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The Kingdom of God is NOT a Reality Show

As I have stated in past blog posts, Christianity in this country has fallen into the grip and influence of Hollywood. We live in an age of celebrity preachers and very large churches that look and operate more like corporations than the temples where people are taught the unadulterated Word of God. The church at large no longer seems to be a place where people are delivered and set free from strongholds and bondages. It has become more like a place where people can come and be entertained with great music and charismatic sermons that are not designed to convict people of their sin. Not to mention, the word REPENT no longer appears to be a part of the church vernacular. People flock to churches because of the status of a preacher, especially if he is on TV or hobnobs with celebrities and professional athletes. And don’t let him be handsome or have an excessive amount of charisma.

So now it’s almost like the church has become no different from an exclusive social club where people are clamoring for attention and status. Yes, the church as I knew growing up no longer exists. Most of the churches that exist in this country are not changing the communities around them. Actually, it appears to be vice versa. For example, I get angry when I think about how most churches (especially black churches) lack ministries that cater to sexual abuse and brokenness. It makes me mad that I live in the metropolitan city that has the highest occurrence of sex trafficking, yet there are hundreds, even thousands of churches all over the place! What exactly are they doing?! It also pains me to see so few churches who are actively involved in rectifying this issue, as well as many others. Granted, I know that I might sound presumptuous, but I believe the fruit speaks for itself. I believe the community and surrounding areas would be a very different if the church was truly operating the way God intended. Now I do want to emphasize that I am talking about the American church collectively because I know that there are still true places of worship that are led by leaders who sincerely shepherd the flock that has been entrusted to them.

So why am I mentioning this? Well, after watching the first episode of “Preachers of L.A.,” I can fully understand why the American church has become an entity to be mocked and even hated. This new reality show profiles pastors who oversee fairly large congregations and who live lives full of luxury. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that a church leader shouldn’t be financially prosperous, but why do their riches have to be paraded before the entire world? Shouldn’t there be some modesty and humility on their part, considering that they are the ones who are setting the example? I’m sure that just about all of us have the heard the scripture that says we can’t serve God and mammon, but these pastors are trying to and it surely is not working. Aren’t these leaders supposedly trying to model their character after the One who never owned a mansion or had money? As a matter of fact, the Word explicitly states that church leaders cannot be greedy for money. (See Titus 1:7, I Timonthy 3:3 and 3:8) I can only wonder what people across the nation were thinking when they saw the mansions, luxury cars, expensive suits and Rolex watches that these “men of God” sported. I wonder how many people in their congregations are struggling to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, and the number of the families in their churches that are headed by single mothers wouldn’t surprise me either. From what I can see, this show only gave unbelievers more ammunition to justify the reasons why they don’t believe in God or attend church. I bet you that the salaries these preachers are being paid from the show blinded them to the fact that “reality television” is always edited for the purpose of obtaining higher ratings. Did they not consider that their arguments and disagreements would always be highlighted because of people’s addiction to drama? The exchange between some of them towards the end of the episode was no different than what one would see on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and all the other ridiculous reality shows that pollute the channels on television. Oh and did I tell you that five out of the six preachers are Black American? Yeah, you already know the deal… Stereotypes, stereotypes and more stereotypes… Did they not consider that their homes and luxuries would be on display just like on that show “MTV Cribs” or any other shows that feature lifestyles of the rich and famous? Seeing Bishop Clarence McClendon’s mansion was the perfect proof that this show is exalting these pastors; not the Heavenly Father. Did it ever cross their minds that people would get the wrong idea about Christianity and the church? The last time I checked, Jesus Christ did not die so that we could become celebrities or be rich. He died so that we may have the chance to be in eternity with Him.

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Now I do want to point out that I could respect the fact that one of the preachers goes back to his old neighborhood to win souls into the Kingdom. I respect the fact that he puts himself in harm’s way to minister to gang bangers. However, when he was able to get them to a gospel concert, something really disappointing and telling happened. This preacher summoned the men who were in gangs up to the stage during the altar call in order to lead them in a prayer for their salvation. Meanwhile, Deitrick Haddon (Award winning Gospel singer and one of the preachers) tapped him on the shoulder and told him he only had five minutes for the altar call. So in other words, his concert was more important than the eternal fate of these men’s souls. He needed to be on stage and the fact that these men were confessing Jesus Christ as their lord and savior was an inconvenience to him. But hey, this is what the church at large has been reduced to… People aren’t rejoicing and shouting over souls being saved. They’re getting hyped over the belief that their present sinful conditions are covered by grace and that they don’t have to change. They’re shouting over the fantasy that some extravagant, grandeur blessing is going to fall out of the sky because of the fact that they are manipulated into giving all their money to the church.

So for those who are defending this show, I challenge you to really do some soul searching and ask God if this show is truly honoring Him. If you believe so, then why is all the attention on the preachers and their personal lives? Why is the focus on their drama, their issues, their arguments, their families, etc..? Where is the focus on ministry??? Why is so much attention paid to their material possessions? Come on folks, it is time to put away the foolishness and get real! It is time for the REMNANT to rise up and spark a revival in this nation! It is time to distinguish the wheat from the tare. It is time to expose the spirit of Hollywood that has infiltrated the church. It is time to pray! Oh and no, I will not be patronizing this show, flooding my eye gates and ear gates with only a form of godliness. I need the real deal. The times are to crucial for me to risk being DECEIVED.

Nathan Allen Copyright ©2013

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 16, 2013 in Spirituality

 

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They Want to be Worshipped

II Timothy 3:1-3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, (NKJV)

The words I highlighted in this scripture are some of the very reasons why pure ministry hardly ever takes place in this country. The spirit of Hollywood has infected the modern day church and it is playing out in ways that appear to make a total mockery of anyone who professes to follow Jesus Christ.

So what am I talking about specifically? Well, we now have four reality shows that involve “Christians.” One involves a popular gospel duo and another new show now involves a family of gospel artists. I know that many folks think this is a good thing for Christianity and see this as a positive. But aren’t those of us who follow Christ supposed to be about advancing the Kingdom? Well, sadly neither of these shows reflects that in any kind of way. The gospel duo’s show seems to only reflect materialism, drama and lives that are ultimately self-centered. The other gospel family show is very comparable. Why do we need to see “celebrity gospel artists” parade around in expensive designer clothes just like the “A-listers” in the world? Their “acts of service” appear to be limited to that of showing up and profiling at charity events, and while they might donate some money; do we really believe that this is the work of pure ministry? All they do is show up to gospel music events and perform. What one would see on these shows is only a step or two above the FOOLISHNESS present on such shows as “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “Love and Hip Hop,” and “Braxton Family Values.” So many gospel artists and ministries nowadays appear to clamor for attention and notoriety, while they are supposed to be sharing the good news. The spirit of Hollywood is seducing the body of Christ and taking people’s eyes off of the Father.

The other two reality shows don’t involve gospel artists, but supposedly take place in the “Christian community.” One show is about preachers’ daughters and their struggle to stay pure and holy. Sadly, this is nothing but another means for nonbelievers to continue mocking and scoffing at the faith. There is already a belief in the world that says that preacher’s kids are rebellious and wilder than other kids. Come on folks! We’re supposed to be set apart! What was the motive for these pastors to actually air their family business on TV? I think we all know the answer. $$Money$$. The other show is called “The Sisterhood” and it is about preacher’s wives. As I expected, it amounts to nothing more than a slightly cleaner version of “Basketball Wives.” The women on this show don’t model the character of the Proverbs 31 woman by any stretch of the imagination. Trust me, these ladies care more about getting their hair and nails done than ministering to the lost and broken.

I shutter at the possibility of future Christian reality shows that will continue to make a mockery of what is supposed to represent the TRUTH. So in mentioning these shows along with some other examples I will give, it all boils down to this one truth: THEY WANT TO BE WORSHIPPED.

That may sound a bit extreme to some of you, but I believe that is the truth that resides in the recesses of the hearts of many in the body of Christ. People need to be validated and need to be reassured of who they are because too many of us are not operating as true heirs of Christ. Our identity isn’t grounded enough in Him, which is why so many in the worship arts and ministry seem to seek notoriety. There is so much competition in the modern day church culture, it is no wonder that ministries don’t work together. Have you ever noticed how it seems like most of the major ministers always have their face on the front cover of most or all of the books they’ve written? Why is that? I believe it is because they unknowingly or even unconsciously become too big in their own eyes. There is just too much self-importance.

I also believe that it is becoming rare to experience pure ministry that would cause one to fall to the floor in true repentance. Where are the psalmists who can manifest anointing that brings visitations from the Lord? Where is the poet whom can speak words that tear into the core of your heart and bring that conviction that leads to change? Where are the ministers who actually can lay hands on someone and they be healed or delivered? These types of experiences won’t take place when there are impure motives behind the “ministry.” These manifestations will never occur when vessels are affirmed by being the center of attention. They will only occur when we desire that He and He alone is worshipped, not us. Becoming invisible and decreasing that He may increase is the only way we will see His glory.

Father I pray right now that You would purge the spirit of Hollywood that might be residing in the hidden areas of our hearts. Create is us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. May the blood of Jesus kill any desires within us to be worshipped and admired. May we learn to embrace humility and operate with pure motives. May we desire that You alone be glorified and that Your Kingdom be manifested in the earth. Help us to keep our hearts and minds on things that are eternal and not temporal. Prepare us for these last days so we are not distracted by the temptations of the world. May we be set apart for Your glory. Amen.

Nathan Allen Copyright© 2013

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Spirituality

 

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