Sunday, March 25, 2007

TBN Beams the Gospel?

The Tennessean reports that the Trinity Broadcasting Network is now beaming the gospel into much of the non-Christian world. Which gospel is another matter. Excerpt:

Trinity beams gospel shows into non-Christian worldNetwork wants gentle tone in messages
Staff writer

The world's largest religious broadcasting network just got a whole lot bigger, striking a deal to beam nonstop Christian television shows into a wide global slice of the most populated — and least Christian — places on earth.

Billions of viewers in largely Hindu India, Muslim Indonesia, Buddhist/Confucian/Taoist China and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific Rim can now turn on their TVs to find Trinity Broadcasting Network's Christian cartoons and talk shows, Christian extreme sports shows and sermons, Christian music videos and variety shows. Many of the music programs are taped in TBN's Hendersonville studios.

...Evangelical Christians have already criticized TBN's suggestions that shows tone down their anti-Muslim rhetoric for overseas viewers.

Other critics say the militantly Christian discourse of some of the network's most prominent on-air personalities — Pat Robertson, for example — risks inflaming public sentiment against the United States.

...TBN will broadcast programs via satellite into the "10-40 window" whose latitude and longitude designations encompass a number of Asian nations, including Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, as well as parts of Eastern Europe. Many areas in the window are difficult for Western missionaries to enter.

...Day, the TBN spokesman, said the network "in certain cases … had to remind programmers of Trinity Broadcasting Network that we want to present an accessible, loving Christian message. We do not want to be harsh or critical of other people or faiths to make sure we fulfill our mission. That can sometimes be a delicate matter but it's one that is certainly manageable and well worth undertaking."

...Other TBN critics cite its constant calls for viewer contributions. In its on-air fundraising drives, viewers are preached a "prosperity gospel" with promises they will reap riches in return for their contributions. In 2003, the tax-exempt public charity took in more than $184.2 million, according to IRS records.

That's the bottom line right there. If the rest of the non-Christian world starts getting the North American version of Christianity they will become, at best, a carbon-copy of a brand of Christianity that doesn't know their Scriptures, doesn't know what they believe and why, knows nothing about Law and Gospel, and that would probably quickly abandon Christianity once persecution arose - and you can be sure that it would in those particular countries! At worst, they would see that the Prosperity Gospel does not work and their hearts could be closed forever to receiving the true Gospel.

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