in comparison to American Protestants. Satirized here as: “If a Catholic couple has $50, they go out to dinner; $20, they go see a movie; $10, they get fast food. But if they have $1, they go to church.”
 A dispassionate observer must conclude that in scale of hatred he was a misandrist first, a misanthrope second, and a misogynist last of all…yet it was charges of misogyny they preferred as weapons to attack him, and against which he apologized and defended. No need to defend much against that which no one considers much.
 This is wrong-headed of him, but today I’m talking about incentives; not what is the exact correct thing to do.