Monday, August 4, 2008

Appealing To a Higher Authority

Submitted for publication byJessica S.

I am a Christian woman who watches Jon and Kate Plus 8 with great interest and even more hope that wholesome family programming still exists in today's world of sex, drugs and shock value. I was delighted to find the Gosselin brood on TLC and was further encouraged to see episodes that expressed their wishes to raise their family with a "mission statement" of showing God's love to each other and to others. I appreciated the fact that discipline of their children was seen as an act of love and not punishment, that church attendance was just an automatic part of their weekly schedule, and that the blessings they have received were viewed with thankfulness to God. Psalm 127:3&5 says, "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Jon and Kate surely seemed to have a "full quiver" and certainly seemed to be blessed.

However, just as my faith is not a blind faith and I am called by Christ to question everything so that I may not be deceived (Luke 21:8), my faith in Jon and Kate is not a blind one either and I questioned some of the things that I saw portrayed on the show. A red flag was immediately raised when I learned that the Grandparents on either side were not "directly involved in the children's lives". The answer given by Jon and Kate did not seem very forthcoming and rather secretive for a family who, up until then, had given the viewers a pretty un-edited view of the good, bad and ugly occurrences in their home. Still, I was willing to pass this off as a personal family matter that Jon and Kate were not willing to go into detail about in order to spare possible hurt feelings. Families can be complicated. Been there, done that, had the T-shirt that my mother said made me look fat and my brother borrowed two years ago and has yet to return.

I also cringed at times when I listened to how Jon and Kate talked to each other. Not because it struck me as odd behavior, but because it often reflected my own dialog with my husband. To quote Kate, "Lordy Be!" if I allowed a camera to catch all my snarks and snips at my hubby - sometimes in front of a preschool audience. If anything, I was thankful that this show held a mirror up to my own bad behavior towards my husband and children and helped me curb my tongue. Still, enough red flags had been raised in my viewing that I began to search the internet to see if I was alone in my concerns. In searching the web sites and in reading the comments, I see that I am not alone in the red-flag-waving department.

However, I may be alone in what I suggest is the solution. PRAY FOR THE GOSSELIN FAMILY. Often this is seen as a "last resort" but is should be our first defense. The Gosselin family are Christians. Flawed as they may seem to be, they have still proclaimed Christ as their Lord and Savior and in doing so answer to a higher authority than any of us claim to be. Jon and Kate have already said that they ignore all the negative e-mail and comments that come their way. If we are to believe that statement as true, then all the ranting done by their critics, no matter how well-intentioned, will fail to bring about any change on their behalf. James 2:12-13 states that we are to "Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement!" I submit to you that we need to show mercy to this family. It is very easy to accuse and criticize, but we should do the better and more productive act of "encouraging and building each other up.."1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Pray for Jon and Kate's marriage to be strengthened, pray for the health and safety of the children, pray for reconciliation between Jon and Kate and their parents and outside family, pray that any psychological issues that exist for Kate or any of their children be recognized and dealt with effectively and privately, pray especially that they draw closer to each other and to the God that loves them and that they are able to live out their family mission statement. I believe that, through prayer, we are appealing to an authority that can do immeasurably more for this family than any production company, advertiser or cable network can. "Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:13-16.
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klj27 said...

Wonderful idea and I agree that to pray and put a situation in God's hands is a healthy and comforting. Unfortunately we don't live in a society filled with people who are willing to do this.

JessieTYCG said...


You're right, unfortunately we don't live in a society that embraces prayer, but the Bible is filled with examples of just one faithful person willing to pray for change and God honored that prayer.

However, there is strength in numbers and I bet there is some group out there in cyberspace devoted to a prayer vigil for Jon and Kate. LOL! I know for sure that there is a petition started to get them off the air, so how far-fetched of an idea would it be to have an equally supportive campaign? Hmmm, for my own curiosity, I'm going to google "Jon and Kate prayer vigil". I'll report back anything I find. LOL!

Guinevere said...

Hmm, interesting piece. I am an atheist, so I'm pretty neutral on J&K's religious beliefs and the efficacy of prayer in improving any areas of their lives that may need improving. But it can't hurt! I would suggest perhaps including prayers for those that wish the Gosselins ill; these people really need to see the error of their ways and learn to channel their energies to a more positive outlet.

Anonymous said...

I understand Kate's parents are very religious and probably have been doing a lot of praying already.

anya said...

Mercy before judgement and building each other up. I believe this is something all of us - Christians and non-Christians alike -- can get behind.

I will include the Gosselins in my thoughts/prayers and try and work on my negative feelings about those people who pass judgement on the Gosselins.

Thanks for an enlightening post.

Linda said...

Beautiful post Jessica. Thank you so much.

beachluvin said...

As practicing Christians don't Jon and Kate pray for guidance and strength in their marriage? The story of the man and the flood comes to mind. God sends a neighbor, a firefighter and a helicopter but the man refuses all help citing God will save him. He stays in the flood until he drowns, when he arrives in Heaven, he challenges God and asks Him why He didn't rescue him. God replies, "I did help, I sent a neighbor, a firefighter and a helicopter".
The signs are all there for Jon and Kate but they refuse to acknowledge them. The lack of extended family, the deteriorating of their marriage, the meltdown of the children, that lack of privacy, the negative press and so much more. Their solution? Make more money off their children and run and hide. The all mighty dollar has ruined this family, they obviously don't see the signs and are hoping their faith will guide them but if they don't open their eyes, they will only see darkness.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog Jessica. I will pray for the Gosselins to find peace.
beachluvin, I beg to differ. I think they are searching for the signs. We see 30 minutes of their week. Lately, we have seen them bringing their children on trips that would not have been possible without this show.

MCB said...

Well, as a heathen lapsed Catholic, I'm a bit uncomfortable with religion being inserted (but that's my issue), but your heart is certainly in the right place!

Anonymous said...

Sheeple! Yea, right, the Gosselin's are Christians! And it is people like you who keep justifying and excusing!

This blog is pure sheeple.

I am glad you have found your place.

Now all you need is some Grandma from Kansas over here and you will be complete!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:141 pm said...

"Now all you need is some Grandma from Kansas over here and you will be complete!"

Can I get an Amen!!

Former GWoP Fan said...

Rather a sheeple than a pack of bitter, rabid wolves, hell bent on destruction.

The the venom in your message, coupled with the fact that once again, a poster from GWoP has resorted to immature name calling, proves that everything said over here about them is 100% correct, and I should know. I was there until your "super seekret message board" turned my stomach.

Also, the fact that the name callers are visiting and resorting to these tactics proves that being challenged is really starting to get under their skin over there.

I'm also not a religious person, but if the author feels that way, that's her prerogative, right? Who are you to insult her? Oh, I forgot. You are from GWoP. Bitter, angry, hostile. You guys actually kinda remind me of Kate.

Ephesians 2:10 said...

Great article Jessica. I will pray for the Gosselins on a regular basis.

JessieTYCG said...

Wow! Glad that my post has generated some passion on both sides. It's all good, and I appreciate a good debate of ideas. Keeps my mind sharp. So thank you for reading and voicing your opinions both in favor and against. I welcome a good conversation.

Here's some thoughts I had in reading the feedback so far. Whether or not Jon and Kate are really Christians, is not up to me to determine. That's between them and God. I can only go by what they have said outright. That being said, as Christians, our outside actions don't always reflect our inward belief. We don't always "bear much fruit" as is illustrated in the parable of the vine and the branches in John 15:1-17. Sometimes, we need a little "pruning" in order to "get right with God."

Jon and Kate are in a situation where they are surrounded by people in the business of making money through entertainment. Although there is nothing wrong with this in and of itself, producers and networks are not interested in Jon and Kate's spiritual growth. They are interested in making money. The goals of the producers often run counter to those of someone wanting to grow as a disciple of Christ. It's hard to be humble when you have people telling you that you're wonderful entertainment. It's hard to rely on God daily for your basic needs when you have trips and expensive perks handed to you with ease.

Jon and Kate could easily be blinded by the bright lights of showbiz. I would pray that God removes these blinders - "prunes" the weeds that have overtaken and inhibited their growth - so that they can "abide in Him". I have no doubt that my God can do this. To quote one of my kids' favorite Sunday School songs, "My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do for you!"

P.S. Am I missing something with the "Grandma from Kansas" reference? I need my Ovaltine decoder ring! LOL!

Guinevere said...

This blog is pure sheeple.


Now all you need is some Grandma from Kansas over here and you will be complete!

What do grandmothers and Kansas have to do with anything? I am not following.

Anonymous said...

From what I gather there is someone on another blog that calls herself Grandma when she posts.

Former GWoP Fan said...

Maybe the posters from GWoP are also pissed at Grandma's, or something? They DO get all those senior citizen discounts and freebies just because they're OLD. I mean, who do they think they are to get a 10% discount on dinner when all the bittercakes from GWoP have to pay full price?

Anonymous said...

Grandma from Kansas is a poster from the blog site.
She can be passionate in her defense of the Gosselins, that's all I know.

bigsis88 said...

Just curious-how does one know whether a poster is from "GWoP" or not?

Anonymous said...

I loved this post. I was growing weary of the negativity on other boards.

I will pray for this family.

This show frustrates me knowing that they are Christians and then seeing how they act which often appears contradictory to what the Bible teaches. Then they go around doing the church tours and talking about their life and how it relates to their faith. They wear the shirt, write the mission statement, pray at dinner..... It's uncomfortable. I'm a Christian too and I'm very careful how I live my life especially in the public eye.

I also have a problem with how much they appear to "take take take" and rarely (if ever) give back. Great example, if I brought my 8 kids with me to church week after week, I would feel obligated to help in the children's ministry at least once in a while. Get my drift? Baking cookies for neighbors at Christmas is just not enough. I would like to see some Christian behavior to back up their words. It seems that so much of what they do has only their interests at heart. I wish the show would not portray so much of them getting things but giving things as well. (And selling clothes in consignment is not giving.)

Anonymous said...

lol, former gwop fan...I bet kids under 3 piss them off too.

I like the show but I do wonder about kate sometimes...but really, it's none of my business what she does. And just for the record, I think she's a grouch sometimes but that in no way makes her abusive to her husband or her kids.

You would really have to be mentally ill the buy some of the crap they spew on gwop. That, or they know full well what garbage it is but get off on the attention they're getting.

MCB said...

How does one know if a poster is from GWoP or not?

Bitter hostility coupled with key words and phrases such as "sheeple," a name they came up with the describe anyone who doesn't agree with them, and "KON," a shortened, lazy way to refer to "Kate and Jon." Plus, there's the self-important superiority complex coupled with condescension and name calling that distinguishes their posts. Oh, and when we're not referred to as "sheeple," it's "you people," a phrase usually reserved for offensive and racist posting, but seems to have found a home with them, as well.

Anonymous said...

I think the people over a gwop could benefit from some prayer, also.

Anonymous said...


randibisme said...

I second that Amen!

Nancy said...

I am not a Kate fan by any means, but as a Christian I should be praying for the family. I know J & K say they are Christians but I don't see then ACTING like Christians on the show. Pile on those prayers, everybody, they can't hurt!
I am laughing at the statements about grandmas and GWoP. How do we know if any of them are grandmothers or not? GWoP was originally formed to "advocate for the children" and help get laws passed to keep reality show kids from having to work ungodly hours. I think some may have forgotten that purpose.

Anon said...

GWoP was originally formed to "advocate for the children" and help get laws passed to keep reality show kids from having to work ungodly hours. I think some may have forgotten that purpose.

Or maybe that's just the opinion of one or two blog admins and not even all the admins much less the whole blog? Or maybe just an inference drawn by some readers?

Etown mom said...

Jon and Kate and especially the children need all the prayers that they can get.

Amy said...

i just WISH grandma would get herself over here and talk some sense...she's got lots of wisdom to offer!

love you grandma :)

the GWOPers can barely stand a civil, positive conversation!

"anonymous"... PPLLLEEEZZZ

Amy said...

hi again...btw, i am "ambull" on the "imperfect parent" blogsite.

this is the site that "grandmafrmkansas" is referring to. "grandmafrmkansas" is her username.

she is very opinionated and has every right to be. IMO, she respects others fully until they disrespect her! she has children and many grandchildren, and often offers insight on certain topics...most ppl love hearing her stories! however, there are those know the ones that are fairly bitter and extremely petty, they call her names and make fun of her...SO incredibly disrespectful!

i don't believe grandma has ever posted on the GWOP...she's read it before, BUT chooses not to keep following up on that nonsense!

well, hope that helps...if you haven't been there before, you should check it out:

this is a great blog!

BEE said...

Jessica thank you for your post! I just stumbled onto this blog and it is refreshing to see that not all viewers of the Gosselins' show are negative and mean hearted!
I have and will continue to pray for the Gosselins and their families.