Family group cautions Christians about appearing in reality TV
There are both benefits and pitfalls to be weighed where Christians are concerned with regard to appearing on reality shows.
This is the cautionary warning that Adam Holz of Focus on the Family told the Christian Post saying, “It’s easy to edit TV to make someone look bad. Christians need to understand that if their actions contradict their faith, that causes good ratings. It’s about entertainment. The agenda is to create drama.”
These days, the exception seems to be the Duggars Family from the TLC television program, “19 Kids and Counting.” According to their website, the Duggars only agreed to go on television if the producers promised not to edit out their faith, which is the core of their family.
In their website they said they felt the show would be “an opportunity to share with the world that children are a blessing from God.” The family of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar has emerged to become one of the most famous families on reality TV.
Michelle told People Magazine, “People think we are overpopulating the world, (but) we are following our convictions.” Christian Post noted that they “take the scripture, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ very literally.”
The Duggar website does not tread lightly on the family’s faith. The entire website is designed to glorify God, just as the show does. It says, “Our prayer is that all who view this site will realize that we are ordinary people with our individual weaknesses and imperfections, but we serve an extraordinary GOD who delights in demonstrating His great power.”
Jim Bob and Michelle also last year experienced being grandparents for the first time when their oldest son Josh and his wife Anna gave birth to Mackynzie Renee on October 8, according to their website.
Not every Christian appearing on reality TV gets to be presented in such a positive light, however. More often, as Holz said, conflict brings up ratings. An example cited is the canceled “John and Kate plus Eight” series where initially the couple professed their Christian faith and family values, the Christian Post said.
Holz told the Christian Post, “John and Kate should be a cautionary tale. Now we all know them, but for the wrong reasons.” The media had a field day after the couple separated, showing the cracks in the family.
Another example of a Christian who did not come across well was Marguerite Perrin, in an episode of the former show, “Trading Spouses.” The program would feature two vastly different families, where a spouse from each family had to trade places and live each other’s life for a week, the Christian Post said.
Perrin, from Ponchatoula, La., is a devout Christian believer who owns a dance studio with her daughter Ashley. She traded homes with Jeanne D’Amico-Flisher, a hypnotist, pressure healer and tarot card reader from Boxborough, Mass., Media Watch said.
During the show Perrin experienced a television meltdown that FOX, who produced the show, ran frequently to promote it. Perrin soon joined the ranks of other unpopular reality show people (non-Christians) like Omarosa of “The Apprentice,” and Richard Hatch of “Survivor,” Media Watch said.
Perrin’s appearance on the show also “took its toll on her own family,” the Christian Post said.