I don't have much time for television, so I don't have any shows that I watch on a regular basis (except for Pardon the Interruption on ESPN). While I was in New York at my daughter's a few weeks ago, I watched an Oprah show that Deborah had recorded. On this show, Oprah featured adult children of divorced parents who confronted their parents about the pain the children felt over the divorce. The show included sessions with a counselor (who was excellent) who met with the children and parents. Then the families and counselor appeared live on Oprah to talk about what they had learned.
It was a tearful, painful time for all. The adult children were still writhing in pain for the most part and the parents struggled to face their own frailties and failures. It made for a powerful viewing experience that obviously contributed greatly to the healing of those families and individuals. All that made me reflect on the sad state of Christian television. It occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, God raised up people like Oprah to do the work that the church doesn't do, at least on television.
While we have many so-called Christian stations, we have very few shows that don't focus on the pulpit. We usually take our Sunday morning sermon, edit it, add some intro and exit material to ask for money or to let the viewer know how to get in touch, and that's about it. Why is this the extent of Christian television? It's because we want to dominate the conversation, so to speak. We don't want to get down into people's lives; we just want to preach at them. And why is that? It's because we feel that once we have talked to someone, preached at them even, then we've done our part and the problems of the world are fixed and our duties fulfilled. This relates to the thinking I discussed when I wrote about Permission Marketing.
I was watching TV the other night and saw Pastor Rod Parsley asking people for an $8,500 "resurrection seed." This "seed" would then release a powerful anointing that would provide a breakthrough idea for a new business for those who gave. Of course, any amount would be appropriate to send in to support the ministry, but only the $8,500 would release the breakthrough. I know that Oprah is backed by powerful sponsors and Christian TV must pay its own bills, but really, Pastor Parsley, do you really believe what you said? I guess you do or you would not have said it! Then you are urging people to play the spiritual lottery, a concept I discussed in a previous post.
I would love to see Christian media and interviews that involved creativity, that focused on real people with real problems. Do you agree with me? If you do, then what can we do about it? I know that I have made up my mind to accept an invitation to be part of an Internet radio network that will broadcast a weekly show sponsored by yours truly. Talk is cheap and I don't just want to criticize what's out there; I want to provide a better solution and practical example of what I would do. It will be 13-week pilot program and, if it's successful, will roll out into a regular show.
If you give $100 to my new show, I know that you will be blessed and God will give you a media ministry of your own. NOT! I am trusting the Lord for the finances to pay for the show and if you would like to give, then please write and let me know. Your gift comes with no guarantee except that God is watching and will take note. But maybe we can do something that will release the power that only we as believers have to help save a lost and dying world made up of lost and dying people.