[campus of Fuller Theological Seminary]
[auditorium full of seminary students]
[Baptist DJ in corner plays theme music, motions for crowd to cheer]
STEVE HARVEY: Hello hello and WELCOME TO THA SHOW. I’m Steve Harvey and this is America’s Next Top Preacher, and we’re about to put the ILL back in homiletics! [crowd of students roars] Let’s meet our judges, who have never once agreed with each other in the history of the show:
[camera cuts to John MacArthur and Joel Osteen sitting at the judges’ table, each with a buzzer]
STEVE HARVEY: I mean come on man. We gotta get a third judge. ANYWAY, you all know the rules: only one CS Lewis quote, no Greek, pick one translation and stick to it, and preach til the judges hit that buzzer! Let’s meet our first contestant!
[contestant walks onstage]
STEVE HARVEY: [reading cue cards] This is Kolton. It says here that Kolton is a second-year seminary student who has a degree in linguistics and recently returned from a missions trip to Guyana. All right, playa, you ready?
[lights dim; spotlight shines on stage]
STEVE HARVEY: All right then, let’s preach!
KOLTON: One thing I’ve learned–
[house lights come back on]
JOHN MACARTHUR: [holding buzzer, continuing to mash button] I’ve heard quite enough…
STEVE HARVEY: Hold up. John, I DONE TOLD YOU bout pressin that damn buzzer right off the bat. Let this kid SAY SOMETHING
JOHN MACARTHUR: [grumbles inaudibly]
STEVE HARVEY: Keep going, kid
KOLTON: Well, okay. [clears throat] During my time in Guyana, we built an orphanage for the street children. There was one child in particular who God used to teach me about unconditional–
JOHN MACARTHUR: Extra-biblical revelation? You, dear sir, have disqualified yourself from any and all ministry opportunities. I shall not stand in silence as the Gospel of our Lord and Savior is mocked by you, an unkempt acolyte of Lonnie Frisbee. My friends, these continuationists threaten the very foundation of Christianity itself! As we speak, the charismatics–
[mic cut off]
JOEL OSTEEN: [to Kolton] Glory, Caleb! While you were preaching I closed my eyes, and it was as if I could hear the voice of Jesus! I believe that God has given you precious gifts of preaching and you will use those gifts to not only bring happiness to God’s people, but SUPER HAPPINESS as well
STEVE HARVEY: How bout that. For the 181st time in a row, our two judges disagreed. MOVING ON. Our next contestant is all the way from the First United Methodist Church of Branson, Missouri…and…oh no. This has got to be a typo…
[next contestant walks onstage]
STEVE HARVEY: Oh Lord. Oh Lord Jesus. Who brought that baby girl out here [turns and points angrily at MacArthur] JOHNNY YOU BETTER BE NICE, I’M TELLIN YA NOW
GIRL: [whispers into toy microphone] Jesus loves me this I–
JOHN MACARTHUR: I SHALL NOT SIT IDLY BY WHILE THIS MODERN-DAY AIMEE SEMPLE MCPHERSON SPINS A SHE-WEB OF DECEIT
STEVE HARVEY: Hold up
JOHN MACARTHUR: Strange fire comes in all sizes, my friends
STEVE HARVEY: Come on, man
JOHN MACARTHUR: HERESY!
STEVE HARVEY: Johnny, listen
JOHN MACARTHUR: BLASPHEMY!
STEVE HARVEY: Okay, let’s just go to Joel. Whatcha think, Littlefinger?
JOEL OSTEEN: [clapping, tears streaming down face] I am refreshed. I am renewed. I feel as though a great burden has been lifted off of my back, as though the very breath of God has blown through this sweet child’s mouth and spoken to us all. As Paul said, “let the little children come to me.”
STEVE HARVEY: [tosses cue cards into air, watches them flutter to the ground] I ain’t even gonna say nothing. Tune in next week when our contestants will be a Chick-fil-A sandwich and a hologram of Jonathan Edwards. DJ Altar Call, play us on outta here!
DJ ALTAR CALL: [spins EDM remix of Hillsong United’s “Oceans”]