Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain – on ‘Christian’ TV Shows

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I cringe every time I hear Christian hosts use the name Jesus as though it’s an exclamation, because it sounds dangerously close to taking His name in vain.

“Pastor” Rod Parsley, whose show airs on TBN, is perhaps most guilty of this.

If you’ve read my previous post on Parsley, you know I don’t even think that man is a Christian.

I do try to avoid his show, but every so often, while channel surfing, I pause to watch a moment or two. It’s kind of like the proverbial train wreck you can’t help but stare at as you go by.

About anytime I do watch, even for a moment, Parsley frequently interjects the name of Jesus. That is, Jesus with an exclamation point at the end.
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Jesus Wasn’t A Democrat, Either

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I really detest the attitude of some Christian pastors, who lecture their congregations and television audiences, that “Jesus was not a Republican.” Well, you know, buddy, Jesus was not a liberal (or “progressive”) Democrat, either.
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Greed at TBN

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Sometime within the past 4 or 5 days, I was watching an episode of “Behind the Scenes,” which is a daily TV show on network TBN.

The show was being hosted by father and son team Paul Crouch Junior and Senior.

That the people of TBN -the station owners as well as many of the “Word of Faith” pastors who have shows on TBN- are a little too interested in money is something already pretty well known.

The appeals for fund raising on TBN usually run along the idiotic, over-used line of telling people if they “sow a (monetary) seed” in TBN (or with one of its television ministries), that God will reward the giver with more money (Pat Robertson of the “700 Club” show uses the term “reciprocity,” which is just another way of saying “sowing a seed” – in other words, it’s another name for the same con job). Nothing new there.

I watched only part of this episode before feeling disgusted and having to change channels.

Here is where the appeal for funds took a change of tactic.

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“Come on! Come On Now!” – overused on TBN

I watch a lot of Christian network TBN, which is not to say I necessarily agree with all its content.

(At least for a period of a few years I watched a lot of TBN programming. Beginning a few months ago, I grew tired of it, so I do not watch as much Christian programming as I once did. Unfortunately, it seems as though about 90% of TBN’s programing, as well as that of other Christian networks, such as Day Star, consists of these WoF/Prosperity charlatans.)

I particularly abhor, distrust, and despise WoF (“Word Of Faith”) and “Prosperity Gospel” teachings. Anytime one of the WoF or Prosperity guys come on the television, I quickly change the channel.

Starting a few years ago, I noticed that the various hosts on TBN over-use certain catch phrases.

One can frequently hear the hosts encouraging or praising other guests or pastors by exclaiming, “Come on!,” or “Come on now!”

The occasional “come on” or “come on now” is fine, but these TBN folks use those phrases about 100 times every other minute. I do wish they’d come up with something else.

I guess standard, tried- and- true Christian catch phrases such as “amen” or “hallelujah” fell out of favor, or aren’t “hip” enough.

Ageism and Singlehood: Ask Amy Columnist

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The woman responsible for writing the “Ask Amy” advice column (let’s call her “Amy”) issued an apology today, after receiving a lot of critical letters, although I have to say it wasn’t much of an apology.

(I will reproduce the “Ask Amy” letters much farther below.)

Amy’s apology came across as rather half-hearted and “jokey.” It would’ve helped if she was more contrite, serious, and sincere.

Amy does not seem to realize or care that it is possible to be critical of the “cougar” trend without insulting or degrading women who are over the age of 40.

I am still in my late 30s, but I find the ageism against women (and men) over age 40 appalling.

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Ageism and Singlehood

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One thing that disturbs me as a never-married woman who is in her late 30s are the number of ageist comments I see on the internet and in advice columns telling women who are 35 or older that they’re “too old” to get married, that no man can possibly want them.

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Five Things Single Women Hate to Hear

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I spotted this on what appears to be a secular blog, flyguychronicles.com, but I think Christian females should be able to relate to it.

Five Things Single Women Hate to Hear

by Julie D. Andrews

Every time she hung out with her single female friends, the same gripes surfaced. Enough already with the how-to-snag-a-guy advice streaming from anyone and everyone as soon as status single was announced, they said.

Suddenly, Karin Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Concordia University Chicago, found herself keeping track of what these single women were saying, replacing the strict academic research techniques she was used to with more informal polling.

What she found was a deluge of well-meaning advice being issued to singles that, while offered with the best of intentions, not only wasn’t working but was making singles’ skin crawl.

“The message to singles tends to be that they’re doing something wrong, ‘You’re too this’ or ‘You’re not enough that.’ Being single is treated as this problem that needs to be solved,” says Anderson. “That’s really bogus. We should be telling single women, ‘You’re fine. There’s nothing wrong. Enjoy your life.’”

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Desire for Marriage is Idolatry?

Desire for Marriage is Idolatry?

Recently at a Christian site, I once again ran across the annoying assumption or implication that desiring marriage is idolatry.

I was reading through a Christian site the other day, bible.org, and decided to skim through their Q&A (Question and Answer) section pertaining to marriage.

Someone wrote in to the site to say that she had a never-married 33 year old female friend who was feeling rather hopeless about the situation. (Her question can be viewed here.)

This friend wanted to know what she could say to cheer this friend up.

I’m sure the Christian fellow who responded, Bob Deffinbaugh, meant well, but one idea he tossed out there was to say, essentially, that the 33 year old woman had better be certain that she desired God above all else.

Deffinbaugh seemed to imply that if the 33 year old was desiring marriage at all (or perhaps he meant to convey if she was desiring marriage more than she was desiring God), that God would never send her a spouse.

I have to disagree with this assessment for a few reasons.

Continue reading “Desire for Marriage is Idolatry?”

Cannot Stand Rod Parsley – Greedy Pastor

Rod Parsley is one of the “Prosperity Gospel” frauds on TBN, and he has his own daily television show.

I was channel surfing today and watched a little of his show “Breakthrough.”

The topic of the program was fear.

The end of the show wound up being an appeal for money.

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Christian Heresy Hunters, Discernment Sites – some musings

Christian Heresy Hunters, Discernment Sites – some musings

I do think there is a need and a place for Christians who teach other believers about false teachings and to expose false teachers for what they are.

I do not consider it sinful, wrong, or automatically unloving for a Christian to judge or condemn the unbiblical teachings of other Christians, especially that of prominent pastors, and to publicize it on the internet.

I do, however, have a few misgivings or problems with such sites.

Continue reading “Christian Heresy Hunters, Discernment Sites – some musings”

Annoying: Some Married Women Including Some Infertile Ones

Annoying: Some Married Women Including Some Infertile Ones

As I was saying in a previous post, I do try to be sensitive to other people’s problems, but my patience gets tried at times.

I get quickly irritated by married women who are very vocal and extremely emotional about wanting to be mothers, and yet they cannot get pregnant.

These married women should, in my opinion, feel grateful that they are at least married, but they complain and weep bitterly on other people’s blogs, forums, and on TV shows that they cannot get pregnant.

I never hear infertile, married women express the sentiment that “I feel glad that I at least I have a husband.”

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People’s Insensitivity: “Just Get Over It”

Over my life, I have come across insensitive people.

The sort of people who you confide in because you’re upset, worried, frustrated, or have a broken heart, and instead of replying with empathy, support, and words of love and encouragement, they belittle, criticize, or judge you.

This letter to the advice columnist “Ask Amy” (that I’ve posted below) reminded me of insensitive people I’ve met before, including my sister.

There’s also a fat preacher on TV who sometimes yells at his congregation (and I find this somewhat annoying),
“Are you still angry or hurting over something bad someone did to you ten, twenty years ago? Well, GET OVER IT!”

I do admit that there’s a grain of truth in that philosophy of “getting over it.”

I do believe that some people hold on to past hurts way too long (I’m guilty of this at times), and it’s better, for your own sake, to let old hurts go.

At the same time, I find it kind of irritating when people scream at other people to “just get over it.”

Being wounded and hurt by other people is something one has to work through, and it usually takes a long time to do so.

There’s usually no such thing as instantly “getting over it,” so anytime I hear someone bark that line (or something similar to it) at wounded people, I want to smack them.

Here’s the letter to Ask Amy:

    Dear Amy: How would you respond to someone whose answer for everything is, “Get over it!”? 

    I have a friend who throws that phrase around constantly. I can’t confide anything to her or describe a problem a friend may be having, because her response is always the same: “You need to get over that, and fast.”

    I feel as if she’s telling me that my worries or concerns are not real and that I’m wasting my time even thinking about them.

    Some of my other friends have completely dropped her because of her callous phrase. They got sick of hearing it. I’m almost at that point too! I would never tell her to “get over it” if she came to me with a problem or a sad story. How can I tell her how rude she is? — Almost Over Her

    Dear Almost: From time to time, readers will suggest that I should tell people who share their problems to “get over it,” but I maintain that people who reach out are trying to “get over it” by looking for some guidance and support. Sometimes they just want to tell their story in their own way and feel they’re being heard.

    You are correct that this person is diminishing and denigrating you. What you don’t know is whether this phrase is an accurate reflection of her low opinion of you or more a terrible rhetorical habit.

    Before you drop this friend, you should do her the favor of saying, “When you tell me to ‘get over’ every issue I choose to share with you, what I hear is that my questions and problems are very trivial and that you don’t really want for me to be in a serious friendship with you.”

    You should give your friend an opportunity to explain herself. Perhaps she will even try to modify her behavior. If she can’t (or won’t), then you will join the legion of her former friends.

Boundless Asks: Is Boundless Biased Against Single Women?

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After skimming over various articles at Boundless, especially the ones about single Christian females who are over the age of 25, yes, I’d say they’re biased. I try to avoid their site.

Here is a link to a page at their blog:

Is Boundless Biased Against Single Women? by Suzanne Hadley Gosselin

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Topics Preachers Should or Shouldn’t Mention When Discussing Singlehood

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.

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List of Christian Singlehood Annoyances, Part 2

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Things Christian Singles Find Annoying, Part 2

Continuing on with the list…

4. Christians/Churches Who Do Not Acknowledge Singles

(or not often enough, or not in a meaningful way)

Related topic:

Things Christian Pastors Should or Should Not Say When Discussing Singleness

Churches or television pastors who ignore singles, and who frequently preach about family, marriage, and parenthood, can be annoying.

I’ve never been married, I’ve never had any children, so I don’t find these topics pertinent or very interesting.

Sermons about married life or child rearing wouldn’t bother me so much if not for the fact that pastors rarely address the problems, concerns, and needs of singles. If there was more balance, it wouldn’t be as objectionable.

To such pastors, I’d like to remind them:

Married people are not the only people on the planet or in your congregation.

Continue reading “List of Christian Singlehood Annoyances, Part 2”

List of Christian Singlehood Annoyances, Part 1

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There are some things I find annoying about being a single Christian person, and I thought I’d write about some of them. I may edit this post in the future as more cross my mind.

Most singles can probably relate to most of this list, but some are specific to me and my views, tastes, preferences, and experiences.

Continue reading “List of Christian Singlehood Annoyances, Part 1”

Annoyances of Being a Christian Single

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You might enjoy a list put together by someone else (I don’t agree with all the views expressed on their list):

Surviving Church As A Single

(from
“stuffchristianslike.net/2009/06/550-surviving-church-as-a-single/”)

The Surviving Church as a Single Scorecard

2. Your church has a singles ministry but it’s combined with the college ministry which creates opportunities for conversations like this:
Student: “My roommate bought a microwave for our dorm room. I love being a Freshman!”
Single: “My 401K is underperforming.” = +2 points

3. Your church has a singles ministry but it’s a triad that combines college, single adults and divorce recovery. = + 3 points

4. Your church has a singles ministry but it’s the dreaded quad, combining college, single adults, divorce recovery and retired widowers that refuse to move to Florida. = +4 points

5. Someone pays you the world’s most backhanded compliment, “I just don’t understand how someone as great as you isn’t married yet.” = +1 point

Continue reading “Annoyances of Being a Christian Single”

Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault

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I disagree with some of the positions of the “marriage mandate” crowd, including those of Debbie Maken, who wrote a book about the issue.
I intend on posting more content about the ‘marriage mandate’ perspective in the future but thought I’d start with excerpts from a good review of Maken’s book and view.
(Link): 30 and Single? It’s Your Own Fault [ by Camerin Courtney]

There are more unmarried people in our congregations than ever, and some say that’s just sinful.

From Ms. Courtney’s article:

By that October, they were engaged.

Following the path afforded by her ethnicity (she’s Indian), she [Debbie Maken] signed up with an Indian Christian Web agency to find a suitable suitor and, aided by her parents’ watchful care, started e-mailing a man in July 2001.

Now happily married and the mother of two young girls, Maken drew a map—in the form of her book, Getting Serious About Getting Married—to the Land of Marital Bliss. She hopes to prevent her daughters and countless single women across the country from having to experience any more “unnecessary protracted singleness.”

….In later chapters, she addresses the well-meaning advice handed to singles in Christian circles—such as “just wait on the Lord to bring a mate to you” or “Jesus is all you need”—and deftly explains some of the erroneous thinking and theology surrounding each.

At her best, in passages such as these, Maken gives platitude-battered single women needed permission to admit, “I’d like to get married, and that’s okay.”

Unfortunately, these bits of trend-spotting and balanced synthesis are drowning in a sea of shame and blame.

Maken seems to think a vast majority of singles view their solo status as a special gift from God (a stance I’ve seen in only a fraction of the thousands of e-mails I’ve received as a columnist for ChristianSinglesToday.com, a CT sister publication), a notion the very subtitle of the book urges them to reconsider.

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God Sent this Woman a Husband

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Encouragement

Divine Guidance, Reassurance in Marriage / God Providing a Christian With A Spouse

A Good Guy

From the November 2008 issue of Guideposts magazine, a Christian publication

View original article here

A Good Guy, by Dawn Kuzel

I wanted to meet men. But not like this.

Friday night. It was getting to be my least favorite night of the week. At least on weeknights it wasn’t a crime for a 24-year-old single woman to stay home. But on a Friday evening if I plopped down in the den with Mom after dinner she’d say, “You won’t find the man of your dreams by sitting home with me.”

I knew that was true, but there wasn’t a single man who interested me at the fish, meat and poultry warehouse where I worked. And I wasn’t crazy about meeting guys at bars or clubs. In fact, maybe I’d just given up.

That Friday night I sat in my room, depressed. I’d looked everywhere for the man of my dreams.

I knew my mom was praying for me, but I said a prayer for myself, too: God, if you don’t want me to be single the rest of my life, you will need to bring the man to me, because I can’t find him!

Continue reading “God Sent this Woman a Husband”