Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Making Up Reality

by Ian McLoud

Since this blog is where I go to confess things, I must confess that I have an unhealthy addiction to reality TV shows. Only the manly ones of course, like Pawn Stars, Swamp People, Top Chef, Sister Wives, and What Not to Wear. Okay, I’m kidding about What Not to Wear. No seriously, I am. I do watch way too much HGTV though.
However, while I like some reality TV shows, I really hate their preview commercials. They are always overly dramatic and way out of context.

If all you watched were commercials for Sister Wives, you’d think that Christine hated everyone when in reality she just doesn’t like Robin. On Top Chef you would think that every single person was going home every week and that the judges hated everyone. Pawn Stars makes you think that every find could be worth a million dollars and HGTV makes you think that every person hates whatever room/house/backyard they’re being shown. If you only saw the previews for Swamp People you would think Troy Landry was an incoherent maniac who shoots alligators. Umm…that last one may be true.

TV producers know that drama sells. They specifically create and edit those commercials to entice viewers to watch. This kind of sensationalized drama makes people want to watch the show, which to be fair, is the only reason the show exists. Even when you know that the 50 cent cracker jack toy someone brought into the pawn shop is really only going to cost 50 cents, if you can catch Rick or the Old Man saying it MIGHT be worth more, that gets viewers. We want to see something spectacular.

I think, and thankfully I believe this trend is changing, for too long this is how Christians have treated Christianity. Have a problem? Become a Christian, we don’t have any. Worried about life? Become a Christian, we don’t have worries. Need a spouse? Become a Christian, everyone here is married! (I may be a bit bitter about that one.)

We try to create these happy, carefree facades to entice people to become Christians (*cough* Joel Osteen *cough, cough*). In reality, Christians have problems and we worry, and we can be single even when we don’t want to be. We’re people.

What sets us apart isn’t that we have all the answers or that we have carefree lives. We do not need to edit our lives like a reality show commercial to entice people. That’s what the hope found in Christ does. We just need to be better about owning our faults and admitting that what gets us through life is the hope we find in Christ. That’s enticing enough.

You can follow Ian on Twitter @KindaScottish.

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1 comment:

  1. Great article. Joel Osteen really gets me riled up, mostly beause he seems to treat Jesus as an afterthought to his feel-good prosperity religion.