My favorite Christian TV personalities…
I have to stay up pretty late to watch Jack van Impe and his wife Rexella on TV in Chicago, but it’s well worth it when I do. Not only do I get to hear the news, I get to hear Jack recite the (memorized) Bible verses that are pertinent to the story and hear that the Second Coming is imminent at the same time! It’s much more amusing than the paid programming for exercise machines on the other channels.
Interspersed with the apocalyptic messages is his cohost wife, Rexella (which will one day be the name of my daughter) van Impe, who sets up the questions and plays the “Christian wife” character on his show.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you must. And they’ve made it easier by offering free video podcasts of their show! You can get it through iTunes by subscribing to: http://www.jvim.com/tv/jvipresents_video.xml.
Speaking of exercise infomercials, you can get the best of that and fundamental Christianity by watching Pat Robertson, on The 700 Club, talk about leg-pressing 2000 pounds. Or that feminism encourages women to become lesbians. Or that God isn’t in Dover (Actually, I agree with him on that one). Or anything else completely absurd.
I have yet to meet anyone, Christian or otherwise, who takes him seriously. I can’t understand why anyone so criticized and just plain crazy can still take in enough money to stay on air for so long… what’s the matter with you people?!
3) Kirk Cameron
Kirk and I have a fun history, going back to the 40 minutes we spoke back in February, 2006 (Part 1, Part 2), where he and his radio show co-host Todd Friel told me I was a liar, blasphemer, and adulterer. After the interview was over and I hung up the phone, Kirk and Todd told their listeners I was a fool. They then spent time talking about “why a Hemant exists.” A Hemant??? I’m a thing now?!
Of course this is an isolated incident. And it’s on the radio. So why is Kirk on the televange-List? Because he and other co-host Ray Comfort also have a video series for their show in which one episode entitled “The Beauty of a Broken Spirit” specifically discussed how to witness to atheists.
I’ve been to atheist events where clips from this video were shown just to amuse the audience. You would think if you want to produce a video about talking to atheists, you would take into account how atheists might respond (Because there *are* responses to everything they say). However, when you watch this video, it’s obvious they think there is no way to rebut their claims. Which makes it hilarious. Ok, the whole banana thing helps, too.
2) Benny Hinn
He was my first televangelist addiction. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He just touched peoples’ foreheads (or swung his jacket at them or just waved his hands through the air), said the magic words, and they were saved! Who cares that he never releases the peoples’ medical records, or that he spends the money raised through his ministries on his lavish lifestyle, or that he dodges questions on Dateline? This guy knows how to captivate an audience. Other pastors used these God-Works-Through-Me methods before Benny, but no one has done it as effectively.
Just for amusement, this website has a nice list of Benny Hinn prophecies that have gone unfulfilled.
1) Joel Osteen
I love Joel. My mom loves Joel. He’s so charming and funny. No crazy prophecies made or miracles seen. He doesn’t even ask for money. When he travels cross-country to speak, admission is $10 (only because he needs to charge something to prevent mass chaos). He just tells you how to use Christian morals to live your life positively. And it turns out some of the Christian morals he espouses are no different from the morals of most atheists I know. Help others, spend time with your loved ones, etc. Sure there’s a Bible verse thrown in there every now and then, and sometimes he does talk about waiting for God to answer your prayers (when I’d rather talk about taking action), but still. You can ignore those bits and get to the secular message pretty often.
Ok, so his wife is pretty hot, too, but it’s a testament to Joel that I’ll watch his broadcasts and not pay much attention to Victoria.
It’s sad that most of the criticism on Joel has come from the Christian community. They say he preaches Christianity-lite and avoids saying anything controversial (when the Bible makes it clear what stance to take), but those are also the qualities that made him the pastor of the biggest church in the country.
Is there anything I find bad about him? While he doesn’t talk about controversial issues in church, it’s not clear that he thinks about them at all, period. On Larry King last year, his most frequent answer to theological questions seemed to be “I don’t know.” Either he’s way too humble or he just ignores anything that might raise an eyebrow.
[tags]Televangelists, Way of the Master, Todd Friel, The Beauty of a Broken Spirit, atheist, atheism, Jack van Impe, Rexella Impe, Pat Robertson, Kirk Cameron, Benny Hinn, Dateline, Christian, Christianity, Joel Osteen, Victoria Osteen, Lakewood Church, Larry King[/tags]
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