By Robert Stat
‘For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” – 2 Timothy 4:3 NASB
Bishop Cashma Bryan of the Holiness Church of Jesus Christ in the Apostles Doctrine in Detroit, Michigan, is pitching a show to the television networks called “So You Think You Can Preach”. In his words, “We have judges, it’s just like American idol. It’s very structured, the format is there and everything. So it’s just like American Idol except in a religious way. And it’s Christian, non-Christian, diversity.” The winner of the contest is supposed to receive $25,000, a new car, and a “Lifetime Opportunity Preaching at 2 or more Mega Churches across America.”
Bryan feels there are too many misconceptions about preachers and he wants America to understand the process of preaching. “A lot of people think it’s a joke. It’s for fun. And so people go in the pulpit and they do some crazy stuff. [The show] will show, this is what it’s about, this is preaching. If you are a church person, I know you have come in a lot of that experience … where people just go to the pulpit and talk and carry on.”
If by “talking and carrying on” he is referring to sharing the gospel of Christ, Bryan is right. A lot a preachers do that, but it sounds like that is not the theme of his show or even a requirement. According to the show’s website, the “sermons” will be based on originality, creativity and delivery. Nothing there about staying true to the Word of God. In fact, there is nothing mentioned about the Bible, anointing, the Holy Spirit, or anything else a Biblical preacher may be concerned with.
The true test of a preacher was once the fruit of the Spirit and the degree to which they followed the call of God on their lives. Has it now been changed to whoever can give the most outrageous delivery or come up with the most clever, though not necessarily truthful, metaphor or simile?
Bryan already has over 1,000 applications to try out for the show, and he hasn’t even started his advertising campaign yet. “It’s taken me by surprise just to see how it has exploded in such a short time so it tells me it’s gonna be a great show. I’m telling you it’s crazy,” he added. The show is scheduled to kick off on Saturday, October 3, at Shepherd Star Church in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.
There is no mention of what will happen if his show is not picked up by a network, but Bryan says, “I am prepared for the fight. I know there will be some people… just the thought of it, they’re gonna be like ‘well this can’t be God.’ But at the end of the day the truth speaks for itself.”
Should the show be picked up, it still won’t be everybody’s cup of tea. The author of The Old Black Church blog sums it up like this, “Too many worldly things are creeping into the church just for entertainment purposes. Shame on those who participate and watch this ungodly foolishness. I hope this is canceled before it airs…Preaching comes with anointing, not enticing words of man’s wisdom. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5.