ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • Christianity, the Bible & Jesus

God TV--Is it Working?

Updated on June 4, 2013
drmiddlebrook profile image

Dr. Middlebrook, former university professor, is a fiction/non-fiction author (pen name Beax Rivers), and virtual writing coach and trainer.

It's Multiplying

There are possibly hundreds of church channels on TV these days, and surely thousands, if not millions, of preachers on them, all day every day, all talking about God. Has it all become too much? Is so much focus on God killing any chance of anyone being able to believe? Does God really need that many messengers in the form of human beings, to help us understand a book that, if we want, we can read for ourselves?

Has the prevalence of televangelism become so overwhelming that it is drowning out the true voice of God in our lives? Isn't it also true that with so many voices speaking, there is no excuse for not hearing the word? We certainly have ample opportunities every day to gain a deeper understanding of the word, and have many suitors waiting to take us on a closer walk with Jesus. And all it takes is one little click on the TV remote control.

In my opinion, there can never be too many true crusaders for Christ. And while I am sure that not everyone who stands behind a podium talking about “God this and Jesus that” actually believes in or follows the words of God or Jesus, I am truly thankful for those sincere men and women who do. I thank God for the truth that comes to me through Christian authors and evangelists and ministers, even those that come into my life through television broadcasting networks.

World of Televangelism Rocked by Scandal

No doubt many of those who dislike the prevalence of church channels, and televangelists, have been influenced by the many "scandals" that have rocked the world of TV evangelism. Just to refresh your memory, in the following paragraphs I will recap several of them ("those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it").

In 2004, the Los Angeles Times published several articles questioning the fundraising practices of TBN, the world's largest evangelical Christian television network. Paul Crouch is the network's founder and president. The newspaper also published allegations of a former ministry employee who claimed that he had a homosexual affair with Crouch during the 1990s. TBN denied all allegations and said the former employee's claims were part of an extortion scheme. In 2005, that same former employee appeared at the taping of the ION Television show "Lie Detector." The show was never aired, the lie detector test results were never revealed, and none of the allegations were ever substantiated.

Another famous scandal involved evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. In 1986, Swaggart waged several on-screen attacks against fellow televangelists Jim Bakker and Marvin Gorman. He helped to reveal Bakker's infidelity with Jessica Hahn, and Gorman's affair with a member of Gorman's congregation. The revelations garnered widespread media coverage, leading Gorman to retaliate. He hired a private investigator that uncovered Swaggart's adulterous indiscretions with a prostitute, and that discovery ultimately forced Swaggert to step down from his pulpit for a year. In February, 1988, he apologized on television to his congregation, saying "I have sinned against you, my Lord, and I would ask that your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of God's forgiveness."

While a sex scandal led to Jim Bakker's resignation from the ministry, it was later revelations about accounting fraud that led to his imprisonment and to his divorce from the now deceased Tammy Faye Bakker. Jim Bakker started the Praise the Lord (PTL) Club while working for Paul Crouch at TBN.

Most recently, televangelist Bishop Eddie Long, in September 2010, was accused by four young men who filed civil suits against him, claiming that the Atlanta mega-church pastor used his authority as a religious leader to persuade them into sexual relations. The men claimed Long lavished them with gifts and took them on trips around the world when they were teenagers. Then they produced cell phone pictures, which added fuel to the fire of media stories about the scandal. In them, Eddie Long was seen posing in muscle shirts, and the young men said he sent the pictures to them, trying to entice them. Although Long said the accusations against him were false, he and his attorney settled the lawsuits out of court in May, 2011, and no one involved publicly discussed the terms of the settlement.

Source

A Narrow Path

There is a narrow path to God's righteousness. And because this is true, there is no doubt in my mind that as long as there is sin in the world, there will never be a shortage of scandals in the Christian church. The church is not immune to sin. And, while it is certainly true that many of the men and women “of the cloth” are most definitely in it for the money and/or the fame, I believe there are more ministers, televangelists, writers, best-selling Christian authors, counselors, and teachers, who are genuine in their love of God, and that are doing a great deal of blessed work for God that is truly inspired and needed.

I'm sure you probably question, as I do, why anyone would go into the pulpit as a follower of Christ, knowing full well he or she engages routinely in actions and activities that are against God? How anyone can preach against sin, asking others to listen to them and to uphold them as someone trying to walk the walk of Christ, when they know they are hiding a life of sin and deceit that is definitely not like Christ? Jesus provided a good example for those He asked to follow Him. And, while you and I know no one can live a sin-free life the way that Jesus did, still, as Christians, televangelists and other ministers should do their best to commit to living lives based on how God's word says we are to live.

Still, I don't believe we should throw the baby out, if you will, along with the dirty bathwater. And I know there are millions more people like me who are thirsty and in need of help and enlightenment, who are truly seeking help from those Christian men and women who really are devoted to living their lives for God and Christ, while also delivering the Word of God in a way that can help and heal others.

Isn't Church TV exactly what God wants? A way to reach millions with His message?
Isn't Church TV exactly what God wants? A way to reach millions with His message? | Source

"Declare Ye Among the Nations"

Is that what God wants? Church TV? In fact, even though millions and millions of people go to church, to an actual physical building devoted to church services, every Sunday, I’m sure many more millions get their “spiritual enlightenment” from the preachers and teachers of television. Is that a good thing for the church? Are people becoming believers by hearing the word on television? Is listening to a preacher on television, in the comfort (or discomfort) of our own homes, just as legitimate as hearing the same preacher inside the church?

Then what’s the difference? I’m asking you that question: What’s the difference? If a preacher is truly someone who is among the few willing to do the work it takes to gain fruitful understanding of the word, then wouldn’t God want him or her to become a light for others? Doesn’t he, in fact, say these preachers and teachers should “publish” his word to the nations? Jeremiah 50:2 (KJV) says:

“Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.”

Doesn't God need Christians to shine a light so that others can discover His way?
Doesn't God need Christians to shine a light so that others can discover His way? | Source

Isn’t that the call to action for televangelist and preachers alike? When we know and understand the word, and yet do not share it or use it to help light the way for others, doesn’t Jesus tell us it’s as though we took our light, and hid it under a barrel, keeping it in secret? And aren’t we to understand that concealing His word from others is not pleasing to God?

Through Holy Scripture, God is directing us to use our ability to help others achieve true understanding by sharing our light with those in need of it that are willing to consider its illumination, its truth, and its potency. I believe we are to share so that the person we help is then able to share her or his light with other willing listeners, and so on, and so on. And while I am not a minister or a televangelist (nor do I plan to become either), it is still my hope that my Hub articles on Christian living are shining a light, providing illumination toward a path others can discover, to follow Christ. Just as every other group on the planet can be vocal and demanding when it comes to having representation on television, shouldn’t those who believe in God and Jesus Christ have the same right?

Sure, there are preachers who are “in it” for the money and fame. There are also men and women in the ministry, on TV and not on TV, that are not authentic as church leaders; they are committed to living lives of sin and then hiding it behind religion, instead of practicing what they preach. I understand that ministers, like the rest of us, are all sinners in the eyes of God. I get that. it's true that there are all kinds of men and women out there today preaching and teaching the word of God, and not all of them are truly called by God to preach. Still, I don’t think there can or will ever be too many sincere, true-to-their-own-hearts preachers of the gospel. Ultimately, it is a good thing that anyone who wants to can pick up a TV remote control and tune in to some of them on television, without leaving home.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      atenson 4 years ago

      the LORD GOD sent a messenger.Google Aten god of truth and light.Islam,christian,jewish and aten are the same God,how each religion worships the ONE GOD is the difference.No human speaks for THE LORD GOD eternally.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)