Some people are outraged by Oxygen’s new reality show, “Preachers of L.A.” for the poor image of Christians and pastors they think it perpetuates. I, however, do not believe in “Christian respectability politics,” the idea that the image of Christians portrayed on reality television or anywhere else has to be “perfect,” for Jesus’s sake. In fact, the point of Christianity is that God is so gracious to us imperfect people that He gives us His unconditional love and mercy freely because it is impossible for us to be able to earn it. Rather, the more imperfect you are, the more opportunities God has to show you grace and mercy. It’s a beautifully imbalanced system of exchange that many imperfect people, including me, find downright comforting, and a platform like reality TV could be a great place to put that on display.
That being said, “Preachers of L.A.” is a hot mess and I hope it is canceled soon.
First, the show is chock full of bad doctrine. From the spinning rims (in 2013? Really?) to the mansions and pinky rings, these prosperity pastors are wrongly conflating salvation with material wealth and then blaming critics for noticing it, saying, “You see the glory, but you don’t know my story!” Well, whose fault is that? We can only see what’s dangled in front of us –and it ain’t Jesus. For Bishop Ron Gibson, it’s his admitted “shoe fetish.”