Written by Carter Theis
In those days, I was pretty wild. Even though I knew in my heart that I was on God’s side or wanted to be on God’s side, the televangelists seemed to be on the opposite side. You may not agree with my basic analysis. And certainly there are different levels of what I’m talking about. I do not consider the Pastor that films his sermon and airs it on TV a televangelist. However, if that Pastor is doing it because he sells more of his books, then he might be in a different category because the priority to sell books is the primary motivation.
You might not see the "hair," and the "gold chains," and the "special offers" like my friends and I initially did. But how do you justify all the goofy stuff that goes along with the God stuff? Why is it there? Where is the simplicity of trust, truth and love? In other words, if all the "repent preaching" and "give money talk"and "glory hallelujahs" and "odd appearances" are turning some people away from God, is it really God they are turning away from? I’ll say it a different way: If my friends think Jesus and religion is all a scam and a crutch, justified in their minds by what they have seen on TV, then have they truly had the chance to meet God and reject him?
If your answer is "no," then where is God in all of this? If we are called to share the Gospel, then shouldn’t we be aware of these images that are in people’s minds when they hear the word Jesus? What is our role as Christians? Would we be loving our neighbor if we publicaly rejected this stuff that’s on TV? Now, I don’t like it when people make comments or assessments about God issues and refuse to look at the Bible while doing so. So I will leave some verses that are in my head while I’ve been writing this. But these verses are just a few. Please do your own research and email me with other verses and reflections, (my address is in the “about us” tab above)
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group."
PS: I used the word "religion" next to "Jesus" at the end of the third paragraph. To me, religion is man-made and not of God. But I used it there to illustrate the thought process of my friends who consider religion and Jesus one in the same.