I watched the pilot episode of a new HBO television show entitled The Righteous Gemstones. The series is about a family named Gemstone that has a mega-church ministry that is extremely wealthy. The father, portrayed by John Goodman, is the senior pastor accompanied by his two sons, Danny McBride, as the oldest sibling, and the youngest Gemstone preacher played by Adam DeVine.
The middle child is played by Edi Patterson as the daughter that is marginalized due to her being female in a fundamentalist congregation.
The series is undoubtably a satire of televangelism and the worldly riches that it brings to the preacher/stars of the show!
There is a very popular doctrine that can be found in many fundamentalist churches that states that if you will follow Jesus…he will make you rich. This is a keynote teaching for television preachers and televangelists. Many congregations are taught that if you will pay your ten percent tithe…on your gross pay…not your net…as well as giving generously in the many offerings that are collected…you will become rich! This teaching is actually a primary financial success plan for many in the fundamentalist movement.
The Bible does speak of a 10% tithe and it does speak of a generous heart toward the poor and needy. But, to extrapolate that to all who follow the financial success plan of giving to the wealthy for the automatic financial remuneration from God…is folly!
I have witnessed senior citizen give of their meager finances, social security, to the extent that they did not have enough to eat…and they were hungry!
When the minister, in whom you trust as the spokesperson for Jesus, is living many times above your standard of living and taking lavish vacations and driving luxury automobiles and living in a McMansion or perhaps a full blown Mansion…you have been fleeced as certain as the faux shepherd who took all of the wool from his sheep and led them to the wolf!
When capitalism becomes so intermingled with christianity that it is difficult to extricate one from the other….we have created a Golem of Christianity!
I watched a series on Netflix last week that was entitled The Family. It discussed the, basically hidden, group that is behind the National Prayer Breakfast that occurs each year in Washington D.C.
The Family which was founded in the’ 1930s by Adam Veride, a Norwegian immigrant and traveling preacher,’ and later headed by Doug Coe is a secretive organization that is comprised of Senators and members of Congress and leaders and elite from all over the globe!
The Family focuses on expanding their membership of leaders to their interpretation of the gospel of Christ…while basically ignoring the human rights violations and suffering of the millions of people that these leaders are responsible for.
‘Before Coe died in 2017, he helped turn the Family into the invisible star-making machine it is. He had personal connections to many presidents, from Dwight Eisenhower to Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton. In 2001, he helped kick off a peace deal between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda by inviting the waring presidents to his home.’ Refinery 29
The Family has often used the comparison of moral failings in a political leader to King David of the old testament. Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford was a member of the Family and used the reasoning of King Davids moral failings for his affair. President Trump has been likened to being ‘God’s man’ with the reference to King David on many occasions by the evangelical community.
A christian methodology or dogma or doctrine that focus on the elite or the leaders of a country or organization and gives little thought to the suffering of the millions of citizens or followers of these corrupt leaders…is an aberration…and not…Christianity!
Note: Photos courtesy of Google search.