Reality TV Goes to Hell

The most inane reality TV show yet (yes, a dubious distinction) will start airing this weekend in Britain. It’s called … Continued

The most inane reality TV show yet (yes, a dubious distinction) will start airing this weekend in Britain. It’s called “Make Me a Christian.” Just reading about it makes me want not to be a Christian so I can strangle the producers with a clear conscience.

Jean-Paul Sartre famously wrote that “hell is other people.” Personally I think hell is other people in reality TV shows. Or maybe it’s other people who come up with ideas for reality TV shows.

“In this three-part series,” Channel 4 explains in a press release. “A group of volunteers give up their normal lives and attempt to live like Christians for three weeks.”

The 13 volunteers (that’s right, 13 — I can’t wait to see which one turns out to be Jesus) include an atheist biker, a lap-dancer who likes expensive shoes, a Muslim convert, a young womanizer, two middle-class parents too busy for their kids, an unmarried couple expecting a child, and a lesbian who’s into witchcraft.

What’s so absurd isn’t the cast of potential converts, which you might find at any reputable tent revival. What’s driving me to distraction is the show’s notion of what makes a Christian.

According to Channel 4, the busy parents will be asked to spend 15 minutes a day with their children, the lesbian will be asked to get rid of her explicit photos and books, and the young womanizer will be asked not to “look lustfully” at a girl. “Can they embrace Christian ideals and learn to live in a different way or will their old lives prove just too strong to resist?”

The Revelations Will be Televised.

I suppose we can’t fault TV producers who are trying to make a buck for thinking that Christians are merely people who get straight A’s in behavior, or that becoming a Christian means cleaning up your act in three weeks or less.

Even church leaders have a hard time deciding what it means to be a Christian. Some say you become a Christian in an emotional, born-again instant, others say that being a disciple of Christ is a lifelong process of spiritual discipline. Some say it’s all about your own personal beliefs, others that it’s all about doing for others. Some say heaven is only for certain kinds of Christians, others say hell is for people of other faiths.

So what makes a Christian? I’m not talking about what makes a hypocritical Christian or a superficial Christian or a dogmatic Christian. Every Christian (and person of faith) falls short of the mark and many seem to ignore it completely.

What in your view makes an authentic Christian? What is — as Channel 4 put it — the Christian ideal?

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  • Daniel in the Lion’s Den

    To be a Christian in America today, you have to be homophobic.(That is the stereotype, at least).

  • As Usual

    Typical of most comments posted in response to articles like this are written by dedicated “Christian bashers”. I am always amazed that they feel compelled to trash what they believe is the current state of Christianity. They lurk waiting for their opportunity to spew their vitriolic opinions. If you don’t like Christians or Christianity, fine. But there is something wrong when you just wait for the chance to tear it up. Very un-Christian like.

  • Alan Lockett

    I see the anti-Christians have posted their disinformation. I don’t know where people get these views.The reason why the idea of a Christian is so elusive is because it is fundamentally one thing: to be a follower of Jesus the Messiah. To quote from the New Testament, Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I will abide in you”. This is Christianity: abiding in Jesus, who is one with God the Father. Since Christianity is wrapped up in the person of Jesus, you cannot say that Christianity is one thing or another without having to add an interpretational layer. You must answer the question of who Jesus is and what he requires.I am not saying that the message of Jesus is something mushy or relative; Jesus said some very clear things (“No one comes to the Father except through me”). You have to be as befuddled as a member of the Jesus Seminar in order to confuse them. What I am saying is that being a Christian is not a ritual, and it is not conformance to a set of outward rules. That much is crystal clear from the Bible. Christianity is a code of obedience to a living person who interacts with us personally, all of which sounds like a lot of gobbledy-gook to people who don’t believe that Jesus is still living – much less that he claimed to be God in the flesh, or that he died on a cross and rose again on his own power and authority in three days. As to whether “Christians” are homophobic, self-righteous, judgmental, hypocritical, intolerant, annoying, overbearing, exclusive Nazis, I would say “Roy” is being overly general. Furthermore, he is making statements that are judgmental, self-righteous, intolerant, annoying, and overbearing, though not exclusive or hypocritical. You can judge a Christian according to how Christ-like he is. However, I think Roy would fundamentally disagree with me about what Jesus was like. As a result, we might judge Christians differently.

  • Stuart

    There’s nothing to it, all you have to do is say you are a Christian, and then you are one. You don’t have to pray 5 times a day, no pilgrimage, no rites of passage, no special diet, no life commitments of any kind. It’s easy and flexible enough to fit any lifestyle.

  • J

    To be Christian means to believe that Christ died for our sins, and to strive to live the ideals he espoused–the most important of which is to love thy neighbor as thyself.@ Daniel in the Lion’s Den: I love the LGBT community and consider myself a Christian. Not love in the “love the sinner, hate the sin” sort of way. I love them because of their humanity, not in spite of their sexuality. Maybe I’m a bit liberal–and I’m sure there are people who would say that I’m not a true Christian–but I just can’t figure out why I can’t just say live and let live. Love and let love.

  • VICTORIA

    Out of all the volunteers, it seems there are (among the listed), only 3 (ostensibly) possible practicing already identified christians. We can rule out the atheist, witchcraft practitioner, unmarried, lapdancer and womanizer, as one could conclude they were not acting out christian principles. So that leaves the busy middle class couple and the muslim convert.

  • Don

    This TV show is just the latest example of the moral decay that is spreading throughout the entire world. Which, subsequently is one of the key indicators of Christ’s return. Good deeds does not make one a Christian, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It is the simple choice of accepting Jesus as one’s Lord and Saviour. God’s grace and mercy do the rest. It is a gift from God, not a chore to be accomplished to get into His good graces. In addition, becoming a Christian does not make one perfect, only forgiven. We still live in a wicked world, and are still sinners redeemed only by His holy blood sacrifice on the cross.

  • Daniel in the Lion’s Den

    Alan Locket and As Usual, …you are both hypcrites and do not even know what you are talking about, nor the motivations of the commenters here.Don’t you think that a Christian can be critical of un-Christian practices among Christians? You just plain don’t get it, do you?None of the comments were made with “vitrol.” They were all legitimate and well-founded. Why don’t you consider why? Isn’t it sad that this is what people think of Christians?Your responses do not do anything to refute the criticisms, but actually prove how right the critics are. With Christians like you, Christianity is surely doomed, and cannot possibly survive for mor than a coupld of more generations.I am disgussted with Christians like you who have g4ven ZERO thought to what it really means to be a Christian.

  • Jeff

    The show described in the commentary is obviously bigoted, as it fosters the belief that Christianity has some exclusive requirement for decency, honesty, responsibility, etc. None of these behaviors or qualities is in any way exclusively Christian. The goal of the show could just as well have been to live like a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Buddhist. The biases of the producers and network are showing, and this type of prejudice should not be promoted- it should be fought.

  • eye

    I think most “Christians” are Blasphemers, i.e. they equate their own understanding with God’s. The nuns used to tell us this is the MOST dangerous sin. I think the U.S. is finding out just how dangerous it is, but, as usual, all of the born-agains et al will blame others. Afterall, what need is there of personal responsibility and making amends when you’re “saved” and “works” don’t matter, only what they call “faith” matters. And what they call faith is really idolatry of their own image of God.

  • Alan Lockett

    To Daniel in The Lion’s DenFirst, on what basis do you call me a hypocrite? I don’t know what you’re reacting to, but I don’t see any reason for it.Second, of course Christians can exhibit un-Christian behavior. I never denied that. And there is nothing wrong with being critical of those that do. I didn’t have a problem with your first post, except that it was unqualified. And I wouldn’t have a problem if the posters here said that “some Christians are X”. The problem arises when there is an implication that “all Christians are X as an unavoidable consequence of their being a Christian”, which is tantamount to saying that Christianity breeds undesirable quality X by its very nature. Third, yes, I do get it. I am Christian, and these posters therefore consider me an inferior intellect and a subhuman being as a result, and assign to me every adjective in their Orwellian vocabularies as a result. As to whether their claims are “legimate and well-founded”, it is hard for me to assess these claims since they did not feel it necessary to adduce proof or evidence of any kind. I do not consider them “legitimate” or “well-founded” in the most general sense.Further, you assumed that I was trying to refute their criticism, which I was not. One can refute something that has not been argued; I would simply find myself fighting with air.Finally, you clearly did not read my post, since you suggest that I have given absolutely no thought to what it means to be a Christian, since clearly I gave a more reasoned and careful position than the knee-jerk reaction in your initial post. So, if you want to take part public discourse, at least be civil, and justify what you say. Just because you say it doesn’t make it true. And just because you can pretend berate someone doesn’t mean that you’ve made sense, or that that person is wrong.

  • Thursday’s Child

    I refer to C.S. Lewis’s use of the word Christian in the preface to his work Mere Christianity as “one who accepts the common doctrines of Christianity(9).”He discusses this at length throughout the preface and goes on to write:”The name Christians was first given at Antioch (Acts 11:26) to ‘the disciples’, to those who accepted the teaching of the apostles. There is no question of it being restricted to those who profited by that teaching as much as they should have. There is no question of its being extended to those who in some refined, spiritual, inward fashion were ‘far closer to the spirit of Christ’ than the less satisfactory of the disciples. The point is not a theological, or moral one. It is only a question of using words so that we can all understand what is being said. When a man who accepts the Christian doctrine lives unworthily of it, it is much clearer to say he is a bad Christian than to say he is not a Christian” (11, Macmillan Publishing edition, 1960)Acts 11:26b says, “And for an entire year they (Barnabas & Paul) met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”Looking back at Acts 2:41-42, following Peter’s sermon on the Jewish Day of Pentecost, this is the response when hearing the gospel to become a follower of Christ:”So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls (persons). They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread(communion) and to prayer.”Amiably yours,

  • magpie

    “It is the simple choice of accepting Jesus as one’s Lord and Saviour. God’s grace and mercy do the rest. It is a gift from God, not a chore to be accomplished to get into His good graces.”Yes, well, it had to made easy to guarantee widespread participation, didn’t it?No need to folllow Jesus’ example and help those in sickness or poverty. No need to be a decent person who respects others’ origins or point of view. No need to share one’s riches or good fortune.Just believe what we tell you. Just do what we tell you. Everything will be fine.

  • Daniel in the Lion’s Den

    Alan Lockett, as I said, you don’t get it.Christians have a reputation that they have earned. It is hard to be a Christian, because of this reputation.You said:”I am Christian, and these posters therefore consider me an inferior intellect and a subhuman being as a result, and assign to me every adjective in their Orwellian vocabularies as a result.”First of all, I do not think this is true. This chip-on-the-shoulder attitude that you have is part of the problem. And second, even if it were true, is it your job as a Christian to get into a pissing match with them over what they may think of you?The answer, of course, is no.I will say to you, what I have said to many Christians who post here with a mean and bitter heart, that Jesus does not seem to be doing much for you.

  • therealist

    Being a christian is about doing and believing and doing what the man in the sky says – via his self-appointed representatives on earth, of course.

  • swheelock

    What do you mean, “Goes to”?

  • therev1

    What makes me a Christian – or anyone else for that matter? I believe that Jesus is the Christ – the Son of the living God – and I accept Him as my personal Lord and Savior. All else is extraneous. Personal behavior should flow from that statement, but – not to be too obvious – doesn’t always.

  • Mike

    Christian means “little christs” (Any person) who has personally accepted Jesus as their Lord & Savior in their heart and will confess this belief and faith with there mouth. Following Jesus is simply to have a relationship with Him and trust that he will gently guide you in the path that He has laid out for us in scripture aka Holy Bible. That said, it is an impossible task to live up to the perfect life of the One who led a sinless existence here on earth. Grace and Mercy along with a giant Love that He showers on us are the very tools we are to use on others and ourselves and one is most certainly put at a disadvantage to live a christian life without the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit which is God’s help to all who believe in Him. Not sure how someone who is not a true believer is going to spend time in prayer and worship without making a personal decision for Jesus? It can’t be done. I am interested to see if Jesus is properly represented in this process. A better show would be to follow a new believer who gets plugged into a good church with counselors and see how through the conviction of the H.S. they make changes in their life!

  • Alan Lockett

    Daniel,I have said nothing mean-spirited or bitter in any of my posts. So I’m not sure how you draw conclusions about the state of my heart based on what I have written here. Look back; you’ll see it if you think objectively about it. Anything hurtful or hateful you read into my comments was read between the lines, and was counter to my intent.Now, Let’s review. First, Roy said”to be a Christian in modern times is to be self-righteous, judgmental, hypocritical, intolerant, annoying, overbearing, exclusive … Nazi”Suppose I had said any of the following [for illustrative purposes only - I am not saying these things myself]“Jews are stingy, money-grubbing cheats and liars who know nothing about faithfulness.””Muslims are backwards barbarians who mistreat women and promote violence as a compulsory expression of faith”Now, if I said those things – in fact I do not hold these opinions – but if I posted such things, my post would be removed before I could blink an eye. Roy says things in the exact same spirit and with the exact same force, equating all Christians with Nazis. Yet his post remains.Not only that, you insist that I must humbly apologize as though Roy were clearly in the right to make these outrageous statements. You say that I have a chip on my shoulder when I object to his saying them without proof and without qualification.You say that Christians have a reputation “that they have earned”. I say that this “reputation” is a social construct reinforced in the media and in government-funded schooling. While I have met individual Christian that do indeed earn a reputation verging on Roy’s declamation, and while I am even aware of whole congregations that might possibly earn such vitriol, the Christians I know in the main do not reflect the stereotypes that were spewed forth in the first few posts on this column.The next holocaust may well be against Christians, and if so, the public will justify itself by saying “they deserved it”. It’s always easy to condemn someone else.

  • Enemy Of The State

    I don’t really have a dog in this fight, since I’m not a Christian. But as an outsider looking in, it appears there are as many ways to be a Christian as there are individuals. I suppose at minimum one must accept the divinity of Jesus to make a claim of being Christian and, from that conversion, certain behaviors should be manifest: kindness, forgiveness, justice, compassion for the poor, among others. I would just make this broad judgment: If accepting Jesus (whatever that means to you) makes no appreciable difference in how you live your life and how you treat others (see above), then it probably didn’t take.

  • Shooter

    I think Roy and Daniel need to meet more Christians. Can someone introduce them to Barack Obama or Tim Kaine?

  • Ms. Walker

    The Christian ideal (in America, at least) is to be hugely hypocritical. Many Chrisians profess that Christ teaches love, but they make political hay out of their hatred for anyone not like them. Gay people in American can attest to this.Christians in America believe their magic text, the Bible, is literally true, that it was actually written by god, and that god can do miracles. But, at the same time, they go straight to the doctor when they’re ill and hope their cancer surgeries and other treatments go well. If they’re cured, god–not the surgeon–gets credit. (Why wouldn’t they want to go home to the arms of Jesus sooner, rather than later?)Many of them profess to believe that god made the earth, but instead of taking care of god’s creation, they trash the environment. The Christian ideal is having it both ways: hypocrisy.

  • Enemy Of The State

    A note to fellow atheists and agnostics: Hate-filled diatribes add nothing constructive to the conversation here. We non-Christians need to chill our rhetoric. Painting the faith community with an overly broad brush and issuing blanket condemnations is not the way of reason.I’ve met many compassionate, caring Christians who struggle each day to fulfill a life that emulates Christ. Do some fall short? Of course. Just like many non-believers fall short of their ideals.We keep trying…

  • Monty Keeling

    I’ve given up trying to define what a Christian is or isn’t because I do not know. I do know a Christian when I experience one. They can be overbearing at times, Jesus sure was, but there is also a kindness and concern about them for others that, for most people, doesn’t come naturally. What confuses folks is that there are a lot of Christians who aren’t really followers of Christ and who have never really experienced God. (What Christians sometimes call being born again.) Real Christianity is not a set of beliefs or actions but about a spiritual connection that strengthens our relationship with God and other folks. Not the kind of thing that makes for exciting reality television.

  • Alan Lockett

    Thanks, “Enemy”. I appreciated both your posts.

  • Enemy Of The State

    Alan Lockett:You’re welcome.Peace.

  • Robert B

    Magpie, as per usual, your posts have no relation to reality. At least you are consistent. The Entitlement programs that have come into being,that have come to be taken for granted constitute the majority of the Federal budget (literally trillions of $$ from the New Deal to the Great Society even to the present day thru Bush’s budgets–the largest ever). This has been funded from the taxpayers of this country–a majority of whom are Christian. Also, individuals give billions every year thru their churches and other charitable organizations. This is the most generous country on earth. Mudpie, you’re probably the one not sharing “riches and good fortune” with anybody. You are too busy clinking wine glasses with your liberal buds and pretending to be sophisticated. And, oh yes, I guess all the millions (billions?)of martyrs will be interested to know that the requirements of Christianity are “made easy”. Many of the Apostles and authors of the New Test. died for the Faith. Oh, I forgot what a Biblical historian and theologian you are.

  • Anonymous

    What kind of a Christian is Professor Susan Thistlethwaite? She is a theology professor. What kind of love does she preach? Lots of anti-Catholicism and anti-Republicanism forms part of her Christian beliefs………….

  • Enemy Of The State

    To Anonymous:My reading of the original post reveals no anti-Catholic bias. And I honestly don’t know where an anti-Republican bias manifests itself. But in so far as this is an opinion piece anyway, I would expect a bias one way or another. Is it your contention that the article is objectionable based solely on the fact that it is perceived to be counter to your world view?

  • numi

    What makes a Christian? Large cash prizes are an excellent start, no?

  • Mr. G

    Judging by the posts so far on this issue, every thinks that to act “Christian” you have to be something oppressive, joyless, don’t-do-this-don’t-do-that style of existence. The real problem with trying to act Christian is that people try to do it without Christ. If you really think that Christianity is nothing but trying to live your life by a set of rules, you’ve missed the f****** boat. You might as well call it “Make me a Muslim” or “Make me a Buddhist” because that’s what every other religion is based on. The one thing Jesus never did was force Himself on anyone because that’s not love. Love is a choice. Relationship is a choice. Lifestyle is a choice. Even Jesus knew that you could do everything right and still miss it all. Read Matthew 19:16-30 and see if simply living by a set of rules is enough to call yourself a Christian.

  • oof

    Ah, who cares.It is fun though, to watch the christian outrage, isn’t it? I’d like to thank all you nuts for giving me a good belly laugh.

  • Mr. G

    If you think that simply living by a set of rules makes you a Christian, then read Matthew 19:16-30 for the reality of the situation.BTW, it’s funny when someone accuses us of being “self-righteous, judgmental, hypocritical, intolerant, annoying, over-bearing, and exclusive.” Usually that’s how the complainers appear when they talk about me.

  • Joe

    If your only reason for being a Christian is to get a get-out-of-jail-free card, is that what Jesus intended? If one of “the least of these” can’t see a difference between your behavior as a Christian and an atheist’s, is that what Jesus intended? The idea that if I believe in Christ I’m dancing off to heaven regardless of my deeds, while those people who live better lives but aren’t Christians go to hell, flies in the face of a just God. You can argue theologically that a Christian in the pre-Civil War South who brutally whipped his slaves to death will go to heaven, while Ghandi (who walked the peace walk of Jesus more than any human I can think of) will go to hell, but that doesn’t mean God see it that way. Or take the minister who led the troops in the worst indian massacre the US committed, and argue that he’s looked at with more favor by God than the women and children he killed. And note that the words “personal savior” appear nowhere in Scripture I know of.

  • Anonymous

    Enemy Of The State:To Anonymous:My reading of the original post reveals no anti-Catholic bias. And I honestly don’t know where an anti-Republican bias manifests itself.But in so far as this is an opinion piece anyway, I would expect a bias one way or another.Is it your contention that the article is objectionable based solely on the fact that it is perceived to be counter to your world view?August 8, 2008 9:40 PM^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Was this your answer to the question about Professor Susan Thistlethwaite’s version of Christianity? Read her blogs and get back with a more considered answer. Thanks.

  • Enemy Of The State

    To Anonymous:Well, I read the original post again, per your advice. I must be missing something – I don’t see the words ‘Catholicism’ nor ‘convervatism’ mentioned. I admit I’ve had a few drinks since I got home, so I may have missed the references. I’ll have to rely on sharper minds, like yours, to point them out.Thanks for your help.Peace.

  • Roy

    For me, “to be a Christian” in modern times is to be self-righteous, judgmental, hypocritical, intolerant, annoying, overbearing, exclusive and have a right-wing Nazi political agenda. This is what self-anointed “Christians” in America have come to represent. If I were Jesus, I would want to change my last name – at least in the US.

  • Jim

    If you were Jesus in the US, you’d be lynched by a mob of Christians before you could change your shirt.

  • candide

    An authentic Christian would be a Jew.

  • spiderman2

    I’ll not be surprise if some of the participants will become a Christian after the show. God has a tender heart for people who are considered “outcast” in society. I think this is a great show.

  • Robert Sidney

    Like “freedom” and “love” and “justice,” the word Christian means anything the speaker wants it to mean. Get a hundred “Christians” in a room and ask them what it means and a hundred answers emerge.To live a life of compassion, generosity and active care is possible without any reference to or belief in or reliance on the divinity of Christ. Such lives are being lived all over the world.Belief is personal. It should not be imposed on others. I don’t have to be like you in order to be okay.

  • TJ

    You can broadcast a lobotomy in Britain? Cool.

  • Athena

    Maybe we could combine this with one of those crazy Japanese game shows?

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Robert B., Jesus, and George W. Bush for Social Security, Medicare, and my free lunch.Thanks again!

  • Anonymous

    candide:An authentic Christian would be a Jew.August 9, 2008 5:11 PM ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Coming from a Muslim, such a statement is useless.

  • Enemy Of The State

    To Anonymous:You are right – I should limit my comments to the original post. I was responding instead to your comments, which took me off track (one too many drinks tonight).In terms of what is the ‘Christian Ideal,’ the original question, I’m afraid I have to plead ignorance. I’m not a Christian, so I have nothing of value to add to the discussion.

  • Anonymous

    Hi David, “I suppose we can’t fault TV producers who are trying to make a buck for thinking that Christians are merely people who get straight A’s in behavior, or that becoming a Christian means cleaning up your act in three weeks or less.”Let’s not just fault the TV producers, many people particularly non-believers expect the same “transformation” and judge Christians by the same merit.It almost makes me want to puke. I have been judged for the places that I go, words that I say, company that I keep, etc. etc., as if I am supposed to be perfect under the label as a Christian.But these very same people live vicariously and make no effort to better themselves or to make changes in their own life but continue to “bash” me as a “bad Christian,” when in fact there are many things that these same people do that I would never lend myself too.Since when is a Christian suppose to be “perfect?As always thanks for your article and wisdom, I enjoyed it and speaking with someone that is not judgmental such as you. I am drawn to you and your articles for that very reason. :)

  • Anonymous

    dkw: “Mr. Waters-What do you mean by saying “Just reading about it makes me want not to be a Christian so I can strangle the producers with a clear conscience”? Is there any person in this world, believer or not, that you believe can kill with a clear conscience? Do you think only Christians have the humanity to believe killing another person is wrong?You probably made the comment without thinking about it but you just insulted all non-Christians in one breath.” David’s article was right on target and I understood that his statement “”Just reading about it makes me want not to be a Christian so I can strangle the producers with a clear conscience”” was used in the context as a figure of speech.I have never known Mr. Waters to be anything other than polite. He is a good writer, compassionate about his subject, concisely written details, and caring. I also like his level of candor when he inserts his opinion in the article. Perhaps you should reconsider your interpretation of David’s statement?

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous: Not so.

  • Anonymous

    candide:An authentic Christian would be a Jew.August 9, 2008 5:11 PM^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE is a hate-filled Muslim who trashes Christianity at every opportunity. This is one her/his mildest put-downs of Christianity.

  • Anonymous

    Only on Judgement Day when Jesus has His angels open the Book of Life and read out all the things people have done in secret, will we know who the real Christians were. To some Jesus will say, “Even though you called me Lord, Lord while on earth I do not know you, for you did not obey my command to love others.”The Bible (letter of James) says even the devils believe in God and shudder. Obeying God/Jesus is what makes Christians of those who merely believe in Jesus.

  • Bruce Cassler

    Which Christianity are you all talking about? In the period before the 4th century there were dozens of Christianities. Whole cities and nations had their own brands. Following emperor Constantine’s edict in 325 C.E., the current “catholic” Christianity became dominant. The winner gets to name who’s a heretic, so all the other Christianities were outlawed. Most of today’s churches–by whatever name–are offspring of this catholic Christianity. In a discussion with my brother-in-law just this week, we came to the conclusion that 40% of male members of all churches combined are probably “unbelievers” by the strict definitions of Christianity. So how can this reality show define its goal, “Make me a Christian”?

  • Nelson Peatross

    I have found that the best people to distort what being a christian is are christians.

  • GJKBEAR

    The shows premise is looney. As a Unitarian Universalist, we have a saying – “We need not believe alike to love alike.” Christianity is not something that one can bestow in a slot on a TV show. The one that troubled me the most were the parents who were having trouble just spending 15 minutes a day with their children. Spending time with your children is not limited to Christianity – it is just common sense! To most people with any common sense not spending time with your children is ABUSE! I am sorry that they chose the athiest and the witch because some of “these” are the most moral people I know – they do things just because it is the right thing to do – in other words they are Christian anyway – even while not believing in Christ or the Christian GOD. This is a moronic show – just as many of these Reality Shows are moronic. I guess this means it will be a big hit and will be winging its way to America soon. UGH.

  • agapian

    One of the ‘fundamentals’ of all religions, formal or otherwise, is to place the person’s spirit in a closeness to Creation. The chances of a spirit doing that while involved in a three-dimensional commercial process like TV are nearly non-existent. The other interesting ‘fundamental’ of religion is that the spirit becomes enhanced in a monastic life style, not an interactive one. If one spends his time in some form of electronic interaction like TV, cell phones, or internet, does he retain his spirit or become some form of zombie?

  • dkw

    Mr. Waters-What do you mean by saying “Just reading about it makes me want not to be a Christian so I can strangle the producers with a clear conscience”? Is there any person in this world, believer or not, that you believe can kill with a clear conscience? Do you think only Christians have the humanity to believe killing another person is wrong?You probably made the comment without thinking about it but you just insulted all non-Christians in one breath.

  • B-man

    Christians believe they have a lock on ultimate truth, yet no two Christians can agree on what being an “authentic Christian” means. As a result, every Christian alive is a “cafeteria Christian” picking and choosing what they want to believe, and ignoring the things that make them uncomfortable. If this weren’t the case, we’d have all Christians stoning their non-virgin wives on their father-in-laws’ doorsteps, as is commanded in the Bible.To try and answer the question of “what makes an authentic Christian” is an utterly useless undertaking, thereby revealing the lack of integrity of the whole religion.

  • Daniel in the Lion’s Den

    AnonymousYou’re are just proving my point. You are the mirror image of all that you claim against me and others to be. Your problem is that you can dish it out, but you can’t take it. You are pushy, but you don’t like a push-back. You can throw your own bombs, but then, when someone else throws a bomb back, you are shocked, and huffy.I, for one, am tired of the Christian excuse, “I am not perfect, I am only human.”I would not judge someone who tries and makes an effort, but fails; I would judge someone instead, as a hycpocrite, who holds up high standards for others, but makes no effort himself, but merely sighs, “I’m only human.”In America, Christians have a position of dominance and advantage. So, it is hard for me to symptahtize with your plaintive cry that you are persecuted for your beliefs; it just ain’t true, and if you think it is true, then maybe you also have a touch of paranoiz.

  • Anonymous

    B-Man, that can be said about ALL religions, including Islam. What people preach and what they practice may be quite different. That is why it is important to wait until Judgment Day.

  • L.Kurt Engelhart

    Anonymous: “The non-believers hate you because you ‘refuse’ to let go of your Christian beliefs so they put you down for it.””Believers” put down those who do not share their beliefs because they believe themselves to occupy the moral high ground. “Non-believers” put down others because they believe themselves to hold the intellectual high ground. In neither case is there adequate justification for putting the other down. What is needed is understanding from both parties of the evolutionary state and functional value of their respective beliefs. Religion basically does not evolve and is not useful in areas where we have scientific knowledge. Science does evolve but is not useful in areas where we do not have scientific knowledge. You can see that these two areas do not overlap, so they do not compete in any sense for superiority.

  • Anonymous

    By their fruit shall ye know them. If a person brings forth good fruit, he reflects God. If the person does not produce good fruit, the religious belief was just an empty sentiment and religious rituals merely a social activity.

  • Daniel in the Lion’s Den

    Anonymous said:”Since when is a Christian suppose to be “perfect?There is big difference between being an inperfect Christian and being a slipshod, lazy, and uncaring Christian, who could not be bothered by the troubles of others, and who could not lift a finger to contribute even ONE ounce of work to help out in the world. There is a big difference. Jesus said to Love your neighbor. That is very hard isn’t it? But you will never know if it is hard, if you don’t even try. Most Christians don’t even try. All of the nasty comments from Christians on this blog and many other blogs is proof of that. They love each other, mostly grudginly, and with a weird and stunted kind of love, but they do not love their neighbors if their neighbors are not Christian or are not Christian enough.Their main interested is in splitting theological hairs, and in maintaining cultural dominance with special entitlements and in acquiring political control over others, and in setting up and maintaining sexual control over the lives of others.But where is the love? I am just not seeing it.

  • Anonymous

    So non-Christians understand best what Christianity is about? How interesting! Agreed non-Christians would be able to judge the self deceptions in those who call themselves Christians without practicing what they believe and preach to be right or Christian. But when non-Christians who are not virtuous themselves appoint themselves judges over Christians there is bound to be confusion about what Christianity really means.

  • Bob Longman

    There has always been a streak in Christianity that hold that a Christian is what their lives seem to be. I know that in part because my forebears for generations were an active part of the segment within Anglicanism that bore that idea.If the New Testament is right, being a Christian is about following a person — namely, Jesus, as witnessed by the gospel writers — not about good deeds or proper behavior. Jesus could stir up the pot real good, and that was not always nice, and not always comfortable for his disciples.As for reality TV going to Hell, well, if you’ve ever watched some of these shows, it is an experience of going through hell. It is not reality. Some would say reality TV can go to hell. Other think maybe it’s already there.

  • deflag

    Get the weather right from God. I just look out the window. That doesn’t create 70K a year jobs to stand in front of a camera though. It looks good today and I deal with it as God sees fit to deliver it.