Idol Chatter

Back in November, I wrote about the developing friendship between two Christians on The Real World: Denver—Davis the Southern Baptist homosexual and Stephen the conservative Christian. Their discord was due to Davis’ homosexuality which Stephen deemed reprehensible for a Christian.

Months later Stephen came to grips with Davis’ homosexuality and embraced the Christian adage of “loving the sinner, not the sin.” Like most Real World season finales, the kids waxed poetic about how much the three-months on MTV’s tab changed their lives. This is generally a thinly-veiled practice, but this time around there seemed to be a genuine change—namely in Davis and Stephen. Per RW custom, the episode started with the usual stream of bed-hopping, drink-guzzling and expletive-dropping. Davis and Stephen were an integral part of this. Davis was bed-hopping with a man that wasn’t PJ—the love of his life and Stephen, who had a girlfriend back home, fell into temptation with Jenn the ex-Oakland Raider cheerleader—who also had a boyfriend back home. It’s almost too exhausting to explain. But what is most amazing about this adulterous plot is the amount of remorse the aforementioned cast showed after getting up from the beds of sin that they made.

First comes Davis, who initially denied having sex with another man but eventually came to his senses and rushed to the phone to call PJ. Do I sense a little James 5:16 action? The results of Davis’ confession lead to PJ breaking up with him. Davis proceeded to drink down his sorrows in the most amazing display of drunken humility ever seen on the series–and possible television. As Davis ruminates over his pitiful life, he puts his finger on what some may consider his biggest flaw—homosexuality. Immediately Davis begins to curse the day he became a homosexual by saying he wishes he was straight and–get ready for this–he wants to be saved and resurrected. Hearing all of this, Stephen decides that this is finally his chance to deliver Davis from the pits of hell and he lays hands on Davis–Benny Hinn-style–and tells him, “You want to be saved; in the name of Jesus you are saved. Finally, we see Stephen do something inherently Christian.

At this point I was flabbergasted. Who would have known that you would see a gay man denounce his gayness and a Christian try to deliver him all in one night–on MTV no less. This is edutainment at its best. Okay, maybe not, but it was a thoughtful exchange between the two brothers in Christ.

After Brother Stephen finished delivering Davis, he returned to the house to find Jenn sleeping in his bed. This would be the perfect time to tell Satan, “Get thee behind me.” But unfortunately, “the mind is willing but the flesh is weak.” And so, Stephen trips and falls into bed with Jenn, the MTV night vision camera starts rolling, and you know what happens next. The next morning, Stephen comes back to reality and realizes he messed up big time. He quickly puts on his finely-tailored church suit, grabs his Bible, and runs to the house of the Lord–a church aptly named St. Stephen’s–to ask for repentance for his sins. Talk about seeking closure to a season of wildness.

Many would argue that Davis and Stephen are not good examples of Christians. But how does one really define what a good Christian is, particularly if there is no good Christian in existence? No one is good as Romans 3:12b indicates. The only thing that separates me from Davis and Stephen, is the fact that my life is not being constantly recorded—at least not for the world to see.

I mentioned in my earlier RW post that I would commit myself to watching the season to give Davis and Stephen the benefit of the doubt. I stayed true to that promise—for the most part—and as I watched them fall down and get back up, I matured and learned to look at them differently. I walked away from this season realizing that I can judge no man because I, myself, am not without sin.

Consider it this way: when the Pharisees brought the adulterous woman to Jesus insisting that she be stoned, he said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” One by one, each of the Pharisees left and Jesus was the last man standing. He said to her, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

We should only hope that Davis and Stephen continually look to the God of their salvation for acceptance, forgiveness, deliverance, and love because He is their only judge. You can’t really hold a candle to that, can you? Case closed.

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