Prosperity Gospel Preachers Get Reality Show


I hate most “reality” TV shows, but I might just tune in for Preachers of LA, a show about a group of prosperity gospel preachers who get rich telling their followers that if they’d just send them more money, God will give it back to them and they’ll be rich too.

“Preachers of L.A.” is generating a huge amount of buzz. Since the program was announced, the Oxygen trailer has been viewed more than 475,000 times, its Facebook page has over 27,000 likes, and it has more than 950 Twitter followers, and garnered more than 13 million hits on Google.

It is also causing some in the evangelical community to express grave concerns about the show.

Some evangelicals are worried that the lavish lifestyles of the “Preachers of L.A.” may lead to another round of Senate investigations of so-called prosperity preachers. Others are concerned that it will resurface memories of other tarnished preachers: the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart’s dalliances with prostitutes; Jim and Tammy Bakker’s bilking of its flock; Ted Haggard’s drug and truthiness problems; Bishop Eddie Long’s sexual shenanigans; and televangelist and faith-healer Benny Hinn’s moral lapses.

Why would it be a bad thing if there are more investigations of how these con artists fleece their flocks?

Comments

  1. raven says

    Wherever you have large, unaudited money flows, you have corruption.

    That includes many of the churches. A lot of the fundie churches are known to be corrupt. No one much cares.

    The RCC was famous for its corruption in the middle ages and this was one driver of the Reformation.

    But not all the churches are corrupt. My natal sect had lay treasurers, auditors, and so on. They voted on anything and everything. The minister was hired by and worked for the church, not the other way around. Bottom up rather than top down management.

  2. says

    Some evangelicals are worried that the lavish lifestyles of the “Preachers of L.A.” may lead to another round of Senate investigations of so-called prosperity preachers. Others are concerned that it will resurface memories of other tarnished preachers: the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart’s dalliances with prostitutes; Jim and Tammy Bakker’s bilking of its flock; Ted Haggard’s drug and truthiness problems; Bishop Eddie Long’s sexual shenanigans; and televangelist and faith-healer Benny Hinn’s moral lapses.

    So much for religious institutions policing themselves — or even enforcing any sort of maral code at all. These people are no better than Cardinal Law.

  3. petemoulton says

    I say let the reality show have at ‘em. It’s a cinch that our supine fourth estate isn’t up to the job.

  4. says

    According to Oxygen’s website, the six preachers — Pastor Jay Haizlip, Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Noel Jones, Pastor Wayne Chaney, Gibson and McClendon — are “Known for their fiery sermons, community outreach and passionate followings, pastors [and] have become iconic, beloved, and sometimes polarizing figures in modern culture. Yet, few people have access to these larger-than-life men away from the pulpit. Until now.

    I’m betting few people have actually ever heard of these characters– or too few by their standards, at least– which is why they agreed to be on a reality show in the first place.

    Rick Warren’s Saddleback church is in the LA area, but he’s not on this show. He doesn’t need the fame, and the exposure could only hurt.

  5. Don Williams says

    In the taxonomy, I believe it is called the Pigeon Drop although the current popular name is the Nigerian Scam, for obvious reasons.

  6. colnago80 says

    Re Gretchen @ #7

    Warren’s church, the Saddleback Church is in Orange Co., Ca. not L.A.. It’s at least 30 miles from the LA County line.

  7. John Hinkle says

    Some evangelicals are worried that the lavish lifestyles of the “Preachers of L.A.” may lead to another round of Senate investigations of so-called prosperity preachers.

    Why worry? They’re preaching the truth, no? It’s not like they’re selling snake oil to gullible, low information people with perhaps a few bucks to spare.

    And whatever are the repercussions of a Senate investigation? Censure? A strongly worded letter to the editor?

  8. says

    Warren’s church, the Saddleback Church is in Orange Co., Ca. not L.A.. It’s at least 30 miles from the LA County line.

    *shrug* Dallas is farther from Fort Worth, and yet it’s called DFW.

  9. says

    This could be a new trend in reality TV, one with tons of spinoff potential. Next up, “Who Wants to Be Clear?” as various scientologists compete to reach the next Theta level. Then, “Pat Robertson’s The Apprentice.” Various wannabe televangelists compete to seem who can get more elderly people to part with their Social Security checks and then, setup a phony charity in Africa to mask a diamond smuggling operation.

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