“Preachers of L.A.”? WHY???
Can’t get enough
“faith-based” reality TV shows? Well, you’re in luck. . . because there’s ANOTHER “anointed” trainwreck on the way. And this time, it’s ‘men of the cloth.’ lukewarm Laodicean
This fall Oxygen media will launch an upcoming reality TV show “Pastors of L.A.”
According to a press release, the docu-series “will give viewers a candid and revealing look” into the lives of six prominent religious figures in the Los Angeles area: Noel Jones, Deitrick Haddon, Clarence McClendon, Wayne Chaney, Ron Gibson, and Jay Haizlip. The show will follow “their work in the community and with their parishioners to the very large and sometimes provocative lives they lead away from the pulpit.”
“Transparency” or HYPOCRISY?
Executive producer of the show Holly Carter (creator and executive producer of 106 & Gospel and executive producer of The Sheards, for the new series) said “This show documents a journey of transparency from one man to the next as they endeavor to lead others to their own truth and self-discovery.”
Maybe I’m the only one who notices this, but I keep seeing the word “transparency” thrown around like a get out of jail free card to excuse unashamed unabashed hypocritical behavior. Professing Christians (including leaders) behave like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and then try to justify their carnality with “I’m just keeping it real” and “being transparent.” Beloved, Jesus does not consider such behavior “real” nor “transparent” — He calls that HYPOCRISY (being a religious fake, pretender, or actor). There is no such thing a “real/transparent” hypocrite. That’s an oxymoron.
People play the “transparency” card because they walk after the flesh and do not practice what they preach. Rather than humbling themselves by confessing their sin and repenting of hypocrisy, they try to save face by calling their sin “transparency” because of their pride. Like the scribes and Pharisees, they are concerned about projecting a certain image to the public, rather than being concerned about living a Spirit-led set-apart life before God who sees the intents and motives of the heart. If we are truly living a life of transparency before God, then we will carry ourselves with reverence knowing that the Lord is always with us and living in us.
I for one, am not fooled by all of the talk about “a journey of transparency” on Pastors of L.A. I know that such language is used to prep and prime the minds of viewers, so that when these “men of God” misrepresent Jesus Christ on an international platform, their glaring contradictions will be excused by the “transparency” card. If these gentlemen were truly transparent before God — both teaching and living by the truth of the Gospel in their public and personal lives — there would be no need for the producers of this show to defend their hypocrisy in advance with buzz terms about “transparency” “a candid and revealing look” and the “provocative lives they lead away from the pulpit.”
The “Human Side” of Pastors
Fellow producer Lemuel Plummer (the creator and executive producer of Vindicated and producer of The Sheards) said “We intend to portray the human side of these pastors and the real world in which they live and work.”
Most Americans already know about the “human side” of religious figures. Unfortunately, we see and hear about it on a regular basis. I mean, all you have to do is attend the average American church, watch “christian” programming, the national news, or go online and you will eventually see the “human side” of prominent religious figures.
All of their short-comings, Scripture-twisting, false gospels, false teachings, false traditions, cheap gimmicks to gain members, profanity, compromise, materialism and financial corruption, perversion and sexual debauchery, controlling authoritarian behavior, spiritual abuse, domestic violence, self-promotion and narcissism, witchcraft, damage control and coverups. . . their “human side” is broadcast on a daily basis for public consumption. Do we really need a reality TV show to publicize more of the same ole ‘all have sinned and fallen short’ licentiousness?
Personally, I say ENOUGH of the “human side” of religious figures. I’m fed up with carnal pulpiteers and “christian celebrities” who flaunt themselves as “more anointed” and “more spiritual” than others, when in fact (as the press release put it) they lead “
hypocritical provocative lives” away from the pulpit. Where is their SPIRITUAL side since they claim to be “anointed and appointed” by God? Where is the evidence of God’s Spirit dwelling in them and that they are qualified to shepherd God’s people? Where are the godly traits listed in Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, and Titus 1:6-9?
Perhaps Lemuel Plummer is preparing viewers for the “human side” of these leaders because the fruit of God’s Spirit is lacking in their personal lives. This way, when anyone points out their carnality, undiscerning folks will object by saying that the purpose of the show is to portray their “human side.” Hogwash. The public (the Christian community specifically) is being prepared and conditioned to see an onslaught of mad church disease and religious flesh on display.
The Church’s Addiction To Reality TV
Best believe Oxygen media wouldn’t waste a dime on a show like this if there weren’t a market for it among American Christians. Before you get defensive, I’m not saying that EVERY Believer feeds into reality TV (some of us don’t even have cable), but sadly, many professing Christians are addicted to reality TV and have a fanatical obsession with “christian celebrities.” They idolize their leaders and would love to trail their personal lives like a “holy” paparazzi. So maybe, just maybe this show will take off with high ratings. . . who knows, we’ll have to wait and see. But I will most certainly not be tuning in. You see, for me, the “human side” and “provocative lives” of religious figures is not a source of entertainment, but a source of grief and a serious matter.
Some people claim that this show can be used as a vehicle to “minister to the lost,” but I see it as a judgment on the apostate American church. Surely it’s a judgment upon western “Christianity” when the world views it as a source of entertainment rather than a source of truth, grace, and freedom. “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”
While professing Christians watch Pastors of L.A. for laughs, giggles, and gossip — I will be hoping and praying that such leaders and their followers repent of hypocrisy, and their pursuit of power, money, and fame.
We are called to be the salt and light of the world, not the entertainment of the world.