A Florida pastor who's set to make her debut as one of three "sexperts" on a racy and already controversial TV show called "Sex Box" premiering on WE tv Friday in which a mix of gay, straight, married and unmarried couples have live sex in a private box and then talk about it later, says God "instructed" her to be a part of the show and she's not worried about what critics say about it.
In an interview with CBN News this week, Yvonne Capehart, who's the founder of the "Healed for Real" healing and deliverance conference and Sister Keeper International Ministries Crusade, said she struggled with the decision to appear on the show at first until God instructed her to take on the "assignment" after much prayer.
"I did turn them down three times of course for the title, the content, and the layout of the show. Originally when I heard about it I was 'whoa!' and I think that's probably what a lot of other people would get," said Capehart in the interview.
"But one thing about my life and one thing about God is He would push you to do some things that you probably think that you shouldn't do. I'm so glad because through prayer after I turned it down the third time, the Lord as He did many times in my life, with everything else in my life, instructed me that He had prepared me to do this. My presence would make a difference in being on the show," she said.
According to a description of the show on WE tv's website: "Sex Box is a groundbreaking, unprecedented and life-changing way for couples in crisis to heal their sexual and emotional issues."
The show is expected to feature three couples each week who'll bring their troubles to experts: Dr. Chris Donaghue, sexologist and clinical psychotherapist; Dr. Fran Walfish, relationship psychotherapist and Capehart.
The three experts are expected to deliver advice on how the couples can repair their relationship after they "have sex on stage in front of [a] live studio audience in a specially designed chamber — the Sex Box. The Sex Box is private, camera free and sound proof. It allows couples to focus on one another and their needs with no outside distractions," according to WE tv.
In discussing her role on the show, Capehart, who's been married for 30 years and has been counselling couples for 17 years, describes herself as a "doer."
"I think my role is pretty much a doer role. I am not only a pastor but I do have a doctorate degree in counselling as well. I am able to give biblical advice and pastoral advice as well as personal advice to the couples that were on the show," she said.
She explained that once God gave her the green light to appear on the show she released all her reservations.
When asked how she handled advising the same-sex and unmarried couples on the show she said she treated them the same way she treats the couples in her church.
"Believe it or not I counselled and advise couples on the show just as I do the couples in my church. I gave them the same advice. Not all the couples in my church are saved, delivered, set free. I am one of those that believe that if people are in trouble … if people are in trouble and need help, we should offer them help," she said.
"When people come to me they already know that I'm a pastor. When they asked me to come on the show, they asked me because I was a pastor and so I gave the same advice. I was in my comfort zone, it was no different," she continued.
"I'm doing what I was called to do. I'm called and anointed … to speak to all people. I'm not just bound by the people that come to church. I'm called to speak to people whether they are in the church, out of the church or in the world," she explained.
Already the show has sparked a round of controversy. In a letter to WE President, Marc Juris, the Parents Television Council, One Million Moms, and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation explained that more than 38,000 people have signed a petition calling for him to reconsider debuting the show, according to a statement shared with The Christian Post Wednesday.
The letter is signed by PTC President Tim Winter, One Million Moms Director Monica Cole, and NCSE Executive Director Dawn Hawkins.
"We are writing today on behalf of combined membership of the Parents Television Council, One Million Moms, and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation to urge you to reconsider plans to debut 'Sex Box' on WE tv this coming Friday. Attached are the names of tens of thousands of Americans who believe that WE tv is going too far in televising what amounts to little more than a live sex show on advertiser-supported basic cable; and in forcing every cable subscriber in America to underwrite it," noted the letter.
"If you will not remove the program from your schedule, it is only right that you should refund to every cable subscriber in America who doesn't want to pay for such programming, the portion of their cable bill that goes to WE tv," it continued.
In reacting to the early criticism of the show, Capehart said what her show offers is no different than what's already available on daytime television and parents will simply have to monitor what their children watch.
"I think it's appropriate for couples that watch it," she said of the show.
"My view on that is I understand the parental association and their petition. I do understand that, however, I view it the same way as with any daytime television show. … [I] think that parents should use their judgment to turn the television should their toddlers or children be in the room as with any show. I'm a grandmother as well. I don't get mad at the TV. I just turn the TV if my grandchildren are present so I use my parental judgment on that," she explained.
Responding to backlash from critics for her participation on the show, Capehart said she's more than ready for any and all comers and defended her place on the show.
"This is not my first counselling session. I've been doing this 17 years so I am very familiar with backlash. I got backlash when I went into a strip club to get a young lady out who had came [sic] to my church and I gave her the phone number and said 'if you ever need me honey call me.' She called me during a Bible study and I got up during the Bible study and went to the strip club and got her out because she asked me to come and get her," said Capehart.
"I have never been worried about what people thought about me, be it church people or … people that know me or don't know me. My track record speaks for itself, and I have a wonderful track record to do what God has called me to do," she explained.
"I've been married 30 years, I think I have a lot to tell some couples," she added.