by Danny Bell
“Let a young woman accept as a life companion only one who possesses pure, manly traits of character, one who is diligent, aspiring, and honest, one who loves and fears God” (Adventist Home, p. 47).
There’s some home truths about Adventist men we need to understand and own, and while this is a personal opinion, it’s based on many years’ experience at the top and very bottom of the church and state food chains. Swallowing the “red pill”  is best experienced rather than explained, a bit like Paul’s Damascus road awakening, having your eyes opened to the matrix of western feminism  which has kept you in seclusion delivering you lies about everything … everything!
My journey to experiencing the red pill came naturally to me after leaving ministry and going back to the pew. I sat each Sabbath and just observed what was going on around me. One morning I brought a friend along who was a rugged type – a man’s man. As he entered the church I noticed something. Married Adventist women became animated towards him. Glances continued during the service, with one woman (sitting beside her husband) that kept looking over her shoulder at the new “handsome stranger”. I would have thought nothing of it, but I saw this multiple times – Adventist women taking more than a casual interest in visiting alpha’s.
What’s wrong with the man they’ve got?
Beta church men (non alpha males) wouldn’t dare admit to any of this because it reflects on their manhood. If the truth be told, it’s not in a woman’s nature to go for passive males, but manly men  instead. The above story may come across that our sisters are shallow when choosing partners, but it’s not shallow as much as difficult. Adventist research indicates  that our women are more frustrated than men in their relationships, yet remain in the marriage more than the average population.  Many Adventist women live unfulfilling lives denying their true feelings because of limited options set before them. To marry outside the church is “wrong” compounded by a scarcity of normal males in the church. The only suitors remaining are emasculated types who have endured the rigors of a feminist environment, groomed for the weddings of our discouraged daughters.
After ministry, I started noticing more and more fishy handshakes. Something didn’t feel right. I had been at the top of church hierarchy with the popularity of a Pope and now sat at the very bottom alone. I stepped down from ministry but might as well have been sacked. I saw people whispering about me in the corner of my eye and on one occasion turned to see a person glaring at me. What’s happening? I felt isolated and under suspicion but for what? I didn’t belong with my minister friends and I didn’t feel like a normal church member. Is this why the overwhelming majority of pastors who leave ministry leave God as well? I prayed and screamed at God on top of a high mountain till exhaustion; then it came.
I regularly talked to a bunch of non-Adventist guys online who expressed their frustrations about their churches. I found my experiences matched their’s and despite theological differences, we had something in common. We hated going to church. They kept using the abbreviation “WMHGC” which I soon discovered was the book Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow.  I ordered the book and couldn’t put it down. On every page I was audibly saying “yes!” (my wife complained and said to keep the noise down…ha!) I began to see new things, and Murrow’s book put into words what I was experiencing. It didn’t turn me away from my Bible but showed me scriptural themes I hadn’t considered before – Biblical masculinity (more on this later).
Women’s Values Trump Men’s Values
I began to experience what the book was saying in my work as a Family Law Mediator and at church. Being involved in legal family disputes, I saw unfairness and how men and boys got raw deals in most systems. I was having an awakening. The indoctrination of feminism saturates everything in our lives in a matrix-like illusion. This wasn’t Murrow’s point but it triggered innate masculinity in me and I saw how much church men supress this  in a system that rewards niceness and passivity.
In the church we need to re-discover masculine virtues. Feminism has destroyed anything that has to do with patriarchy and made it taboo (feminisms true goal isn’t equality but a better deal than men).  The church unfortunately has been infected with the cancer of feminism and has begun fostering an environment  that upholds women’s values over men’s. The image above shows two lists of values I use when taking seminars. The only difference is I don’t show them as male or female when placed up. With a show of hands I ask congregations which list of values represents Christianity most of all? Unanimously in every church the right set are chosen. Then I reveal to them their choice and many are stunned. So in a church that is branded a “patriarchy”, both men and women see Christianity in terms of female values. Why is that?
I ran a men’s support group out of my Mediation office and it was very popular. A mixture of Christian and street men attended the group and it was there that I saw stark contrasts between the two. The non-Christian men had been bitten by a biased family court system, making feminism’s worth crumble as they were violently thrust into taking the red pill. The church men followed the blue pill  script and quickly became unpopular in sessions when extolling the virtues of the effeminate. I admired the non-Christian men because they had not lost their ability to discern when their manhood was being eroded. I was embarrassed by the church men because their approach was almost always proclaiming undying loyalty to the feminist systems which hurt them, and they didn’t get it.
At our annual Adventist Camp I talked to men about the things I was experiencing. One thing that stuck out in particular was that most said their best friend was not an Adventist. I managed to organise a meeting under a tree and found many had been going through similar awakenings. We made a list of men’s issues that needed addressing, one of which was the absence of men  in church and the rapid exit of our sons.  We presented our concerns in a letter to the Conference requesting to set up a Men’s tent. To our surprise they accepted and allotted us a tent to reach out to men the following year. WACMEN was born. 
We started doing camps and men’s day outings  calling ourselves Western Australian Christian Men (WACMEN)  with a newsletter informing the churches of men’s activities. The tent consolidated us and provided a base to work from. Most men liked what we were doing but pastors were our biggest opposition. One morning a pastor stuck his head through the flaps and said we were a bunch of women, then quickly retreated. Another pastor was invited to the tent but said “men are bastards, why would I want to promote misogyny?”
Effeminate Adventist men have sharp tongues and get away with insults because they don’t expect anything to happen – and it doesn’t. This unusual behaviour displayed by emasculated Christian men is puzzling for non-Christian men  who often asked, “Why don’t your men support your ministry?” One church male said to us, “Why do you hate women so much?” I would never have seen this side to Adventist men if we didn’t head down this road. It was a phenomenon that mystified us and something that would raise its ugly head later. But we pressed on and eventually won over a few pastors who were able to influence others.
Soon the conference offered us incorporation with a yearly budget. This was exciting and we got busy using the money to promote Men’s ministry with more yearly events, camps  and training . Our new name was WAAMM (Western Australian Adventist Men’s Ministry) and it was the first Conference in the world to incorporate a laymen’s Men’s ministry.
Invitations to attend churches or Conferences across Australia started to flow in. We took services and afternoon programs for many churches and introduced what was a fairly new concept to Adventism. I preached a series about why we are not attracting men, losing our boys and how this impacts growth.  We always encountered positive rapport with the youth who were wide eyed at the visuals and graphics used.
I drew from General Conference data some very confrontational stats which left congregations silent. Many later said, “We never knew this stuff, why are we not being told?” I didn’t know what to say except that they should ask their pastors.
The truth is most of our leaders fear negativity about church growth and loss  thinking they have a duty to present only positive stories keeping members in the dark to sombre realities. 
At the end of services people filed out to shake our hands and guess who were our most enthusiastic supporters? (it wasn’t men). And now guess who were most offended standing apart at the luncheons casting dark looks and whispering? (it wasn’t women).
Church men opposed WAAMM more than women. I know it’s unreal.Women loved what we were saying and swarmed us asking how they could help. The saying, ‘two things are certain, taxes and death’ omits a third: complaints by white knights  about Mens ministries. Calls started flowing to the Conference president who was told we were saying things against women. We recorded our services and there were too many witnesses to give credibility to these silly allegations, but the president being pressured told us to simmer it down. The conference grew nervous and tensions arose within WAAMM.
Church Men A Different Species
The problem is that gelded men  think by singling out feminism we are attacking women. But modern feminism is becoming disconnected from women. Nearly half of women think feminism unfairly blames men  and there are a growing wave of women against feminism.  But in church, men are overwhelmingly its most enthusiastic supporters?
Take for example recent data on Women’s Ordination. Surveys show  that more women are opposed to it than not. This was corroborated by another denomination  showing that their women opposed WO  more than their men. Did we have more women opposed to WO at the 2015 GC than men per capita? Don’t feminist men find this odd? You are defending something that most women don’t even want, showing the depth of conditioning and alienation from your own species.
It seems silly to argue against what our eyes are telling us. Everywhere we look, men are in charge of business, politics and the church – are we not in the grips of a Patriarchy? How can feminism be affecting the church when men make up most of the leadership?
Well, many have been saying for a long time, the anomaly can only exist when men in those positions have abdicated  and are actually doing the bidding of feminism. In the church as in society, feminism has made more inroads  than we care to admit, but being in a blue pill matrix we just can’t see it.
The church may look patriarchal but looks can be deceiving. Who are these powerful men we see through the office windows? Does it mean that men dominate the inner sanctum? Or is it a harem and they are eunuchs  doing the bidding of their masters? Many don’t want to understand this because the blue pill life is easier. The red pill is painful to swallow and cuts across ambitions and deals frankly with us. Blue pill  poppers call for equality between the sexes and abdication of traditional gender roles because they are viewing the giant Hollywood screen  where everyone is being oppressed by white men. But I digress.
What Happened to WAAMM?
Tension continued to rise and instead of following Matthew 18, leaders fielded evil reports and told us to change or else. These cowardly calls took their toll on what was a layman’s movement, now controlled by fear. I regretted incorporating WACMEN. Pressure to conform to the Christian Nice Guy  image saw WAAMM cease to celebrate masculinity  to flagellating ourselves on weekends on how to serve women better. Other independent Men’s ministries  were subcontracted, introducing tears and confessions to bring out our inner misogynist. I stepped down when I couldn’t go along with the diversion from the original idea.  WAAMM broke up and its key players retired, handing it over to softer men who dismantled it and put it under the Family Ministries department.
Looking at my old WAAMM shirt hanging in the closet however, I feel a sense of accomplishment. We were pioneers in an unpopular ministry that pushed the boundaries for men and boys in the church. Now men’s ministries can be had in most churches  and Conferences  in Australia. And while many follow a feminist style, the movement is at least taking root.
So when people ask what I’m doing besides exposing the problems of our church, my answer is more than many realize. The hundreds of hours spent in long weary sessions grappling with how to move forward amidst suspicion. How we documented everything including a job description for Men’s Ministry coordinators in local churches. We created manuals on camps and Mens groups. We spent years leading men through change while experiencing opposition and “unfriending” as a result. The lockouts, the mistrust and having to deal with “white knights” caused a lot of trouble for us. We were just a bunch of guys from different walks who came together for one goal — to inject into the church a sense of Biblical masculinity which has been lost.
The Bible describes heaven in terms of negatives, “eye has not seen, ear has not heard” (1 Cor 2:9); “There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain” (Rev 21:4), because it’s outside the realm of our experience. Such is the case with biblical masculinity, it’s so rare that few recognize or even know what it is. Church men raised under the apron of a matriarchal system, bear little resemblance today of the biblical hero’s we read about. From the earliest years we are fed a diet of “niceness” upheld as the goal to be attained if you wish to be like Christ.
When teaching our children about Jesus, we emphasise His softer virtues and ignore his radical and dangerous side. The WWJD concept (what would Jesus do?) is a classic example. When thinking how Jesus would react in a sticky situation, we skip over the radical options (like when he drove out the money changers from the temple), and instead envisage passive responses at the expense of our true feelings. Inadvertently, we develop a weak picture of Jesus who normal men can’t identify with.
Geoffrey Urbaniak and Peter Kilmann  in 2006 had women analyse 191 male answers to a questionnaire designed to measure their niceness. Proponents of ‘nice guy’ stereotypes argue that women want to date sensitive men but this is a deception. The researchers found ‘nice guys’ had no advantage at all in attracting women.
When presenting a ‘nice Jesus’ we are not considering the impact on our boys who need to see his masculine side too. Jesus was the Lamb of God but also the Lion of Judah. He not only appealed to women but to rough fishermen and Centurions. The goal of Christianity is not about being as nice as possible, it’s about doing the will of our Father, which means not being nice at times.
Everyone would agree the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz isn’t a normal Lion showing courage and no fear. Isn’t it just as unnatural then, to see a church man not exhibiting characteristics that we associate with being male? The church needs strong men to step up to the plate, “men who are as true as steel”  someone once said.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals.” 1 Corinthians 6:9.
The Red Pill for me is a positive metaphor for understanding the pathway towards what it is to be a real man. In a world of gender confusion many will seek to criticise men rising up and re-discovering their lost God-given manliness. I have outlined my personal journey here and am not alone. Millions of Christian men are now waking up to the void created by feminism in our churches. Thankfully there is a new worldwide emphasis on men’s issues and the cancer of feminism is being exposed. Now isn’t the time to get in touch with our feminine side as the world would have us believe, it’s time to return to our Biblical roots and become what God has created us to be – Men.
Danny Bell – lives in Tasmania and has a BA Theology Degree. He has been a pastor for 6 years for the Seventh-day Adventist Church; a state School Chaplain for 2 years, a Family Court Mediator for 5 years. He has also been editor and regular contributor to papers like, Trench Mail, The Mashup and other online Adventist and Christian publications. He is a Men’s ministries pioneer, helping establish it in the Adventist church in Australia and runs a man-friendly church near his hometown. You can contact Danny Bell here: firstname.lastname@example.org
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