xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml'> The Pastor's Perspective: 2013

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"The New N'Word"



 In February of 2009 the NAACP launched a campaign in Detroit, Michigan to bury the N’Word. There was a massive ceremony and funeral processional, which included a wooden coffin symbolic of the final resting place of this historically derogatory word. Detroit clergy, along with other political and civic leaders joined together in downtown Detroit to officially put to rest the use of this offensive word. The N’Word has been historically used as not just as a term to offend, but to be-friend. Black people use the N’Word in some circles as a term of endearment, which raised the issues of identity and self awareness within the black community, because of the continual used of such a historically offensive term. How could blacks continue using this word as a term of endearment, which was also used to belittle and berate us as a people? Some would contend that it depends on the context or connotation of which it is used. There were several cases leading up to the N’Word’s official burial that seemed to make the case for it to be universally discontinued. Comedian Michael Richards, during one of his stand-up comedy shows went into an irrational tirade using the N’Word, which became very offensive to his audience members. This has always been a historically controversial word and it seems even after the official burial of the N’Word it has still not completely eliminated its use. Little stock was put into the ceremony itself, because the prevailing belief is and has always been until this word has been officially buried in the hearts and minds of the people it will never completely go away.

However, the N’Word we seek to address is far more diabolical and controversial; it’s exceedingly more penetrating and severe, and transcends the sphere of nationality, ethnicity, race, creed, and color. For our purposes in this chapter the “N’ Word” does not refer to this historically derogatory word used during slavery days to describe blacks on slave plantations. The N’Word we seek to address speaks to the physical, psychological and spiritual disease plaguing the whole of mankind. The N’Word we seek to address in this chapter is the same word Adam chose to describe himself to the one who created him; “naked.” Naked is the new “N’Word.” Naked is the generic placeholder for the anemic condition of mankind, which has brought us to the brink of our own self-destruction. Naked is the new N’Word, because it rightfully describes the emptiness and the void that was felt after Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commandment. Naked is the new N’Word, because with it comes a whole host of psychological, emotional and even spiritual problems that have existed ever since the skin of the forbidden fruit was broken. Naked is the new N’Word, not because it indirectly addresses mankind’s physical nakedness, as much as it directly addresses the sin that encompasses all forms of physical, psychological and even spiritual nakedness including; pornography, fornication, exhibitionism, homosexuality, lesbianism, transexualism and the list goes on and on. The emphasis is on the “sin” that is the over-arching epidemic of mankind that became manifested through Adam and Eve’s physical, psychological and spiritual nakedness.

Naked is the N’Word, because there seems to be no better word to describe how “open” and "exposed"
 mankind was after its monumental fall from grace. Man is a trichotomy of body, soul and spirit. Michael McAvoy author of the “Doctrine of Trichotomy of Man: A Biblical Analysis writes,  

“The body is the tool used to experience and engage in this natural / physical world. The soul is the seat of emotions, reason, also directly associated with the mind, and personality. The spirit is the life, the power source of man and the home of conscience and will.”

These three components of mankind therefore make us a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional being. These three components of mankind; body, soul and spirit are directly associated with the manifestations of the word “naked” as it relates to the physical, psychological and spiritual condition of our human existence. This association between man’s trichotomy and the manifestation of nakedness speaks to the magnitude of the impact that Adam and Eve’s disobedience had on the entire psyche of our species. The consequence of this singular moment reverberated throughout the course of time and space, and every man, woman, boy and child born from the loins of Adam and Eve were contaminated physically, psychologically and spiritually. Man’s corresponding trichotomy is proof of the overall impact of Adam and Eve’s sin, of which we plan to discuss in greater detail within the pages of this very chapter. Every aspect of man’s being was affected by what took place in the beginning, an impact that cannot be overlooked, or undervalued. The question we must ask ourselves is how can an event this significant take place in the beginning and it not have some type of ripple effect throughout eternity? This was a life altering event that drastically affected the make up of the world that God had just created.

In The Beginning God…

The Bible says in Genesis that when God was ready to create mankind, He did so from the dust of the earth. He fashioned and shaped our being from the fragile clay of the earth He separated from the waters; a couple of verses earlier, and breathe into man the breath of life and man became a living soul. It was from the breath of life that man’s vital organs begin to function; it was this breath of life that man’s mind began to operate and function; and it was this breath of life that activated the celestial part of man which is his soul. All of this was done with God simply breathing on the clay He fashioned and shaped by his own accord. What is assumed; and rightfully so, is after man was initially created by God he was naked in the traditional sense of the term, which is He had no clothes on or nothing was there to cover his physical body. Without anything covering Adam’s physical body he was considered to be “naked.” It’s interesting that the first man was created this way. One would assume that after the first man was created then God would have given him the desire to cover himself. Why wouldn’t that have been a reasonable expectation? After all being “naked” is not always comfortable. Being naked requires confidence. Being naked often leads to being noticed. You cannot be inconspicuous and be “naked.” The two do not go well together. And, this is probably so because being clothed is a part of our institutionalization as “human beings.” It is a part of the social contract we’ve ascribe to one another to conduct ourselves with decency and decorum. This institutionalization is also a by- product of the sin that engulfed mankind as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the garden of Eden, and it has contributed greatly to the constructs of today’s society. Even though we have “nudist” as well as “exhibitionist” in this community who enjoy their own skin enough to be exposed in public and even to the point of getting paid for baring it all, the general rule in society is that clothing is a necessary part of proper social etiquette. But, before Adam and Eve sinned in the garden clothing was not a mandate, in fact it was not even heard of. The bible says of Adam and Eve in vs 25 of chapter 2 that there were naked and not ashamed. This is a literal translation of what they were in the garden, physically naked and were not ashamed of their “nakedness.” Why were they not ashamed? They were not ashamed, because God was their covering. God was their physical, psychological and spiritual covering. When God created man; before the fall, He was their covering. which directly compensates for the three 3 different facets of man’s trichotomy; body, soul and spirit. This was the primary reason why Adam and Eve were physically naked and not ashamed because they were physically, psychologically and spiritually covered by God. It is these three aspects of this term “naked” that this chapter seeks to deal with, inasmuch as the Bible suggests; at least, by the use of the term that it means more than what we are typically familiar with. You can even infer based upon the ramifications and the outcome of Adam and Eve disobedience that there was far more at stake than just their physical conditions. The consequence of their disobedience was separation from God; their Creator, which definitely had strong psychological and more importantly spiritual implications attached to it. Adam and Eve hiding themselves could have very well been interpreted as them hiding themselves because of their physical nakedness, but why were they hiding their nakedness from God now when earlier the bible says that were naked and were not ashamed. What was the real reason behind their sudden change in their perception of themselves? To better understand this we must first examine the constructs of Adam and Eve’s relationship with God prior to their disobedience, which will shed some light on these three areas of nakedness and how they factored into their perception of themselves and most importantly their Creator. As we examine the 3 aspects of mankind’s nakedness, we will first look at what God intended or expected of His creation post Adam and Eve’s disobedience and then examine the impact sin had on mankind; physically, psychologically and most importantly spiritually.

The Impact of God’s Physical Covering

 Physical nakedness is the first translation and probably the most familiar, and one that we have been pre-disposed to for obvious reasons. When the term “naked” is used  first in Genesis, it is in the literal sense or “without clothing.” God created man “naked” because one could infer there was no real need for clothing in the beginning. Although God created man from the dust of the earth, quite differently than any of the other of His creations, He chose to leave man naked or “without clothes” so that He could behold the beauty of His creation. We have to believe that there was a unique aestheticism and beauty with which mankind was fashioned and shaped by God. There is no scripture to support a haphazard or rushed approach to God’s creation of man, in fact, everything in God’s Word tell us that there was a painstaking and methodical approach to the way we were created by God. When we look at the human body and how it is constructed, there is apparent harmony and organization, which is characteristic of the God who created us. Indeed, the harmony and organization with which mankind reflects also serves to dispel scientific theories and hypothesis that suggests that the world was not created by God, but rather was a product of a “Big Bang” or some kind of evolutionary process. If any of this were true, the products of these scientific events would share in some of their disorientated and chaotic character traits. Conversely, what is significant about everything that God created in the first 2 chapters of Genesis, He declared of everything that He created that “it was good.” There was no ambiguity or uncertainty that was associated with any of God’s thoughts towards His creation. God made it very clear of what His thoughts were towards everything that He created. This was so, because it was His Words that were the source of His creation in the first place. And, just as His Words were clear with everything in the world He created, His thoughts of everything He created were just as clear as well. He could not afford to be vague or ambiguous when it came to what He created, nor could He afford to be vague or ambiguous when it came to His thoughts of what He created as well. In fact, His Word and His thoughts are one in the same. This concept is reflected in God’s use of the pronoun “us” when He set out to create the world. Inasmuch as it was His Word and His Thoughts combined that were utilized to create the world in which we live. God’s Word can be characterized as His literal “spoken word” and His thoughts are considered to be the “mind of God.” God’s mind and His “spoken word” were directly in-sync with one another, which meant He spoke what He thought and He thought what He spoke. Yet, there are some competing theories and philosophies out there of what God really meant when He used the pronoun “us” in the beginning, some of which include; a Trinitarian collection of gods, which collaborated together to create the world. God-the Father, God-the Son, and God-the Holy Ghost, all made up the board of gods that deliberated collectively on how the world was to be created and organized. However, the proper interpretation of God’s Word reveals to us that there are not three separate deities that sit equally together, but rather ONE God who embodies 3 manifestations of Himself; who at various times in History were manifested to ultimately redeem mankind back to Himself. In no way was God schizophrenic in His approach to creating the world, and as we will see later on in this book in no way did God produce anything other than what He originally intended for this world to be. God’s creation of the world divinely reflected both a “harmony” and a “oneness” that was as much apart of His character as His deity-itself. Therefore the use of this terminology in the Word of God was to exemplify a unity and harmony within which the world that was created. It’s important to consider; as we continue examining the physical aspect of mankind’s “nakedness” pre Adam and Eve’s disobedience, God’s declaration of what He created post mankind’s fall. Inasmuch as it seems to be a great disparity between what God’s thoughts were, and what our thoughts were of ourselves. The Word of God tells us in Genesis the 1st chapter that man was the last project of God’s creation, and implicit within this chapter and verse is God’s expectations of His most prized possession.

Genesis 1:27 states; “And, God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth...And God saw everything that he made, and, behold it was very good...

Verses 26-31 of the 1st chapter of Genesis are typically viewed as God’s thoughts of mankind before we were actually created. The creation of mankind takes place in Genesis chapter 2 vs. 7 is where man is actually formed from the dust of the ground. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed unto his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Here we clearly see that God had some lofty expectations for mankind, and again we see how His thoughts of us directly correspond with the words He spoke upon our creation. Commanding us to have “dominion” and authority over the earth that He created, and establishing an earthly pecking order, that begins and ends with man, is yet another demonstration of what God intended for mankind to be when He created us. The loftiness of God’s expectations directly translated into the aestheticism of which we were created. The psalmist David muses about the marvelous way in which we were created in Psalms 13:14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works; and my soul knoweth right well.” Essentially David was praising God for the magnificent way in which we were created. God’s love for us was demonstrated in the way He decided to fashion and shaped us. The human anatomy is still the most celebrated, at the same time miraculously mystifying specimen to say the least. Some of the world’s greatest and most prolific artists have captured the human anatomy on canvas as way of recognizing and appreciating the magnificence of its beauty. The collected works of Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Da’Vinci, Digal and many others are tributes to the masterful creativity of our Creator. We are essentially living and breathing “works of art” in God’s eyes; apart of His wondrous collection He-Himself declares is “very good.” We can’t help but marvel at the originality and uniqueness inherent to our design. We are not carbon copies of someone else, in fact in the over 6 Billion people that populate planet earth there is only one of you to be found. If that isn’t enough to confirm your significance, God took upon Himself to use His own image and likeness as the primary blueprint for our design. The quality with which we were created is a clear indication of not just God’s thoughts of us, but God’s expectation for us. He expected greatness from us, He desired only good thing from us, and everything in God’s Word substantiates that fact.

What’s also important to note is what God’s intended use of these heavenly bodies He created for, and how this was plainly expressed when we were created. God commanded man to be “fruitful and multiply and to replenish the earth.” This is a direct reference to copulation or sexual intercourse, which was the primary means of reproduction that God installed within mankind to fulfill one of His commandments for us. Sexual intercourse, as it appears in this particular verse is designed for a specific purpose. The three words God used in this scripture explicitly and implicitly suggest what the meaning of sex was suppose to be from the perspective of our Creator. This commandment was given pre-Adam and Eve’s act of disobedience, so everything that was associated with this commandment directly coincided with God’s declaration of "it" was "good.” Sex, in the eyes of the Creator was viewed as “good,” inasmuch as it fulfilled each of His expressed objectives, to be fruitful, to multiply and to replenish the earth. We can also infer based upon the emphasis God put on the multiple copulation of mankind, that there was indeed some enjoyment and pleasure to be felt embedded within this experience that was directly put there by God. You mean God wanted us to enjoy having sex? Yes, of course He did! Remember everything that God commanded pre-man’s fall was declared to be good, so there was nothing evil or sinister to compare it to at that time. Therefore the prude that God is thought to be post mankind’s fall should be done away with, because “goodness” was the over-arching theme of every one of God’s thoughts as well as His actions before mankind’s fall. God essentially wanted man to enjoy the earth that He created, He wanted mankind to make earth their home and to take ownership of it as well. Thus, we can clearly see that this well a well thought out and methodical plan that God put in place before it was completely distorted by sin.

To read this chapter in its entirity click here. Remember you can also purchase this book in hard copy and E-book form from Amazon.com and the iBookstore.

Be Blessed,

Michael S. Nimmons
President / CEO
Michael Nimmons Ministries, Inc.
www.MichaelNimmons.com
@PSTRNIMMONSTV
@OfficialMNistry

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Is God A Ravens Fan?


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Seems like a pretty interesting question. Is God even a sports fan? And, if so what is his favorite sport? Football, basketball, maybe baseball, or soccer? Seemingly questions of no particular consequence that we have asked ourselves at one time or another, but the implications of such continue to make for good discussion. If God were to have a favorite sports team, which would it be and why? On the surface these questions really don't carry much weight, but when you consider the fact the some if not all professional teams have a Chaplain and many times engage in prayer circles before they engage in their sport. And, these prayers are often time designed to ask God for favor to win their game against their rival or opponent. It becomes increasingly significant when you consider the scenario that two teams before playing each other engage in prayer to the same God for victory, who does God listen to? Is it the team that ultimately wins the game?


Well it seems that these are questions that many people have been asking because of future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis. The Baltimore Ravens have been winning here lately in the NFL Playoffs, and are now headed to Super Bowl XVLII representing the AFC as they knocked off heavy favorites the New England Patriots in Sunday night's heated match-up. Towards the end of the regular season, Ray Lewis announced his formal retirement from the NFL after 13 years effective end of this season. I'm sure he couldn't imagine playing this deep into the playoffs after making this announcement, but you wouldn't know it by the way he proclaims and professes his faith at the end of games. NFL Analysts didn't give the Baltimore Ravens much hope beyond their Wild Card game against the Indianapolis Colts. And, the Ravens have exceeded everyone's expectations and are now just two weeks away from playing in Super Bowl XLVII. His outward expressions of his love for God; at least for some, are a bit over the top. Some even say that he is taking advantage of all of this extra media coverage by engaging in these religious antics, which they don't believe are real or sincere. I was listening to a local sports talk radio show, where this was a major topic of discussion. The radio show host were annoyed and even tuned off by Reverend Ray Lewis public displays of affection and praise to God. I do not subscribe this belief, nor do I agree with these radio talk show host (surprising), but I find it absolutely refreshing and inspiring to see an athlete give praise to his Creator.

For those who are not familiar with Ray Lewis, or do not know his story. He played football for the University of Miami, and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 1996. He has had a very successful NFL career as one of the leagues most fierce and competitive linebackers. He led the Ravens to Super Bowl XXXIV back in 2000 where they eventually became champions. But, what followed this Ravens victory would haunt Ray Lewis for the rest of his NFL career. According to Wikipedia,


"Following a Super Bowl party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000, a fight broke out between Lewis and his companion and another group of people, resulting in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. Lewis and two companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were questioned by Atlanta Police, and 11 days later the three men were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges...Lewis admitted he gave a misleading statement to police on the morning after the killings. Superior Court Judge Alice D. Bonner sentenced Lewis to 12 months probation, the maximum sentence for a first-time offender, and he was fined $250,000 by the NFL, which was believed to be the highest fine levied against an NFL player for an infraction not involving substance abuse. Under the terms of the sentence, Lewis could not use drugs or alcohol during the duration of the probation."


Ray continues to credit God for bringing him through this dark period of his NFL career. In fact, he tells us that it was through this dark time that his relationship with God became closer and more intimate. And, so these outward expressions of an inward affection and love for a God that has done so much for him is really the best way to explain what's going on. I personally am in no way offended by Ray Lewis praise & worship to a God that he loves and reverences. If nothing else that type of activity should be praised instead of scrutinized. We have enough negativity in our society, we have enough bad news clouding our airwaves, so this should be a welcomed change to the everyday minutia of pessimism that seems to find its way into our lives. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Unfortunately, you have some who believe Ray Lewis is just cashing in on the moment, that he is just taking advantage of the limelight and essentially making a spectacle of himself and an even a mockery of God. This again, begs the question does God have any place in the sports world, or is this world completely off limits?


I find it interesting that we live in a world where homosexuals and lesbians are praised and lauded for the courage to "come out of the closet" and openly proclaim their sexual preference. But, as soon as someone openly professes their love for God without shame or apprehension, they are immediately criticized and ostracized for their profession of faith. It is considered a nuisance or an annoyance that society should not have to tolerate. It's almost as if Ray Lewis is imposing his Christian beliefs on us without out our permission or "expressed written consent" (Where have I heard that from?) But, isn't that what is been done to us as impressionable consumers of all things media? Every time we turn the television on we are being imposed upon by network execs who force feed us shows that they think we would like, or they want us to like. Shows that carry with them specific special interests or underlying agendas that we were neither asked nor consulted on, and yet they have found their way on our television screens. No one asked us is this is the kind of show we want to see, and what they will tell us is that if you don't like these shows then you can simply change the channel. But, this doesn't seem like a viable alternative for the perturbed radio host who can't stand Rev Lewis religious display, he wants society to be completely redeemed of this type of behavior. No one should have to deal with Ray Lewis or people like him without our "expressed written consent." (There's that phrase again)


Is this fair, should Ray Lewis be silenced in favor of the irreverent and profane. Should Ray Lewis have to dial back his emotions and his love of God for the benefit of the media pundits who can't stand it? Should he have to consider those he might offend before he makes remarks concerning his relationship with God? The last time I checked we live in a country where we have freedom of speech, and everyone has the right to speak freely as it relates to their beliefs and their convictions. Again, I find it continually interesting that Ray Lewis is being lambasted on talk radio shows for his religious beliefs, but Lance Armstrong; while he recently admitted to doping and using performance enhancing drugs, will find more sympathy and support for his long awaited confession than Rev Lewis profession of his faith. Interesting!


Well the word of God tells us that the world loves its own. And, if Jesus was persecuted and criticized while He walked the earth, what should we expect as is His followers. This type of ridicule and vitriol from society is what Jesus tells us as His followers we should expect. In fact, the Bible tells us that, "those that will live godly shall suffer persecution." So, this should be an expected behavior from those who don't know God, let alone do not have a relationship with Him. Jesus is essentially saying the world will never understand your love for Me, society will never appreciate your faith in Me. In fact, you will be setting yourself up for persecution when you openly profess your love for me. And, what we typically don't understand we ridicule, what we cannot comprehend we ostracize and defame. So, my message to Ray Lewis is don't take it personal; don't allow the media pundit to discourage you; don't let them quench your hunger and thirst for God; don't allow people who don't understand your relationship with God to define your relationship with God. But, what's interesting about all of this is that I don't think for one minute that Ray will be deterred by what people say. I don't think he will allow his critics to stop him from loving God and telling everybody's about his love for God. With the same physical domination and determination he exemplifies on the field, I believe he will use this to overcome the cynicism and negativity from his most ardent critics. And, if nothing else, this should be a lesson to us as Christians to not allow society to dictate how our love for God ought to be demonstrated. We should not ever allow our voices to be silenced in favor of maintaining the status quo. But, we should do as Jesus instructs us in Matthew 5:15, "let our light so shine that men may see our good works and glorify the Father, which is in heaven. So Ray keep on keeping on,and don't let anybody stop you, because at the end of the day I don't think anyone really can. Just remember, "NO WEAPON!"

Much Love!     

Michael S Nimmons
CEO/PRESIDENT
Michael Nimmons Ministries, Inc
www.MichaelNimmons.com
@PSTRNIMMONSTV
@OFFICIALMNISTRY







Friday, January 18, 2013

Not So REAL TV!



This blog topic has been a long time coming. First let me say I have never been a fan of reality TV, because I've always been suspicious of the percentage of "real-ness" that exists in "Reality TV." Nowadays we have reality shows that span the entire gamut of society's entertainment appetite. And, that's what network execs are attempting to satisfy; "society's entertainment appetite." We have reality shows about so-called "Real Housewives" (yeah right), all the way to a show about the best funerals. Unbelievable! How morbid and absurd! Is this society's entertainment pallet? Is this the entertainment appetite that TV execs are attempting to satisfy? I'm sure network execs would say the TV ratings would tell us yes this is exactly what is happening. The ratings for these types of shows are through the roof. And they continue to rise despite the depths of deplorable behavior and raunchiness that seems to be a fixture with most of these kinds of shows. It seems the more cat fights and the more drama that a show can muster, the higher the ratings and the more popular the cast ultimately becomes as a result.

But, my question is at whose expense? At what expense do these shows high ratings come? Who is ultimately at risk here? On the surface it would seem like pure entertainment. You can turn on one of Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA) to escape the doldrums of your own mundane life. But, the larger question at stake here is how real Reality TV is really, and more importantly what type of damage has been done to the various roles as well as ethnicity's portrayed on Reality TV? Shows like RHOA or Basketball Wives are supposed to portray “A Day in the Life” of Spouse A or Spouse B for whatever sports figure or athlete that they are married to. For the most part this is the case, however the life of most of these women are not realistic nor are do they exemplify the typical role of a housewife that many woman can identify with. (Well maybe that’s one reason why so many women watch the show!) They watch because they are not only physically removed (because the show is not about them) but socially removed (because many are not privy to the lifestyle that these women are portraying). However, what does bother me is how African American women behave on shows like these, because it does nothing but contribute to the stereotype that they are nothing but gold digging opportunists who prey on unsuspecting (stupider) men; who just couldn’t resist their feminine charms. You have women like Kenya Moore; former Miss USA, model/actress, who I’m told on RHOA is by far the raunchiest and ghetto-ist of all the women on the show. Oh, and by the way she is not even married and therefore not a “housewife.” So, what qualifies her for a Reality TV show like this? What kind of example is women like Ms. Moore setting for our young impressionable youth aspiring to walk in her shoes? Does she even care who’s watching? From the looks of things, she absolutely doesn’t.

What are the ramifications that these reality shows carry with them? I believe what it really boils down to is a question of "Reality vs. Reality TV," I would argue that reality TV really isn't reality. For example, the show "The SisterHood" which is supposed to chronicle the lives of 5 First Ladies who are wives of husbands that are real pastors over real ministries. However, you discover after watching the 1st episode that only 2 of the 5 women are actual First Ladies whose husbands are real pastors over real ministries. (Exactly! I was thinking the same thing.) Why would they only have two "Real First Ladies" on a show that is suppose to be about "Real First Ladies." I guess it makes too much sense. Nevertheless, on this show you are treated to all of the tawdry details of each of these "First Ladies." You see them at their "best" and you definitely see them at their "worst" (Which by the way is most of the show. LOL) So we can see the show was founded on a misleading premise, and if its starts on a shaky foundation then what kind of reality are we really trying to build here? And what continues to suffer is the church's image and credibility in our world. The church's image continues to be damaged by the its supposed "caretakers." Here's a video of the 1st Episode in its entirety.

Then you even have shows about funeral homes and shows that chronicle the lives of Gospel artists; attempting to give viewers and inside look into their lives, but unfortunately what you are left wondering is how are their lives any different than anybody else seeking to make some money, or simply to be "famous." You have some that believe showing the human component of some of these "celebrities" that we see everyday will somehow garner a greater appreciation for what they do. But, really more harm is done than good, because the focus appears to be more on their lives than the God in them, which is suppose to be the focus of their lives. It's sad when you look at Mary Mary's reality TV show and Real Housewives of Atlanta and you can't see a difference in the overall content and disposition of the so-called stars of the show. It seems in looking at the gospel artists of these reality shows, what you discover is that they want to be more like the world they were called out to lead to Christ. And, this is my real angst behind the proliferation of these types of shows, if we as Christians have been called out to be a light and to be different; according to God's Word, and yet these shows seem to only illustrate how great our desire is to be like everybody else. Our attitudes, dispositions, proclivities and the like are truly shared by everyone else. By virtue of our desire to be included in these shows, illustrates are longing to be just like everybody else.

Maybe this desire is really what is "real" in these reality shows, the desire to be famous. The desire to attain celebrity status. The desire to be special or elite, and these shows give these otherwise conspicuous people an opportunity to be noticed, an opportunity to be in the limelight if nothing but for 15mins. Interestingly enough, you got some of the more savy Reality TV stars who have parlayed their 15mins into a lucrative career for themselves. The Kim Kardashians and NeNeLeaks of our society are looked at as contemporary business women who know how to market their particular brand. And, their fame and notoriety is an example of that. No real talent, no really special gift or ability other than an "eye appeal" or an "personality" that has translated into some huge financial dividends. And, in both shows, if the desire for fame and notoriety is the real motivations of these "First Ladies" and "Gospel Artists" then I think we know all we need to know about their "ministries." So, for me the perception of these "Christian" Reality TV shows is that they are parodying and propagandizing what real ministry is, which is the collateral damage these types of shows have had on the church and everything associated with it. The result of these shows is the church is bastardized and caricatured for entertainment sake, and the real power that supposed exists within its walls is never experienced.

The question for our readers in addition to Reality TV going to far, what are some other ways that "Christian" Reality TV has effected people's perception of the church? Has it effected the way you see the church, has these shows effected the way you see those "Reality TV Stars" in other settings? Do you think "Christian" Reality TV is benefiting or harming the overall perception of the church as well as anything associated with it(i.e. gospel music, pastors, first ladies, etc.)?

Would love to get your thoughts and opinions.

Be Blessed

Michael S. Nimmons
CEO/President Michael Nimmons Ministries, Inc.
www.michaelnimmons.com