Monday, December 03, 2007

The Baal Network Pt. 3

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at The Baal Network. This past Thanksgiving while waiting for my usual double dose of turkey and stuffing myself and a few relatives watched a variety type program on TBN. The show featured the usual singing and testimony type stuff complete with studios decked with boughs and holly. At one studio the hostess ( I think it was Jan Crouch, anyway she was a serious Tammy Faye Baker look-alike) took the viewing audience into a gift shop called ‘The Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh store. There she met up with inspirational rock singer Carmen and both began to hawk the trinkets available in the store.

Now I realize that we’re supposed to be open minded and non-judgmental and all that but it appeared to me that the whole program and especially that segment was nothing more than a pitch to sell more junk during the holidays. And it’s not that I’m against selling things and making money, but at what point does the sale of bangles and baubles with little baby Jesus on them go to far?
Before we go on let me get a few things straight. First of all I’m not one of those ‘Jesus is the reason for the season dudes‘. Since scripture nowhere tells us the date of our Lord’s birth (which most certainly was not Dec. 25) I for one don’t think we need to threaten the culture with gloom and doom if they take ‘Christ’ out of Christmas. Furthermore if our churches cultivated worship that highlighted and emphasized the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ each week instead of trying to outdo MTV then we might actually have some confidence in encouraging God’s people to invite folks to church on any given Sunday and not just Christmas time. In my view if you want to celebrate Dec. 25 as the birthday of Christ more power to you. However you are neither a heretic or heathen should you choose not to commemorate that day.

My problem is with the crass way The Baal Network uses the things of God including the birth of Christ as a springboard to shovel more useless crap down our throats. Why is that any of my business? Who am I to judge? Is TBN really hurting anyone? Setting the theological concerns aside (and they are legion) for a moment let’s approach the issue from a purely pragmatic viewpoint. Some of you may be aware that Senator Church Grassley has requested to see the financial statements of several high profile ministry leaders. He’s questioning how the leaders supposedly non-profit organizations can afford to live such lavish lifestyles. In one example Senator Grassley wanted Joyce Meyers to explain the tax-exempt purpose of purchases that included a commode with marble top bought for $23,000.00 for her headquarters. As far as I know most if not all of the ministries contacted by Sen. Grassley broadcast on The Baal Network. TBN and these ministries along with others generate hundreds of millions of dollars from viewer contributions. And you as well as I know that they’re not getting that money from the tooth fairy. From what I can tell (at least if my believing relatives are any gauge) a good deal of those who watch and therefore donate are black folks.

Think about what that might mean. Could it be that The Baal Network and the priests and priestesses who profit from it are taking hundreds of thousands perhaps even millions of dollars out of the black community? What could churches that serve among poor African-Americans do if they and not TBN were given those funds? How many black churches could hire full time staff for youth and outreach if the millions of dollars black folks flush on The Baal Network were invested in local community development? And is it really fair for us to cry foul for what the white man is or is not doing while we gleefully send our seed offering to pagan priests and priestesses who use it for bathroom fodder?

Now tell me who or what might stop them? What plan do we (that is the black church) have to plug this drain of precious funds from our communities? From what I can tell Heresy Incorporated has no intention of giving up their cash cow. Is there a point where we say ‘enough is enough’? My goal in these posts about The Baal Network wasn’t just to bash them for the sake of bashing. I just wanted to point out the consequences of perverted theology and to stress that what one believes about scripture, God, mankind, sin, salvation, Jesus Christ, the Spirit, God’s kingdom etc. carries a cost.

And in this case the price just might be a few million dollars.

To Him Who Loves Us…
Pastor Lance

1 comment:

Laura said...

It ain't just black folks, brother, it's white folks in the urban, working-class neighborhood around my church, too. They're sucked into the lie that the sinless Son of God was brutally executed so that they could drive a Cadillac and live in a mansion. Course, that means they don't save a dime from month to month but by golly, they sent in their seed money!

I'm just as sickened by The Baal Network and its impact on the working poor, white or black, as you are. Come, Lord Jesus!