Oddpologist: Shawn McCraney
At a time when expensive suits and forced smiles mar what it means to be a Christian on the television-viewing public, there are a few genuine articles left to see on it. Shawn McCraney, host of the show Heart of the Matter and a former Mormon of 40 years, is one of those rare individuals. He’s one of the most transparent hosts I’ve seen on television or the Internet. While Christendom, Inc. etiquette wants to force everyone to be emotionless zombies with perfect teeth and perfect behavior, Shawn lets it all hang out. While this modern incarnation of Christendom, Inc. prides itself on flawlessly delivered three-point sermons, Shawn occasionally stumbles and speaks exactly what’s on his mind (sometimes to great comedic effect). All the while he promotes the superiority of Jesus to any religion, creed, doctrine, or denomination — and he does it with noticeable heartfelt passion. When he doesn’t know something, he’ll tell you. When he thinks you’re full of “bull shitake mushrooms”, he’ll let you know. When you make a good point, he’ll point it out. But he isn’t above apologizing for getting overly emotional and saying something inappropriate or incorrect at times. The past seven years of his show have been some incredible viewing, especially the phone call portions from Mormons, et al. of all stripes, positions, and levels of inebriation.
So it’s his passion-filled expression and defense of the saving work of Jesus that make him the ideal candidate for the 2013 NAA Oddpologist Award*, an award I give out to unique Christian apologists who throw monkey wrenches into the cobweb covered cogs of tradition. But I present this award in a bittersweet mood, since it was his passionate delivery that has cost him his show on the airwaves just this month. Shawn’s last show, which aired on January 1st, 2013 was titled, ironically, “The Price of Truth”. Given what he witnessed of Christian support for a Mormon presidential candidate in the recent election, he diagnosed the Body of Christ as ill. After visiting some church buildings to see what was going on in them, he came out disgusted. So with 7 years of programs focusing intensely on every facet of Mormonism, Shawn decided to turn his attention to hypocrisy in evangelical Christianity in America. He was, like any conscientious doctor, intent on remedying its sickness, not spreading it. It was then that his show was pulled from the air.
Those of us who have enjoyed and supported Shawn and Alathea Ministries work over the years should definitely continue to do so. In all the zeal and enthusiasm that Shawn expresses, he never failed to lose focus of the heart of the matter… Jesus.
Congratulations, Shawn McCraney! And, remember, as the old saying goes:
When God closes a window, sometimes He slams it so fast that it breaks and He has to replace it with a brand new, bigger one.”
Something like that…
With a handshake,
Joshua Warren / NAA
*Note: What’s an “oddpologist”?
Now, don’t let the word “odd” fool you. It’s not an insult. The word “odd” means “differing markedly from the usual or ordinary or accepted” (Merriam Webster).