The original intention of this blog was to showcase 21st century examples of Fisherman for God. This past weekend though I saw an article in a couple of locations concerning a ministry that has gone astray.
Paul wrote in in I Thessalonians 2: 1-9
You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure.2 We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition.3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you.4 On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed–God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you,7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 9 Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.
The Trinity Broadcasting Network TBN which also runs The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida seems to have missed these verses. No one would deny that according to the scripture, our pastors should receive a salary for their work but that there is a responsible limit as stewards of God’s church. The TBN founders apparently don’t believe that there should be a limit to how they should live or benefit from the $93 million in donations received in 2010 alone. The founders Mr and Mrs Crouch have his and her’s mansions in both California and Orlando Florida. There are so corporate jets valued at $8 million and $49 million. The Crouch’s and staff also eat extravagant $1000 meals paid with tax-exempt money. While The Holy Land Experience was being remodeled, Mrs Crouch rented 2 suites at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando for 2 years, one suite was reserved for her while the other was for her two Maltese dogs. Mr. Crouch travels around Newport Beach California in a chauffeured Bentley.
The Crouch’s preach Prosperity Gospel meaning that they speak uplifting talk and encouragement and when people donate they will receive rewards from God. “Prosperity theology is a false theology,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Between its message and its reputation for high spending, Mr. Mohler said, “TBN has been a huge embarrassment to evangelical Christianity for decades.”
TBN and the Crouch’s are a prime example of why Christians are having a hard time being Fishers of Men for God. The non-believer takes a look at examples such as these and can’t see anything but hypocrisy. What the Bible teaches and Christ’s example don’t mesh with pastors and organizations that live an opulent lifestyle from the donations and tithes of those searching for a relationship with God. God does not measure each of us based upon what we give and to preach in such a way is equivalent to false teaching.
I haven’t visited The Holy Land Experience and after learning these facts this past weekend, I will never visit it and tend on telling others not to as well. TBN, you may have started out with the right intentions in the 1970’s with your teachings but you have strayed from God’s true word.
To read more about this story visit this website.
By now, everyone has heard of Tyler Perry and his famous character named Madea. If you haven’t, Tyler Perry writes and directs movies from his own studio and in many of his movies he cross dresses as Madea and Perry describes her as, “God-fearing, gun-toting, pot-smoking, loud-mouthed grandmother”. One of the unique aspects of Perry’s movies is that they traditionally receive negative feedback from critics but the movies remain profitable. Some of his biggest critics come from the same demographic that he is targeting and that is the black community while others come from the Christian community. His movies address prostitution, drugs, broken families, troubled youth and the over all break down of society which can be found in all demographics of society BUT his movies have a Christian undertone demonstrating how all of these current day blights can be remedied.
I am not going to address why parts of the black community think negatively about Perry’s movies while other parts support him. The issues in his movies can be found in every section of society and thus the true message of his movies concerning the ultimate hope through God applies to all. A prime of example is in Madea’s Big Happy Family where a character is diagnosed with cancer for the second time and is going to die. This scenario is played out across all of society everyday but the difference is that in Perry’s movie the character is at peace with dying because she knows God and that she is heading for a better place.
There is debate though as to whether Perry’s movies are truly spreading Christianity correctly. The central character Madea doesn’t truly represent a Christian way of living with her constant court appearance for her actions, harsh language (void of swearing), viewpoints on how to handle situations and apparent dislike for church even though she thinks others should attend. Madea though is the central character that holds the extended family together in times of crisis. It is the supporting cast that brings the need for Christ into the stories of despair in Perry’s movies. Perry is not afraid to mix the realities of our current culture, family dynamics and God into his movies and this is where I think many Christians find offense.
I read articles concerning Perry and his movies written by Christians and there seems to be a recurring theme that Tyler Perry is deviating from his Christian beliefs when he creates a movie that has offensive material within it making it unsuitable at times for a younger audience. I DO NOT believe that this assumption is true. First of all, Perry isn’t targeting a younger audience with his stories and second he is attempting to capture the attention of an audience that can relate to the negative aspects of the stories but show that there is a solution and a way out…..GOD. Granted Perry has taken a non-traditional way of achieving his goal and I think that is why he receives negative reviews and has had to build his own studios for his movies. Many of his movies include scenes from church, praying, and gospel music.
I can think of someone else that used non-traditional methods to reach an audience about God and received negative reviews in his day……JESUS CHRIST. The world is filled with many unique groups of people that need to hear that there is hope through CHRIST in a world full of despair but Christians need to realize that a cookie cutter approach doesn’t work for everyone. Christians need to have an open mind to new ideas and support those who utilizing their resources and talents as the Bible commands to be a Fisher of Men for God.
For a full bio of Tyler Perry visit his website and learn more about how he is a devout Christian in word as well as deed. Also be sure to read this great article from the USA TodayTruth Be Told which addresses his faith.
A great clip to watch……Truth Be Told
I’ve actually avoided Tim Tebow up to this point as a subject of blog. It seemed too easy to use him as a public 21st century example of Christianity. Just about everybody has already heard his name and even if someone doesn’t know him for playing football, they have heard something about his Christian beliefs.
I read an article today that changed my mind about using Tebow so soon on my blog.
Jets Quarterback Tim Tebow’s Virginity Worth A Report $1 Million Dollars Read Full Story Here
Noel Biderman the founder of AshleyMadison.com is offering any woman who can prove they have had sex with Tim Tebow a million dollars. Biderman doubts that Tebow is still a virgin and in fact he states, “Sports and sex (and of course, infidelity) go hand in hand. If Mr. Tebow is indeed abstaining from adult relationships, I would encourage him to find a nice lady or two and enjoy his youth and fame as much as possible.”
Survivor has been one of the biggest and most watched Reality Shows. Over the years there have many demonstrations of Christian behavior mixed in with the usual game activities that everyone expects to see. It is not uncommon to see tribes praying during meals and contestants praying privately to God. A question arises though, in a game where one must being willing to lie and manipulate, how can a Christian maintain their beliefs and live a Christian life.
Recently, Brandon Hantz a born again Christian participated on Survivor while everyone watch as he struggled with balancing the dynamics of the game with his Christian beliefs. His struggles were enhanced by the fact that his Uncle, Russell Hantz, had played the game more than once and had openly embraced the role of being deceptive and one of the most hated contestants. Brandon was on the same tribe as Benjamin “Coach” Wade an also professed Christian. The difference though was that “Coach” on his third season of Survivor was playing a game of manipulation and lying. There were even times that “Coach” appeared to be tempting Brandon to abandon his Christian beliefs for those of the game. As a Christian watching the season play out, I wondered if the dynamic between Brandon and “Coach” was hindering the viewpoint of Christians to non-Christians watching the show.
It seems as though Christian contestants have to be willing to abandon their beliefs in order to win or do well on the show. Is this ok since it is part of the game or can Christians play the game with integrity based on their beliefs and win.
The other question is how much editing is done by the makers of Survivor and misconstrue what Christian contestants say in order to achieve ratings but at the same time placing the contestant as a hypocrite in the viewer’s eyes. I read an article where Survivor contestant Vecepia Towery-Robinson addressed this issue, (Full Article on ChristianityToday.com)
“There were also times when my words were misconstrued. It is unfortunate, but we sign up that they can use our voice, our image, and anything they want during the show. There was one on-show interview where I was asked, “How do you feel as a Christian having to lie and backstab? Do you feel you can ask for forgiveness afterwards?”
I answered, “As a Christian we have that liberty to go to our Lord and Savior after we have wronged our brother or sister and ask forgiveness. In this game, though, I cannot do that. I can’t lie and backstab and then turn around and say, ‘Oh Lord, please forgive me.’ Nor can I say, ‘Lord, I am about to lie to this person, please forgive me after the fact.'”
When it aired on television, my words were flipped around. The minute I heard it I said, “Oh my, that is not what I meant.” I got a lot of flak for it. I had preachers e-mail me saying I was not a good role model for Christianity.”
I am curious what you think about how Christians have played Survivor and if it is possible to play the game without compromising one’s Christian beliefs.
My last post talked about how the Robertson family on Duck Dynasty are Christians. Yesterday I noticed that each member of the family was given a questionnaire to answer and these were then posted on the A&E website. Some of the answers solidify that this is a Christian family.
Phil Robertson – When you aren’t working for the family business or hunting, what’s your favorite thing to do? Be standing in front of a crowd of people with a bible in hand, having the floor for 45 min. I do this nationwide.
Kay Robertson – What’s your favorite family tradition? Every Wed night I pick up Grandkids to take to church.
Missy Robertson – If you weren’t in Louisiana where would you want to live? In heaven. I plan on going straight there from here!
I will continue to support this show and commend the Robertson family for being so open about their Christianity on such a public forum such as a TV show.
I saw the commercials for Duck Dynasty and thought it might be an interesting show to watch but missed the first few episodes. One evening there wasn’t anything else I wanted to watch so I turned on Duck Dynasty and I was hooked. The premise of the show is a back country family from Louisiana that become millionaires from making and selling duck calls. The first thing you notice is that each male has long flowing beards and hair that appears to never had been cut. They don’t look like millionaires and most often they don’t act as you would typically expect a millionaire to live.
Phil Robertson is the patriarch of the family and grew up with very little money in Louisiana. He attended Louisiana Tech University and played football as the quarterback ahead of Terry Bradshaw. He became a teacher but his roots of hunting in Louisiana was always strong. Being unhappy with the current duck calls, in 1972 he started to make his own and Duck Commander was born. The family dynamic is fun to watch because family is priority one on this show. There are squabbles as with any family such as between the brothers but at the end of the day it is all about family.
I enjoyed that first show but the pleasant surprise was at the end of the episode. The family was sitting around the dinner table and they prayed and thanked God for all of their blessings. Turns out they do that at the end of every show. So I checked out their websiteto find out some more information about this family.
Phil Robertson’s Bio states, “In the mid-70’s, Phil turned his life over to the Lord and made some dramatic changes in the way he was living. Phil Robertson is not only known as the Duck Commander but is now building a reputation all over the country for his faith and belief in the Almighty. He is invited to speak to hundreds of different churches and organizations every year, telling them what the Lord has done for him and can do for them.” and “It isn’t often a person can live a dream, but Phil Robertson, aka The Duck Commander, has proven it is possible with vision, hard work, helping hands, and an unshakable faith in the Almighty. If you ever wind up at the end of Mouth of Cypress Road, sitting face to face with Phil Robertson, you will see that his enthusiasm and passion for duck hunting and the Lord is no act- it is truly who he is.”
Duck Dynasty is one of the new top rated shows on TV at the moment. It is a wonderful surprise to see a family that went from very little money to being millionaires but at the same time keeping family values the top priority. This family would rather live in the woods, hunt for their food, maintain their family values and praise GOD for all of it. I am glad to see A&E does not remove their faith from GOD in the show but allow the Robertson’s to demonstrate to millions how wonderful our LORD is.
Be sure to support this show on A&E, Wednesdays at 10pm.
Thank you Phil Robertson and your family for being a light to millions and I pray that your message on TV is a Fisher of Men.
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.
17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets.
20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
I am an avid fan of the show Storage Wars on A&E and would think it would be fun to actually do it for a living. It is one of the more popular shows currently on TV currently and one of the newer individuals on the show i is Nabila Haniss. Just from watching the show, it would be difficult to tell if someone was a Christian or not but I got an answer to the question recently on Facebook. I follow the show and individuals from the show and the day before Easter Nabila Hanniss posted the following:
A Happy Easter to my Christian friends! A Happy Passover to my Jewish friends! And to my Atheist friends..Good luck. : )
I’ve had that thought in my mind a lot recently concerning my unbelieving friends. Do they really want to take that chance that God does not exist? I know that my Lord lives and couldn’t imagine even risking the fact that I would not be spending eternity in Heaven.
Nicely stated Nabila, wish I had thought of posting that.
Visit Bubba Watson’s website and the first thing you will see at the top of the list is he is a Christian and he loves Jesus and loves sharing his faith. In case you don’t know what Bubba Watson does for a living, he is a professional golfer who recently won the Masters Golf Tournament on Easter Day April 8 2012. Winning the Masters and the Green Jacket that goes along with it makes the winner the center of a lot of media attention. Bubba didn’t shy from talking about Christianity and its importance in his life. Bubba has been quoted as saying that he has an opportunity on and off the golf course to be a light for Jesus. One of his main concerns after winning the Masters was getting home to wife and their new son that they had just adopted just a few short weeks prior. The adoption process was not without issues but Bubba and his wife put Christ first in everything and this documented by some of the media but his open discussion of Christ and the adoption was glazed over by much of the main stream media.
Watson is an outspoken Christian golfer and he uses his Twitter account — along with his platform as one of the PGA Tour’s magnetic personalities — to share about his faith in Christ. “For me, it’s just showing
the Light,” the 33-year-old said. “There’s people who want to put down Christians. I try to tell them Jesus loves you. It’s just a way to be strong in my faith.” www.billygraham.org for the full article
Bubba Watson is a welcomed sight in pro sports which needs more positive role models for today’s youth. His public declaration of what is most important in life and his Christianity is also a needed thing for adults who are watching. He is truly living a true relationship with God and his open profession of faith for all to hear makes him a fisher of men.
Congratulations Bubba on your win but most importantly thank you for sharing your faith in God for the world to hear.
As Christians in the 21st Century we feel as though Christianity is under attack. There are plenty of examples that would support that with Christ being removed from schools, government and open attacks on tv and movies. Recently though, I’ve noticed a swing, although subtle, towards people openly professing their faith in God and tv shows displaying Christianity if a positive light. That is what this blog is about. There is no need for these events to be subtle and glossed over by the media but should be shouted from the mountain tops. I see an opportunity here to reach out to the unbelieving and be fisher of men just as Jesus commanded. “Come follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men.” Mark 1:17
My plan is to blog about individuals and anything I find on tv or in movies that should be highlighted for all to see. I hope that all will participate with this blog and let me know of items that I should blog about.