Let’s start with a scripture defining the Great Commission:
16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:16-20 (NLT)
Now let’s follow that up with the scripture defining what happens when the Gospel gets twisted, diluted, and stretched so thin to the point where it doesn’t really look like gospel anymore:
“But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.” -2 Peter 2:1 (NLT)
(keywords: “cleverly teach”)
Now think carefully about this question. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about these church-based, reality TV shows:
“The Sisterhood” on TLC
“Preachers’ Daughters” on Lifetime
“Preachers’ Wives” on Lifetime
“Preachers of LA” on Oxygen
Moreso than that, what are these TV shows “cleverly” teaching you?
When the church starts to look more and more like the world that creates a huge problem with the true witness of the overall church. The scripture says in 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) that we are a peculiar people. “Peculiar” by definition means “unusal, belonging exclusively to or identified distinctly with somebody or something”. The question is how can an individual be “unusual” and “distinct” if that individual looks like every other individual.
TV producers aren’t so concerned about spreading the Gospel, but understand that they are not fools either. They are in the business of “ratings and attention” because that equals “dollars and cents” and nothing generates more ratings and attention than “Christians acting in a non-Christian way”. What TV producers don’t realize is that there’s a difference between “Christians” (followers of Christ) and “church-folk” (people who attend church) and the real Christians who are trying to be “Christ-like” in their walk are still works in progress, but ultimately there should be some evidence of that “work in progress” which is something you will never see on TV.
Nobody’s perfect, but that’s not the mandate because the only perfect person to walk the face of the Earth was Jesus Himself. The mandate is to be Christ-like. To try, to the best of our ability, to be more like Him in everything that we do by applying the scriptures to our everyday living. TV shows produced to generate “ratings and attention” at the expense of spreading the Gospel way too thin OR discrediting the Gospel altogether is a problem for the Body of Christ at large. Don’t get it wrong, I like to be entertained by a good TV show, but when it comes to “pimping out the church” for ad revenue, it reminds me of this passage of scripture:
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. -Ephesians 4:11-16 (NLT)
There’s that keyword again… “clever”. Think about it.