Monday, November 14, 2005

A Modest Proposal?

John Schroeder has a fun proposal that people from the "normal" Church buy out TBN and all the televangelists, like Pat Robertson, with their lousy, semi-almost-Christian theology, and deny them access to the public. As tempting as John's proposal is, I had to say this in his comments section:
I like the idea, John. But I have several thoughts:

1. Getting any group of Christians to agree on what constitutes "normal" (especially given our status as "aliens and strangers") is a tough task.

2. Besides, as Bruce Cockburn has observed, "the trouble with normal is it always gets worse."

3. Then there is my rising suspicion that the money Christians spend on big media is increasingly wasted. Pat Robertson, for example, has, at most, 1-million Americans watching his '700 Club' daily. We could prevent those folks from hearing his blather, but for most people, TBN and other outlets are unengaging blurs through which they rifle while channel surfing. I think that real witness happens one-on-one and on blog sites, for example.

4. Of course, the negative impact of these folks is magnified when the mainstream media picks up their many outrageous misstatements of the Gospel. They can deligitimize or undermine those legitimate, faithful individual witnesses for Christ. So, what your proposal does have going for it is that it might momentarily give the "normal" church some breathing room, disallowing the competition of "another gospel" from the airwaves.

The problem with this of course, is that Jesus has said we will always have to deal with false prophets. Like those arcade groundhogs you have to beat with a hammer, these goofballs keep popping up. So it was for Paul; so it is for the Church today.


P_J said...


Yes, the problem is not TBN or Pat Robertson but that they have a willing audience. Last time I checked, they are completely (and amply) supported by willing donors. Taking them off the air won't cure us of wanting false teachers to tickle our ears.

And anyway, what would we do with all that tacky gilt furniture from the TBN set?

Mark Daniels said...

You're right. Consider too, the likely impact on both the hair spray and pink wig industries.