The New Year showcased a new reality television, The Sisterhood. The premiere episode followed the lives of four preachers’ wives as they introduced their families, their friendships, and their ministry. Tweets from tonight’s show beg the question of whether God and reality television in its entertainment form should ever coexist.
Before we get into the moral issues raised by the show, let’s discuss the law implicated in the storyline: The Church is a Business. Legally, a business is an employer, a taxpayer, and a provider of services. As an employer, the show presented hiring, firing, and pay issues, all dictated by the law. Tara’s husband moved from Los Angeles to Atlanta to pastor a church, and within six weeks was terminated from his position. Since no evidence of a contract was presented, even a church can fire for any reason or no reason at all, so long as it isn’t unlawful (i.e. discriminatory).
Christina signed checks for employees working at the church her and husband founded. Paychecks have tax implications and are subject to wage and hour laws. Additionally, Christina showcased the many services their church provided in addition to Sunday worship. Domonique’s husband had to close his church because it wasn’t generating revenue to cover expenses. And Ivy discussed the financial struggles of growing their church in the inner city. Even for a charitable entity, revenue and expenses carry legal obligations.
One underlying consciousness raised by the show was the kitchen scene at Domonique’s house. In this scene, Domonique and Ivy were discussing (some may say arguing) with Tara about her communication style with them and with people who may not be well versed in Bible scriptures. It appeared that Domonique was judging Tara and sought to change her communication approach, rather than getting to know Tara and accept her. There is a thin line between advising and passing judgment. The line becomes even thinner when such advice is not requested. We all have various perspectives on life given that we all have various upbringings and experiences. The bible teaches to accept people as they are, and when they come to you for teaching or become open to scriptures, share the message God provides.