WORDS FROM W.W. April 15, 2009
“I Just Don’t Get It!”
I admit! I’m naïve in a lot of ways. I remember a date during my high school days that I’m still haunted by. I walked the young lady to her front door at the end of our date. The front porch light was on. She asked me if I would like her to turn it off, and I replied “No, that’s okay!”
Another high school memory is from driver’s education. I was driving for the first time and as I turned the corner I just about gave my teacher a heart attack since I was looking at the center of the steering wheel instead of the road. For some reason I thought the crown symbol in the center of the steering wheel needed to be in the upright position for the car to be going straight…which it did…but I hadn’t thought about what I was to do if a pedestrian was crossing as I was focused on the crown!
So…I admit, I’m naïve!
But I just don’t get almost all of the Christian programming I see on cable TV religious channels! Or there are a few that are more than worth their weight in gold…like Charles Stanley, Ed Young, and a couple of others, but a large percentage of them just leave me shaking my head.
Did I mention that I’m naïve?
I’m perplexed by the prophesying! Not that I don’t believe in prophesy, I just have an uneasiness about how a person can prophesy about approaching calamity one moment and then ask for money in the next moment.
I’m confused by “the production” of a worship gathering that is filled with the glitter, but no glory. There are a lot of hallelujahs, but I’m missing the Holy.
We have about ten Christian channels on our satellite TV plan. Some nights I flip between them until I can’t take it anymore. I am more drawn to The Weather Channel!
In analyzing my uneasiness I think…I think…I’ve been able to narrow things down to three points, although they are all from my point of view. Assuredly, countless people will disagree with me.
• The absence of spiritual “authenticity”– I don’t experience a connection with God as I view the worship happening on my TV. That is not to say that worship isn’t happening in that location, but I’m just not drawn to praising Jesus by watching it happening. Perhaps it’s the switching from one camera angle to another to another. One moment you’re watching a singer on stage and the next you’re watching a lady in the congregation praising God with her hands in the air, and the next you’re seeing the guitarist in action. The “production” is effective in one way, in that it looks like a television production, but for me it creates a mindset that says I’m watching simply that…a television production.
• The Un-Targeted Target Audience– As I watch the production I can’t avoid the question: Who is their target audience? Religious broadcasting is marketed in a way that its viewership is mostly Christians, while it promotes itself as reaching non-Christians. Their funding comes from believers, so there is an obvious lean towards keeping the Christian viewer interested enough in the program, and believing enough that non-Christians are watching the production. I could be wrong…
• The Re-discovery of Creativity– Ed Young, pastor of Fellowship Church in Dallas, made the statement in a Leadership journal interview, “We want people to come and hear the Gospel, but it’s also about creativity. I think church should be the most creative place in the universe.” Creativity has been put in the storage cabinet most of the time in our churches. It’s the strange cousin that we don’t like to talk about. It makes us feel uncomfortable at certain moments, ask probing questions the next, and, God forbid, remember scriptural principle in different images, and with more than two of our senses- hearing and seeing. When I flip channels to religious programming I see an emphasis on the glitter and what one talking head (the pastor) is presenting, but an absence of fresh revelation.
Like I said, I’m naïve. I just now found out what “lol” stands for. I thought it meant “little old lady.”
When it comes to religious programming, however, I just don’t get it!

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One Comment on “”

  1. Friar_Tuck Says:

    I just bought a book in the Springs today called Christless Christianity which brings out some of what you are saying about Christian programming.

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