views and thoughts on topics, especially ones pertaining to christianity – with an emphasis on how most christians either ignore or discriminate against unmarried christians – and how christians have turned marriage and parenting into IDOLS and how there is no true support for sexual purity, virginity, or celibacy among christians – this is a blog for me to vent; I seldom permit dissenting views. I don't debate dissenters ————-
The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement
This may be the start of a series. I may do more posts like this as I come across more examples. I kind of already did a part one a couple of years ago (Part 1). This post was not the Part 2 I had in mind, not really.
The things this post covers pertains to one of my big pet peeves as related to men, dating, marriage, culture, church, and relationships.
First, here is the story, (and then below, I’ll analyze or comment why this bothers the hell out of me).
Over a year ago, I watched an episode of the TV show “Restaurant Impossible,” hosted by Chef Robert Irvine on Food Network.
This married couple owned a restaurant that was failing financially, so they had Chef Irvine come in to rescue their business.
I don’t remember all the details of the show, the couple, or their restaurant. I don’t remember their names or where they were located. I cannot recall if both the husband and wife wanted the business, or just the wife did, or what.
The wife was having a nervous breakdown from all the stress of being a restaurant owner. She was running all aspects of the restaurant by herself (with a small staff who helped cook), but the vast majority of the responsibility for the restaurant was on her shoulders.
Although the wife kept begging her spouse to help her, because she was at a breaking point, he would not help her. He would sort of promise or act like he agreed to coming in more often to help, but he would bail on her.
If I am not mistaken, the husband did not hold down a regular job at this time. I think he had quit his regular “9 to 5” job to be in the food business with the wife.
However, the idiot (the husband) spent all his free time chasing down his passions and hobbies, which included stuff like parachuting out of planes on weekends with other men as part of a World War 2 para-trooper re-enactment group, and I think the guy was also part of a barber shop singing quartet the rest of the time, or something.
“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.
Kerry Shook ‘Shark Weakness’ – yet another marriage sermon
(EDIT MAY 11, 2014: This “shark week” marriage sermon series is being repeated tonight on TBN)
(EDIT Feb 1, 2015. The Shook shark marriage sermon was re-broadcast on TBN tonight. While everyone else is watching the Super Bowl)
I really was not going to blog today. I had no intention of making a blog post on this blog today. None.
I saw the first few minutes of Kerry Shook’s show. He’s a preacher based in Woodlands, Texas.
His sermon for the day (and it might be a series, so he might be doing this next week, I’m not sure) is called “Shark Weakness.”
As I have said before, Shook seems nice enough, but he is woefully negligent of pastoring the singles who may be watching him on television. (If the guy has a twitter account, I may tweet him with a link to this post, or one of my other posts about his marriage-centric habits.)
Shook said in the introduction of today’s show that it’s a sermon about marriage where he is going to offer married couples advice on how to avoid ‘drowning in the deep waters of relationships’ or something.
Right now, Kerry and Chris [Kerry’s wife] want to say thank you for your support by sending you the entire 3-part message series, Shark Weakness on DVD for a gift of any amount!
Shark Weakness Bundle
DVD & CD series, One Month to Love book & His/ Her coffee mugs
When you share a gift of $120 or more to help keep this kind of teaching coming to you and others, we want to say thanks by sending you Shark Weakness on both CD and DVD.
Plus, we will also include Pastor Kerry and Chris’ new devotional book, One Month to Love, and His and Her coffee mugs to help you remember to keep your romance alive.
Why would any couple need “his and her” mugs to help them to remember to “keep their romance alive?” Do owning “his and her” mugs prevent divorce? I mean, what the?
Marriage isn’t for shallow waders? Neither is single adult life.
Do you think living life solo as an adult is a walk in the petunia patch? It’s not.
In the introduction of his televised sermon today, Shook then offered the obligatory comment all adult singles dread but know to expect: “And hey, you singles out there, you can still benefit from this sermon” type remark.
He said to the singles, “if you think you might want to get married some day” (dude, I’m in my early 40s, what makes you think at this point it’s going to happen?), that (I am para phrasing), “this sermon can still help you, not only with marriage, but in any relationship.”
Okay, dude, devoting yet another sermon to marriage and rattling off the old stand-by that “even singles can benefit from this here lecture” does not change the fact you are ignoring singles to cater to the marrieds – and doing so for the billionth time!
When is Rev. Shook EVER going to do a sermon for singles past the age of 30, and them alone, and then look into the camera and say,
“Hey, marrieds, this sermon may be for the UNmarried, but you can still benefit too. You know, with divorce rate being at 40% – 60% for marriages, and 70% for second marriages, there’s a good chance you marrieds may be single again real soon!”
Also, when preachers say (and I’ve seen other preachers say this, not just Shook),
“And hey, singles, this sermon can still benefit you, in your relationships with co workers, roomies, sisters, bosses, your landscaper, your aunts, and your local grocer,”
-then what in the holy hey is the point in deeming it a “marriage” sermon?
You know that the guy predominantly covers marriage. Marriage marriage marriage.
Last night, the topic of his show was actually NOT about marriage.
His show was about death and Heaven. Shook interviewed some guy who said he died, went to Heaven, and came back again.
I’m not sure, but I think Shook said this is a sermon series, and that for the next show or two, he will be discussing Hell too.
But I bet as soon as this death, hell, and heaven series is over, he’ll return to sermonizing about marriage. Again.
It does not seem to occur to this guy that upwards of 45% of the American adult population is single, which includes NEVER MARRIED adults who simply cannot relate to non-stop marriage pontificating.
But for one show at least, he stopped yapping about marriage to discuss something that affects all humans, married, divorced, widowed, or never married: death. Hooray!
Related post this blog
Kerry Shook Devotes Yet *Another* Show / Sermon to Marriage
There was a repeat tonight (August 19, 2013) of a Kerry Shook program (preacher from Texas) on television. It was first broadcast earlier today.
Holy freaking cow. Nine out of ten times when I see this guy’s show (which is almost every single week), the sermon topic is about MARRIAGE.
Tonight was no exception. Shook has an ice cream truck with the words “Good Humor” on it on stage behind the pulpit. The sermon theme was called “God Humor.” (That is not a typo; he calls the series “GOD” Humor, not “GOOD” Humor. *sigh*)
Shook had two guests on, who each talked about marriage. The first guy was named Matt. He talked about how his wife felt neglected, he told the husbands how they are to lead their wives, but most husbands drop the ball on this. I have to correct this guy: your wife is an adult. She is not yours to lead.
Gender complementarians – and I would assume Matt is one – wrongly believe they are a woman’s “spiritual leader” and should stand in the gap between their wife and God, which is nonsense.
The Bible teaches no such thing.
Women are grown-ups. They are adults. Gender complementarian (traditional gender role) teachings that many Christians love to believe as true and biblical infantilizes women.
Your wife is not perpetually a three year old toddler who needs you to act as her guide or her daddy. She is quite capable of making her own spiritual choices in life, and any other choices.
The other guest on Shook’s show was named Colt, I think. He talked about being married, and I tuned out the rest of what he had to say.
Anyway, when are preachers like Shook going to realize upwards of 45% of the U.S. population are single, and he might have several single adults in his congregation who don’t need to hear these insipid “how to strengthen your marriage” sermons and pep talks every other Sunday?
In the years I’ve listened to this Shook guy -and he seems quite nice, don’t get me wrong- but I’ve not once heard the dude discuss how to have a great un-married life. Does he not realize that almost half the American adult population is SINGLE????
Edit. If you want to watch or listen to this Good Humor Marriage sermon thingy, you can check it out on the Shook site here:
(Link): Real Win
From the Shook page about this sermon series:
Discover how God has a sense of humor when dealing with His children. This series will make you smile as Pastor Kerry reveals God’s work in the lives of some great Bible characters and how their lessons in spiritual growth apply to you.
From what I saw of this series so far, it did not make me smile. It made me frowny-angry. 😡
———————————- Previous posts this blog:
Kerry Shook on Marriage AGAIN. About not letting your flame die down.
Every time I mean to take a break from this blog, I come across material that fits the topics I cover here. So I blog almost non-stop these days. My apologies to anyone who follows this blog and is tired of getting 154 notifications per day.
Kerry Shook, TV preacher out of Woodlands, Texas, is giving a sermon tonight about how not to let your light burn out, or how do you rekindle your flame, or don’t let the flame die down, or something having to do with flames and candles. He has a candelabra on stage with him.
It’s bad enough Shook is giving his 899,435th sermon on marriage – does this dude never sermonize on anything else?? – but he opened this marriage sermon with that cliche’ preachers love to use.
Shook told the singles (paraphrasing), “Be sure to take notes on this sermon, because it will really help you out one day, it will spare you some heartache,” and to the married couples, he said, “Be sure to take notes.”
You see, it’s a variation of the old saw that starts most marriage sermons, when the preacher even bothers to acknowledge there might be singles in his audience, by saying, “Pay attention to this sermon on marriage, you singles, because though you’re not married now, you will be some day, and this will come in handy.”
—————————————————– Related posts this blog
I was pleasantly surprised to see one or two of Kerry Shook’s sons mention tonight on a Christian program that instead of looking to starving people in Haiti as examples of who to serve, American Christians don’t need to look any farther than the person sitting next to them, or living next door.
What a nice change from the usual “send us funds to build water wells in African villages” spiels one usually hears on Christian shows.
Shook’s sons were saying there might be people you (remember, their primary audience is Americans living in the United States of America) run in to every day, or who live down the street from you, or who work with you, who are going through a difficult time and could use your help.
Ironically, I’ve heard Native Americans and some black people say they regard Christianity as being a “white man’s religion.”
It seems to me that a lot of white, middle- to- upper- class American Christians have turned that upside down, to turn Christianity into a religion only for inner-city, dark-skinned, impoverished, or third- world- nation people.
I don’t recall Jesus Christ saying that His religion, or that care and compassion, are for everyone except for white, sober, middle class Americans – but that is how a lot of white, middle class Americans behave.
In short, if you are a white, sober, middle class American going through some sort of problem, say, you are in grief from the passing of a loved one, you’ve been laid off from your job, your kid is robbing banks, or you’ve been divorced- whatever- and you go looking to another white, middle class Christian for emotional or practical support, you will usually get none.
They will even tell you that because you don’t have life as difficult as Africans who lack in-door plumbing or a homeless junkie down town, you have no right to support, compassion, or encouragement.
Galatians 6:10 and Matthew 7:12 are not in their Bibles.
Related post, this blog:
Pastor Kerry Shook is pastor of a church in The Woodlands, Texas, and he has a weekly television series. He seems like a genuinely nice guy.
I have watched most of Shook’s television shows over the last few years. It seems that about 90% of his sermons pertain to marriage and how to have a better marriage.
In tonight’s episode, the topic is once again about relationships. Shook used the word “relationship” in the sermon a lot, and the sermon stops to show a segment where a middle aged man is interviewed about his relationship with his elderly father.
However, the rest of the show, the word “marriage” is specifically used several times.
Again, Shook seems like a genuinely nice guy, but many of his sermons revolve around marriage, such as sermons about how to be a better spouse, or how to understand your spouse better.
I have yet to hear Shook give a sermon to the people in his audience who are 40 years old or older and who have never married. Heck, I have not even so far heard the guy give a sermon devoted entirely to singleness for any age group, for those over or under 40 years of age.
I don’t think these pastors, and lay persons in churches, realize just how much they ostracize never-married Christians and make them feel excluded. The non-stop emphasis on marriage (and parenting) is totally alienating and off-putting to never-married people who don’t have kids.
————————– Related posts this blog:
Here are a few suggestions as to what I think Christian pastors and Christian talk show hosts should (or should not) preach or discuss when addressing Christian singlehood.*
Sex, Sex, Sex and More Sex
I think sex is one topic that Christian pastors need to stay away from when talking to or about singlehood, or they need to stop lecturing about it as often as they do.
Anytime pastors or Christian personalities (such as people who host Christian television shows) do bother to address singles (usually they’re fixated on married life, unfortunately), it’s usually nothing more than to issue dire warnings about not giving in to sexual sin.