Group Advocates Macho Christianity

ByABC News via via logo

March 15, 2007 — -- There is a new trend in religion: macho Christianity -- a movement started by men who say traditional church services are just too feminine and sissy.

Nationwide less than four in 10 churchgoers are men, and the men in this movement say it's because men need a religious outlet that's more masculine.

In a rented space in a Tennessee shopping mall, masculine religion is championed by GodMen, a group that conducts daylong sessions of stunts and speeches. The sessions, according to GodMen's founder, comic Brad Stine, are intended to toughen up Christian men.

"It's about men stepping up and being strong again," Stine said.

Men need movements like GodMen because Christians have been taught about a Jesus who's too nice to be real, said life coach and Christian radio show host Paul Coughlin. The leaders of GodMen contend that church, as most men know it, has gotten too sissy.

"A meek and mild Jesus… eventually is a bore," he said.

GodMen is inspired more by the Jesus who went after moneychangers with a whip -- a Jesus that's assertive and courageous.

"What we're saying is that… we've been taught the loving guy, the beautiful guy… When we walk into a church, we see ferns. We're not used to that. We want something that shows the masculine side as well," Stine said.

Men can find that masculinity in GodMen events, Stine contends.

"I grew up in the church, I love the church. You learn the formula, you learn the costume to put on," he said. "You go to this event [and] you get to be real and raw."

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events