Like Christian radio, Christian television can often be a creative and theological wasteland, reserved for for fringe groups that account for a very slim margin of potential viewers. But unlike Christian radio, Christian television can also perpetuate harmful theological ideas about God. When Alexandra Armstrong witnessed this at a conference hosted by their local Christian television station, she decided to do something about it, and so she created her own television show, Scriptureology, a women’s Bible study program designed to provide viewers solid Scriptural knowledge.
Alexandra, tell me a little about how you got started doing Scriptureology
Well, I was writing for the Telegraph Herald, and a local ASCTN station was having their 1st annual religious conference, so I thought, “I’ll go check it out.” I was horrified by the shallowness of one speaker, and I was grieved for a man in a wheelchair. The speaker pointed at him and said, “You don’t have a physical problem, you have a spiritual problem. If you had faith, you wouldn’t be in that wheelchair.” I was so grieved for him.
So I made an appointment with the manager of the station to tell him why conservative Christians won’t listen. To my astonishment, he said, “You’re right. But the next question is, ‘Can you do any better?’” I’ve taught Bible studies for a dozen years, but I’d never considered doing anything on television. Before I knew it, I was recording my first Scriptureology show.
Why do you think there is a resistance to solid teaching on Christian television?
I can’t speak for other networks, but at CTN, many managers are discontent. Conservative Christians have radio—so we let the Benny Hinns’ have television, and Benny Hinns’ pay. If they have better programing, they would air it—they would love to see conservative Christians out there, and they’re happy to talk to people if they are interested in developing programs. I just stumbled into it.
What did you say when the manager asked you if you could do better?
I laughed. My husband did not laugh—he encouraged me. The station manager told me how much it cost, and I was really stunned at how affordable it was.
What does it take to put a show together?
I produce the show, so I put everything together. It’s a one-man program. Behind the scenes, I’m studying, reading the text, making my own insights, praying that God would show me what women need to know. The show is very Scripture heavy, because I’m convinced that the power is in the Word of God. Any blah, blah, blah I add is secondary. I try to alternate through Old Testament and New Testament books.
You’re program is targeted to Christian women. Can you tell me what you think is missing from current women’s ministries in the local church?
I can only speak from experience, but it’s fluffy and light and it’s topical—feel good. There is a verse—“My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Women need Scripture in the head and in the heart. I’m personally tired of the “You are God’s princess.” God is not passing out crowns now. Right now, we’re servants and that’s how we’re supposed to live, so we need to glorify God by being obedient. There will be time for crowns later.
Come on, are we just going to navel gaze? We’re not building our kingdom—we can do better. We’ve been doing [this type of ministry] for how long, 15 years? What do we have to show for it? I don’t see a lot of spiritual depth. We need something different. We need to model valuing Scripture—we haven’t done that well. That’s not being done.
What have been your main challenges in ministry?
Funding is the first thing that comes to mind. [Even though it’s a women’s program] women are not writing checks—most of the money comes from guys. I don’t presume to be a teaching source over men, but I’m thankful for them. We’re not self-supporting yet, so funding is a challenge.
What’s your advice to women considering the path into teaching Scriptures?
Get in the word. There is a difference between being a conduit of information and being an overflowing well. To become teachers, they need to be in the word and saturate themselves in the word. When temptation comes, do you think scripture and does it influence your behavior in that temptation? It’s not enough for it to come to mind—does it change your behavior? Has your mind and your heart been transformed? Then I think you’re ready to be a teacher.
Scriptureology aired from February 2010 until April 2013. You can view all episodes online on Scriptureology’s YouTube channel.
Alexandra is just one of the amazing women serving God around the world. To read more stories of Christian women around the country, click on the red dots in the map below.