The Church of Oprah

the big give
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4)

2 thoughts on “The Church of Oprah”

  1. that does seem like a problem. i watched about 3/4 of two different episodes…and the premise is a bit weird which makes the show sort of boring. such as it is, at least at the end of the day some people are getting helped along in life. i mean she could just be buying another house with that money. i’m more interested in seeing if “the wisdom of the american people” that modern day politicians are always praising can come through and stop watching this “moment of truth” show i see advertised all the time. i admit i haven’t seen it, but back of it has to be the beast since from all the commercials i’ve seen it has every hope of hurting people and wrecking families, on purpose, for mere entertainment’s sake. ravi zacharias talks about what happens when a culture loses its sense of shame. normally we think about that in terms of crudeness or flaunting one’s sexuality or some such thing. but i have to think a show that hopes we’ll tune in to see someone publically drag their spouse through the sludge of their dirty little secrets may actually be worse. i’m not even as worried about the contestants motives (at least they get money out of the deal) as i am worried about what it says about us that we want to see them do it. i’d hope when the tigers surround the gladiator we’d at least cheer him on. but for whom do we cheer when its man versus man, and what ever got us to that point where we wanted to buy admission?

  2. I watched an episode and a half of the show out of intrigue. I found the whole thing incredibly odd. For example, the show I watched included a challenge in which the “Big Givers” had to give away a chunk of change within 24 hours to a needy person. One of the Givers chose a former military guy whose benefits had been cut off. The Giver got a local restaurant to host a fund raiser for the guy and the manager of the restaurant announced at the end of the evening that all of the proceeds from the food would go to the guy’s family. Good deed, indeed. One of the twists Oprah throughout during the challenge was that the Givers would need to find someone to give the brand new Ford Edge they each were driving to…our Giver helping the military guy decided to give his car to the restaurant manager because in his opinion, the manager displayed the “you have to give big to get big” attitude. At the end of the show, the judges sent the Giver home because they thought the manager wasn’t deserving enough. In fact, one of the judges said that the military guy probably would have taken the car over the $4,800 he was given by the Giver. The whole time I was thinking to myself, “So, you’re sending this guy home because he isn’t altruistic enough?” More importantly, all of the promos for the show include Oprah saying that what the Giver who wins the Big Give doesn’t know is that he or she will be given $1 million bucks. So, how does this negate the “you have to give big to get big” philosophy of the Giver who was sent home? Maybe Oprah is stipulating that the million bucks has to be given away? I don’t know. Either way, the whole show is based on the odd notion of judging how creative someone is in their giving. What I want to know is how much money is changing hands between advertisers and the television station? Whose really benefiting here? How much money is going into producing the show? How much money is being spent flying these Givers all around the country? Maybe the costs associated with the show pale in comparison to the amount that is being given away each week…it’s still odd to me.

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