Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Faith Blog

This is an awkward subject for my Sunday Faith Post....  I discuss this subject with various people from time to time and most agree with me, some vehemently do not.   The subject is Christian TV and some of the goings-on there.  Big gold throne-chairs, billowing pink hair, raising money. etc.

Is that Jesus' message?

Or pastors yelling from the pulpit and taking big, gulping gasps of air between phrases as if they're on life support sucking in the oxygen, then spewing out more...  the messages aren't too bad, but the delivery's difficult to take.

Is that Jesus' message?

Or men (pastors?) spitting into the microphone and saying "someone has know who you are.." and suddenly that person is brought up to some stage, among hundreds in the audience crying and gyrating, and he spits and prays and a big bouncer stands behind the sick person, and this man puts his hand on their sweaty foreheads and proclaims YOU ARE HEALED..!  That person drops back into the bouncer's arms and runs back to his seat clicking his heels to the left and to the right. (okay, maybe not that dramatic, but you know what I mean).  And do NOT forget the money aspect of some of these shows, please.  I know a lot of money DOES reach its helpful mark but all?    (I don't THINK so!)

Is that Jesus' message?

Don't get me wrong; There are really educational, inspirational shows on Christian television.  Joyce Meyers always has a message worthwhile listening to, Beth Moore is marvelous, Life Today with James and Betty Robson is nice, Table Talk with Joni captures my men sitting around a table discussing Scripture can be very informative and interesting...we need another Billy Graham, but.............
HERE IS MY POINT:  If you were up late some night channel surfing and you landed on one of these shows I described above (other than the ones I personally admire), and you were on the line about faith..........which way would YOU go?   I say "I'll go back to the Frasier reruns I love so much as fast as I can...what is WITH those nuts!?  If I do become a believer, will I BE LIKE THAAAAAT?.....etc etc......"

And, I have dear believing friends who tell me about friends of theirs who did NOT believe but happened to do the "Christian TV Channel Surfing Experience" and something some (what I call) "nut" said on the air exactly reached them and they were transformed.   GO FIGURE!

How about you?  Do you worry that friends could be turned away because of the craziness (and I admit that's MY take on those shows, I don't blame you if you like them, trust me).....?   I do.  

Is ALL of it Jesus' Message, whether I "approve" or feel it's inspirational or not, and I'm being mean spirited?

Tell us! 

 "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way."  Psalms 25:9

have a wonderful Sunday!



sue hanes said...

Z - I know what you are saying here. I am turned off by many of the tv shows - but who knows which of them are phony - and which of them do good. I just turn them off if I think they are not good.

Have a great Sunday.

Ed Bonderenka said...

I had a leftist non-religious Jew co-worker (Bob) years ago whom I was friendly with.
One day, another co-worker friend (Rick) who had recently returned to his faith enjoined him in an attempt to challenge Bob's liberal non-christian view.
Bob tore Rick up.
Every verse Rick brought up, Bob responded to with another.
I wasn't there, but it was described to me.
I later asked Bob where hos knowledge of scripture came from and he said he liked to watch tv evangelists for the entertainment value.
Tammy Faye in particular.
I have the TBN channel in my favorites, but only for some of the inspirational movies that they show.
And Dr. Charles Stanley.
Have you ever seen the movie "A Perfect Stranger"? You'd love it.

Duckys here said...

I try to avoid he perverse desire o listen to Hagee when I surf by him.

Can't accomplish anything but generate very negative impressions.

Divine Theatre said...

If it weren't for Liberace I may have never known the magic of classical music.


Happy Sunday!


Mustang said...

Whenever I think of these TV gospel shows, I think back to the story in the Bible about the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus came to speak to the people, not scream at them. Screaming and carrying on is what I detest most about such programs. They have become spectacles, and this is not how Jesus delivered His messages to the people. If I want to see a spectacle, I’ll watch Ben Hur on TBS.

Beyond this, my feeling is that these TV evangelists are little more than con artists who are making serious money from dim-witted people who can least afford to send in their money to the TV ministry. I feel certain there is a special place in hell for these wolves in sheep’s clothing because they do more to turn people off from the Christian message. Also, I feel that these spitting, screaming nitwits too closely resemble the radical Imams who encourage violence to non-Mohammedans.

Jen Nifer said...

What Mustang said!

Silverfiddle said...

This reminds me of an old story I read, maybe in Reader's Digest.

A woman and her young son sat in one of those large mega-churches that more resemble a concert arena, the guests of a neighbor.

A televangelist paced the stage like a barely-contained animal, raving and shouting at the people, whipping his microphone cord behind him as he stalked the stage, staring out at the people between picking up his bible, reading a passage, and putting it back down.

Again he would pace, ranting and raving and whipping his microphone cord.

Finally, the young boy looked up to his mother with fearful eyes the size of saucers and asked, "Mommy, if he gets loose of his leash, will he attack us?"

Brooke said...

Nothing is worse than a televangelist... Except maybe listening to an Obama speech.

Pris said...

I agree with Mustang. I can't stand those who rave and rant either!

Thersites said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FreeThinke said...

Meritorious - OR - Meretricious?

Knowing the vital difference between the two determines the ultimate quality of our experience.

Baysider said...

Another ditto for Mustang! And Ducky, for that matter. Look at that - we agree! It's saturated with a show style that just makes my neurons cringe. And the quieter exceptions get swept into the generalization - too bad.

But lots of folks respond, so I have to admit there's a chord this ranting touches in many people. I think it's the style more than the message. Look at how people swoon over NON-televangelists with this style and a very different message. Anyone see governor Jennifer Granholm speak at the 2012 DNC? Or hear Al Gore launch into one of his trademark stem-winders?

Rita said...

The first time Bob went to Florida without me, I left the TV on all night and woke up to Joel Olsteen spouting his faith of the Almighty Dollar. I was disgusted at how blatent his "God wants you to make a lot of money" was.

I'm with you Z, the only one I ever thought might be real was Billy Graham.

I think all the others speak directly from Satan's tongue to turn away as many people as possible.

And of COURSE I could watch Frasier 24/7. They've cut back a bit on three hours in the morning in Lifetime.

Z said... have a great Sunday, too. So far, mine's been terrific (i'm 3 hours behind you, of course!)
I think just turning off those we don't want to hear is the trick.

I'm more worried about WHETHER THIS TURNS PEOPLE OFF TO CHRISTIANITY, which I"M HOPING gets addressed here, too.

Ed.........I'm surprised to hear it sounds like Bob won the contest because he obviously didn't know the meaning behind the verses...??
He stuck to his non religious views, so Tammmy obviously didn't sink in in the right ways. I think that's a rather sad story. I feel for Rick.

Everybody says Stanley's so good and he bores the C*** out of me. Go figure.

Ed; I own that movie and its sequel...they're very, VERY good and I highly recommend them. Particularly THE PERFECT STRANGER.

Ducky...I feel that way, too. Though Hagee knows his stuff, who can listen to it?
Very negative impressions.

Mustang; I think there are loads of pastors/TV types who don't take advantage financially, but we have to also understand it takes money to get the message on TV.
The crazy types are SUCH a turn off....yet, I do know people who've come to Christ in a hotel room on a business trip, just channel surfing.

Just shows that it's not in their hands or ours, right?

So, Andie, are you saying you think there's a place for the more 'outspoken types'? Let's talk..

Brooke; I LITERALLY can't look at OR listen to Obama anymore. He's so thin skinned and hateful and such a victim... in charge when he knows S*** that it's really getting to me.

Bayside...some of the politicians DO go overboard, you're right!

Thersites...probably so :-)
There IS a time for everything.

Z said...

Rita, I watch FRASIER at midnight LA time.....on cable but I can't remember what station; I just know it's DirecTV 312; Man, WHAT amazingly clever lines! LOVE IT

Joel Osteen has some good messages, I think, but that 'Name it and claim it' is a lie.
Still, I'm not sure that "being poor is virtuous" stuff is any better :-)

Impertinent said...


I think Sue H is on CST....2 hours?

Ed Bonderenka said...

Rita, I deleted dissing Osteen twice.
Since you mention it, I think he's a smarmy snake oil salesman.

Rita said...

And I'm always amazed Ed at how many people think he's legit.

When I heard him that night (some 6 years ago now) I literally got up out of bed and googled him because I had never heard of him before. He makes my skin crawl.

IMO, Sue H. should be in ET. She's in the same state as I am. Only Evansville and Gary are CT in the state since we went to DST, which I still hate.

Bob said...

I never watch Christian TV. I will, occasionally,watch a church service that is being broadcast. But, I don't consider a regular church service to be part of the theater that some of the evangelists seem to love.

In my opinion Christianity is not well served by some of those people, but I need to be careful of criticism. That's why I don't question the faith of those that are into talking in tongues, or faith healing.

Thanks for the great article, Z. God bless you, and have a great week.

Kid said...

What Mustang said, and -

I can't imagine people get religion from TV. I believe people get religion from serious life situations. Like when I was 8 and my communion partner was the most beautiful 8 year old female on Earth...
Or more seriously, when celebrating the life of a loved one as they've passed on. I appreciate the funeral mass and procedures to properly send one off to the after-life.

I hear often soldiers get religion. What can be more serious that some of the situations they find themselves in.

I appreciate the mass itself though I don't go often, weddings and funerals.

The celebration of Christ. The spiritual message given that even atheists can get something from in terms of daily life with the Rest of the Humans Running Around. The comfort it brings to many.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Kid, I just finished Life of Pi and saw Gravity last week. I was struck that both Castaway style movies had appeals to God, yet not the Tom Hanks movie.

Kid said...

Ed, You'd think castaway would be a serious enough life situation to at least deserve an honorable mention eh?

Kid said...

Just realized I didn't mention to Animals we live with and many of us often take care of. Pardone. Do the TV Evangalists ever mention the family pets? Rhetorical question.

Rita said...

Thanks was supposed to read "Imp" and Mark Zuckerburg changed it to IMO. Mark's stupid.

A few weeks ago, DISH that've us HBO for the weekend. I taped Life of Pi. I absolutely loved it. I had no idea what it was about. I've watched it probably four times since I DVRd it.

Z said...

I think Sue's in Indiana...perhaps that's only 2 hours ahead of CA? I really don't know, Imp.
I don't really care much, either, as long as everybody's happy :-)\

Kid, the thing is, as many nuts and spitters there are on Christian TV, there are some really excellent lecturers who I know do inspire a lot of people.
Really academic types...

Kid said...

Z, Just tossing out an opinion. There are many valid ones. :)

Z said...

Kid, I know...and one would have to watch a lot of that type of TV to even get to see the really academic, interesting ones.

My point of the post is how most of the evangelists TURN PEOPLE OFF...and I think we're all in agreement on that!

Kid said...

Z, Yes, I concur. :)