REALITY TV - MARKETING MADNESS
January 11, 2003
I think we can all agree that there’s no shortage of sin in our society today. It’s been around since the Garden of Eden and will surely be taunting and tempting each of us to the very last breath. There is however, something disturbing about our growing attitude toward it. One need not travel any further than the nearest TV screen to see just how shameless we’ve become in our sins. It used to be that offensive language and behavior was deliberately kept from viewers -- especially children. Obviously, that’s all changed. Marketing madness is now in vogue and has essentially become family entertainment. Apparently, there’s just too much money to be made from the mainstream to be concerned any longer with conscience and consequences. And in a culture that worships self, that’s really all that seems to matter anymore.
Until Reality TV came along, few would have dreamed that sharing one’s worst conduct with a prime time television audience would be a legitimate and lucrative way to make a living or win a contest. Traditionally, those under the spotlight of a network broadcast always strove to be at their BEST and at least be PERCEIVED as honorable and respectable to those watching them. But, in a world of increasingly inverted values, good has become evil and evil has become good. And if its REAL LIFE depravity being glorified before the cameras and not just actors playing a role – WELL, you’ve got a hit show on your hands! The Lord however, has given us stern warnings about arrogantly interchanging good and evil.
"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20
Degeneracy is clearly out of the closet and unfortunately many of us are now willing to showcase our insanity to the highest bidder for fun, fortune and fame. Consequently, there are a growing number of venues ready and waiting for anyone with a soul to sell. You see, it’s one thing to be a sinner, my friend. It’s quite another to be proud of it.
I told my wife the other day that reality game shows, where men and women are judged to be winners or losers by their sexual performance before a televised audience can’t be far off – at first, blurring out or covering up certain parts of their anatomy during intercourse to garner the broadest demographic possible, (like actors in fictional series and trash talk shows do already), only to be removed in time as the overall morality of viewers is steadily driven downward by the lust for more. Then, of course, homosexuals will want the same opportunities. And when pedophilia becomes legal…WELL, you get the picture. When it happens, Hollywood can proudly proclaim: “We tempted them, we taught them, we trained them, we tested them and made them all that they are today!” Maybe then, when we’ve reached the moral abyss, we’ll finally be able to answer the proverbial question: “Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?”
No one has demonstrated more compassion and mercy toward the sinner than Jesus Christ. The cross He endured on our behalf two thousand years ago clearly shows His love and willingness to save even the worst of us from the damnation we deserve. To this day, He waits patiently for ANYONE willing to repent and receive Him as Lord and Savior.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” – Revelation 3:20
Having said that, I can tell you, both from scripture and from my own experience, that NOTHING draws a rebuke faster than flaunting our filth before the Almighty. Divine punishment in the physical realm, be it fatal or otherwise, is typically triggered, not so much by our transgressions, (thanks to God’s grace, mercy and longsuffering) but by taking pride in them to the point of deifying ourselves before the eyes of others. This, of course, does not excuse those secret sins we commit -- for God sees them all and often chastises His own, out of love, for failing to repent. However, parading our perversions before the public at large as if they were somehow venerable teaches confusion to the young, ignorant and undiscerning and invites an unimaginable response from above.
“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” -- Mark 9:42
Because God has given each of us the right to choose between good and evil, He goes to great lengths to clearly differentiate the two. He simply will not stand idly by and allow depravity and confusion to be openly glorified as something sacred without a response -- even though today's church often will. If you doubt that, read the twelfth chapter of Acts. Herod was struck dead and consumed by worms, not for his cruelty to Christians, but for allowing himself to be publicly praised as a god afterward.
Think of all the celebrities, politicians, televangelists, priests, kings and tyrants over the years who permitted, encouraged or in some cases demanded their followers treat them like deity for their wickedness, that have since been humbled and/or silenced by a humiliating event, a debilitating illness or injury, a horrible tragedy or an untimely death? Coincidental? I think not.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” - Proverbs 16:18
It’s no wonder that angels and apostles throughout scripture always rebuked those who erroneously fell prostrate before them. This may also explain why occult worship is generally carried out behind closed doors or in dark and out of the way places by secret societies using mysterious symbols and esoteric language to communicate with one another – not because they WANT TO but because they HAVE TO, lest the Lord be provoked by their overt pride.
I find it very telling that even these evildoers demonstrate more fear of God than many in the church today. But then, demons often feared Jesus more than the religious leaders did. I guess some things never change.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” – Proverbs 9:1
© 2003 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for News With Views, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at [email protected].