Bad Boys Club: Preachers of L.A.

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“P Diddy, Jay-Z. They’re not the only ones who should be driving Ferraris and living in large houses.” –Rev. Ron Gibson.

The Oxygen network, the same network that brought us The Bad Girls Club, has submitted a new entry to the theater of the absurd with their latest show, Preachers of L.A. Preachers of L.A. follow six Southern California pastors and gives us an insight of their day to day “struggles”, what the show really portrays is everything that is wrong with “prosperity gospel” and the African-American church.

” Like so many reality TV shows before them, these programs focus on black opulence. Often, they make a mockery of black wealth, portraying affluent African Americans as irresponsible, reckless financial stewards. These stereotypes are magnified by highlighting prosperity ministries versus churches rooted in a social gospel focused on the poor. But lavish living and fame are unfamiliar comforts to most pastors. The majority do the arduous work of saving lives and souls day in and day out without the sexiness of film crews and make-up artists to catch it on camera    (Rahiel Tesfamariam, The Washington Post).”

Here are some of the quotes the preachers uttered from last night’s show:

“The Bible says that I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. I believe that.” – Clarence McClendon

“I knew it was going to look scandalous because here I have a young lady pregnant, out of wedlock, when my divorce is not final.” – Deitrick Haddon

“I go to Compton, like Jesus went back to Nazareth.” – Ron Gibson

“Of course women throw themselves at you in this business” – Noel Jones

Here is one quote the preachers forgot to mention: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45

Bishop TD Jakes made a reference to the show in a recent sermon:

The African American church use to be a place of social change and community outreach. During the horrid days of slavery African American churches helped rally abolitionist across the country, and during the Civil Rights Movement the African-American church served as the spiritual foundation. Now, the African-American Church, at least the one being portrayed on television, is one of excess, money, greed, and sex.

There are prevalent issues facing the African-American Community. HIV/AIDS rates continue to climb, 1 in 3 African-American men will be incarcerated, 70% of our children are born to single mothers, and the average African-American family has a net worth of only $5,000 compared to $120,000 for Caucasian families. It would have been more appropriate to focus on African-American pastors that were addressing problems in the African-American community instead of highlighting individuals who appear to be more concerned with amassing their own wealth than empowering others.

“‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of sin.'” – Jesus

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