I truly don't like writing about negative things. Really. But what is a writer to do when yet another bottom-feeder-slimy-content-anything-for-money 'reality' show comes out and takes television to lower and more tasteless depths?
I know what you're thinking...which one is he talking about? You're right - so many to choose from for sure - but the morally putrid and plot decayed spew I'm talking about is called Moment of Truth.
This 'game show' takes contestants, leashes them to a lie detector machine, and asks them intensely personal and potentially devastating questions essentially designed to wreak havoc and destruction to all that is seemingly decent in their lives. Of course friends and family members are in the audience watching as the drama of stupidity unfolds and people throw themselves and others under the cash bus.
On second thought, that didn't sound too negative - did it?
What gets me most is the essential premise behind Moment of Truth, which makes the pursuit of money the highest goal in life - even if you have to nuke your relational world.
Oh I'll admit the show is fairly compelling...but so is the scene of an accident, so I wouldn't personally justify this excuse for a reality show with the flag of 'compelling entertainment.'
OK so we've established how I feel about this show - but what we haven't cleared up is why I would bring it up in the first place (other than the fact that I loath and despise Moment of Truth, but I think I mentioned that already).
The idea behind this show wasn't invented in 2007 by Fox. Nor was it invented in the 1950's by the producers of a show called To Tell the Truth. The concept of someone asking another person penetrating and potentially damning questions when hooked to a lie detector started when Jesus Christ walked the earth. In fact, much of His life was a walking Moment of Truth scenario where He would throw out inquiries to people knowing whether or not they were telling the truth, because He is God.
Of course when Jesus did that, it wasn't so people could win money or destroy their lives. Just the opposite actually. His questions were about leading people away from the idolatry of this world and saving their eternal lives.
So I have a challenge for you: do you want to be a contestant on the Bible's version of Moment of Truth? The only person you're competing with is yourself, and the rewards of truthful answers are far more than all the cash in the world.
Ready? Here's how to play. Read each of Jesus' two questions below, and think long and hard about how you would answer. Only God knows if you're telling the truth, but I promise this may be one of the most 'compelling' things you've done in a while.
'Who do you say I am?' (Mark 8:27)
This is the question Jesus asked his disciples. At the time, people had all sorts of opinions about Jesus - everything from a demon possessed lunatic to the Savior of the world. Jesus knows that how a person answers this question will set the tone for every other area of life.
No different today - which is why you need to answer this question as well. Here's the way The Chronicles of Narnia writer named C.S. Lewis put it:
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg - or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. (Mere Christianity)
'Who are you looking for?' (John 20:15)
This is the question Jesus asked Mary Magdalene as she looked into the empty tomb of Christ. She had heard that Jesus had come back, that He really is God, and that all His promises must be true. Yet...someone coming back from the dead??? So even with Jesus standing right in front of her, she didn't recognize Him.
Who are you looking for? Did you know Jesus stands before you at this very moment with the offer of salvation? Or do you doubt this truth because it seems so impossible? Maybe you are at the empty tomb of Jesus, ready to give your life to the One who can truly fulfill you, but you are still looking for that in someone or something else. A boyfriend or girlfriend. A future career. An academic award. A sports achievement.
Who do you say Jesus is?
Who are you looking for?
It's time for your Moment of Truth.
Head: What you need to know about this truth
The most important questions we can ever answer are who we believe Jesus to be, and whether or not we will trust Him with our lives.
Heart: What you need to feel about this truth
Don't let yourself get distracted by all the other questions being thrown your way. If you turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him with this life and the life to come, your past is forgiven, your present is loved, and your future is secure!
Hands: What you need to do about this truth
Write out your answers to the two questions and share them with a friend this week.
Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resources for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.