Thursday, July 22, 2004
The Church of Mike Seaver
Ok, raise your hands if you remember the 80's family sitcom "Growing Pains" which featured the Seaver family. It starred Alan Thicke, Joanna Kerns (where oh where is she now?), Tracy Gold, Kirk Cameron and eventually a young Leonardo DiCaprio (here's the IMDb site for the show). Ok, now I want you to specifically recall teen heartthrob Kirk Cameron, seen in the pic on the right (along with that young Leo).

Now then, I'm not sure how many of you know whatever became of him, but he recently came up in a conversation with a group of my friends (I believe we were watching an old episode of the show). Someone suggested he had become a super-Christian and was now making his livelihood by spreading "The Word of God". We all seemed somewhat surprised, and then the conversation ended there.

Well, as it turns out he surely is, as I just found him on the local Christian channel about half an hour ago. I was locked into an interview with him and couldn't take my eyes off. More importantly I was *stunned* as he preached that folks like me were going to go to hell because we hadn't opened our hearts to Christ. Now, I'm not one to get offended by this kind of thing....I believe in a 'live and let live' sort of mentality. To each his own, and if that's what makes you happy then I am happy for you. But man alive, the guy was on the show to promote a video he is selling, and his website called "The Way Of The Master". His video actually teaches people how to go out into the streets to approach others in order to preach Christianity (to quote: "The Foundation Course is Step #1 towards leading your loved ones to the Lord. It will teach you how to overcome your fears and show you how to circumnavigate a person's intellect" YIKES!!). He shows ways to talk to people and how to get them to listen to what you have to say about God . And ya know what? I find that damn creepy. I have no problems with Christianity or any other religion, but I don't like when people get in my face to sell me their brand of God. If I want to know, I will search it out. Go ahead, click on Kirk's site and you'll see that the tour starts with him asking if you are a Christian or not. I was brave enough to say I wasn't.

Anyway, I'm not here to bash Kirk or Christianity. In fact, I often watch people like him on tv and kinda envy their extreme faith. My faith, to say the least, is not that strong. However, I don't appreciate his brand of's designed to strike fear in your heart (according to him I am going *straight* to hell) and that's hardly a way to win a person over to your religion. On his site he actually says: "Does the fact that you have sinned against God scare you? It should." No, Kirk. YOU scare me.

Let's take an example of a Christian whose program I secretly love to watch (oy, I shudder to think of the reactions I'll get for admitting that). From time to time when flipping through the channels I happen upon Joyce Meyer on the Christian channel. And I don't know what it is about this charismatic woman, but I love to listen to her preach. Why? Because first of all, she doesn't shove her idea of God in your face. She is damn funny, and tells a wonderful story. Her stories are examples of things in life that anyone can identify with, and then at the end she gently ties it back to the Bible, and sights specific examples. Oh, and did I mention? She's hilarious. She tells it like it is with a sharp wit and no nonsense approach. I like her and her style, and she doesn't make me feel uncomfortable and she doesn't threaten me with hell to get me to listen. Now if only she could talk about the Torah for a while, I'd SO be there. *wink*

And another positive word for my Christian friends; there was another time when flipping past this same channel that I stopped to listen to a pair of evangelists discussing Israel. They were promoting tourism and telling Christians to not be afraid of what they see on the news, for it is often overblown. They were telling Christians that Israel needs their support now more than ever, which couldn't be more true. So to those evangelists, I say thank you. Thanks for helping promote Israeli tourism by getting the word out. :-)

Who knows....I may already be in hell. The temperatures here in Toronto were a sweltering 41C (that's 105.8F) with humidity at 70%. (hey, if I wanted it this hot, I'd live in Israel, damnit!!) I can't even begin to describe how nasty that a big ole wall of sweat when you walk out the door. You're moist as soon as you make contact with the air, and the air is THICK making it murder to try and breath. Blecch. I'm so happy the temperatures are dropping over the next few days.... now if only we could send all this rain to those who need it.

UPDATE: I have checked into Joanna Kerns (mom Seaver) to see where she is now, and as it turns out she will be directing the tv return of Growing Pains (cleverly named "Growing Pains II: Home Equity")!! Seems the cast is coming back and filming began this spring (it looks like it's a tv movie). Perhaps we will see the Seaver family again this fall! The plot outline reads: "The Seaver parents try to sell their house to retire but Mike and his sister Carol try to block the sale. However, Ben needs the sale with his job now as a real estate agent. Chrissy just wants her parents to move so she can become a singer.". Eek! I can hardly wait.