Skip to comments.'Preachers of L.A.' Brings the Prosperity Gospel to Reality TV
Posted on 07/05/2013 5:23:54 PM PDT by Gamecock
The Story: The prosperous lifestyles of six megachurch pastors in California will be the subject of a new reality show, "Preachers of L.A.," slated for the Oxygen network this fall.
The Background: "The Bible says I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. I believe that," declares Bishop Clarence McClendon, in the show's trailer. When challenged about this prosperity gospel, McClendon replies, "there is no other kind of Gospel."
"P. Diddy, Jay-Z, they're not the only ones who should be driving Ferraris and living in large houses," says cast member Bishop Ron Gibson, a former gang member who now ministers to 4,500 people each week at Life Church of God in Christ.
Why It Matters: The heretical gospel of "health and wealth" has been a staple of television for decades. But where it was once confined to obscure TV ministry channels like Trinity Broadcasting network, this new reality series will bring the prosperity gospel to a whole new audience.
While it's tempting to think these gold-chain wearing, luxury car driving preachers can be easily dismissed, we shouldn't underestimate the powerful appeal of their message. "It would be easy for young, theologically minded pastors to think of prosperity teaching as so obviously misguided that we don't consider it worthy of attention. This would be a terrible mistake, says Trevin Wax. "As pastors and church leaders, we have an obligation to preach the biblical gospel in a way that takes into consideration our current context, a setting that unfortunately is heavily influenced by the idea that God's blessing is financial and deserved."
The new series may give us an opportunity, though, to explain the difference between this gospel-less gospel and the true good news of Christ. But to do so we need to be prepared to explain why focusing on material riches makes us spiritually poor. As Al Mohler has said, "In the end, the biggest problem with prosperity theology is not that it promises too much, but that it promises far too little."
name it and claim it!
if you dom’t get it, it’s your fault for not having enough faith.
now send me $100 for my miracle spring water.
I agree with you, Game, 110% percent. Worldly prosperity as an aim is an idol which will always dissatisfy.
Spiritual prosperity is richly living out our role as a “fragrant offering” in the hands of God the Son, given to God the Father. If I can wax a bit sermonish, it’s as God the Father says to God the Son, “Mmmm! That smells wonderful, my dear Son! I love it!” And God the Son says back to God the Father, “Yes, dear Father, I agree! It was to die for!” Now, the execution of this on earth MIGHT involve a lot of earthly wealth, but to be rich spiritually, all of it (whether that adds up in earthly terms to a little or a lot) should be involved in doing things that are an offering to God. Like sharing the gospel.
Titus 1:7-11 warns against these preachers.
Yes, preaching the gospel as a means to worldly gain. (Yet Paul is still happy that at least it’s getting preached for any reason.)
I’ve got spiritual riches. Money would be nice but I only need what I need.
Jesus doesn’t judge your bank account. He does scrutinize what you’re doing with your resources whether much or little.
I remember watching Oral Roberts on television at one time saying that God was like a Coca Cola machine....you put your coin in and you get something good back.....same stupid reasoning as these yahoos.
The Good News can be a hard task master if one thinks that God is only good for giving wealth and prosperity as defined by man. God’s greatest gift allows us to prosper in an entirely different manner. Too bad that people don’t study enough to know this
That’s so sad to see. Oral missed the point if this was more than just a bad metaphor. I mean yes, your true investments in the Lord will be rewarded. They might not be rewarded in what is in earthly terms literally the same kind. You might spend yourself poor on the gospel because you genuinely sensed God asking you to do that and be rewarded later with a degree of spiritual or ministry power you never imagined possible. Your life may begin to draw a good kind of envy, the envy that gets people asking you why you seem so blessed in the middle of such trouble, a perfect opening for sharing the gospel with the unsaved or encouraging the weak Christian.
Nope he was on a roll. He wanted people to get back more than they tithed and it was one of his examples. Hammered on it for quite awhile as I recall. But then this is the guy who saw a 900 foot Jesus so what can I say?
Well, seeing a 900 foot Jesus might or might not be a genuine vision. I couldn’t say anything about that alone. Getting back more than one has tithed... well there are sincere Christians who have sworn that their money goes further after tithing than it used to go before. But a machine... it’s a bit cringe worthy, though God will start there if that’s the best you know. He stoops to great humility. But it’s no place to end: God ain’t a machine!! God is a loving person!! And a preacher should be at the point where he knows better.
I have friends who belong to one of these “churches”. They actually demand 10% of all your earnings (pre-tax of course) and encourage the open mocking of those who are slacking in their tithing. They even go as far to say that you should give the 10% before paying any bills, and not to worry because “God will provide”. Oh, and they hold their services in a bar too...
It was during the time that many of these preachers were making ridiculous promises that one would get back ten times their tithes. Like sowing a crop. It was ridiculous.
Does God always meet my needs? Of course. The idea that I would give to a preacher so I could get more back from God is silliness. I should give to a preacher because I have been taught by them.....even Paul said one should do so
That’s dangerous. Tithing in the Christian world shouldn’t become an idol. God may well press circumstances where it’s a better witness to use the money for other things than the church offering plate, and that is perfectly fine. The Old Testament tithe was, in fact, like a required savings account with which one would then throw an annual celebration party.
That’s a good thought, thank you.
I have discovered when I do tithe, somehow my desires for worldy things decrease. As I result I have more money at the end of the month.
I think not.
Being as consistent as you can with giving is a good spiritual reminder. There’s also no problem with periodically lifting up one’s entire resources before the Lord and asking for wisdom about how to use them to glorify Him best.
You can make the bible say whatever you want, and make it say WHATEVER someone wants to hear......disgusting
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Revelation 3:14-22 KJV
I can’t disagree. But isn’t it interesting you didn’t get MORE what you found was that you were content with what you had.
I find that it isn’t necessarily about money (though that does factor in). I give my time as well because it is in the doing that I remain teachable
Well, if the Holy Spirit genuinely is the teacher, the accuracy of the student should be better, or at least improve with time. Doing a good job as a Christian isn’t gotten just by reading the bible, any more than driving a car well is gotten just by reading manuals. Practice is required.
The real problem is when a church has preachers living the high life, but only offer their poor members little more than kind words, and there are way too many of these kinds of “churches”.
I can remember, maybe 30 years ago, watching Pat Robertson on the 700 Club talking about the "principle of reciprocity," the more money that you donated (to Robertson), the more God would bless you with.
yup....just another version of the prosperity doctrine
My short stint illustrated God as a Flashlight ,turn it on for prosperity!!!
I snapped at that point.
Worldly prosperity as an aim is an idol which will always dissatisfy.
It has to dissatisfy.
I encountered an interesting article last year while preparing a presentation for men's group. Human beings seem to have an interesting little built in Catch-22. We get a bigger neurological payback from seeking things, than from actually getting what we're chasing after.
So where will these preachers stand when/where Christians are persecuted? Would they tell Christians in a house church in Pakistan or China that the reason the police kicked in the door is because they don’t have enough faith?
If one the these preachers winds up facing some gubmint lawyers about performing a “gay marriage”, where will they stand?
Crunch time is coming, and these preachers are spreading destruction.
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
- Matthew 6:24
The Bible says that Christians will suffer for their faith.
So the more you give, the more you will suffer.
I want to see somebody preach that.
Wow! Thanks for the heads up Warning. Prosperity as God. Terrible.
they seem to worship God the lottery guy
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. (Psalm 37:24-26)
I was in Bible college, putting myself through, working minimum wage ($1.50 hr.) at as many as three jobs at a time and sometimes wondering if I would have enough money to eat or catch the bus to work between paychecks. I learned the truth about this precious promise from our Lord firsthand. There were so many examples I could tell you of how it was proven true during those times and afterward, but it would need an entire new thread. What I learned most of all is that God uses those times of want and need far more perfectly to teach us to depend upon Him for ALL our needs. There's a song that says, "If I never had a problem, I'd never know God could solve them." and "If we had sunshine all our life, we'd be a desert.".
Paul learned, as I did and as we all must, that we should be content in every state we are in because God will not forsake us. He said:
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:10-13) and verse 19, "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."
I think the so-called Prosperity Gospel preachers are short changing God's people and promising them things that are not in their power to promise nor to grant. It short changes them because it makes people expect God to provide in material ways and, when that doesn't happen, people lose faith in God instead of the false teacher who told them unscriptural things. Our home is NOT of this world.
The Globalists will be hitting these folks up for mega bucks in the future.
Don't you find it funny that the only people who think this are those who don't believe in what the Bible actually says?
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