Until this week, I had never heard of 100 Huntley Street or The Drew Marshall Show. Huntley Street is a daily Christian television show in Canada that describes itself as “a vibrant and authentic, interactive, interview/talk/music program, bringing the Christian message to the viewer by exposing them to real people with real stories.” Drew Marshall is a popular radio talk show host, billed as “Canada’s most listened to spiritual talkback program” with an estimated 100,000 listeners. Marshall’s website gives a glimpse into the ethos of his show: “Celebrities and the rest of us living messy lives with a real God in the middle of it.” He interviews celebrities like Kathy Lee Gifford, B. B. King, Randy Travis, Chuck Norris, and George Foreman; and his style is gritty, authentic, andâ€¦wellâ€¦unnerving for those who love the status quo of cultural Christianity.
Now imagine this rough-cut, plain-spoken, high school dropout sitting in the posh studio of a highly-respected Christian television program andâ€”as if they didn’t know what to expectâ€”being himself in front of a totally different demographic. The hosts of the program were Reynold and Kathy Mainse, obviously sharing the last name of the show’s founder, David Mainse. If you’re interested in watching the video, you’ll have to go here (Marshall’s website), because it drew such mixed reviews (only 60% positive) that the producers never posted it to their website for subsequent viewing, as they normally do with every other episode. Not surprising, really, especially when Kathy asked Drew what his radio show was all about and he responded, “To find those with holy hand grenades up their butt and pull the pin” (fair play, he warned her that she really didn’t want to hear the answer to that question).
I love this interview! He says, “The sign of a good church is how many ugly people they have.â€¦I look around here and you guys don’t have very many ugly people on your show. You two are like the Ken and Barbie of Jesus television here in Canada.â€¦I’m not into Jesus TV. There’s just too much cheesy stuff, bumper sticker, and you’ve got straight guys designing sets. And it just doesn’t work, right?” Wow! I can see why 100 Huntley Street hasn’t post the episode, because Marshall told them exactly what he thinks; and I think he did so with a warm, funny, engaging, quick-witted style. As he recounts his experience on the show in “A Message from Drew,” he says:
A few people were surprised at how intense or even angry I came across during this interview. Some have said that maybe I just need to take a break and “get healed” or “filled.” Maybe my emotions just stood out so much because no one is EVER encouraged to be that vulnerable or honest on these types of God shows? I AM FRUSTRATED and actually, YES… I AM angry. Very angry, at how Christian leaders have been allowed to consistently get away with selling a North American, narcissistic, materialistic, “what’s in it for me”, squeaky clean, sterile Christianity. The Christianity I see being sold (You can’t actually sell something unless people buy it – so wake up people and stop empowering these Princely Pawns) is quite simply, getting in the way of people finding Jesus, following Jesus, being in a relationship with Jesus. I think I actually hate “Christianity!”
Cultural Christianity is KILLING US!
There is so much more to discuss, and that’s what our show is about. It’s about provoking discussion in a numb and desensitized culture, begging for authenticity! Our show is NOT a ministry! Yes, it has “ministry’ like qualities, but I am not a spiritual leader nor am I a leader of a “ministry.” I just don’t have the integrity for that at this point in my life. And the main purpose of our show is NOT to sell Jesus! TDMS exists to pull the curtain on “spoon fed spirituality!”
So, will you join with me as we spiritually bumble forward, together? I know that there are 7-Steps to fix me, that I should be Purpose Driven and praying like Jabez with my Spirit Filled Bible! But I also know that there’s a massive underground church out there of people like you and I who yearn for something more, something real, tangible, genuine. But we make the “Permission-Givers” and the “Kingdom Monitors” feel uncomfortable. We are the messy ones! The Unpretenders, The Unfinished, The Spiritually Incompetent, The Awkwardly Desperate, The Unqualified, The Whosoevers and the Just Anyones… Who Would Jesus Reject? Well according to donor based Jesus TV – ME!
There are multitudes who are just flat out “pissed off” with Christianity and her church. (And then there are those who are just pissed off that I said “pissed off.”) And herein lies the problem. It shouldn’t be HER church. It belongs to Christ. I want Him to take it back, because right now it sucks. St. Augustine had it right when he said, “The church is a whore, but she’s your mother!” As sick of her as I am though, she still gave birth to me and I will be forever grateful.
Drew Marshall’s evaluation is spot on! And I completely agree that multitudes of people are really sick and tired of the Christianity that’s being peddled around the world (not just in North America). What he seems to be expressing is righteous indignation and I think Jesus loves him for being exactly who he is right now, at this crucial moment in history. Amen, brother!