Public Accountability or Failure Porn? Assessing the Uptick in Christian ‘Rise and Fall’ Content

From investigative podcasts to docu-series on major streaming platforms, you may have recently noticed a considerable uptick in Christian “Rise and Fall” content—programs that put a spotlight on the scandals and failures of evangelical leaders and institutions. Many have lauded these series and the truth they expose. Others, however, have given them a derogatory moniker: failure porn.

Whether it is Mars Hill, Hillsong, Jerry Falwell Jr., or the Duggar family, these types of series give viewers and listeners real insights into the toxic cultures and institutions that have too long been feeding grounds for abuse. At the same time, they are also meant to offer entertainment value. This tension has led many to feel squeamish about their recent rise in popularity.

Is that a fair, though? How cynical should we be here? Are these series a type of public accountability, failure porn, or a little of both? How should Christians interact with these types of content, if at all, in a way that is healthy, empathetic, and helpful? In this episode, we discuss all these questions and more.

RELATED RESOURCES

NEWS: ‘Shiny Happy People’ Depicts Duggar Family as Part of a Fundamentalist Movement With a Culture of Abuse
READ: How to Identify Spiritual Abuse
READ: Maintaining Hope in the Church in Light of Sexual Abuse Scandals
READ: 3 Thoughts for Coming Back From Spiritual Abuse
READ: 3 Things Christians Can (And Must) Do for Sexual Abuse Survivors

REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE

Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets” on Amazon Prime
The Secrets of Hillsong” on Hulu
Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed” on Max
The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” on Apple Podcasts
God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty” on Hulu

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