UPDATE, 1:40PM: A Twitter friend and graciously alerted me to the fact that I spelled ‘buffoonery’ incorrectly in the article. This is why spell-check changed it to ‘baboonery’. So that I might learn from this embarrassing mistake, I have chosen to leave it as is. As you were.

I like to think I have a decent sense of humor. I’ve been known to participate in some next-level bafoonery (my spell-check wants to change this to ‘baboonery’, which is also full of comedic-wonderment, but I will stand my ground), cut a wisecrack, and drop some hot gags on a brother from time to time. What I’m trying to say is, when push comes to shove, some people like the cut of my jib. They enjoy my youthful antics. They love my dad-jokes. People just applaud me all the time — sometimes for no reason. I’ll just walk into a room and BAM! everyone starts applauding me for a solid 4-5 minutes.
So, when I saw this press release from the people at Apologia Studios, I was intrigued, which spiraled into a state of confusion, which then turned into more intrigue:

“PASTOR LAUNCHES LATE-NIGHT SHOW: There are a dozen or so late night shows on the air right now, and they all have the exact same opinion. Apologia Studios is about to disrupt the echo chamber with their political late-night comedy, Next Week with Jeff Durbin. Jeff Durbin is the pastor of Apologia Church and Apologia Studios, which has a huge social media following, including top YouTube and podcast channels, with millions of views…

…’Next Week with Jeff Durbin’ will air every Tuesday at 10 PM Eastern on Facebook Live, Tuesday, August 1st.”

Though I’m known as the “The Midwestern Funny Boy,” I have three serious questions about the show, which airs tonight.

Will it be super lame?

Christians are generally bad at doing things the world does. The movies we make are heart-felt, but generally lame. Our TV shows aren’t great. Our Contemporary Christian Music waters down the Gospel and does a really poor job at electro-beats. What I’m saying is, when Christians venture out of the realm of preaching Christ and making disciples, it just doesn’t look good. Our jokes aren’t as sharp, our cinematography is sketchy…we make cheesy things

This comes with being a Christian doesn’t it? Especially a Pastor who spends much of his time counseling his hurting flock and preaching the God-breathed Word on Sundays. We just don’t have all the time and resources in the world to make this stuff look legitimate.

So, without seeing a single episode, I’ll probably turn the show on in anticipation that it will be sort of lame. If I want to see people mock liberal point of views, I’ll turn Gutfeld on. If I want to see people mock the President, I’ll turn…well…anything else on. Do I really want to see Pastor and Evangelist Jeff Durbin do this every week? My gut feeling, which is getting larger and more powerful with age, says no.

Will it mock a hopelessly depraved culture that needs the Gospel?

Which leads to my second point: I’m not cool with Christians mocking the world all that much. Especially pastors and evangelists. Why? Because they can’t help but live in rebellion against God while suppressing the truth about Him. The world is experiencing God’s wrath every dayevery moment. This is such an easy way to get clicks and views, but at the expense of the lost.

I want you to imagine someone hopelessly depraved, doing something hopelessly depraved people are doing. How about that girl that thinks she’s a guy, married a guy, and is having a baby? The Left is really excited about this. As an evangelist, Pastor, disciple of Christ, would you walk up to this person created in the image of God and crack some jokes about how ridiculous they’re acting? No, you would have compassion on these people, love them as your neighbor, and tell them there is a God that created them. He will judge them someday, and unless she repents of her sin and places her faith in Christ’s atoning death on the cross for her salvation alone, she will die in her sin and experience the fire of Hell for eternity. If you wouldn’t laugh at them in real life, why would you mock them on Facebook Live?

That’s what the world does TO US. That’s what “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” does TO US. And does that endear me to progressivism? No. It makes me dig my heals into conservatism even more.

I realize that’s an extreme case, and Durbin may never touch on something like that story with the pregnant girl that thinks she’s a guy. My point is, however, the world is ridiculous because all reason and logic has been torn to shreds by sin. I don’t need to read about the latest charlatan on Pulpit and Pen every day, because I’m not surprised and shocked at heresy and apostasy. Bad people do bad things. I doubt I will need to turn “Next Week with Jeff Durbin” on every week.

This is so antithetical to grace. I already know the world is screwed up, and left to myself, I would be right there with them, celebrating homosexuality and such. But I’m not, not because I am intrinsically not stupid, but because the Holy Spirit gave me new life through the Gospel.

 I want to share the only thing that will free them from their depravity, not mock them for doing the only thing they are capable of doing — suppressing the truth.

Will it mobilize more Christians to ministry among the lost or unreached?

Will it lead people to die to themselves and live for Jesus? Assuming this show will be a ministry of Apologia Church, I hope that will be the case.  The church is commanded to produce disciples who make disciples who make disciples, so simply using her resources to produce art and comedy seems sort of… wasteful.

Years ago, I remember writing about Driscoll spending Mars Hill’s money to get his books on the New York Times Best Seller List. It cost his church millions of dollars. The money he spent to further his brand could’ve reached like 10 unreached people groups — thousands of people from these groups are dying every day, only to spend an eternity in Hell.

According to Ethnos 360, There are approximately 2,300 UPG’s worldwide. Nobody is spending a dime to plant indigenous churches in these places. I’m sure Durbin’s church gives lots of money, resources, and time to missions here and abroad, but wouldn’t it be cool if, instead of paying comedy writers and designing sets to comment on political news to “disrupt the echo chamber,” they just supported more tribal missionaries? Just a thought. Those people will be on my mind with every episode they produce. “Seriously, they bought that ridiculous prop?” Every one of us stands and falls before our own Master, but that doesn’t make this easy on me.

This all kind of feels icky. I sincerely hope and pray this is more than just a brand-stiffening attempt to “disrupt the echo chamber.” The Church doesn’t need more Tucker Carlson’s, we need William Carey’s.

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6 thoughts on “3 Questions Re: Christian Pastor Jeff Durbin’s New Late Night Show

  1. David Regier says:

    Buffoonery is the word you’re looking for.

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    1. “Bafoonery” just feels so right.

      Like

  2. Christina says:

    A few thoughts:
    I think (someone correct me if I’m wrong, I’m happy to be corrected!) Jeff Durbin believes in “Dominionism” and therefore believes we have to take over the culture for Jesus. I think he’s doing great and wonderful things in the abortion mill industry and thank the Lord for that, but as I said, I think at least part of the motivation is this Dominionism. Again, correct me if I’m wrong on this! Anyway, I’m just pointing out what I think is his motivation for now moving into this new venture.

    As a Pastor, I think he’s off-topic with this. He’s supposed to be leading his congregation, and honestly I don’t know how he does it with so many irons in the fire. If he’s able to carry all of this, then he’s a better man than me, Gunga Din… but regardless, I think he should leave the “Late-Night Talk Show Host” thing to someone else.

    Beyond that, I plan to watch an episode or two before rendering more judgement. I really don’t see the need for this kind of programming, seriously, Christians don’t need another way to be entertained – they need to be exhorted to believe and preach the Gospel, and live godly lives.

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    1. You are correct, Christina, he is a theonomist/dominionist. This is the problem that comes with this theology: the church drifts into the culture and stops functioning as the church. It’s darn near impossible to have one foot in the culture and one in the Bride. And, even if I was a theonomist, episode one was not the best attempt at “Christians reclaiming Talk Shows from the culture.” I too appreciate Jeff a ton, don’t get me wrong.

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  3. Seanna says:

    Another great article. Good perspective on not mocking the unbelieving world…I catch myself doing that sometimes. Thank you very much and keep writing!

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    1. Thank you, I catch myself doing that as well. As Pastor Gabe Hughes reminded me the other day, Russell Moore once wrote “Don’t mock your mission field.” I think it applies here.

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