Videos About Family Idolatry by Christians / Desiring Marriage is NOT Idolatry
If and when I find new video about Family Idolatry, I will likely amend this post to add the new links at the bottom rather than make a new post.
I was looking for some videos of pastors addressing the problem of the idolatry of family/ marriage/ procreation in American Christianity.
So far, I’ve not found that many. Out of the 3 or 4 I’ve watched so far, they don’t frame the issue in a way I’d like to see.
In the video with Tim Keller of Focus on the Family, he seems concerned only that Christian parents are doting on their kids too much; the same view was taken by some other pastor in another video.
Another pastor (Norbit), in another video, mainly seems to take issue with spouses who place spouses above God. He rants about how Satan may use your devotion to your spouse to distract you from serving God and following God’s will.
Norbit also goes into a strange tangent about how, in his view, some Christians use Jesus as a pagan might use a witch doctor. He chides them for looking to Jesus to get their needs met – which is an unbiblical view for him to espouse; we’re told repeatedly in the New Testament to look to God to get our needs met (financial, physical, or emotional). And I don’t completely get what the “witch doctor,” “church planting,” and “Hindu multiple gods” bits he gets into have to do with making a spouse into an idol.
Contrary to what this Norbit guy says at one stage in the video, serving people is sometimes how one serves God. (Norbit says that Jesus conveyed to Mary that Jesus came only to serve God’s perfect plan and not to fulfill what humans wanted or needed. I disagree with him, depending on how he means it, for God tells Christians it is sometimes God’s will for Christians to meet the needs of other people.)
All this criticism by these preachers of parents catering too much to their children, or of spouses doting too much on the needs of their spouses, is all very well and good, but what I’d like to see exposed is how exclusionairy and alienating family-, marriage-, child- centric Christian culture is for those of us who do not fit the “married with kids” status. But this point is almost never addressed.
I am waiting for some pastor to say from the pulpit,
- “To all the never-married Christians over the age of 30, to the divorced, to those celibates struggling with same-sex attraction, to the widows and widowers, to those married couples childless or childfree, I apologize on behalf of all American Christians who have either excluded you, ignored your needs, or who have repeated and maintained negative stereotypes against those who are not married with children. I am so sorry. This exclusion needs to stop.”
I had high hopes for one video by Bill White, but was annoyed with it.
Bill White admits in his video to being a happily married man with two sons (and I believe one daughter? I listened to his video only one time in the wee hours of the morning while half-asleep, so I don’t recall all the details).
Expecting White to scold Christians for ignoring the needs of, or stomping on the feelings of, never-married Christians or married couples without children, I was dismayed to see him telling infertile couples who desire children and never-marrieds who desire marriage that they are making an idol out of parenthood and marriage!
Gee thanks, Pastor White! As if we never-marrieds don’t get criticized enough already as it is in the chruch. Thanks for adding to the mistreatment even more! Much appreciated /sarcasm.
—- ANTI UNMARRIED STEREOTYPE —
By the way, this is a typical attitude (an anti-unmarried person stereotype) I see fostered by pastors and Christian authors often: they are under the misguided notion that each and every unmarried Christian who desires marriage is de facto, automatically “idolizing” marriage.
It’s just ASSUMED that every woman who is single has turned desire for marriage into an idol. This simply is not true. But it’s also a problematic idea, because these pastors almost never quantify exactly how much desire borders on to “idolization.” Telling me that it’s a “heart attitude issue” doesn’t clarify things much, either.
If I think about wanting to get married twice per month, is that idolization of marriage? Or is it ten times per month? Is it 50 times per month? Does it become idolization when I join a single dating site in a year? Or 20 sites? And who, other than God, can really determine when and where that line is?
—- END Discussion of ANTI UNMARRIED STEREOTYPE —
I think White tried to qualify his views by saying that if your need to have a kid or spouse is all- consuming that it’s a distraction from serving God, it becomes idolatry.
However, at no time do I recall White going out of his way to re-assure his audience that there is nothing selfish, idolatrous, or sinful about merely wanting to have a child or to be married.