Thursday, November 17, 2011

Of Rob Bell and Bridezillas

Yesterday, I discovered two weird creations.  One was a book and one was a TV show. 

Early in the day, I began reading Rob Bell's book, Love Wins, and late at night I watched my first-ever episode of Bridezillas on Netflix, both of which prove two things:  I'm desperately behind the times, and our world is not improving with the passage of time.

Let's start with Mr. Bell.  I had heard things about this book, but wanted to read it for myself and form my own opinions.  I've seen a lot of his DVDs and, though they weren't particularly deep, I thoroughly enjoyed his creativity and his thought-provoking messages.  Plus, on a more shallow note, he always wears cool glasses. :)

Now, I do need to finish the book in order to see where he ends up, but my impression from the preface and first two chapters is that he has apparently allowed his creativity to go to his head and is now creating his own theology.  Wow!  I wasn't prepared for this particular guy to be so brazen in his twisting of scripture and mocking it at times while he's at it! 

The most ironic part I've read so far is when he quotes the scripture from Matthew 18, where Jesus said that people who lead children astray should have a giant stone tied around their neck before being thrown into the sea.  This verse often comes to my mind when I'm conversing with people who twist scripture, or pick and choose their few favorites and ignore the rest, because they are playing a very dangerous game if they are trying to convince others to think the same way, and I feel so very sad for them.  Yet, Mr. Bell seems to be implying that those who read and apply the Bible as a whole, precept upon precept, and teach their children to do so as well, are the ones in the wrong.

As always, his creativity comes shining through.  He's a talented and entertaining writer.  It's disturbing to think, though, how many people could be swayed by his ingenuity and not stop to recognize he's making things up as he goes along! 

If my opinion changes by the time I finish the book, I'll be sure to let you know. ;)  So far I feel sorry for him and anyone else he has led astray.  I have little hope that the rest of the book will redeem the erroneous, illogical beginning, but the optimistic part of me can't help but hold my breath and hope for the best . . .

So, the rest of my day was pretty normal, until later in the evening when I finally sat down to chill a bit before bed.  It was Kevin's late night at work, so I decided to watch a show I had heard of, but never seen, called Bridezillas.  Once again, I realize I'm probably the only woman in America who hadn't seen it, but I've never been bothered by that. lol 

Anyway, you know how they show a little preview at the beginning of the show?  I was only half paying attention as I let the dog out and then sat down and started grading Little Mister's school work from the day.  Suddenly, shrill screaming caught my attention and I looked up to see a "lady" (I use that term rather loosely) in pretty wedding attire screaming, over and over, just sitting there screaming.  I wondered what horrible thing was happening.  As the actual show unfolded, this girl screamed at everything--and everyone!  She was out of control.  And the other featured bride didn't scream, but yelled.  She yelled and cursed at every turn.
Really?  I mean, do these people call up Bridezillas and say, "Yeah, I'm a big jerk to everyone and I happen to be getting married, too.  Can I be on your show?"  Or maybe more likely it's the friends and family of these gals, who have enabled their atrocious behavior for all these years and are too afraid to practice tough love, who passively-aggressively call the show and tip off the producers on where the "best" Bridezillas are to be found! ;)

It was sickening.  My poor, tender-hearted spirit was assaulted! lol  Now, don't get me wrong.  I can be mean sometimes.  Just ask my husband and son.  Everyone can be and is mean sometimes.  I'm constantly asking the Lord to help me control my mouth, because I know how awful I can be!  But to flaunt it like that on TV, to make it almost a source of pride.  Really?  This is what we call entertainment?  Why?

I'm not seeing myself as standing on a TV soapbox here.  In fact, part of me totally wants to watch the second episode because I know the screamer's mom bought a white dress to wear to the wedding and I'm dying to see what happens.  That makes me part of the problem, doesn't it?

At least as far as what's available to watch on TV.

But I guess I'll dare to say I'm not part of the problem when it comes to how accepting the world is of children being raised to be so disrespectful and audacious.  Not that I'm a perfect parent by any means, but I'm raising my son to be a gentleman.  He doesn't always choose that now.  Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't (but it's dealt with when he doesn't). And he may go off in his own direction someday, as God always allows us to choose between right and wrong (and the blessings/consequences thereof), but if that happens, it won't be because he doesn't know right from wrong.  It won't be because he was taught that he is the only one who matters.

These two weird things from yesterday reminded me how the time I spent with Little Mister in-between them was vitally important.  Did I redeem the time? 

We as parents need to be nothing less than vigilant in teaching our kids what is true and right so they can recognize lies and deception, even when it comes from the most unlikely sources, like Rob Bell was to me.  I loved it yesterday when Little Mister and I were watching part of a History Channel show on ancient Egypt (because we have been studying it), and the narrator driveled on at one point about how such-and-such had happened millions of years before man walked upright, I heard Little Mister say to the poor, misled man, "Man has stood upright since the beginning, which was not millions of years ago, but 6-7,000.  Get it right!"  I love that he has that much confidence, though, of course, he would only be allowed to talk to a TV with that "Get it right" comment at the end. ;)

Confidence in the right things and in the right ways is awesome.  But the other part of parenthood that was driven home again to me as I watched Bridezillas (totally aptly named) was the importance of teaching our kids respect and regard for others.  In general, kids aren't born with that skill or the natural inclination to care for others as much as, let alone more than, themselves.  People who have been raised to think they are the center of the universe don't end up happy or fulfilled, and they certainly don't bring happiness or fulfillment to those around them!  Kids need to be taught how to speak and behave appropriately.  They'll make plenty of mistakes along the way, as will we parents.

But the outcome of families who try have GOT to be better than Love Wins (great title applied to the wrong message) or Bridezillas!!

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I love knowing what's on your heart and mind! Your thoughts, opinions, questions and ideas are welcome here anytime. Differences are respected as long as they are written respectfully! :)