Did Christian broadcasting miss an opportunity?

Written: 18 September, 2001

I think that MTV, a secular station, did an excellent job last week. Better, in fact, than the religious channel TBN did.

Although I think that the church itself seemingly did a good job in helping mend people's hurt, as in the moving worship and funeral services we saw on the news in recent days, I think that religious broadcasting (if TBN is any indication of the norm) failed to meet people's needs during this unique time. TBN missed an opportunity to reach out to people who needed to be reassured about the love of both God and their fellow man.

Instead of responding to people's hurt with open arms, the airwaves of TBN were filled with talk about end-times prophecy, which conveniently tied-in with the upcoming "Meddigo" (sp?) movie they've been hyping. They were all so quick to provide theories and predictions, instead of providing gentle words of comfort to hurting Americans, whether they are Christians or not. It should have been more like "I feel your pain" instead of "I told ya so."

Perhaps they should have just played a lot of soothing music all day (as PAX TV does most nights after 1am). But they didn't. Inadvertantly, TBN did do something good, when they played Crystal Lewis' "Trust Me" video as part of their regular "Real Videos" show Saturday night, at almost 2am. I'd not seen the video before -- didn't even know there was a video for it -- although I was familiar with the song. I've watched back the tape of that video many times these past two days, because it's a gentle, reassuring song. TBN should have played it over & over again all day.

MTV did what TBN should have done. It played gentle or uplifting music all week, as well as allowing viewers' comments to be read on the screen, and reminded Americans to not be prejudiced against their fellow Americans who happen to be of Arab descent. That is the kind of caring and healing response that TBN should have offered, instead of getting bogged down in trying to figure out when the end of the world is going to occur. What a waste.