Jeff Foxworthy has made a career of finishing the sentence, “You might be a redneck if . . . ” He has sold millions of comedy albums, written bestsellers, and worked for years in television, most recently as host of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
Now he’s hosting The American Bible Challenge, which premieres tomorrow night on GSN. Teams will play each other, trying to prove their knowledge of God’s word whilewinning money for charity. When I heard about the show, I wondered why the “redneck” comedian would host a game show about the Bible. It turns out Foxworthy is a strong and sincere Christian. In 1998 he said that money and success hadn’t made him happy, but stated, “Since I have decided to walk with God, it has changed my entire life.”
He now says, “Everything is all about the glory of God. When I was a kid I didn’t think I was good enough to be a Christian. It took me a long time in life to finally get to the point that I understood that it wasn’t about my goodness, because I’m not good enough to have intimate relationship with God. Nobody is. But Jesus paid the price for me so that I might have relation with my Father like that. . . . All I want to do is reflect the beauty of such a loving God . . . to love him because he loved me so much in the first place.”
Foxworthy agreed to do the show because of the ministries it will help support, but also for evangelistic reasons: “Somebody who is not a believer or maybe they are a seeker and they come across [the show] and they stop and say ‘this looks fun,’ I mean that’s who you would want to stop and watch it.”
A second Christian in television news today is Lisa Whelchel. The North Dallas resident is most famous for her days as Blair on the 80’s sitcom The Facts of Life. Now she’ll be competing on Survivor: Philippines when it premiers on September 19. Here’s what makes her story unusual: “I’m not going to be able to manipulate and lie and cheat . . . it’s just not [a strategy] that I can do.” Why not? Because she is a follower of Jesus, committing her life to him at the age of 10. She has toured with the Women of Faith conference since 2009 and is outspoken about her commitment to Christ.
Earlier this week we focused on movies and TV shows that reflect the growing immorality of our culture. Today we meet two believers who are using their public platforms for the Kingdom. Like them, you and I have been entrusted by God with cultural influence. Your life and witness matter to someone today.
Let’s pray this morning for Jeff Foxworthy, Lisa Whelchel, and other believers in Hollywood to make a difference for the gospel. And let’s join them in submitting to our Father’s call to our cultural mission field. Isaiah said to God, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). When last did you make his prayer yours?
Dr. Denison’s cultural commentary originally appeared at http://www.denisonforum.org. It has been reposted here with permission of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture.