Preacher Whose 90% of Sermons are About How to Have a Great Marriage Warns Audience Not to Make Marriage an Idol – Kerry Shook Update and Irony Alert
If the words “marriage” or “married” were removed from Pastor Shooks’ vocabulary, would he ever be able to give another sermon ever again? I have big doubts.
With about 44% of American adults now single in the USA, can preachers really afford to keep ignoring singles and singleness and keep giving these stupid marriage sermons?
(Sept. 2014: The adult, American population is now over 50% single. There are more singles than there are married people in the United States. See this link: Statistics Show Single Adults Now Outnumber Married Adults in the United States)
I always feel a wee bit mean criticizing Shook, because he seems like such a well-meaning, genuinely nice guy.
This almost qualifies as a comedy post. Usually I get hopping angry when a preacher is giving another marriage sermon, but coming from him, I tend to roll my eyes or laugh at the absurdity of it.
Most of Shooks sermons are about marriage. No, really. Here are a few examples.
You see, Shook’s sermonizing on marriage is so frequent, when he finally does a sermon that does NOT discuss marriage, I am so in shock about it, I have to blog about it, like here:
(Link): Shocker: Kerry Shook Show Last Night NOT About Marriage
And, when I was looking for a clip of tonight’s Shook sermon for you, I came across this other Shook sermon, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before:
I have not been able to find a clip of tonight’s show on You Tube, but it is on his official site here:
(Link): The God Centered Life
Oh, it is on You Tube, okay, here it is:
(Link): The God Centered Life
“Idolatry is alive and well on earth. Learn how to avoid three of the most subtle, seductive and destructive traps. (#3175)”
—— end blurb from Shook site —
I sometimes have my television set on while I work on my computer. I had it on TBN as I was on my computer, and I heard parts of Shook’s sermon tonight (linked to above, embedded below). His sermons was about being “centered,” or something.
You have to remember (as I’ve blogged on before), this Shook guy preachers about marriage constantly.
Almost every other, or every third, sermon by him is about marriage. (Many, many other preacher are just as, or almost as, guilty as he is, though.)
Here’s where I discuss what I find ironic about Shook’s sermon tonight about being God centered. I only watched parts of it.
In the parts I did pay attention to, Shook drew a diagram of a wagon-wheel shape on a board and put labels on each spoke. One spoke got the “marriage” label.
Shook then told the audience that anything can take the place of God in a Christian’s life, even marriage. Shook told the audience to be careful not to turn their marriage (he added “if you’re married”) into an idol.
Oh goodness. How can a man who pontificates and lectures about marriage in almost every single sermon, who I’ve never once heard give a sermon about singleness, which implies, on his part, that marriage is more valuable than singleness, warn people about not making marriage an idol?
This reminds me of Christians who regularly treat adult singleness and celibacy like a second-class station in life, akin to biblical leprosy and treat singles like trash, who make marriage out to be better than singleness, and then turn around and SHAME adult singles who admit to wanting marriage themselves, or who actively pursue marriage (by joining dating sites, etc).
If you are going to constantly sermoninze and opine about marriage (and consistently ignore singleness and celibacy), you are creating the very idol you are warning people to be leery of. I cannot understand why evangelical (and other sorts of) preachers cannot see this.
If you preachers would stop painting marriage as normative for everyone, and as God’s highest, only or better plan for all humanity, and stop assuming everyone will get married who wants to (some of us want to get married but a spouse never entered our lives), there would be little to no need to warn married people against turning it into an idol.
By the way, let me mention what will not fix this for me:
1. Shook mentioning at the start of his next marriage centric sermon (this is typical of married preachers), “Remember, singles, this marriage sermon can be applicable to you too!”
2. Giving one token sermon on singleness in a year or ten year’s time (then cramming in the cliches about singleness being a “gift” etc, and assuming everyone who wants a spouse will get one, etc), and then reverting back to non-stop marriage sermons again.
Preachers need to preach REGULARLY about singleness if they are going to regularly cover marriage.
If you are a preacher and you sermonize ten times about marriage per year, you damn well better devote ten sermons to ONLY SINGLENESS per year, too.
If Shook has ever seen my blog posts, he may have to take his own advice from this sermon:
(Link): People who Ruffle Your Feathers (on You Tube) 😆
Here is the sermon video embedded where he warns married people not to make an idol out of marriage, which will replace God at the center of their lives:
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