I used to have this real distaste for TV Preachers. I remember when some of them were pretty much actors on TV, because on TV they appeared to be deeply spiritual and honorable. However, their life behind the scenes was pretty wild and despicable. The truth tends to find its way out and these TV Preachers who were once on “top of their game”, were sent home packing. I’ve since learned to examine the personal life of a person who has a huge platform from which to speak. His character will reveal itself sooner or later. Peter talks a lot about false teachers and their demise. Check this out….1But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter 2:1-3 NIV)
I now take a different approach to people who have a large platform such as a huge Internet presence or their own cable TV show for teaching. My position is this: I follow the Lord – I study the Word and He speaks into my life. I don’t have to put my trust or my hope in anyone other than the Lord. I do need the encouragement and inspiration from others, but I don’t put them on too high of a platform in my life. The “TV Preachers” of today are human beings like me just trying to walk out their faith. They simply have a larger platform and certainly need accountability as they put their faith on display. Their goal is NOT false teaching, they often get sucked into a life of fame and fortune that leads to their own demise.
I know that Christians can be hypocritical and I have represented that remark all too often. Since the Lord saved me from my sinful self, He has changed my attitude toward others who stumble. He gives me great grace and mercy and my response should be to extend it to others. I now have a different perspective on some of the TV Preachers that came to mind when I read this passage today. They need grace and mercy just like me.
I really love this quote that I got from Andy Stanley, Pastor at North Point Community Church in Atlanta: “Don’t let your talent take you where your character can’t keep you!”Pressing On! Dwayne