In all fairness I don’t know the man, and I don’t know much about the church he pastors except that it has the name Lakewood Church, and it’s located in Houston, Texas. So all I can observe are my perceptions from a distance based on what I see through a television set. Let me back up a bit. My son and I were on a college road trip this past weekend. We had a great time taking a flight to the beautiful city of Seattle, then renting a car and driving around the city to see the sights, smell the coffee (Starbucks truly is everywhere) and check out some colleges. In between our travels we were hanging out in our hotel room, and while I channel surfed to check out some scores on ESPN I stumbled upon 4 different Christian broadcasting network channels right in a row on the hotel’s available TV channels. I didn’t even know there were that many Christian TV networks, let alone know the kind of stuff that was being broadcast on these networks. I was just like a rubber-necker on a freeway who just has to slow down and take a good look at the scene of an accident. What I was seeing and hearing was odd, and I should have changed the channel to ESPN but I couldn’t help but watch the spectacle.
As I sat there watching this, I noticed my son also watching out the corner of my eye. His gaze had actually turned away from his video game, and now he too couldn’t look away. His reaction is what really struck me. He paused. Looked at what he was seeing on TV for a good two minutes, and then said, “What is that!?” Then he kept watching the TV and listening, and then he added, “This is just weird! What is happening? That’s nothing like what I know my faith is all about.” We then had a little conversation about what his experience of church and faith has been. For him it’s been smaller, people are real, and his dad doesn’t put on theatrical make-up before he preaches. We clicked through all four channels together. Joel Osteen was smiling and closing his eyes through every point he made. On another channel a couple with big, colored hair asked for donations and promised to mail us an Eagle statue with a bible verse on it. Still another channel showed a man shouting at people in the audience and the audience seemed to enjoy it. My son simply said, “Weird!”
Again, in all fairness, I don’t know these people or the ways that I’m sure God has used them for His glory and His kingdom. I’m just wondering. There now is a majority of Americans who are very over the whole Judeo-Christian worldview, and I do wonder if they think the exact same thing my son (who loves Jesus) thought. I wonder of the depiction of Christianity portrayed on 4 Christian TV networks is what they picture in their mind when they hear the word “christian” and then quickly conclude, “Yeah, no thanks.”