Are the Preachers of L.A. Cashing Out?, Commentator Writes
The writer of the following piece has some interesting points about the new reality show featuring pulpit pimps of the show “Preachers of L.A.”
Read below and let us know if you agree.
The upcoming reality show follows the lives of several prosperous pastors, but do these pastors really know what the prosperity gospel is?
The influx of reality TV spans every genre possible: single folks trying to find their soul mate; pageant kids turned Honey Boo Boo; people vying for the title of the most talented dancer, singer, or chef in the country and taking the prize after a million texts and phone calls to 1-800-vote-for-me.
There’s no part of life that reality TV has not touched and the church is no different. In a matter of a couple of years, we’ve been introduced to BET’s “Sunday Best” and “The Sheards,” TLC’s “The Sisterhood” (which, by the way, was not renewed for a second season), and most recently, the 2013 fall series premiere of “Preachers of L.A.” to be aired on the Oxygen Network.
The show follows the lives of six L.A.-based preachers: Bishop Ron Gibson, Bishop Clarence E. McClendon, Bishop Noel Jones, gospel singer/pastor Deitrick Haddon, Jay Haizlip, and Pastor Wayne Chaney, all of whom have multifaceted stories of faith, failures, and victories inside and outside the church. The series trailer features small vignettes of the clergy interacting with parishioners in church, ministering on the streets of Los Angeles, and even making appearances in nightclubs. The pastors can be seen standing next to brand-new Bentleys, Ferraris, and wearing custom suits while what sounds like an instrumental of Atlanta rapper Ca$h Out’s song “Cashin’ Out” plays in the background. Interesting.
While most of the pastors on the show have a checkered past (Don’t we all?), this piece focuses on a recurring message that has infiltrated the Gospel for the last thirty years: prosperity. The “Prosperity Gospel,” as many call it, focuses on the believer’s ability to gain and accumulate wealth through faith, prayer, and sowing “seed.” These “seeds” can be money, time, or resources, and Luke 6:38 serves as the ideal Scripture to support this idea of seed, time, and harvesting: “Give and it shall be given unto you; a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (NRSV).
In the trailer for the show, one of the pastors quotes a very familiar Scripture to support his flashy lifestyle, 3 John 2: “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul” (NRSV). Another pastor uses 1 Corinthians 9:11 to further the point: “If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits?” (NRSV). For safe measure, and to keep the Scripture in context, I will include verse 12 as well: “If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we still more?”
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