Sunday, 23 January 2011

Songs of Praise


 Pam Rhodes learns about the historical importance of the city of Lancaster, and visits a school that makes its own sausages. The programme also features hymns from St Thomas's Church, as well as performances by Lexie Stobie and Tessera"

I was searching the TV for tonight and came across the blurb above for 'Songs of Praise.' I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this. "Pam Rhodes learns about the historical importance of the city of Lancaster, and visits a school that makes its own sausages." '..visits a school that makes it's own sausages?' This programme is what remains of Christian broadcasting in the UK TV networks and the presenter is not bringing us news about Jesus and his suffering on our behalf, instead she is visiting a school to look at the sausage making! Are the BBC for real?

While this generation now flaunts their agnosticism and the professional atheists ram their unbelief down our throats there remains a right of believers to have some sort of representation on Sunday TV, but this sad caricature of worship fails them miserably! Few would return to the Reithian days but the one programme with specifically Christian content could at least be Christian. Maybe that is a concept a step too far for the controller of such programmes today. The controller at the moment I think may be an unbelieving Muslim, or was it a Sikh? Whatever he is his brief is to widen the religious programming to cover all faiths and none, although how you cover no faith is beyond me. In itself this is fair enough but what actually happens is , well nothing! A meaningless (cheap) discussion programme at ten on a Sunday morning that few watch, and a watered down 'Songs of Praise.'  Well worth the money that! Shambles is not the word.

'Songs of Praise' I think was once intended for those who could not attend their church on a Sunday, today it is a glorified choir practice. This programme uses its own hymn book, they gather choirs from all the churches in a specific area and practice them for a week. Whether these are Christian or nominal does not appear to matter, what matters is lots of faces singing properly and any genuine member of that church is shoved to the back, unless they are featured in the programme. While the singing may succeed,the praise fails. All too often we are left with lots of ageing women, possibly a children's choir, each individual focused, not on God, but on a choirmaster. That is not praise! Now I grant you many believers are to be found among those choirs, and many others seek their God, however this does not reflect the reality of Christian worship in the UK today. I wonder also if this brings the truth of the good news to an individual as well as it might?

Much better to drop this programme and spend several weeks interviewing Christians throughout the land. Not just those famous names but the everyday man in the pew, well seat actually today, and discover how Jesus himself has changed their lives, and not actually made it easier for them while doing so. Much better to watch real people in action that sing a few songs, often good ones, and glimpse individuals lives for a short moment, even if those stories are often touching indeed. The whole programme as it is gives the impression the church is for old women! This is not the case! Far too often those who appear are middle class men in fancy robes or purple vestments relating to few indeed! Jesus Christ is alive and well and changing lives of those who accept him. Throughout the country people are discovering that he is alive yet when they look at the TV screen they see the blue rinse set all too often and little to grab their hearts. 

Jesus Christ himself has come to bring life, real life, abundant life, yet I do not believe this programme shows this. While there are those who tell of what God has done for them all too often we find such items as schools making sausages! This I can tell you is fun but not abundant life! I do not disparage the programme as such, I am happy that there are many who enjoy this programme, however if we are to have a Christian show in the evening let's have a real one, let's reflect the church,in whatever denomination, really has going for it! Let us show the power of Jesus to change lives!

It must be said that in these days Christianity is being pushed aside in an aggressive manner. Christians know the reason for this, and amongst other things showing Christianity in a poor light serves that purpose. However  God has as much right to be heard as anyone else, and while programmes cover all aspects of life the BBC must also provide a fairer representation of God in this world. No-one would object to such fairness being offered to Jews, Hindus or Muslims. Indeed religion is only mentioned during the news or laughed at in most other programmes so it is time for a fairer investigation of the actual effects of belief. That is not being given at this moment in time.



Anonymous said...

Preach it brother!

I hope at least you have a satisfactory church to attend. We have many that are worthless but we have oodles of televised ministries (good ones) to fill the gap.

FishHawk said...

Lancaster, Pennsylvania or California?

Relax Max said...

No dearth of "religious" TV channels here. With phone numbers posted and volunteer phone banks so you can send them money to have your troubles prayed for. It's big business. Do I sound cynical? I think you would be too if you watched some of them. Personally, I like the way the preachers have their hair done and how they dress so fine. Well, there are one or two which still tell it like it is and don't beg for money every 5 minutes. We've come a long way from that hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee when the preacher told us how it was and fed us all with 5 loaves and didn't even take up a collection.

Anonymous said...

One MUST have spiritual discernment to know which TV ministries are worth watching. They are not all of God but the same can be said of churches. Too many ministers are not even preaching God's word but mearly giving their opinions and ideals. They do not speak with authority and only offer a liberal, social gospel.

We all need a revival but genuine heart/life changing revivals only come from God's word, not men.

Anonymous said...

Psalm 119:9-16

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you O Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

Adullamite said...

Leaz, I am 'between churches' at the moment in that in this small town either I don't like them or they don't like me.

Fish, Typical YANK attitude!!!

Max, Churches like that do not work in the UK, it's a cultural thing. US culture asks for money everytime you turn something on, radio, TV, church, all as for contributions. UK culture abhors this! Only US organisation here attempt that. Folks either put a coin on a collection plate or are not asked for cash at all, unless they are members. It annoys me when I listen to internet radio from the US and I am greeted by a request for money. One thing to ask occasionally but not first thing!

Leaz, indeed. But it was ever thus.

Anonymous said...

Not like you????? Pish tosh!

I have a friend from the UK. Never cottoned to churches here except an Epicopal one he attended early on but he liked it only for the musical outlet it offerd him and the preacher would chat with him like a fishing buddy. He said while attending boarding school in Edinburgh they said grace in Latin. He can still quote it. I said what does it mean. "I don't know." I asked, didn't you ever inquire? He responded no, that it didn't interest him. He says he prays but the Bible is just a history book and Jesus just a man.