Friday, October 17, 2008

You Tell Me - Does It Matter when your testimony and conduct compete?

I have discretionary time. Some of it is spent productively and some is, well, you tell me. I saw the 100th episode of A&E’s ‘Dog’ The Bounty Hunter. Duane Chapman is the leather clad, chain smoking, tough talking, f...wording, tank topped former convict (accomplice to murder no less)who is known as ‘Dog.’ He's over the top enthusiastic and vulgar during a take down of a fugitive, and immediately thereafter becomes a big hearted social worker soft talking the captive down the road to rehabilitation. Makes for quite a show. Now get this, before a pursuit, he gathers the posse and he prays a spontaneous family prayer that may include “and let our lights shine in Jesus’ name, Amen.” His website claims that he is a highly intense, charismatic ex-con and born-again Christian and king of comebacks. His father was a Navy man and his mother was a minister with the First Assembly of God. Dog says, “I am what rehabilitation stands for.” He is tireless to bring in the bad people and to encourage them to change their lives.

Comebacks? Dog has been married five times and has fathered eleven children in his fifty five years. After serving time Dog co-founded Da Kine Bailbonds based in Hawaii. Joining him in the pursuits are members of his family, children Leland, Duane Lee, Baby Lyssa and his current wife of two years, Beth, a peroxided, large-haired, big bosomed business partner.

Penny Harding, the executive director of the California Bail Agents Association, said about Dog, "He represents all of the things that bail agents are trying to get away from - the cowboy image, the renegade, bring 'em home dead or alive."

This enigmatic figure is a challenge to the conventional Christian profession of faith. We customarily want to see a clearer correlation between profession and behaviour? When A&E bleeps his speech yet it's still evident that he said, sh... or mother f..... or f... one wonders about validity, true faith. When questioned about his profanity he has answered. “To say God (bleep)it or to say that God (bleep) thing -- that's not taking God's name in vain. That's like saying, 'Oh, Dog Damnit.' Is that taking my name in Vain? No! I don't think that by saying God (bleep), that takes the Lord's name in vain, and if it does every night before I go to sleep, my mother used to tell me, 'You're a lot like David in the Bible, son,' and I would say, 'Why, Mom?' And she would say, 'Well, the Bible says that David was a good repenter, and loved the Lord with all his heart.' And I repent so much, at night, I talk to the Lord, go over what I did and tell Him, 'Please forgive me for that. Don't let me do it again, God. Why did I do that?' I'm constantly repenting everyday..." And as for him being an example or role model forget it. He says that's not his role. He looked up to Jimmy Swaggart he says. "Don't look to me."

The truth is however, the thousands of viewers of this top rated show do form an impression of Jesus and his place in a person's life through observation.

What do you think about this? Some professing Christians, calling themselves Red Letter Believers endorse Dog's dichotomy as authentic Christianity.

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