Shawneda

Book news, opinion pieces, and random stuff I post... Yeah this is that space. 

A Different Perspective on TLC Reality Show Sisterhood (Be Aware This is a Long Post)

There has been a lot of talk about the new show previously known as "Preachers Wives" that has an uncanny resemblance to an eBook series I almost launched in 2010 called Real Firstwives (I only released one episode but didn't like how the "show" was going so shelved it with prayer.) I revamped the ebook series to show women in a positive light and scheduled summer of 2011 to release the new version starting next week on the blog (and also Wattpad)... before I knew this show was coming out. 


I've read so many negative and judgmental while attempting to be fair blogs, theological debates in the comments section of online articles, plowed through Facebook status updates and twitter rants about this show.  But I haven't seen  many balanced viewpoints. 

I'll share mine now that I've had time to pray about what I witnessed on Tuesday when I logged on TLC to watch 


I'll start with full disclosure I have been acquainted with
 two of the women on the show since moving to Atlanta. 



I met Ivy Couch in the late 90's at Spelman.





I attended 3WC also known as Worship with Wonders.
My current church is in relationship with Pastors Myles & Delana Rutherford.


PEOPLE ARE TRIPPING!


Church people in particular. 
I'm not going to lie and say I was excited about the show being taped and aired. 
I wasn't. Not because of my ebook series (it is not that serious.)
 I watch RHOA (and I love Jesus and I'm not ashamed) also known as Real Housewives of Atlanta
 and both shows are produced by the same company. 
So I wasn't expecting this to be a show that was created as free advertisement for the ministries. 



Reality television is for entertainment.
 Most Christians looking for positive, bible based television turn to Christian stations. 
TLC is not a Christian station. 
The producers of RHOA and Sisterhood aren't offering the show to lead viewers to Christ. 
The producers and TLC are interested in ratings, advertising dollars and media buzz.

I'm not defending the show or saying I think it depicts the women or the Body of Christ in the best light but ...Neither does the response from Christians about the show.
 I've seen people question these women's salvation, 
Christian public figures accuse them of selling their souls, 
call them harlots and all types of other things 
that could also be considered as unChristlike as "being on the show."
(I fought the urge to link to these people's twitter accounts. 
That would make me just as messy.)


These women (knowingly or unknowingly) opened themselves up to the scrutiny of the media by electing (for whatever reason) to be on the show.
That doesn't mean they expected to be judged, ostracized, ridiculed and rejected ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA (and some pulpits on Wednesday and come Sunday) by the BODY OF CHRIST!

The petition writing people have started a petition. 
Christian bloggers ranted and made accusations like gossip sites. 
Most of the comments have been so judgmental, gossipy, derisive and just down right mean...
you'd think they weren't written by Christians about other Christians.

Cause the world will know us by our love. Right? 

To say these women don't know the Lord is to propose that as an imperfect human (even if you have discernment and every other spiritual gift) you're without flaw or in a position to judge. 
(That includes all the "fruit inspectors" for the deep, spiritual and churchy folk who may read this.)

How many of us would look like a "perfect Christian" if cameras followed us around and production engineers edited what we did and said to create the most entertaining 48 minutes possible from the footage from our lives?


Before you decide to write a post, status update or tweet about me and how unsaved you think I am for not bemoaning the decline of the Body of Christ because of the way Christians have been depicted on the show
(which would be help how?...*shrugs*)
consider this from another point.

Based on the views of some of the people who've lambasted these five women most of the people in the bible save for Jesus and Enoch are unqualified for God to use them. 
From clips about coming shows and brief tidbits of testimony sprinkled between the editing, people who acknowledge their own imperfections (past and present) may be able to see these women are prime candidates for God to receive glory from their desire to submit their lives to be used by Him. 

Is it so hard to believe God would use something as wide reaching and relevant as reality television?
  What if we looked at each of them as testimonies?




Tara Lewis has been ostracized by her family and maintained a 16 year marriage to a man whose been ostracized by his family. 
Somehow they made it work. 
She is disciplined in treating her body like the temple of the Holy Spirit. 
Did she come across as the "perfect Pastor's wife" no...but a few things I admired about the way she handled  herself. 
She never named the church (which sounded very traditional) that released she and her husband (which happens more than people think.) 
Was she extreme? A little, but we all have imperfections.
I bet that is a great trait for her as a fitness professional. 



Domonique Scott has overcome drug addiction, is fighting for her marriage
 and admits she is a better minister than administrator. 
That doesn't mean she doesn't know the Lord, it means she is honest.
 Were all the things she said about Tara on the show done in obvious "Christian love" or sisterhood? 
NO!
 Does that mean she is disqualified from who God created and called her to be? 
NO! It means she is human. 




Ivy has a healthy sex life with her husband and uses her voice to glorify God. 
She is honest about her struggles with the roles and duty of being a first lady and though also not perfect in how she was depicted offered an authentic representation of herself (which is how I remember Ivy.) 



Christina Murray displayed a love for her family and mind for business.
 Some people online have expressed that she dealt with the church more like a business than a ministry.
I would ask them how they could see that in one 48 minute episode.
Were the Murrays painted in the best light in how they conducted themselves with the Lewises?
No. I don't think so.
But they like the rest of the people on the show., they are human. 
 People were upset about the sex talk with the daughters...why? 
Would it have been better if they only prayed for their daughters and left them open to the dangers of unprotected sex, like teenage pregnancy due to ignorance? 



I've been involved in several worship experiences and witnessed 
God use Pastor DeLana Rutherford. 
Like the other ladies, she has a testimony and isn't perfect. 
As my pastor likes to say she is perfectly able to be used by God to minister to his people. 
I'm not sure what you'll see her depicted as next Tuesday on the show.
What I do know from having been acquainted with her the last several years is that she has a heart for worship and wants to be used to the glory of God. 
Is she perfect? 
NO! 
But are you?


Instead of signing petitions, twating (hate tweeting), sarcastic blogposts, judgmental Facebook updates and 
continuing to perpetuate the stereotype of  being hypocritical Christians and in particular Christian women that inspired books like 

which morphed into the short lived show 


let's consider 


Pray for Tara, Domonique, Ivy, Delana and Christina. 
Pray for their marriages, ministries and children. 
Pray for the Body of Christ to come together. 
Pray for God to derive glory from this show if you believe the word of God
Romans 8:28 can be applied in all things. 
(remember reality shows are edited to look the worst because
let's face it...short of Extreme Makeover [home and weight loss] Shows...DRAMA sells reality television.)
Pray these women (all of us, really) whether the show continues 
or not are able to move past their differences and 
come into agreement in their love and worship of God. 

Feel free to comment, but know ALL of my comments and online media is moderated. 




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