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