Dear Lord, Please Make the Commercials Stop (or, my thoughts on week 2 of “The Bible” on The History Channel)

Can we declare holy war on the commercials? doesn’t elevate dating to holy heights by bringing God into the picture. It belittles God because it uses him to try to baptize what amounts to an online version of The Bachelor.

The whole concept of God taking time out from his busy schedule to match you with the that one perfect person for you is no different from athletes actually expecting God to intervene so they can win.

And isn’t it a bit–I don’t know–childishly self-centered, infuriatingly stupid, utterly non-sensical, to expecting God to steer you to that one special someone, your perfect match, when there are men and women across the world praying that God will

relieve them from starvation,

keep the rapists out of the village,

take the disease away,

give them children,

stop their depressed, suicidal, or anxious thoughts

give them a job, any job,

afford medicine,

etc., etc., etc.,

but the suffering continues anyway?

Yes, those looking for companionship should trust God to give them wisdom and discernment. I’m not cutting God out of the picture. I’m just saying he doesn’t act on cue because a match-making website implies that he does, provided you fill out the right forms and have a valid credit card.

Embarrassing western self-absorbtion. God molded to our image.

O.K. Now I feel better.

Anyway, as for the second episode….generally speaking, it was bad.

One a 1-10 scale–with 1 being “I hate it so much I want to pry my own eyes out of my sockets” and 10 being “Jesus himself couldn’t have done this good a job,” I’m coming in at about a 2. I’m willing to adjust upward .5 to allow for the fact that I am not their target audience. But still, today was tedious and…what’s a good synonym for tedious?

Some things I noticed when I wasn’t dozing off.

* Joshua is short

* They placed the Philistines 100 years after Joshua. Since the Philistine landed in Canaan around 1200 BC, the means the producers hold to the late date of the Exodus (If you need to ask, trust me, you wouldn’t care).

* They spent way too much time on Samson, but it became clear why: they are making him into a Christ figure. Samson gave himself up for his people in accordance with God’s will; he is chained to cross of wood; Delilah betrays Samson to the authorities for money and then feels guilty about it; his mother grieves for him at his death.

* I think the choice of focusing on Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jacob, and now portraying Samson as a Christ figure–and leaving out Jacob and Joseph–suggests that they are emphasizing OT figures commonly thought to prefigure Christ.

* Samson’s first wife was met with disapproval by his mother, but he claimed that his love for the Philistine woman was God’s doing–which looked too much like a commercial to me. (I can’t let this go, can I?)

* I have no more idea why they made Samson black than I do why they made Noah Scottish

Clive “David” Owen

* David looks like Clive Owen

Apart from all the many things you could pick on in this TV series, there is a bigger issue that comes to mind.

As I imagine people watching this show–maybe people unfamiliar with the Bible–I wonder if they are asking themselves, “What kind of God is this, and do I really want anything to do with him?”

And the hard part to explain is that the biblical episodes that the show more often than not gets right than wrong are those parts that depict the Israelites as tribal zealots whose God kills their enemies.

I’m sure this is unintentional, but did you catch the scene depicting the Philistine general praying to his god that he would deliver the Israelites into his hand so he could wipe them out? The Philistines and the Israelites are both portrayed as warring tribes who want to rule by violent means with the  approval an support of their god.

Anyway, I’ve pretty much checked out at this point. I will likely watch the rest to see how they handle Jesus, but my bar is set about as low as it can be.


Getting Jesus Right: 2 Quick Comments on Week 4 of "The Bible" on the History Channel
How I Would Have Plotted Out "The Bible" Series on the The History Channel Had I Been Asked (and I wasn't)
my last Patheos post...
Q: What Do Roma Downey and Writers of the Bible Have In Common? A: Neither Sticks to the Script.
  • David Dotson

    Meanwhile, those men and women are still starving, praying for children, jobs, needed medicine, etc. Where’s God?

    The question is just a useless as “Where’s Waldo?” Prayer makes no sense in any context, and neither does the all-powerful magician in the sky who is either incapable of fixing any of the problems people pray about or is incapable of giving a shit.

    But don’t worry boys and girls, everything is going according to His Plan.

  • Jill Hill

    The whole idea of WANTING to fall in love is very strange. Most of us find that falling in love isn’t as the result of an effort, but rather is something we find almost impossible to resist. I guess loving someone is a struggle for Christians. Go figure.

    • Lalala

      some might argue that “impossible to resist” indicates lust rather than love. There is a difference after all. Nothing wrong with wanting to enter into a relationship with some sort of thought and a care for whether the person whom you are going to spend the rest of your life with shares your values and beliefs…or lack thereof. Let’s face it passion eventually fades, so there’d better be something else keeping you two together otherwise it’s gonna get ugly.

      • Jill Hill

        Love just happens. it’s not lust. I know the difference between love and lust. So, you don’t think this is weird?: I see someone I am not in love with them, but want to be.

  • Lalala

    Just FYI, “Christian Mingle” isn’t owned or operated by any Christian church anywhere. It’s part of Spark Networks USA LLC,a secular corporate network specializing in niche marketing of all sorts. The assumption they are making is that Christians are watching the History Channel Bible show. Kinda like how beer companies assume people who like beer are watching sports programs, hence the reason beer companies pay the big bucks to advertise during the Super Bowl. Should non-drinkers get angry over that? Mind, I think most dating services are lame (let things happen naturally) but why single one out for ridicule?

  • bbbettybu

    What’s with the latest commercial when the woman says basically that she never knew how incomplete her life was until she met the guy. Now, is this a healthy way to approach a relationship? “I can’t be a complete person without a partner.” Isn’t that one of the reasons there are so many divorces. Because people marry to “complete” themselves. But, what is it that they are seeking for this completion? If you can’t stand your own company, if you aren’t okay alone, if you’re terrified to be alone, if you don’t have a life without the one, then these are all very codependent problems. Be okay with yourself first then look for another as an equal partner.

    • michiganpatriot

      bbbettbu……yes, Yes, YES!!! You’ve got it exactly right!

  • Hannah

    Wow. You are a sad, miserable man who doesn’t know God whatsoever. He is capable of caring about you being single and wanting a spouse AND about somebody starving to death. Christianmingle is a great website for Christians to meet somebody and fall in love and begin a family. STFU. Asshole.

    • Guest

      woooow! you are defending cm, a virtual place, But you insult a brother in Christ, telling him “S**U. A****e!!!???
      Should we say amen to that?

      • Hannah

        You can say whatever the hell you want to say. If it walks like an ass and talks like sn ass it is probably an ass. I am honest snd truthful and sick and tired of pious, judgemental, self righteous, critical, whining, complaining, nothing good to say bastards like this yahoo. So unbelievably sick of it so you can stfu as well.

        • jgal

          Honey, your soul could use a little work before you start a family.

          • Hannah

            lol Your soul could take that finger wagging and turn it right back around sweetheart. .

          • Hannah

            You know absolutely nothing about my soul. But thank you for reminding me that people like you need such a soul makeover that you’ll judge people and criticize their own soul without even knowing them. You need to ask God to show you what needs to be changed inside of you before you go around telling other people they need to change. lol

    • guest

      No you are wrong Hannah, Christianmingle is a bad place to find people, most of them are not honest… I met somebody and he was a lair, use drugs and have a crazy girlfriend and he put in his profile that he is honest…

      • DaisyFlower

        You may be partially right, but Hannah’s main point that it’s not mutually exclusive is right on. As a never married, middle aged woman who still desires marriage, I find this guy’s attitude on this blog page that God answering my prayer for a spouse is stupid because God would rather help starving people deeply offensive. Jesus said God notices even the bird that falls to the ground… if God gives a rip about a little bird, yes, he would also care that I sometimes feel lonely and would like a spouse. God’s compassion is not limited to only caring about homeless crack heads or African orphans.

        • michiganpatriot

          Daisyflower…….you have stated twice that you are “a never married, middle aged woman who still desires marriage”. I would like to make a suggestion. Learn to love yourself. Learn to be by yourself and be okay with it. Fill your heart with love for those you are jealous of, such as the crackheads and starving orphans. Find empathy within yourself for others. Find other things to fulfill your life. If you are to one day find that special person you will….most likely in your God’s time, not yours……but I can not imagine a partnership lasting when one partner is so filled with self defeating emotions as you harbor.

          Perhaps it is your God that is preventing you from finding that special person because he knows in your heart that you are not ready for all committing love? You appear, to me, to be filled with too much anger. Let it go.

          Don’t rely on dating sites that are filled with less than honest people. Go volunteer at a hospital…..a Humane Society……a home for wayward children…..Habitat for Humanity……a homeless shelter…..something that sparks your interest. And maybe you will find someone that compliments you. Just stay away from bars and churches.

  • Hannah

    Christian Mingle IS A BLESSING! God has brought so many people together on that website. Be blessed. Don’t listen to negative people. You’ll thank me later. Trust me. Or you can be miserable for the rest of your life just like these people.

  • DaisyFlower

    I agree, Heather. I find the Christian Mingle and E-Harmony commercials irritating, but the guy who wrote this anti Christian Mingle editorial must be married himself, he sure finds it easy to mock a tool some singles might need or want to help find a partner.

    When you’re over 40 and desiring marriage, such as myself, you need help finding a mate. Some may choose to use a dating site.

    Many of us Christian ladies were taught when younger (by Christian parents, churches, Christian dating books) all we had to do was pray, wait, and trust on the Lord and PRESTO, we’d get a Christian spouse by our mid 20s or mid 30s. I’m in my 40s and still not married, so that advice was a total sham and lie.

    But then the guy who wrote this page wants to mock people for wanting to use a dating site for help in getting married? I get that his particular gripe was with HOW the commercial was marketing the site, but there was none the less a snarky undercurrent of “Christian singles shouldn’t be using dating sites or praying to God for a spouse, and btw, you singles out there, I got married at 21 to my high school sweetie, neener neener, nah nanny boo boo” attitude to it. I hope he’s nicer in his other articles on this blog.

  • DaisyFlower

    One reason I find myself leaving the Christian faith after a lifetime is PRECISELY this stupid insensitive attitude reflected in the original blog post that God cares only about select groups (such as those dealing with starvation, hookers, orphans, and homeless men – but not anyone else who is hurting).

    I went through a death in my family that was terribly hard to deal with. When I went to other Christians for help in dealing with the death, rather than the support I needed, I got these dumb ass, insensitive lectures about how crack head orphans in Africa have it worse than me, so I was told in a nice way, in Christian-y langage to STFU and count my blessings and so forth.

    As a never married, middle aged woman who had hoped to marry, I find it very offensive that the blog page here describes my hopes and prayers about this issue (about hoping to get married) as being selfish or stupid or not important because it’s not as severe as “villagers trying to keep rapists out.”

    You may feel better after your little rant against a dating site, but you have made some singles who desire marriage feel cruddier.

  • DaisyFlower

    Ben G, the passive approach does not bring one a spouse. I know, I was raised to believe that, so I prayed, trusted in the Lord, all the rest of that crap, and I am still single in my 40s. It looks to me like some leg work (such as joining a dating site) is necessary to get a spouse, not “trusting the lord” or “waiting for God to bring that person into your life.” Many Christian women in their 30s today and my age (40s) are single due to these moronic teachings (be passive, pray, and wait on the Lord for a spouse, yada yada)… that, plus many of us were holding out for Christian men, but there are more Christian females than males. At this point, I am looking into dating NON Christian males.

  • DaisyFlower

    You are totally correct. Most churches either ignore adults singles or the ones who pay us mind run us down, assume we are homosexual, or losers or weird. They will funnel tons of money into young adults singles ministries but do nothing for older singles. If you are older (past the age of 30, 40, 50) and wanting a spouse, it’s left up to you. Christians refuse to pray that God send you a spouse, they will not introduce you to compatible singles they know for a date, so you are stuck having to use dating sites or going to bars to meet singles.

  • DaisyFlower

    @ BC, no God will not “see to it that it happens.” I’m in my 40s, was trusting God to send me a spouse, spent years praying for one, and I never got one. Teaching Christians that God will just send them a spouse if they believe/ trust/ pray or whatever is a lie and a bunch of crap and has led to unwanted protracted singleness for a ton of Christian women in their 30s and 40s today. It’s naive and unrealistic to think just “waiting or trusting in God” will provide a spouse – it won’t. You have to use human channels, such as going to bars, using a dating site, or having friends fix you up with singles

    • Ryan

      i dont understand your point in continuing to say this one thing over and over agian. If god is not answering any of your prayers, supposedly for years, why are you still even believing in him? Does it not occur to you that you might just be talking to yourself, under the name of praying?

      And why does signing up for Christian mingle improve your chances any more under “God’s” view? if he wanted you to be single when you were praying, why would he change his mind when you put an account on a “religious” dating site?

      it seems to me like you are putting to much faith in a higher power to bring you a spouse, but thats not how this works, you cant search for a husband. you just meet enough people and eventually you cling with one of them. Marrying someone because you feel incomplete leads to a depressing marriage in the future.


    take a really good look at how mark looks in those commercials-i think he might be GAY.

  • f.lemanmiller

    I am not a hater but if I were, these sickening Christian Mingle ads would be my favorite things to hate. PLEASE END THEM! And oh, just for the heck of it, let’s FINALLY, ONCE and FOR ALL, agree that religion is superstition and that THERE IS NO GOD.