Gag Them

We’ve been having a lot of fun with the silliest thing. A while ago we needed a roll of adding machine paper so the kids could plot the relative distances of the planets from the sun. It turns out you can’t buy just one roll, so we ended up with a dozen. Not wanting to waste these, I hoped we’d come up with some other uses. Well – we have!

Amanda has been making all sorts of signs – in mirror writing, and taping them in our bathrooms so they can be read from the mirrors. We’ve also found this paper makes the perfect timeline strips, and we’ve been creating a “Transportation Timeline” with art prints for the different modes of locomotion. Paul’s favorite way to use this paper is a game we play at his reading lesson. Each day I write the words he needs to read on a strip with a lot of space between words. Paul thinks of a place he’d like to visit and we pretend that he is making a journey from our home, to the airport, and through all the steps until he reaches Mongolia or wherever he wants to go that day. If he misses a word he has to abort the journey and start over again at home.

But today I came up with what I think is the best use of our adding machine paper. It should be used to make a gag for the man I heard interviewed on the Moody Broadcasting radio station while I waited for my son to finish his piano lesson. I’m pretty sure that I have never heard worse advice about dating from anyone. Dr. Cloud, the author of How to Get a Date Worth Keeping, claims to be a “dating coach.” It’s hard to know where to start in telling why I found this man so troubling, but here goes. He has not the smallest understanding of God’s sovereignity, rather believing that we are responsible to do everything ourselves. He does not think the church is a good place to meet a potential spouse, since you don’t really get to know people at church anyway. (Just what kind of church does he go to?) He feels people should not date to find a spouse, but to have fun. Limit yourself just to those whom you would consider marrying? No way, Dr. Cloud says. You need to be open to all sorts of people, since you might be surprised whom you would hit it off with. Differences between men and women and their roles? Maybe, but nothing significant. And so on.

But I didn’t know whether to be more troubled by this fellow or the woman who was interviewing him. She threw softball questions at him instead of helping her audience think through the what this man was really saying. She made inane comments like, “I guess we evangelicals have just been too afraid of having any fun.” Tim has heard this interviewer before and says her main goal seems to be promoting her guests’ books, regardless of merit. I’m afraid this is just too representative of the depths to which today's evangelical community has sunk. (My husband won’t even use the word “evangelical” to describe himself anymore, as it is too laden with conformity to the world.)

OK, I'm just kidding about using my adding machine tape to gag people; I do believe in free speech. But where, oh where, is the gift of discernment in the American church?


Rebecca Nugent said…
Amen, Anne! It is UNBELIEVABLE the reactions I get from people when I talk about how dating is not just for fun, but should be for the purpose of choosing a husband/wife. God help us if we can't have our fun at the expense of someone else!
mrsd said…
Too bad you couldn't have sent him 'home' for getting the dating questions wrong. ;)
Anne said…
LOL. That's a great idea!

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