Thursday, February 18, 2016

The hypocrisy of HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines of 'Fixer Upper'

Yesterday I looked at a popular HGTV personality, Joanna Gaines, and her testimony. She and her husband Chip are stars of a new show that are getting so many huge ratings it has sparked a revolution to find other Christians to put on the HGTV schedule. To this end, both Matthew West and Jen Hatmaker have been given series of their own.

With all the national attention given to folks who claim to be Christians, and have been given a platform to speak it or live it out for all to see, we should examine both their theology and their lifestyle to see if indeed what they are saying lines up with the Bible.

In Ms Gaines' case, her testimony was not biblical. That's what we saw in yesterday's essay. Today we examine the Gaines's lifestyle.

Some object to looking at how a famous Christian lives. They say, "Let them be! Their lives are private! We have no business looking at their home lives." Five years ago I received much flak for looking at how Beth Moore lives. More recently I looked at the IF:Gathering ladies to see if their lifestyles are as solidly biblical as they claim. (Answer: no). I learned early on that what a Christian says and what they do are just as important as their theology. (Acts 18:3, 2 Corinthians 5).

If there is a gap between what they say and what they do, this is hypocrisy. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy (Matthew 23:1-12) and warning the people not to become like them. "They do their deeds to be seen by others," He said. (Matthew 23:5)

We must look at whether a leader teaches what is true, and whether they live with spiritual integrity. If you want to be sure that examining the life of a teacher or Christian celebrity is biblical, listen to this sermon, "Why Integrity Matters."

That said, the Gaines say they have made a commitment to put Christ first. Well, have they?

From this excerpt from GotQuestions' essay "What does putting God first really mean?", we read the following,
Jesus’ life was characterized by submission to the Father’s will, service to others, and prayer. It is interesting to note that Jesus never pursued worldly ambition in any way and never pursued the glory of this world. He had every gift, talent, and ability to make Him the most famous and wealthiest man who ever lived. But there was only one goal that He considered worthy of His talents—the glory of the Father. 
This should be an example to believers. The time, resources, energy, gifts, and knowledge of God that we’ve been given should be used not to gain influence, make money, or fuel pride, but instead to multiply glory for the Kingdom (Matthew 25:14–30) and to save the souls of the lost (2 Corinthians 5:20) 
In my opinion, though the Gaineses say they put Christ first, they don't. I offer these thoughts for your consideration and meditation and leave the ultimate decision up to you. In other words, I am not making generally dogmatic statements, only that I have done the work of looking at what the Gaineses say and what they do and have come to the personal conclusion that they are hypocrites. The ultimate goal of this essay is a teaching lesson on, firstly, the importance of looking at a Christian's life as they live it as well as their beliefs as they state them, and secondly, as a lesson on how to discerningly do that.

There are two areas I am looking at in regard to the Gaines's lifestyle.
1. Their family
2. Their brand

Please note that I am not saying that it isn't OK to be rich. It is. I am not saying it isn't OK to be in business. It is. What I'm saying is that it isn't OK to pursue one thing and pretend to be another at the same time.

-----------------------Family-----------------------

Kids visiting mom at work.
Joanna: "If I could get a couple hours alone to do this work, that'd be great.
Chip: OK, I'll take the kids
Mom & dad leaving the kids to go to work
Joanna: Mommy & daddy are going into town to meet with clients,
so Grandma and Grandpa are going to watch you guys, OK? Bye! I love you!
Joanna and child labor
Joanna brings the kids at work to do some art projects
so she can use them as part of her staging for her client
Birthday party at work
It's Chip's birthday. Usually said Joanna, they like to go out of town
or do something fun, but she was busy staging a house
so she made a party for her husband at her workplace instead.
And most telling of all:
The kids are part of my work (not the other way around)
I love my kids and I love that this [my work] is such a part our our lives
that they don't walk in and wonder.They know, mommy & daddy are on a deadline,
and mommy's probably going to be here late again tonight.
It is well known that
"Every "Fixer Upper" episode is filmed in or within miles of Waco, mostly so the parents can be close to their 4 small kids,..." 
And yet in every episode, Joanna is working late staging the house and someone, either an extended family member, the dad, or a babysitter, brings the kids in and they get a piece of pizza or a burrito shoved in them, the kids re-arrange a few flowers for their mom, and then they get shuttled off the set with promises from mommy to see them real soon. It doesn't matter to a 6 year old if the mommy is 20 miles away or 200 miles or 2000, if there is a babysitter on scene because mommy is working late a lot, and fast food, and daddy taking on roles he is not biblically mandated to, then that is not putting Christ first. Christ maintains that the woman's primary role is oriented to the home. Mrs Gaines is not putting the children first, as even admitted by her husband. He has said many times she is the main part of the show, she's the draw. The show would not go on without her. So when they had a chance, they signed on for four more years. That means they sacrificed the kids. Period.

Secondly, I have to say that there's nothing in this world that gets me exercised than a hypocritical mother. Bible twisting saddens me, spiritual extortion and snake oil duplicity makes me shake my head in disgust. But let me see a mother who is trading on her motherhood in the name of Jesus to make money, and you have another whole level of righteous anger from me. I've written about the hypocrisy of these women previously, examples are Beth Moore, Diana Stone, Raechel Myers.

We have Joanna Gaines who says she puts Christ first, which means she should put her family first, but we have already seen in her testimony that Mrs Gaines' dream is to have a big store. That's her priority. As a matter of fact, when they signed on with HGTV for another four seasons, they were told they WILL have to travel to promote the show. They accepted. So when you see Mrs Gaines on the show, trotting out her children as a Christian trophy, eating a hurried piece of pizza with them and sending them back out into the night with a babysitter, just know that she didn't HAVE to spend so much time apart from her kids nor use them as set props on a reality television show. That was the parents' choice.
As long as I can go home at night and be with the babies. It’s worth it just to be able to do that locally. Joanna Gaines #hypocrisy

-----------------------Magnolia Branding-----------------------


The second area to look at in terms of lifestyle and whether it matches up with the reality is their conscious, deliberate branding of themselves. They like to put out there that they are just an ole country couple, surprised by all this fame, but that is far from the truth. Joanna has always wanted to be on television, and Chip has always wanted to make money. It is their dedicated, conscious, and planned goal in life for their careers. There is nothing accidental about it.

Joanna has a degree in broadcast journalism, interned locally at KWTX, and interned for Dan Rather in NYC at the show 48 Hours. She returned to Waco and spent ten years filming tire commercials for her father in hopes of getting on TV in a more formal way.

Chip started and sold two businesses while still in college, and after graduating with a business degree, earned enough to buy and flip his first house. He made $30,000. Stating in an interview,
"I made $30,000 on my first house flip that I ever did. It became obvious to me that I could work an entire year and make $30,000, or I could work for three months flipping a house and make the same amount of money," he explains. "I became very excited about investing in rental property and flipping property."
Joanna's goal was to be on TV (fame) and Chip's goal was to flip houses (money). It's what drives them. Now, neither of those things are bad. Not at all. But it's the hypocrisy of the quotes you find where they say, for example,
She appreciates the old ways of living, simple and hard-working with home at the center. 
Oh really. Or this one,
Chip and I run a few businesses here in Waco, Texas, but Magnolia Market holds a special place in my heart
Let's see about the "few businesses" and "simple living" with "home at the center." These are screen shots from their business and property holdings, which is public information.



Third Street Ranch is owned by the Gaineses.


Wayfair Partners with Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines, Stars of HGTV’s Hit Series “Fixer Upper”
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Wayfair (NYSE:W), one of the world’s largest online destinations for home furnishings and d├ęcor, today announced a partnership with Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines, the stars of HGTV’s hit series “Fixer Upper” and owners of Magnolia Homes. Wayfair will feature the popular renovation duo and their design tips in an upcoming marketing campaign.
What they've got going is-

--a television show to which they have committed for 6 years,
--home renovations,
--a realty office with employees,
--4,000-square-foot store with 140 employees,
--two vacation rental properties (not B&B's),
--speaking engagements at $62,000 per,
--Magnolia Farms and its own apparel line,
--Magnolia Villas, a gated subdivision of 37 garden homes in a pocket neighborhood. Chip's first house flip earned him $30,000 15 years ago. Today he said he invested seven figures for the gated community,
--a new partnership with case goods manufacturer and importer Standard Furniture to create a comprehensive furniture collection called Magnolia Home. Joanna is designing the pieces,
--a bakery,
--Magnolia Market’s online business, ships 700 packages a day, employing 32 people,
--an autobiography due out in Fall 2016,
--a 600 square foot working garden,
--a 40-acre working farm with chickens, goats, cows, turkeys, horses, cats, dogs and bottle calves. Over 60 animals in all,
--craft workshop with tickets costing $100 per,
"I don't know if we'll ever get used to it because I feel like we're just so normal," Joanna said.
Aw shucks. Just a small town couple. Who've hired an entertainment attorney and an agent.

Their brand is that they want us to believe they are a casual couple riding a wave of popularity thrust upon them and cheerfully acknowledging it's all a bit bewildering. But no, it's conscious and planned and exactly what they want. Here is the brand:
To think that my business plans scribbled on scratch paper have turned into this online store is unbelievable to say the least. Joanna Gaines
Here is the reality. Their business plans may at one time have been scribbled on scratch paper but they certainly aren't now. Chip talks of a seminal business meeting where their brand was hashed out and their future decided.
An August 2007 meeting served as a catalyst for the current Magnolia business model. Joanna was spending more time at home, yet adding in time for business at the office. The couple sought inspiration on possible future directions for the business with Chip calling a meeting with some of his closest friends to seek their advice.
"It wasn't all top executives invited from all over the country," Chip jokes. "It was a gathering of friends that God had provided for us. I remember some of the specific bullet-point outcomes--what an asset we had in Joanna and her design style, and her as a human being, her looks and her character. Basically, we established that Joanna had the 'it' factor. That meeting was a defining moment. We regularly go back and recall what was discussed at that meeting."
Like Joanna said, a few notes scribbled on scratchpaper, or a well-thought out tycoon meeting where plans were made to deliberately promote the mother for the power couple's success?

Let's go back to family for a second. Is their priority really 'for the kiddos'? How much is enough? When you have little ones at home and you have plenty of money and a 40-acre working farm, a 600 sf garden, and over 60 animals, anyone who was really putting Christ first would have said, 'I'm stepping out. I want to focus on my home. Working the garden, the farm, and raising the kids will keep my busy enough.' THAT is Christ-exalting. That is putting Him first.

When one owns as many diversified holdings as Joanna Gaines does, how much is enough? When do you stop? CAN one be a home-centered mother raising children with multi-million dollar corporations at stake? Are you really biblically child-oriented and putting Christ first when you have the opportunity to stay at home and you choose NOT to? When in fact, you choose to make your life even busier? When you focus on your own dreams and career?

I am not happy to write this kind of essay. Not at all. I do not like to do it. It's even worse than when I looked at Mrs Gaines' testimony video and compared it to the Bible. These kind of discernment essays are the worst of all. They're unsavory, distasteful, distressing, and sickening.

It is important because Jesus hated hypocrites. He excoriated them, the men who lengthened their tassels so as to look more religious. Joanna marketing her kids on tv to show what a good mother she is and merchandising them within Christianity as trophies of wifelihood is the same as making her tassels long. I hate it. I absolutely hate it and become very angry over it. Beth Moore did it. Rachael Myers did it. Diana Stone did it. I hate it. Using your children to hypocritically say one thing while doing another IS worthy of a woe.

They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues (Matthew 23:5-7).

I know the woes Jesus pronounced on hypocrites and they were heavy. God said,

You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men'" (Matthew 15:7)

The most I hope for is that I've made you think about what you're seeing and thinking about it a little deeper with some common sense. When you see a teacher or celebrity say one thing, but do another, it's a problem. It's hypocrisy. And it is a sin.


43 comments :

  1. Elizabeth,

    Thank you for our insight into the Gaineses. I’m sure it certainly is hard to critique America’s current sweetheart couple. I admit that I am a fan of the show; it’s nice to have a show that makes one giggle as there is so few out there that demonstrate any kind of values these days.

    With that said, when I saw the Joanna’s testimony a couple of months ago, the first thing I did was look up Antioch Community Church in Waco to see what their church is all about. I was thankful to find that it is not an NAR church. Prosperity Gospel? Possibly, but not certain. The church’s core beliefs are solid.

    As this article was difficult for you to write, it was also difficult to read. Perhaps this is comparing apples to oranges, but the financial gain the Gaineses are experiencing from their show is no different than the financial gain that the Duggar’s had with their own show with speaker fees and such, obviously with a vastly different message however. You indicate in your article that Joanna is filmed often leaving the children with a care taker. But, I wonder how often she really leaves them given that filming the renovation of just one house takes months to complete. Yes, they have multiple renovations and businesses in Waco, but how much is she personally involved now that they have built a brand that more than supports them? I wonder if she now has people in place to check things for her. As a personal example, my husband’s former employer is nearly a millionaire having built several very successful businesses. His wife’s name is listed on several of them as the Vice President on the Articles of Incorporation, but in reality (and unlike Joanna) she doesn’t have a clue what is going on in the businesses. She spends her days working out, shopping, and horseback riding…plenty of time to spend with their 4 children. I guess my point is that in entertainment with editing and such, all isn’t necessarily as it seems (good or bad).

    For me personally, I have to limit how much I watch it because I find myself becoming discontent with my own home. Chip and Joanna are very gifted in their craft, but the people they service aren’t any more blessed than I am. Cultivating discontent is as much of a danger as the message they are or are not conveying to the world about Christianity.

    ~Emily

    PS. I do think that your indication of child labor is a bit extreme. I assume they do more laborious work on the farm for chores than draw pictures for a family.

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    1. Hi Emily,

      I looked up the Antioch Church too, and their beliefs page is one with which I would agree. On their pastors page, there 16 listed pastors, 5 of them are women, with which I would not agree. The Bible is clear that churches are not to have female pastors.

      of course I don't mean the child labor as in sweat shop in Indonesia. But in the context of using her children on the show so often, and having them do a design job for her, is certainly unpalatable. In the context, not extreme at all, as a matter of fact, I restrained myself from saying more.

      I appreciate your kindness in attempting to see another possible side of things. I personally do not believe for a second that Joanna Gaines isn't intimately involved in her myriad businesses. But I do thank you for sharing your perspective.

      Financial gain is not the problem, as I stated. Being hypocritical about it, sadly, is.

      Delete
  2. I'm only going to comment on one thing. She doesn't stage houses every night. So to say she is a bad mother because she stays late to stage a house is really a stretch. I'm not defending her or condemning her. Let's just not get crazy or overly critical. And child labor? Really? She lets them participate a bit to make them feel important and to include them in the family business. What's wrong with that? I highly doubt she puts them to work for hours and hours.

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    1. "She doesn't stage houses every night. So to say she is a bad mother because she stays late to stage a house is really a stretch"

      It wold be a stretch, especially if I had actually said that. But I didn't.

      What I actually DID say is that Mrs Gaines claims to put Christ first and to make her home the center of her life, when she is actually sacrificing the children on the altar of her own ambition and career.

      Delete
  3. Elizabeth, all I can say is your posts are a light in the darkness.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love watching a couple with children working together and espousing wholesome values. They acknowledge Christ in their lives and that is good for our country and good for each of us to see regularly. Thank you for outlining all their wealth and success. It appears that they are using the gifts God has given them and in these difficult times acknowledging their faith in public which reinforces our own. I trust that they are using their success in a way that glorifies God. I am a struggling Christian who falls from the path frequently. I cannot judge them from a TV show nor do I have any interest to do so while I am in a struggle for my own soul. TV is a make believe story to entertain us. I trust God to judge us all. May the peace of Christ be with the Gaines' and with you.

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    1. Steelhorsecowboy, I appreciate your comment. So much so that I published it. I agree to some degree with your perspective.

      I'd like to make one note though, this essay and the one preceding it, is not a judgment of the Gaines based solely on a tv show. I also based it on their own published testimony and their own words in interviews. When one purports to speak for all of us Christians, on their platform, nationally, it's important to all of us who are all struggling with our own souls, to verify that what they speak is actually consistent with Biblical Christianity.

      I trust God to judge us all too, He promised to do so. Meanwhile, we are Bereans examining what the national-level Christians are saying about our Jesus. We do not abandon our responsibility to look at their words and compare them to scripture. (Acts 17:11)

      Delete
    2. God has given each Christian a gift, and I see that Chip and Joanna are using their God given gifts to help others by doing honest work, speaking out for their faith in Christ, and loving their children while developing their God given gifts also. Judge not.....

      Delete
  5. I think here in part 2 you are being a little harsh on them. its true that she should give her home and family priority but i don't think you can or have proved that she hasn't done that. you only see what is on tv or in interviews. i think it is LIKELY that she has sacrificed her care of home and family for money and fame but i don't think you've proved it. Far more damning is her testimony which you addressed(very accurately) in part 1.

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    1. Thanks Jeff. Fair enough.

      Personally, I believe the 2007 meeting where they fronted Joanna as the merchandise despite having the children, the sheer number of going businesses she is in charge of, Joanna's emphasis of her business in her testimony, and Joanna's continual trotting out of the children in front of the cameras proves that her statement that "home is the center of their lives" is not the case.

      Interviews are a valid method to use in comparing their words to each other and the Bible, because they are their words. But that's me!

      As far as being harsh, I did say there is nothing that gets me exercised more than a mom who says she puts Christ first but uses the kids as merchandise on tv to prove it.

      Delete
  6. Hi. I do think your comments are interesting but would just like to say something about the video clips. Many interviews that we see on Youtube etc have been edited before they are shown and sometimes without full agreement of the person giving the interview. Therefore it could be possible that Joanna may have said more about her faith but it may have been edited out for 'promotional purposes'.
    I also think that as we don't know what goes on behind the scenes - we don't know whether or not the Gaines's are sharing their faith with people or whether or not souls are being saved by Jesus.
    I enjoy the programme. There isn't much you can watch on TV these days and this is a good, clean, happy entertaining programme which makes a pleasant change. It isn't meant to be evangelistic.
    I really don't think she uses her children as merchandise.
    In truth, I normally enjoy your articles finding them interesting and challenging, however I was a bit saddened by your comments in this particular message. It is possible for us all be hypocrites in one way or another and I think we have to be careful by how we address other people.
    Thanks for your comments though.
    I have also found the responses that you have received have also been interesting.
    Bless you

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    1. Hi Jeff, thanks so much for your kind tone and well-thought out comment and perspective. I agree that we are all hypocrites in one way or another, and we are all sinners in one way or another, but that doesn't stop us from following the command to be discerning and we still call out sin where we see it. (Rom 12:9, James 3:17, 2 Timothy 3:15). Sometimes we do that gently (Gal 6:1) and sometimes harsher measures are called for (Luke 17:3-4).

      The Baylor Christian University published a testimony from Joanna, I am sure it was edited but since it was her testimony I am equally sure that it contained the message she wanted to say. I have no worries that it accurately reflects her Gospel message. Sadly.

      No, Fixer Upper isn't meant to be an evangelistic show but since HGTV is promoting it behind the scenes as Christian and is actively seeking other Christians to put in the schedule and since Joanna herself has talked in interviews MUCH of her faith related to the show, (http://billygraham.org/story/how-billy-graham-brought-the-gospel-home-to-chip-and-joanna-gaines/) the entire point is to compare her lifestyle with what she has said and see it lines up with the Bible. It does not. And since it does not, is the show really that wholesome when its stars claim a different Jesus, or use their faith in a way that caused Jesus to rebuke for hypocrisy in other, similar examples? There are different ways to be unwholesome than just to show cleavage or use the F-word.

      My other point is that nothing about this is an accident or accidental. They know what they are doing. Giving the benefit of the doubt is good, as long as it isn't an excuse to avoid the hard work of exposing sin.

      It is safe to say, this IS their brand and this IS what they want the world to think of them. They seek the world. Hard. Matthew 6:24-25 applies here.

      A Christian's life is important to examine. For example, Beth Moore's adopting a boy and giving him back after 7 years is a tragedy, her statement that it's all just too private and painful to discuss is a hypocritical statement. Why? Because she wrote TWO books about it and makes money from the "privacy and pain" she can barely bear to speak of. THAT is the kind of hypocrisy that we should be aware of when women (I focus mainly on women) say they are a Christian model or exalted teacher.

      Diana Stone of She Reads Truth claims to be a stay at home mom, and she is, by sending her tots to daycare so she could write undisturbed at home. THAT is the kind of lifestyle hypocrisy that should be uncovered. It means the women have fallen below reproach and should not be trusted or followed.

      I can understand that you personally don't think I made the case, and that saddens ME. It's obvious Joanna Gaines does not put home at the center of her life as she claims, nor does she put Christ first in her marriage, and this is true even though you personally like the show. I used to, as well. But if she did truly put Christ first, she would be living a very different life right now as wife and mother.

      Delete
  7. I spent this past weekend with my church family at our annual retreat. At one point I walked into a room where a conversation was going on about Fixer Upper. The gist of the conversation was what a wonderful Christian witness the Gaines family give, and one man said everyone should watch her powerful testimony video. Sigh. I wondered if I should say something but didn't feel it would be helpful or productive--if it was one-on-one I would have but when there's 5 or so people in agreement I felt outnumbered.

    Later on my pastor and I were having a conversation about sharing our faith, and he said he's found the best way to engage people is to ask questions; such as, "why do you say that?" or "can you explain what you mean?" So I'm praying that at some point I will be able to discuss this matter with people one on one in a positive way.

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    1. Linda, that is a wonderful idea your pastor had! I will strive to do the same- asking questions is a good way to get at the truth in a non-combative way.

      The thing that people don't realize about lifestyle hypocrisy is related exactly to this Christianity Today headline from a year ago:

      "What Happens When We See Women Teach the Bible"
      http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2015/january/what-happens-when-we-see-women-teach-bible.html

      They are giving a distorted example of a biblical life. Being the CEO of a corporation ahem, ministry, working 50-60 hours per week, yet claiming to be a stay at home mom. Young women see Moore teaching the bible as a man does, usurping his role at the pulpit and being away from home, with no correction or rebuke, and they believe that is the way it's supposed to be.

      Joanna is the same- giving a distorted view and lip-service to putting Christ first. Younger women coming up see her forward life, leading roles, and think "Gee, if that is putting Christ first and making home the center, then, I want that. I can have that too".

      Delete
  8. I have seen at least 6 episodes of the show and never once noticed anything that would make me think they were believers. Nice, sweet couple? Definitely. But if Christ were put first I think I would have noticed Him.Sorry to say I did not.

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  9. Veryinteresting how you have not posted the comment I made. Why not?

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    1. If this is the person who had posted three comments (or four? I lost track) calling him or herself "Vacirca" then the reasons I deleted the comments are:

      1. In toto, they were longer than most blog posts.
      2. They were hypocritical
      3. I decided to spare the writer embarrassment

      Delete
  10. Just came across your article about the Gaines. I'm a fan of the show but what you have written is somewhat of an eye opener. Everything you've written sounds harsh but true. Can we really serve God and mammon at the same time? Can we really pursue God and riches at the same time? Can one be successful in worldly pursuits and truly be godly at the same time? Psalm 62:10b says, "If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them." Have they set their hearts upon worldly accumulations rather than desiring to grow in the knowledge of the Lord? Love them and will pray for them.

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  11. "Jesus hates hypocrites"?? I am fairly certain you are wrong. Christ is love, not hate.

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    1. Proverbs 6:16-19 outlines specifically that there are six things that the Lord hates, no, seven. haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
      and hands that shed innocent blood,
      18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
      feet that make haste to run to evil,
      19 a false witness who breathes out lies,
      and one who sows discord among brothers

      He also hates divorce. Malachi 2:16).
      He abhorred Ephraim at Gilgal. (Hosea 9:15)
      He also hates idolaters, (Lev. 20:23)
      He hates sin. He will judge it fiercely.

      This might help you-
      Does God hate? If God is love, how can He hate?"
      http://www.gotquestions.org/does-God-hate.

      Delete
  12. Wow. You sure have put A LOT of thought into judging a sweet family. If I were you, I would not watch their show, it seems to upset you greatly. Maybe even get rid of your TV like the Gaines family did. Just my two cents...
    Peace and joy!

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    1. Yes, I did put a lot of thought into this essay. They claim to speak for Jesus as Christians, therefore it would be remiss of me to examine their words and their lives compared to the Bible thoughtlessly. No doubt if I'd done a shallow job, your own judgment on me would be that wasn't thoughtful enough.

      Yes, the Gaineses do not have a TV. Isn't it just a bit hypocritical to have told America they have gotten rid of their TV, yet all Joanna ever wanted (by her own words) was to be on TV? And isn't it hypocritical that they made the decision to remove televisions from their home to shield their children from the unbiblical things their impressionable children might view, including perverted homosexual lifestyles presented as normal on the same channel Joanna and Chip are making loads of money from?

      By what standard do you judge them "sweet"?


      Delete
  13. To "Anna Bishop",

    I post comments I don't agree with. I do not post comments that are the kind like "you're a big poopyhead", or "you're just jealous". I enjoy reasoning from scripture. Christian conversation should center around verses. Comments that use scripture are more likely to be posted, rather than the ones where people make up new Google profiles under new names simply to anonymously whine and call names.

    As far as contacting the Gaineses because "they sinned against me," you're referring to Matthew 18 and you used the verse incorrectly. Matthew 18 is about talking with a brother or sister within your own church who has sinned against an individual. The passage outlines a process whereby sin withing a local body can be addressed so as to keep the body pure. It does not mean I have to privately go to a public teacher publicly proclaiming things. She said something publicly and intended it to be public, therefore I responded publicly.

    Here is more information for you on the Matthew 18 verse. Please learn the differences on when and how to address sin in a local body versus refuting false doctrine or commenting on teachings given publicly.

    Matthew 18: church discipline, http://www.gty.org/resources/distinctives/DD02/church-discipline

    Matthew 18 and public sin, http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles/matthew_18_and_public_sin.html

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  14. This is one of the only articles I have seen written that makes one stop and think about who the Gaines really are. Thanks for the inisight.

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    1. They are TV personalities.... that's it! Good grief

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    2. Hi Shawn,

      Yes, they are television reality show personalities. Joanna is a Christian celebrity, there's the difference.

      Joanna has said many times that she wanted "a platform" and has "always wanted to be on TV". She has received that platform and has become a celebrity. Now she is using that platform to speak of Jesus and to promote her agenda. That's when we start comparing what she says and does to ensure that her words about Jesus and her life as a self-identified Christian woman are consistent with God's Law. Celebrities are not exempt from biblical scrutiny.

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  15. Again my thanks for your time and study to show us the truth.
    Blessings,
    J

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  16. Who are you to judge?

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  17. Hello Anonymous,

    Please define/explain what you mean by "judge". Please post an excerpt from this essay that supports your definition, and use scriptures too if possible. Thank you.

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  18. Aw come on now - aren't you being a bit of an old cranky pants? Maybe go & have a nice cup of tea & a re-read of Galatians 5:22-23 on the fruits of the spirit & think about how, in the bigger picture, it's really ok when people (Chip & Joanna in this case), spread heaps of love, light, laughter & positivity all over the world. If Jesus could write a comment on this forum I'm sure he'd agree that is a GOOD thing. Yes! Let's do it! From this second on, let's all open up our great big hearts & spread only the good stuff around & boom - happy, loving, beautiful world!! Sending you love & happiness, Lindy (Australia). :)

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  19. I say, judge not lest you be judged. My spirit rose up within me as I read your post which was full of condemnation, and I've always believed that condemnation is not of the Lord. You say you researched the Gaines's lives, but how many times did you visit with them personally so you could research them Spirit to Spirit? I don't idolize this couple, but I'd like them to get a fair shake and not be judged by appearances. God looks on the heart, and I'm concerned that you haven't seen theirs.

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    1. Hi Mellodie,

      I usually delete comments that containing the incorrectly used “judge not” verse, and rather than use scripture to converse reasonably, just censure. But I’ll use your comment to teach, and maybe the next person that comes along will understand why their comment will or won’t be posted.

      MD: “I say, judge not lest you be judged.”
      EP: You reference Matthew 7:1 but I’ll post from 1-5 for context.
      “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

      The verse is not saying never to judge someone’s life or doctrine. It IS saying to purify one’s conscience first so as not to be a hypocrite when we do judge. I have done what the verse instructs, therefore according to the verse, this post is taking the speck out of Joanna Gaines’ eye.

      MD: My spirit rose up within me as I read your post
      EP? What does that mean, exactly? You got mad?

      MD: which was full of condemnation,
      EP: would you kindly paste which parts are condemnatory? Only the Lord condemns, so my heart had no condemnation in it when I wrote it. If you can point out exactly which parts condemn, with scripture, I’d appreciate it. I do compare what Mrs Gaines said to scripture and it comes up short. That’s called discernment, not condemnation.

      MD: and I've always believed that condemnation is not of the Lord.
      EP: this is a statement that assuredly is entirely unbibical. If you mean we Christians are not to discern and judge, you’re incorrect. We are instructed many times to discern (1 John 4:1, Philippians 1:9-10, Proverbs 18:15, John 7:24, Hebrews 5:14 and so on). Discernment is not condemning. If you mean Jesus doesn’t condemn, that is also incorrect. Of course He does.

      MD:You say you researched the Gaines's lives, but how many times did you visit with them personally so you could research them Spirit to Spirit?
      EP: I am afraid that the process of "researching Spirit to Spirit” escapes me. I dont see that in the Bible. If you mean, did I go to my sister to point out her sin, you’re referring to Mt 18:15. The Mt 18:15 verse does not mean we cannot test what a teacher says against scripture. It means within one church, if a Christian sins against me, I go to them to point it out. Since she has a global audience and we attend separate churches, the Mt 18 verse does not apply. Here is a good essay that explains the process of church discipline, which is separate from the process of discernment: http://www.deliveredbygrace.com/matthew-18-and-the-universal-church/

      MD: I don't idolize this couple, but I'd like them to get a fair shake and not be judged by appearances.
      EP: you are quite right, we don’t judge on mere appearances but we judge with right judgment (John 7:24). I looked at what Mrs Gaines says, and what she does, extensively. That was only fair. She is using her platform to promote doctrine and a lifestyle that is at odds with the Bible. I am using my platform to point this out.

      She had wanted a global platform and she got one. Now while she is on that platform claiming to speak for Jesus, it is up to us to test what she says and does while she is on it.

      MD: God looks on the heart, and I'm concerned that you haven't seen theirs.
      EP: No I have not and you’re right, God looks on the heart. We cannot. But discernment does not look at the heart. It looks at what a teacher says and what she does. That is what I did.

      Hope this helps.

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  20. Some advice from an "older" Christian who has been following the Lord and studying His Word for almost 46 years. Christ is wounded in the house of His friends. Let those Christians who are close to this couple critique and confront them if it is needed. The culture is ready to stone us all and you are handing them the rocks. You are well intentioned but foolish in your zeal. Satan is rejoicing over such articles, and you are creating a stumbling block. This is nothing more than gossip and is in the category of what James talked about regarding the tongue. Seek rather for the edification of the Body of Christ, this mission you seem to be on is not of God. You may not receive my correction, but I pray you will.

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    1. Hello Lindyrae,

      Thank you for taking the time to respond to my article. I am thankful that you would take the time to correct me. It is in that spirit I published your comment and it is in that spirit I respond. I pray you take to heart my correction, also.

      Your entire comment, though it seems sincere, is absent any direct example of where you consider I am wrong.

      Worse, it is absent any scripture. For a woman who began your comment asserting that your basis for speaking to me this way is that you’re a 46-year veteran of the Word, your disregard of it is strange to me. In addition, the correction is entirely filled with “you” statements saying I’m various undesirable things (a gossip, in league with satan, a stumbling block, foolish, and unedifying), but not why I am any of these things.

      So your comment is thoroughly drenched with negative speech (something you accused me of) but not the scriptural reasoning that Jesus expects of a mature believer seeking to win her sister.

      Absent scripture, and scripture used rightly (see the “judge not!” comment above) I cannot accept your correction, because that is not what it is.

      So that I am not a hypocrite, let me use scripture to go through your comment so as to offer some validity as I sift through your comment.

      1.The culture is ALWAYS ready to stone us. While I agree that our behavior and speech should reflect Godliness, we do not alter the message in deference to the culture. (Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15-17, John 16:33)

      2. You said ”Let those Christians who are close to this couple critique and confront them if it is needed.” Well, it was needed. That’s why I wrote it.

      Secondly, you did not mention that Mrs Gaines is using her global platform, to propagate a false Gospel and an unbiblical lifestyle, but warn me not to use my own platform to correct. In fact, rebuking her in kind IS biblical. Meeting one-on-one is not necessary. The following article contains an exposition of why, using scripture. It asks and answers the question According to Matthew 18, is it necessary to contact someone privately before calling them out publicly online? it is titled, Matthew 18 and the Universal Church, http://www.deliveredbygrace.com/matthew-18-and-the-universal-church/. Or if you prefer, this one, http://www.standstillawhile.net/2013/02/matthew-18-and-the-public-rebuke-of-sin/

      You say that I seem to be on a mission, but do you know? Have you come close to me to critique me and confront me, as you advised me to do with Joanna? Do you know what my mission is, have you asked me? Using your own advice to you in turn, no, you did not come close to me. (Note that it isn’t necessary as per the explanation above, but I’m trying to show you that the things you called me out on, you perpetrate yourself.)

      3. Gossip? I reject that. I used Mrs Gaines own words, her own testimony, and public, government sources. Gossip is defined as “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.” These facts are confirmed as true. Moreover, Mrs Gaines lives a very public life by avid choice. Her home, her children, her marital relationship, her animals, and her career are on weekly display. One cannot expect a public lifestyle not to be commented on publicly.

      4. “this mission I seem to be on is not of God?” How so? You mean discernment is not of God? It is. Here are just a few of the verses warning us to be discerning: 1John 4:1, Philippians 1:9-10, Hebrews 5:14, John 7:24, Colossians 2:8. Did you mean that comparing a Christian teacher’s life and doctrine to the Bible speaking publicly is not of God? It is. 1 Timothy 5:20, Matthew 16:23, 1 Corinthians 5:3, Galatians 2:14. I shouldn’t look at Mrs Gaines’ life and compare to the Bible? We should. (1 Tim4:16).

      I pray you take these things to heart for the next time you seek to correct a younger sister.

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  21. I wonder why any of you care what anyone other than yourselves are doing/ saying. The Gaines' seem like bright, enthusiastic, kind, happy people. They certainly are productive! I take my hat off to them. Ironically, the most hypocritical folks I have ever met on planet earth have been extremely religious people who do little to love and help others and yet, spew their religious rhetoric and judgment around as if they had the right to.
    Find something Christian to do. Please, there are so many suffering people who need your help. Chip and Joanna are fine people.

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  22. Extremely religious people are hypocrites
    Chip and Joanna Gaines self identify as extremely religious
    The Gaineses are hypocrites. Not.

    I'm confused. Maybe you are confused! :)

    I agree with you that the Gaineses seem like "bright, enthusiastic, kind, happy people" and "fine people."

    However they are promoting a certain brand of Christianity and speaking in Jesus' name, which bears scrutiny to determine if it is "another Gospel" which we are warned against in Galatians 1:8,

    "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, were to preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be anathema."

    I agree also with you that there are suffering people that need our help. Much of that suffering comes from false Christianity, false gospels, and wayward women like Joanna who misunderstand the Bible but teach it and showcase it anyway through her global platform. There is no misery and suffering like those whose souls hurt from these gangrenous teachings, as Paul liked to call false teaching. (2 Timothy 2:17)

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  23. Ah the offended heart and how it hurts you so, only the Heavenly Father can heal you there and He is waiting there for you to ask Him, if you want to judge (your opinion) and quote scripture one should tread ever so lightly, always have your own house in order before you give opinions (lay judgement) on someone else's, I leave you with a short and simple read that I feel is calling you Matthew 7 versus 2-5,

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    1. Hello Anonymous,

      Thank you for caring about my heart, though how you can know if it's offended or is hurting is a mystery. I thought we were not supposed to judge the heart?

      I agree that the scriptures you mention apply here. This is what the scriptures say at the address you quoted:

      For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

      I assure you that I do not use scriptures casually. I study diligently to ensure I've used them correctly.

      Also, I do ask the Lord to take the log out of my eye- daily.

      Now that you have these assurances that I have followed the Bible's recommended process, what do you have to say about the essay's actual content?

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  24. Elizabeth, I suggest taking a longer look at Antioch. I was helping a friend by researching churches in Boston and came across one affiliated with the Antioch International Movement of Churches. The one in Waco is the "mother" church. Big red flags popped up as I began to read blogs of people who had left that movement (Google "theology Antioch International). It is very controlling and authoritarian which concerns me since the show has surely pulled in new members. I'm far more concerned about that than any lapse in Joanna's role as a mother. These shows are so heavily staged and edited (think House Hunters) that I very much doubt that any accurate conclusions can be drawn about Joanna.

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    1. Hi Flavia,

      Thanks for the info about Antioch. There are "survivor blogs" for every denomination I guess. I'll leave it to others to look into Antioch and the Mission arm. As for the note that these things are so edited we can't tell up from down, I answered that in my first reply on this comment stream. Please notice that I did not rely solely on HGTV clips, but also read written interviews, researched public records, and took her own words in her testimony.

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  25. I wonder what your discernment is of single mothers, who must work 2-3 jobs away from home and send her children to those dreadful babysitters/extended family members or heaven forbid their fathers? Proverbs 31 says that "she works diligently with her hands" and "manages her finances well." To my recollection it does not say from where she does those things. Is it also safe to assume that since you posted the comment and video concerning child labor, that your children carry no responsibility in the way of chores or cleaning up after themselves? What about the single fathers? Would the same not go for them, as well?

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    1. "I wonder what your discernment is of single mothers"
      Joanna isn't single, is she. Stay on topic, please.

      I do not categorically oppose all work away from the home. As you noted, Proverbs 31 illustrates a woman who has business holdings. The issue is where the primary orientation lay. Proverbs 31 woman does all for the home and you notice IN the home. Her business holdings are at home. You also notice in Prov 31 the wife sacrifices herself for her husband and her family. Joanna didn't even want to close her business when she had little children at home until God supposedly directly ordered her to. In her interviews, you notice her primary orientation is of herself, not of her sacrifices for the family. Indeed, the family sacrifices for her. This is not a Proverbs 31 woman.

      Mrs Gaines' primary orientation is NOT the home, and her life actions contradict what her words say. It's the same with Raechel Myers, an IF:gathering woman, who uses her children as a prop to further her own ends of a career outside the home, or Amanda Stone of She Reads Truth whose bio states:

      "You can find her in the mornings with a cup of coffee and her Bible flung open, preparing for the day ahead. With a sweet daughter in tow, Diana clings to God’s Word daily."

      Is that the truth? Really? Nope. Mrs Stone relaxes with the bible "flung open" ... after she drops her daughter to daycare. For the past two and a half years, the couple employed a part time nanny care for their daughter in their home so Mrs Stone could work as a freelance writer. After bumping along with several nannies, they eventually decided to put their child in daycare so Mrs Stone could continue to write at home. Stone publicly asserts one thing while living another. This is disingenuous, and hypocritical.

      I'm not flatly opposed to daycare or nannies- it's for the family to decide what is best. I'm not opposed to a woman writing a book or having a cottage industry at home to supplement the family income.

      Anonymous, the point, which you missed, is that it's the HYPOCRISY of claiming to have a primary orientation to the home, while living a life that is clearly opposite to that.

      here is a really good sermon for you on the Proverbs 31 woman: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-168/the-proverbs-31-woman

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