Pastor Mike Scruggs of White Oak, Ohio, told his local news affiliate that he put a stripper pole on his pulpit to help preach his message at his Light of Word Ministries church.
"We talk about sex. We talk about drugs. We talk about faith. We talk about relationships … , things that people are dealing with on a day-to-day basis," he said.
This particular series of sermons is called the Battle of the Sexes and includes plenty of props. "On one side [we'll have] what men want or desire: your stripper pole, your video games, your sports," Scruggs said. "The woman's side [is] orderly, neat. It's all about love, candy, teddy bears, roses and being wined and dined and cherished."
This is no doubt raising some eyebrows among more conservative churchgoers, but others without a stake in the biblical angle have also taken issue with the approach. At Clutch magazine, Thembi Ford, dreading the emergence of another self-proclaimed "relationship expert," writes:
But what I find unnerving is the stereotypical gender construction behind it all that sets women up as romance-craving, sexually traditional, teddy bear squeezers because we “like being wined and dined and cherished,” and men as sports and video game-driven beings bent on drooling over strippers and high heels. We all know that sexual desire is never that cut-and-dry, and it’s disturbing that the message once again becomes “throwing bills on strippers…yes, that is what men like … this is normal and healthy…hooray for traditional gender roles!”
Scruggs would want critics to know that, as he told WLWT News 5, his mother is a member of the congregation and approves of his message.