Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stripper Pole at Church?

A friend of mine posted an article over at Taber's Truths about a story that he had read at The Christian Post about a pastor who chose to use a stripper pole as a prop for his upcoming sermon series about intimacy in marriage. My friend got riled up about this, and it got me thinking. Do I agree with my friend that this was nothing more than a classless display by a preacher who is letting today's culture dictate how he runs his church? I am not sure.

Ohio Pastor Puts Stripper Pole Next to Pulpit

With a bed and a stripper pole next to his pulpit, a pastor in Ohio is all set to begin a series of sermons on sex and relationships beginning Sunday.

Ready to start a new sermon series called "Battle of the Sexes," Pastor Mike Scruggs at the Light of Word Ministries in White Oak, Ohio, has put a stripper pole, video games and sports equipment on one side of the pulpit, representing what men desire. On the other side, he has set up a bed with candies, teddy bears, roses and a bottle of wine to depict what women want.

On all Sundays in April, Scruggs will share about best practices in bedroom, keeping intimacy alive and the need to build and maintain trust. "Right now we're having single people having too much sex and married people not having enough sex," he told Fox19.

Scruggs admits some could get offended by his message. "We push the envelope, that's true," he said.


Is This Wrong?

Some people might be thinking, "Gasp! A stripper pole in God's house?! That is horrifying!" Some people might be thinking, "It is probably not an actual stripper pole. It is simply a prop. I mean, it is not like the preacher is going to have dancers up there twirling at church." What do I think? I fall somewhere in the middle.

I want to think that the pastor has good intentions. Given that he is displaying "guy's guys stuff" on one side and "fluffy-girly-romance stuff" on the other side, it is clear to me that he is trying to make a point about how each gender desires for what they consider ideal situations or things, possibly rather than desiring for their spouse directly. Realistically, sexy and provocative are what many men desire.

You may be thinking, "...but a stripper pole at church?!"

You can say anything that you want about how sin, lust, adultery, etc., are wrong. However, they are all out there, and it is a part of life. Lust is a very successful sin, for that matter. Our own pastor said recently that he cannot even going to the mall for clothes with his small children without seeing "sex" everywhere trying to sell something to the public.

Sexy is out in public because it works.

Every human is a sinner by nature...and should it not be every Christian church's desire to reach those people (everyone) and encourage them to make better choices? In this case, I believe the choice is to love and desire your husband or wife and not to go looking for satisfaction in other places.

Yes, it may be that standing a pole at the front of the building is a bit extreme and could be for shock value. However, if the media attention caused by that shock value brings in one man, or one woman, or one couple, who may not have come otherwise, if they wind up hearing God's Word and having it speak to them, and if it does something positive for themselves or for their marriage, then was it worth it?

What do you think?


  1. I saw this on Duke's site. I didn't comment on his, because I've been chewing it over in my mind for a few days.

    My first thought was "Ha! That sounds like something my church would do!" The more I think about it, I really don't think it's that big of a deal. Paul used crass language (that doesn't get translated well into English, unfortunately) and God commanded the prophets to do some crazy stuff. It seems like God is okay with shock value.

    I think if people are drawn to Christ through odd reasons, then it's ok (within reason! And where do we draw that line? I don't know, but I don't think a stripper pole is too far. Strippers--yes, stripper pole--no).

  2. In my own opinion, I really don't think this is a good idea. If this is the ONLY topic to get someone into church, I believe they are there for the wrong reason. When I was in the military long before I was saved, I used to go to strip joints and get drunk quite a bit. Now that I am older, I am a little embarassed about it. The men that aren't embarassed may start thinking about some of things that happened in the past. So I think some men will feel a little umcomfortable and some will be thinking unappropriate thoughts. I don't think any of the older ladies want to here about stripper poles. The ladies under say around 45 or so, well I won't speculate. I don't know. What I do know is my 11 and 12 year olds sit with us during church and I don't want them to hear about the pole and the other stuff. So I really don't think this topic would really be very beneficial. But I will agree with your last paragraph. If it does lead to someone being saved, I would say it was worth it.

  3. Hi my friend. I didn't realize you had posted this. Good job, including the header tags which we talked about. Call me a fuddy duddy, but the day I put a stripper pole in my church will be the day I wear spandex in Walmart.

    Love you bunches!
    Pastor Duke

  4. It seems perfect for a married couples seminar . . . seems like it would take the focus off of God at a worship service.

    Kurious Jo (you don't know me I just took up your offer on AQ) :)

  5. Thank you for your comments, All. Duke, hopefully we will not be seeing you on peopleofwalmart. Kurious Jo, thank you for coming by!