TWO AND A SIXTEENTH MEN

Now that Charlie Sheen has left Two and a Half Men they are going to rename the show Two Men. (rim shot) It is reported that Sheen is suing the nation of Japan.  He’s upset that the Tsunami has replaced him as the biggest disaster on television. (yet another rim shot) It is disappointing to say the least that there is so much public interest in a train wreck like Charlie Sheen.  And by writing a blog about it, now I am guilty of perpetuating the perverse curiosity that seems to know no limits.  On the other hand maybe there is something we can learn from this ongoing side show.

Although I have admittedly never watched a whole episode of Two and a Half Men, I have watched 5 minutes of one which was enough for me to form an opinion.  I did however watch the entire interview Sheen did with Piers Morgan on CNN just after he got kicked of the show. Morgan in his typical self righteous manner asked Charlie, “So you’re running the network. How would you have reacted to the star of your number one family comedy, which is watched by families and liked by families, behaving off-screen in the way that you’ve been behaving?”  FAMILY COMEDY?  Is he on drugs too?  Sheen plays Charlie Harper a sleazy self-styled bachelor completely devoid of any moral fiber.  He and his brother Alan are raising Jake (Alan’s teenage son) together.  Sheen’s character’s lifestyle consists of drinking excessively, smoking cigars, womanizing, gambling, and wearing bowling shirts.  He sleeps in every day as money “falls into his lap” as he lives a life of free-spirited debauchery.  As a drunken womanizer he has engaged in decades of one night stands (and prostitutes) and never calls any of his girlfriends again after he has sex with them.  In other words, he plays himself.  He got kicked off the show because the network realized… he really was Charlie Harper!  How ironic is that?  In real life Sheen lives with two women that he calls the Goddesses.   But the fact that anybody thinks that this is a family show, watched by families, is what is most disturbing to me.

Some of us are old enough to remember when fathers were presented on television as the pillars of their families; full of character, integrity and wisdom.  Shows like, Leave it to Beaver, My Three Sons and Father Knows Best.  Today fathers are presented as bumbling buffoons, who are selfish, ignorant, manipulative, lazy and undisciplined fools. Think Homer Simpson, Ray Ramona or of course Charlie Harper. The comedic value aside, they are an embarrassment to our gender.  In a day and age that is desperate for good male roles models where do we turn?

In 1965 U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a report for then US President Lyndon B. Johnson where he warned; “From the wild Irish slums of the 19th century Eastern seaboard, to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: a community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future…that community asks for and gets chaos, crime, violence, unrest, disorder.”  Since that time we have failed to heed the warning and the role of fatherhood has been in a state of free fall.  The fastest growing model of the family is the single mother.  In Quebec over 60% of children are now born out of wedlock.  34% of all couples live common law.  Where have all the fathers gone?  Anybody can make a baby.  It takes a man to be a father.

There is hope however.  The very last thing God said in the OLD Testament was this, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.  And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Mal 4:5-6)  Often the last thing someone says is the most important.  There are few things as important as fatherhood.  God says He is going to restore the role of fatherhood to its rightful place.  Maybe the crash and burn of Charlie Sheen will provide motivation for some men to look in the mirror and dislike what they see.  In the meantime those of us who care about the next generation can endeavorer to live up to one of the greatest callings on the planet… fatherhood.

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21 Responses to TWO AND A SIXTEENTH MEN

  1. Jillian says:

    hi Pastor Mark;
    First of all, I love your blog. I’ve recently rededicated my life to Christ (I first became a Christian at age twelve, was practicing the occult in my twenties, and thankfully, came Home to God recently!) so am always glad to find blogs such as yours. I went to Church of the Rock once, for a memorial service, and really liked it. I’m considering going back sometime!

    I personally feel for Charlie Sheen. I’m someone that has Bipolar Disorder. It’s now treated, thankfully, and I’m a different person thanks to my medical treatment and to the Lord. But..when I was untreated..wowza. The person I was then and now? Two different people! The choices I made when manic and depressed were not good ones. I’m not making excuses for Charlie. Goodness knows, he has the money and the means to GET treatment. I just hope that he wakes up and realizes he needs it: and soon. I know his father, Martin, is a man of faith and has pulled him “out of the soup” before. I hope and pray that he, or someone, can influence Charlie to help him now if he can’t help himself. I hope that Charlie finds the Lord.

    I agree with you 100% about today’s families, and television. Since I rededicated my life to Jesus, I’ve taken a hard look at what I watch on TV and have “purged” most of it from my viewing. I watched “Two and a Half Men” once and wasn’t impressed on a few levels: lackluster writing and comedy as well as morals. The one that really disgusts me is “Family Guy”. Even though they put a disclaimer that it’s for “14 and up”, it’s marketed to kids and teens, and it’s really disgusting.

    Thank you for your blog, I hope to be in contact again sometime.

    Yours in Christ,
    Jillian

  2. Patricia says:

    American history: a community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future…that community asks for and gets chaos, crime, violence, unrest, disorder.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I am not sure what the statement means about a family being dominated by women. I am a bit puzzled. Because after wars that have been many families that had their Father’s perrish.

    I have seen broken homes that the Father and the Mother treat their children like they are tired “toys” rather than children. Some treat their dogs better than their children. I also blame the fact that we have taken God out of everything. Schools do not say his name, etc. The lack of order shows what God has said about their being caos where he is dismissed. We have people selling their children for a sly tongues of evil men and or women to be trafficked. It is depicted on Television as being good to be a serial killer.

    Some Fathers go and head right to couch and are consumed by trying to block out their busy workday of stress. Employers can fire you for needing a day off to pick up a sick child, etc. And don’t you dream of bringing them to work with you either. University will not accept the fact that you have a child that has the babysitter quit and you need to stay home with them. We have made our children a burden to society, when they are our greatest joys!

    I was widowed when my daughter was 18 months old. My Father was the Father figure to my daughter until he passed away. She always longed to have a Dad that loved and cared for her. The biggest favor we can do for these children is introduce them to Jesus and God to fill the void. For the true Father can fill the biggest hole in our souls from human sins of lacking as parents. A community and Nation also need to come together to say these children are not burdens. We have to stop how we destroyed the world and do not really care to have their parents leave work early. We have to start showing them that they matter and, in turn, they will show us the same respect when we are old and need their assistance in our weakest, most vulnerable age related illnesses.

    And don’t tarr all children or teenagers as being bad. For goodness sake, say hello and smile.

    I sometimes look at the problems that we have with children being Autistic and the time and efforts we have to put into them to get them to be able to do something as a sign from God for us to listen and love our children. All of them. Because they all, really need the about the same amount of attention, guidance and love.

  3. Evelyn Bennett says:

    How did you know I wanted to comment on Charlie Sheen so bad? Now that you blogged about it is it classified as pure gossip?

    For starters the world has made a mockery of what family should truly stand for. I for one have watched one talk show after another showing how fathers now a days feel. They truly want to throw in the towel instead of fighting for what is right and good.

    In all of this girls and women are being mistreated and told we asked for the reactions we get from men. Self esteem for men and women seem to be at an all time low.

    Christ fills our hearts with self worth.

    If the all time phrase in Charlie Sheen’s life is winning, I would prefer to be on the losing end.

    Any of you who is supporting his lifestyle by buying t-shirts, watching 2 1/2 men (royalties) and going to his one man show; you are truly losing.

    Charlie Sheen is the poster child for I do not care. He has thrown the towel on his own life. How about you? Are you worth fighting for? I believe you are. Jesus loves you and so do I.

  4. Steve says:

    Charlie needs love. I can see it in his eyes. Somewhere in there, he has a gaping wound that he’s covered over with drugs, booze and women. I think what would speak to Charlie most right now would be for the church to extend grace to the guy.
    I believe Charlie hates himself whether he admits it or not. You never know, this could be God knocking on his door. I would love to see God melt his heart.

  5. Mulinde M. says:

    Thank you for sharing this Pastor Mark. I actually read an article not too long ago that presented some surprising (to me at least) statistics about fatherless children and youth in America. Here are some of them:

    - 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
    - 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
    - 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God`s Children.)
    - 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
    - 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992).

    Indeed, where have all the fathers gone?

  6. David says:

    The Stats above are pretty impressive. I guess this shows why James said in his epistle, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 Kids need father figures, if not dads at least mentors.
    Charlie, not fatherless, seems more like the “prodigal son”, wasting his life in riotous living, while his father and older brother, Emilio, produce a movie about father & son, “The Way”. Pray for Charlie that he’ll find that it’s all just husks, husks, husks, nothing but pig slop.
    “In the meantime those of us who care about the next generation can endeavor to live up to one of the greatest callings on the planet… fatherhood.”–Amen! (Reminds me of the lesson you shared about parenting and Samson)

  7. Betty says:

    Very good, Pastor Mark.

    Well done, Steve.

    What a sad situation, Charlie Sheen is in.
    To be honest, I have watched ‘Two And A Half Man’.

    I think the program on TV. called, THE SECRET MILLIONAIRE, is a great way of showing everyone,how much Jesus loves us and cares for us all, no matter what situation we are in.

  8. Jusuf says:

    the sadness about family is an irresponsible men with big ego who just want ‘free’ in anything. Marriage is not about legal or just religion, BUT there’s a deep meaning about ‘Future Generation’ who hopefully these new generations have a better faith in GOD the Creator who pretty much responsible without own ego, but awesome love in HIS creation to give Jesus in saving many generations. Nothing wrong with single mother if and only her husband died.

  9. jake says:

    pastor Mark,

    I am not sure what your main tenant is in this blog. Is it about a famous person behaving badly or the increasing divorce rate and corresponding single parent families in society?

    Charlie sheen may be demonstrating bad role model activity for an impressionable society. Even worse his character as Charlie Harper on the sitcom two and a half men were he plays the role of an debauched ‘uncle’ on the series. I think most of the general population can differentiate the right from wrong in the fictional characters and that of our true life mentors.

    The increasing divorce rate and single parent homes in modern society have little to do with loosening moral fibers. Rather, I assume that the factors influencing them are: equality for women, tougher domestic laws, progressive legislation that leans towards individualism and more favorable socio-economic factors have allowed people to become independent and leave deplorable family situations such as the one being displayed in front our eyes by Mr. Sheen.

  10. Steve says:

    Just to let anyone know, if you’re on youtube, you can send Charlie a personal message that God loves him. His channel is CharlieSheenLive.
    People hate the guy. He needs to see that Jesus is real and He loves us no matter how bad we’ve been.
    When I read the story of the prodigal son, it shows me that God doesn’t even care what we’ve done, He just wants us back or in Charlie’s case to come for the first time.

  11. K says:

    What baffles me is how can someone who has access to almost everything in life would turn to drugs. Charlie claims his lifestyle is winning, yet he is turning to drugs to numb his true feelings. Is not this the reason that people drink alcohol or do drugs?You drink because you want to relax and forget about the pressures of life.Most of the time its not pressure, its low self esteem, guilt, humiliation, hurt etc. and the list go on. Which tells me that the more people turn to alcohol and drugs the more unhappy they are. Which brings me back to the fact that materialisn does not make anyone happy so don’t strive for it.

  12. Karen L says:

    It makes me wonder what we’ve come to, when we allow that kind of TV (2-1/2 men)into our home. There are a lot of people that think that is funny! I don’t get it.

    I thank God everyday for my husband. He strives to live his life and raise our children as God would want him to. I know that he is not perfect, and nor would I want him to be. AND he shuts off the TV when these shows come on.

    Charlie Sheen is a prime example of how we should not live our lives…Christian or not. The fact that we continue to be his audience is still the reason why he can still grasp attention like he does.

  13. Theo Lambrechts says:

    I have seen two and a half men. There is not much there in setting a good example. Think back to The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie. What a difference. What has happened to our society. One other thing, there are also a growing number of females who are doing the same thing as Charlie Sheen.
    Pray that every one who lives a life or wants to live like Charlie Sheen will have their eyes opened by the Holy Spirit and be shown a better life.

  14. rod says:

    Theo,

    I can remember those wholesome shows but they weren’t the sole programming. In the 70′s and 80′s there were tons of shows with questionable content. Such as, Three’s Company, The Love Boat, Charlies Angels and more. I don’t think that much has changed with society there will always be something to shy away from. We should try to keep perspective.

  15. J siX says:

    Why u hatin on the simpsons bro? homer may not be a great role modle but every episod he get what he deservis and every time he learns a lesson.

    there is not one episod in witch he gets away with yo. but hey just sayin…

  16. Sally says:

    What I have learned is the “sex sells” and the media has learned this very well. As for the moral fabric of society deteriorating, that has been a given for many years now. There has been the “dumbing down” of high moral standards and the wearing away of what used to be normal slowly over the past several years. Years ago one would never hear a curse word in the Media now it is acceptable. We have become “desensitized” to what is good, true and right and replaced it with the “anything goes” philosophy.

    From what I gather from Charlie Sheen and his sitcom is that he is displaying what the average person thinks a man is nowadays; an irresponsible, degenerate..so sad really because that is not what God designed men to be.
    I unfortunately had to sit through part of this show while visiting at someones home. In that brief time, I was subjected to seeing a woman portrayed as a sex object, drunkeness as fun,seeing a boy lying to his father and the men depicted as weak and soft. I was planning my exit when the kids came in and the channel to a childrens show for which I was very grateful.

    I have to disagree with what Jake says “that divorce and single parent homes have little to do with loosening moral fibres”. When the family breaks down it definitely does affect our society’s standards. Divorce increases poverty in women who mostly end up raising the children in single parent homes. The children raised under these conditions are at high risk for crime,immoral living addictions etc. further “loosening moral fibres”.
    Shows like “Two and a Half Men” perpetuate that it is ok to be divorced, ok to abuse women, ok to be drunk and disorderly,ok to raise children in dysfunction.
    I also have to comment on Jusuf’s statement that it is ok “to be a single mother if and only her husband is dead”.
    Most single parents and divorced people I know did not chose to a single parent or divorced but because of the circumstances in their lives have ended up in this situation. Jesus said that divorce was allowed because of the mens’ hardness of hearts. When men chose to walk away from their marriage and family so they can be “free” like “Two and a Half Men” portray; the after-effects are felt for decades in the lives of those who are left behind. Men under estimate how influential they are in the lives of their children and further genereations.
    God’s plan for the man is to be the head and not the tail.

  17. Jake says:

    Sally, you missed my point. “The increasing divorce rate and single parent homes in modern society have little to do with loosening moral fibers” not that increasing divorce rates cause a loosening of moral fibers.

  18. Sally says:

    There is a fine line between “the increasing divorce rates and single parent homes in modern society have little to do with loosening moral fibres” and that divorce rates cause “a loosening of moral fibres”. It is one of those “Catch 22″ situations…the more divorce there is the more the morals of the society breakdown. It is only when a society has a strong family unit that it remains strong with high moral standards.

  19. Cindy says:

    To Sally’s comment: “It is only when a society has a strong family unit that it remains strong with high moral standards.” What makes a strong family? First, Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” When there is disagreement and strife unity is broken and the way becomes divided. This speaks volumes to the clamoring and prideful noise of the self demanding its own way in spite of “family”. Jer. 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
    However back a couple of verses a promise: “Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out its roots by the river, and shall not see when heat comes, but the leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
    And finally, Psalms 127:1 “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.”
    The strong family is found in Psalm 128: “How joyful are those who fear the Lord-all who follow His ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear Him.”
    On a general note, I have wondered what relationships would look like if we individually and collectively chose not to let the media influence us with their portrayal of “normal”, and if we unglued ourselves from the one eyed monster that lives in our “homes”. I remember times when there was comedy on the tube and laughter in the livingroom. Now, there really is no reason to turn it on or to even have it in the house. Apologies to the sports fans out there. We could manage it like we do the oven. Turn it on only when and for how long it is needed. There is choice. It’s as if we’ve lost our will to fight, to take a stand, to hold to a higher standard, to make waves or be the wave, to be the salt and the light. We’re up against, how dare we hold up the standard of the cross. It is foolishness to them who do not believe and a point of argument or disagreement that we should even speak of such things. After all we’re all free agents living in a free society and can pretty much do anything and what does it matter who gets trampled or tried out on the way to what ‘I’ want. Going with what is or seems to be is way easier, isn’t it? It’s just easier to go with the flow. Salmon would have no offspring if they did that.

  20. Jake says:

    Sally,
    well, what can I say? other than I disagree with you. I would also argue that millions of members of non-nuclear families would as well.

  21. Judy says:

    we have long lost the roles God created man and woman for. But that is why we were given Easter. To resore mankind to God. God’s word say’s that as it was in the days of noah so it will be in the last days Well I believe we are there now. We are in the mist of a spiritual harvest that has never been seen before. If the harvesters don’t get busy many will be left behind. Get your eyes off Charlie Sheen, the movies, TV, your favorite so called star and back to where it should be. Back to the purpose of winning the lost back to Christ.

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