By Vivian Bricker, Crosswalk.com
The Righteous Gemstones is a show that stars John Goodman as Eli Gemstone. Gemstone is a televangelist who quickly becomes lost in the sea of greed and sin.
While this show does have satire and sees things from a different approach, there are many reasons why I would not watch The Righteous Gemstones.
With that being said, there are also many things we can learn from this show and how the world around us views evangelical Christianity.
1. Dark Humor
The Righteous Gemstones is said to be a dark comedy by many outlets. While many individuals enjoy dark humor, sometimes it can go too far. Dark humor can be scary at times, and it can also be marketed for a certain type of person.
With a targeted audience of those who enjoy dark humor, it might be difficult to get many people to watch this show. Whether you like dark humor or not is up to you; however, we also have to remember that whatever we watch, hear, or listen to will affect us in one way or another.
Comedies are appreciated by most people because everyone loves to laugh. However, dark comedies can often make people feel uncomfortable or frightened by graphic imagery.
Yet again, it is within a person's Christian freedom to watch what shows they want to see, but it is also important to remember how they will affect you in the long run.
If watching this show might cause you to utilize dark humor in your everyday life, it might worry some individuals around you, and it could also affect your own mental health.
2. Bad Content
Another reason I would be cautious of watching The Righteous Gemstones is because of the questionable content that is presented. Many outlets have reported that there is bad content, which is why it is best to only watch what you are comfortable with watching.
Especially for younger kids and younger adults, it would be best not to watch this show. The bad content, similar to dark humor, can impact you and affect you. We need to be careful with the content that we consume because it could tempt us into doing something wrong.
There is nudity, curse words, and sexual jokes on The Righteous Gemstones; therefore, if you plan to watch this show, keep this in mind. Personally, I don't prefer to watch shows with this type of content, which does impact my overall decision not to watch this show.
Once again, it is not up to me to tell you whether you should watch this show or not because it's not my decision. Every Christian has their own freedom in Christ and with this freedom, you can watch the shows you want to see.
You can watch this show and try to ignore the bad content, even if it might be difficult at times. Despite there being many negative aspects of this show, there are also a few things that bring good points to the table, especially the term evangelical Christianity.
It is good to point out these truths as well because the show does contain some helpful, thought-provoking, and interesting points about the world of televangelism and a type of evangelical Christianity.
3. Shows Christianity in a Different Light
While it is good that The Righteous Gemstones shows the evil that befalls many televangelists, we must not neglect to see its take on evangelical Christianity.
It is true that many televangelists become money hungry and abuse their power, as was the case with PTL's Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. It is also important to know not all megachurches do this.
There are many jabs at the prosperity gospel within this show as well, which is something that is positive.
It is appreciated that The Righteous Gemstones are bringing attention to the greed of past televangelists and the prosperity gospel, which should not be overlooked.
This is a positive aspect of the show because it does give an accurate behind-the-scenes look at televangelists that have existed. The prosperity gospel has been popularized in the modern day by Joel Osteen and for good reason. This movement needs to be criticized too.
With these positive comments in place, we also have to address the issue in the show of demonizing evangelical Christianity. Evangelical Christianity has taken on new forms and new meanings over the past few decades.
It was once established in opposition to the liberal movements going on through theological circles; however, now evangelical Christianity has taken on a new definition.
Within the different denominations and offshoots of Christianity, there are different meanings behind the term evangelical.
Concerning The Righteous Gemstones, the evangelical Christianity they are presenting is very much a Trump-type of evangelical Christianity, which is really not Christianity at all.
Evangelicals, in this sense, have fallen from their knowledge of the scriptures and have replaced their allegiance to the Lord with a man.
In other words, a certain class of evangelical Christians is more willing to support what Trump says instead of what God says. This is a true reality that needs to be addressed more within and outside the church.
Trump is not a savior, nor is he going to make America great. Rather, Trump is a sinful, fallen human just like the rest of us, and he has done many evil things.
It is always surprising to know the massive rally of Christians who stand behind Trump when he doesn't follow the Bible or Jesus' teachings. More likely than not, Trump has selected Christians as his targeted audience with the hopes that he would be re-elected again.
As someone who lives in the southern United States, I am all too familiar with the massive Trump support and how people are eagerly lining up behind him in support.
Rather than Christians turning after following a human leader, whether that be a president or a televangelist, Christians need to turn back to God. Following a leader who is not God is sure to cause problems and destruction.
Therefore, to these points, The Righteous Gemstones does present several good arguments that need to be spoken of within and outside the church.
Should You Watch It?
As mentioned, you have freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:1). With this freedom, you also have discernment. Simply because I personally choose not to watch this show isn't a reason you cannot. If you want to try out the show and see what you think, you can do just that.
However, if you prefer not to see the show, that is perfectly okay too. There are many learning points in the show that can challenge thoughts surrounding the different evangelical movements, politics, and televangelists.
If anything, you can watch it for research purposes just to see what the show is trying to convey. While it is true, there are many drawbacks of the show that will cause many people to not want to view the show, and there are many other things that might pull someone into watching the show.
The aspect of addressing televangelists, mega-churches, a different form of evangelism, and the prosperity gospel is also a great way to help people know what is going on within these movements.
Through viewing this show, the church would also have their eyes opened to what the outside world believes about Christianity.
Due to the false views of new definitions of evangelical Christianity, the mass influx of Christian Trump supporters, and adherents to the prosperity gospel movement, many people are receiving a false view of Christianity.
These individuals do not know the truth about Jesus or how He died to save them from their sins (John 3:16-17). As believers, shows such as The Righteous Gemstones can give us a chance to present the real gospel and the true beliefs of Christianity rather than allowing individuals to believe in a false Christianity.
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Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Kharoll Mendoza
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.