During a panel discussion on the final day of the Cutting it Straight Expository Preaching Conference, an attendee raised concerns about the reality show “Preachers of LA” and other shows like it. (A spin-off, “Preachers of Detroit”, was green-lighted this past week for premiere in Winter 2015.)
One of the panel members, Dr. Melvin Wade of the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Los Angeles, addressed the issue first. He said that he wouldn’t give an opinion on the show because he viewed it as a line in the sand that he did not want to cross, especially because he personally knew some of the preachers on the show and had preached in their churches before. “Preachers of LA” features Los Angeles-area pastors, Noel Jones, Deitrick Haddon, Wayne Chaney, Ron Gibson, Jay Haizlip, and Clarence McClendon.
H.B. Charles Jr., the conference host, had no qualms about crossing that line, however. He called the show “foolishness” and condemned the premise that people need to see preachers’ human side. He said, “People don’t need to know that preachers are human. That’s the problem. They already know we’re human, they need to know that we are godly.”
Pastor Charlie Dates, of the Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago, also expressed concerns about preachers who are trying to gain notoriety and fame for themselves. He said, ‘If the aim is to build your brand and make your name famous [everything you do] is rotten.’
Other panel members included Pastor Bryan Carter of Concord Church in Dallas and David Helm of Holy Trinity Church in Chicago.
The goal of the Cutting it Straight Expository Preaching Conference is to train, model, and promote expository preaching. There will be plenary lectures about the meaning and importance of expository preaching, practical breakout sessions on the tools and work of Bible exposition, and worship services featuring faithful expositors that know how to cut it straight.