HGTV is a popular network for home improvement shows – one that has caused a lot of trouble in my home. My wife does not appreciate all of the projects I have undertaken after being inspired by them.
They are also a network committed to celebrating “tolerance and diversity” on matters of gender and sexual orientation. They make sure that the “regular people” who appear on their shows are homosexual in a proportion that far outpaces the population average. They canceled one show before it even began because the twin brothers, both evangelical Christians, had made statements in line with Christian doctrine about sexuality.
Just this week, a “scandal” has arisen about Chip and Joanna Gaines, the bubbly believers who star in the HGTV show Fixer Upper – one of the network’s biggest hits. A story by Kate Aurthur on Buzzfeed has uncovered the deep dark truth that the church with the Gaines attend is, in fact, a church. They believe the Bible and hold to the truth that the church has held to for thousands of years – that homosexuality is sinful behavior. Gasp!
Christians are upset and a little paranoid. We are used to being “persecuted” for our faith by the intolerant left. There is a new McCarthyism on the rise, thought-police who seek to punish any who diverge from the group-think orthodoxy. Those who believe what Christians have always believed must be ostracized, shamed, and held up to public ridicule.
Chip and Joanna have said nothing offensive, but they are associated with a church that holds to doctrines that do not conform to the approved views of the intolerant left and they must be punished – and that punishment must be severe.
So, what are we to do as Christians? How do we respond when things like this happen?
1. We must make sure we have gotten the facts right. I know people get tired of hearing this, but we have simply got to stop passing on lies on social media, or even exaggerated truths. It’s sinful and wrong. And it plays into the world’s caricatures of Christians as dumb and unreasonable. Before you go on a rant, make sure your facts are right. For instance, the facts are that at this time, HGTV has taken no action against Fixer Upper or against Chip and Joanna Gaines. There’s been no persecution, just an intolerant article.
By the way, we all get it wrong sometimes. Just admit it, correct it, apologize for it, and move on. But do your best!
2. We must respond with measured, reasoned words. When you name-call or flame the opposition it solves nothing. That is always a fine line. I said some strong things about the intolerant left up above and some might say I was flaming them. In my mind, though, I was observing what I have seen and describing it in measured and reasonable terms. We have to avoid going berzerk, assigning negative motives, calling people horrible names.
3. Take a positive step. If you are upset about something, do something about it – and complaining on social media is NOT a positive step. We live in a world of faux activism where people think they’ve taken real step to battle ALS by pouring ice water on the their heads and believe they are social justice warriors if they flood social media with angry rants.
There is a better way. How about a well-written letter to HGTV expressing your appreciation for Chip and Joanna? I did a little research and here is their corporate office address and phone number.
HGTV Corporate Office Headquarters
500 W Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37902
Corporate Phone Number: 1-865-546-3251
If you contact them, be cordial and positive. Don’t talk about how homosexuals deserve hell and the church is right to stand against them. That is counter-productive. Tell them that you love the show and respect the Gaineses. Tell them that the concept of tolerance ought to extend to a wide range of beliefs and that there should be no sanction against Chip and Joanna because they share the sincere religious beliefs that millions of Christians have held through the years.
A well-written letter that states the facts in a positive way is going to accomplish much more than a fire-breathing letter that levels insults and makes threats.
4. Realize, this is the world we live in. Read John 14-16. Jesus promised us that if the world hated him it would hate us. It ought to be no surprise that non-believers reject us and hate us and present us in false light. They did that to Jesus and they will do it to us. It is a reality of following Jesus.
The key is to act like Jesus!
Now, I’ve got to go finish some of those projects I started.