I was once asked to wrote something critical about TBN.

I chose not to do so, because enough people do it. Surely, adding one more voice to the chorus would not help. I am not a pastor or a theologian and so am not in a position where my judgment is required.

My other thought was simpler: I don’t judge networks, but individual shows on them.

Some good shows appear on TBN and many bad ones, but that does not seem different from other networks. Isn’t it a double standard to become heated over one network (because it is “Christian”) and not over another? NBC often seems hostile to my values and raises money in ways I find distasteful, but that does not require my rebuke.

I have become persuaded, however, that TBN is different. It is assumed to represent the Faith and NBC is only assumed to represent the shareholders. If I was a shareholder of NBC, I might have a duty to rebuke Keith Olbermann, but thankfully he and his foibles mostly can be left to other men.

As brothers and sisters in Christ should I make my concerns public without expressing them privately?

This does not seem necessary since my concerns are with public and not with private behavior.

What are my concerns?

I am open to my worries being wrong, but investigation has only made me more worried.

Let me list five concerns:

First, while a network need not endorse every idea on every show on the network TBN has a large number of shows that promote ideas that are bad. Why?

Second, network fundraisers use bad arguments and overly emotional appeals to raise money.

Third, TBN does not appear to comply with reasonable fund raising standards. Why not join ECFA?

Fourth, TBN seems overly centered on one family. Some members of this family seem like great people, but should “calling” really be so family centered?

Fifth, serious allegations have been made in the LA media about problems in the ministry and these have not been effectively answered. To quote Ignatius, “Who is the bishop?” (Translate that to your own favored ecclesiastical vocabulary.) Who could come in and straighten things out if they were to go bad?
(Ritual disclaimer: I have appeared on shows that choose to broadcast on TBN.)

Articles by John Mark Reynolds

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