One of the most talked about subjects of late are the slew of men and women in Christiandom who have taken up the task of putting a present day face on Christians in the world through the medium of “reality television“. The debate over whether or not it will blemish or tarnish the cause of Christ will probably not end, even after I share with you my own view on the subject. Whether it’s a well noted minister of the gospel, or an unknown person who has declared that they have a personal relationship with Christ, it is drawing attention, and it’s getting people talking. Since the mid 90’s, the ever repeated question that would be asked when something comes up that may not necessarily be perceived as being spoken of in scripture is, “What Would Jesus Do?”
What we know of Jesus is that he walked among the people of his day, and he used many of the things in his day that was available to best and effectively communicate what he wanted conveyed. From parables to miracles, Jesus confronted the religious people of his day, as well as befriending those who were seeking what the religious shunned. Like Paul the Apostle admonished, Jesus lived a life that was one who was in the world, but not of it; yet, he became to all what he needed to win those he had to reach. He was a carpenter by trade, yet he spoke to Peter about fishing, farming to farmers, medicine to those who needed healing, counsel to those who needed comfort and peace.
At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what Jesus would have done. What matters is, if given the opportunity to represent him now, what will our testimony be? Will we live a life that brings light to darkness or will we live a life the continues to raise questions about what Christianity is all about or is different from anything else that is out there? When Paul speaks to the Romans regarding the Law of Liberty and the Law of Love, one of the things he points out is that we should, “not let your good be spoken of as evil.”
There are times when our liberty and freedom in doing what we feel we have every right to do can get in the way of our testimony both to other Christians, as well as those whom we hope to minister to. While, Jesus and Paul both did things that were very radical and controversial, there was always a method to the madness.
I don’t believe that there is ever anything wrong in putting our faith on display, so long as we are well capable of defending the faith in full integrity and honor. When we begin to say things like, “I’m just being real,” or, “I can lay it (my faith) down, and pick it up,” what are we really saying about what we have? Who are we doing the true justice and service to?
If Jesus were around today, I believe he would still do and say as he said back then, “the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son does also in like manner.” If he saw fit to demonstrate what the Kingdom is like to a viewing public through the medium of reality television, I believe it would still be a compelling and convicting thing that directed all to look to a loving and powerful Heavenly Father. He would demonstrate the difference between what it’s like to have true authority and relationship versus a semblance of authority through legalism and doctrine.
As you look to what has been put on display, and what is yet to come, consider what is being shown and what you might do if given the chance to do likewise. Whether or not you ever have that opportunity to do so on a major platform like television, know that every single day of your life, you have the same opportunity to be as Christ to every person you come into contact with.
QUESTION: What are your thoughts regarding the display of faith in reality television?
- Snake-Handling Preachers Are Getting Their Own Reality Show (patheos.com)
- Pastors disagree over new Oxygen reality show ‘Preachers of LA’ (thegrio.com)
- While Most Pastors Disapprove of ‘Preachers of LA’, Some See a Positive Angle (blackchristiannews.com)
- Let the Church Say Amen? (blackrealitytv.com)
- Culture: Preachers with snakes get their own reality TV show (slowlyboiledfrog.com)
- Tyler Perry, The Church & The Spiritual Practice of Secrecy (themisinterpreted.com)
- New Reality Show “Preachers of LA” Has Evangelical Christian Leaders Grinding Their Teeth (alternet.org)
- Why the ‘Christian Celebrity Culture’ Is Not Christ-like at All (blackchristiannews.com)
- A reality TV show about snake handlers to debut in September (religionnews.com)
- Blessed are the Rich: “Preachers of L.A.” (littleutopiamag.com)