Preachers of LA Faces Harsh Criticism From Pastors Including Bishop T.D. Jakes
"Preacher of L.A.", a new reality show from Oxygen Network is drawing criticisms from Christian believers by the show's so-called "prosperity gospel."
Pastors are criticizing the lavish L.A. preachers' lifestyles; driving Ferraris, living in nice houses are not the people who dedicate their lives to God.
"Everybody's talking about the L.A. preachers, Hollywood production there and I think it's controversial because of who is involved in it," Ralph Huling, Senior Pastor at Saint James Missionary Baptist Church, said.
"We have copycats. There are going to be a lot of people wanting to emulate what they see on television and they can miss out on the mission. The mission is about serving God and serving people," he added.
"I was blown away by the way the ministers flaunt their wealth. Accumulation of wealth seemed to be their goal. I didn't get the impression they were trying to win souls for Christ." Mrs. Laverne Dyer, a member of Brookins Community A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles, said.
"This is sad! The health, wealth, and prosperity preachers lead people down the wrong path. You would have never seen the Apostle Paul, or Peter dressed in flashy clothing or driving a fancy car." One viewer of the "Preachers of L.A." trailer wrote.
Pastor William J. Smith of Saint Tabernacle Church in L.A. told the "Grio" that he does not like the show at all.
"I'm totally against it. Where you put the church in the category of all these other shows - though I don't watch them, I don't have time for that foolishness - it demeans the church."
Pastor Smith continued: "It brings it down and it takes away the value of why it's here. That's why the church is in the condition that it's in, because the church has, in a sense, aligned itself with themes of the world."
Recently, Bishop T. D. Jakes, the senior pastor of the Potter's House megachurch in Dallas, rebuked the audience during the sermon on Sunday.
"Now, I know you been watching that junk on TV. I want to tell you right now, not one dime of what you're sowing right now will buy my suit. I want you to know my car is paid for." Jakes said
"I want you to know I got my house on my own. I want you to know I'm not bling-blinging. I am not shake and bake. I had money when I came to Dallas and I plan to have some when I leave."
Bishop Noel Jones, one of the stars of "Preachers of L.A." and the senior pastor of the City of Refuge Church in Gardena, California shared T.D. Jakes' first thoughts on him being on the show.
"My best friend (Bishop T.D. Jakes) said when he heard I was doing this - because I didn't call him - but when he heard I was doing this, he said that he swallowed his tongue."
"I'm more open and more gregarious than he is, and less protected. And so, and he's very protective," he added.
"I want people to have a healthy view of preachers so that when preachers make mistakes, they're not slaughtered or destroyed."
Dietrick Haddon, a gospel singer, explained his reason for joining the show via an interview on Twitter with Rahiel Tesfamariam, a Washington Post Columnist.
"Here is truth...They couldn't & didn't pay us enough money to open up our lives like this and take on the risk as a result of it!!" Haddon continued on Twitter
"It's certainly not for gain. The preachers have more to lose than to gain on this project! We all did it because we are compelled."