The Church of Jeremy Kyle

So, in the midst of studentdom – mornings in bed with a cup of coffee and a book are standard…and the background noise – The Jeremy Kyle Show.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, the presenter tries to solve relationship problems, addictions etc with his confrontational presenting style. His catchphrase? ‘I’m only being honest’.

Every morning people appear on the stage, expletives falling from their mouths like acid rain claiming that X slept with Y and Z has a drink problem and may not be the biological father of Y’s baby. There are women, desperate to escape violent relationships, children searching for absentee mothers and fathers, young people struggling with addictions to self-harm and food.  Lie detector and DNA tests ensue and they may be seen by the man Jeremy calls ‘The Genius’ the show’s resident psychologist. After Jeremy delivers his verdict and advice – to separate, be a Father, stick together or use the help being offered by the ‘excellent after-care’ team, the individuals leave the stage – together or apart to go on with the rest of their lives.

After a discussion with a friend – we wondered where the Church was in these sorry stories of society.

Once upon a time, the provision of care for the fatherless, the relationship counselling and the troubled individuals; was the Church. It was at the forefront of social care.

Now, in order for people to get the help they so desperately need, they must embarrass themselves on national television. Air their dirty laundry in public, have a stranger on TV tell them about family planning and the support available for social and mental disorders.

Why is it, that people would rather go on TV, than step through a Church’s doors?

In the Bible, Jesus approaches the prostitutes and outcasts – and now they will not come near the Church? Where did we go wrong that the very people Jesus welcomed are the people who feel most rejected by Church?

The love of God is powerful that if we have committed our lives to Him – His love should shine right through us to those around us. It should make people – all people want to know what is different about us, why we love the people we meet regardless of their situations.

If the Church of Christ was what it is meant to be…surely there would be no need for The Church of Jeremy Kyle?

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2 thoughts on “The Church of Jeremy Kyle

  1. Tim Goodall

    I wonder whether before the most revered television, it wasn’t the bars and dance halls that were the place for such people to air their relational dysfunctions.

    I’m not sure this is a new thing.

    I also wonder whether the outcasts and prostitutes would have approached the synagogues of Jesus’ day… and possibly because Jesus was not associated with the religious elite, he was free from the stigma.

    But I don’t think that it everything – though at times it is easy to use that idea as the reason to have a good ol’ dig at the local church.

    I also wonder whether we’ve spent too long building our own utopia (read: welfare state) that we’ve forgotten the we ain’t that good at building anything (other than our own pride) and that Jesus is the master builder – which means we’ve got to knock down that pride and learn to be slaves… doing what we’re told.

    I equally wonder what “fame” has to do with the current situation… the drive to have our time on screen.

    Some things I wonder…

    Reply
    1. Rachael Costa Post author

      Don’t get me wrong, I love the Church – and I think you are probably right in terms of the bars and dance-halls being similar types of areas. The ‘five minutes of fame’ phenomena is also a good point. I just wish I knew how we could make our Churches more inviting, how to get back to the heart of the gospel that Jesus not only preached, but lived. It seems like the intellectual answers to these questions are far easier to come by than how we actually make them a reality. I guess we just have to do our best to keep our hearts attuned to the direction we are being called towards…

      Reply

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