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Let’s be honest. Christian television is awful. The shows either have very big families who are preacher’s kids, or wayward Angels. We see ourselves on shows such as Lexi’s interviews and Gospel music programming. It’s just not imaginative at all. Regardless of who’s at the helm, the formula hasn’t changed much. From Jim and Tammy to Paul and Jan to Marcus and Joni to Rory and Wendy, Christian TV is pretty much the same — somebody preaching to the camera and looking for money.

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I cringe at what often passes for “Christian TV.” Just ask anyone who’s watched Robert Tilton.  The standard “preaching/teaching” programming is fine, just like Sesame Street is still good for children. It’s reaching people at the lowest common denominator. It’s the status quo of what you expect.  Christians need to become imaginative and stewards of their trades if they are ever going to enjoy the wide array of choices in the same way that everyday television viewers do. Imagine if there was a show that instead of preaching and shouting at you  actually had acted out parables? People wouldn’t turn the station so fast and might be receptive.

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The only way for Christian programs to draw enough viewers to earn enough advertising dollars is for them to contain some level of entertainment. I don’t mean violence or scandalous behavior. I just mean something more than a person preaching. Being an evangelist should not be  a call to beat people over the head with a virtual altar call. Touched by an Angel and Highway to Heaven were the last outright chances at programming with a real essence of Faith. In the movies the last time we saw anything that challenged the mind was “Fireproof”. Of course, we have the Tyler Perry movies and the Bishop TD Jakes movies.  Last year we saw the premiere of the show “Kings”.It was canceled before even building an audience. These movies shouldn’t be the only way that our faith gets defined.

It shouldn’t always be the formula of faith lost, tragedy strikes and faith is regained. Each of us has a walk that can be told in vivid colors more than the same brush strokes.  More importantly, why aren’t African American writers engaging and reaching out to write dramas not “Amen” laugh tracked shows? Christians are perfectly capable of entertaining and edifying at the same time. Imagine if you took a drama and actually worked in real Christian characters not flawed stereotypes. We are not all bible thumping, casting out shrieking minions as everyday press would proclaim us. We cannot rely on Disney and the Hallmark Channel exclusively to engage us. It takes committed Christians to know and care about Christian values.

{For more from Oretha Winston follow her on Twitter}