A few nights before New Years Eve, CBS broadcast the latest Kennedy Center Honors highlights. It took me back to a few years ago, when I had a wonderful evening watching that year’s Kennedy Center honors. That year, Meryl Streep, Barbara Cook, Sonny Rollins, Neil Diamond and Yo Yo Ma were honored. Each was very gracious and appreciative of the honor and the performances highlighting their expertise. But I saw something that directly contrasted with an experience earlier in the day.
One of the Christians I follow on Google+ posted a link to a blog entry that disturbed me. The blog post was downing TBN and used a video mock acting like the TBN Pentecostalism to do so. Complete with responses (but as part of the blog post). The responses to that repost were both for and against the video mockery and against each other. I commented about it on Google+. The response I got was that they linked to the blog as a way to highlight for the originator that the whole post was wrong so they could repent. And he did this often for the same reason. So, here’s my take on that:
I’ve yet to see anywhere in the Word where it was anyone’s job to police other ministries or people in a public fashion, other than a pastor protecting his specific flock.
Nonbelievers now have an opportunity to see the mocking video and the argumentative responses. What about any of that gives them any reason to believe that God is love when we’re so ready to battle each other over doctrinal differences.
Believers can possibly decide that, since it’s published, the author or the person linking to the post must be a mature Christian, so maybe it’s OK to act that way.
There are things about TBN (and other ministries) that I disagree with. But it’s not my job or yours to correct them. If they truly love Jesus and the Father, we’re commanded to love them. And honor their faithfulness to God. He can take care of any doctrinal error much better than you or I can. We need to show outsiders that we can love each other in Christ and that there really is something worthwhile to this Christianity stuff. Something beyond the “dog eat dog” attitude of the world. And we need to show each other that same thing. The Word tells us to love each other, to edify each other, to support each other, and to bring others to Christ.
I mentioned the Kennedy Center awards. The first honoree was Meryl Streep. As I watched, I was blown away by the range of roles that she handled so amazingly. But I was even more blown away by her for the rest of the ceremony. Entertainers are known for massive egos. And it was obvious that Meryl enjoyed the highlights and comments honoring her immense talent. But that ended and it was time to singly honor each of the others. And that’s when I fell in love with Meryl Streep as a person. As each honoree had comments and performances honoring their contributions, Ms Streep was smiling and showing great joy in the honors others were getting. She would watch each honoree, again smiling in a way that you knew she was getting blessed at each of the others being honored.
The world would say that Meryl Streep showed class. I’d say she showed she knows how to love, to edify, to draw near in unity. I still have to do some research. Because she certainly acted like a Christian ought to. It got me praying for her. But, if she’s not one of us, I also want to be at the head of the prayer charge going boldly to the throne, asking God to draw her in. We need more like her.
Is this, maybe, our chance to storm heaven’s gates to change Hollywood, New York City, Nashville, and anywhere else where Satan is trying to influence all of us through entertainment stars? And to change ourselves for the better?