Original Productions, creators of such "cultural documentaries" as "Monster Garage," "Monster House" and "Plastic Surgery Before and After," is hoping to add a new reality television show to its line up. "Pulpit Masters" is intended to be the homiletical equivalent of American Idol. Initial auditions were held recently in Dallas, Texas to begin the search for "the next great American preacher." According to the update on their website, the producers are down-right giddy with enthusiasm over their beginning:
"'Pulpit Masters' is officially underway! We're back in the office after our first audition/casting session in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and it could not have gone any better. We were blown away by the number and diversity of people who answered our call to 'show up, sign in and speak out!'" The breadth and scope of inspirational messages they shared was truly overwhelming and we want to thank everyone who participated. For everyone else around the country who is interested in climbing onboard the "Pulpit Masters" train and trying out for the show we ask you to keep visiting the pulpitmasters.com website for updates. We will be heading out to other cities soon for more auditions. Our goal is get as wide a selection of contestants as possible so we will be visiting cities and towns all across this great land. Stay tuned!"
I suppose we should not be surprised that we have come to this. The church has become so much like the world that is only follows that the world should set itself up as the judge of preaching. What is truly tragic is that there will be more than enough contestants--no doubt many of whom will come from various sectors of the evangelical community--to set up all the drama and pseudo-reality that characterizes "reality TV."
How long will it be before experience in "Pulpit Masters" starts showing up on pastors' resumes?