Sunday, February 26, 2006

Guess who I saw on TV

Tonight, as I trolled along with my duties of procrastinating, lying around, and feeling guilty about not at least using the time to pray, I switched on the telly and started flipping through. I usually fly right through the Black Entertainment Channel, simply because... I'm not black. And I don't like rap. However, much to my amazement, at the somewhat late hour of 10 o'clock at night (or thereabouts) there was a program of a much different sort on BET...

That's right...


Some of you, if you are old enough, may remember the great Robert Tilton debacle of several years ago. Mr. Tilton is basically a television preacher/con artist. He would, in the manner of all televangelists, instruct people to call in or send in a "seed" (cash) along with prayer requests; he promised to "pray over" the prayer requests... Which, from the prayer "testimonials", seem to often be for less-than-spiritual things like money... and then, through Mr. Tilton's gift of anointing, your wish (I mean prayer!) would come true. Or something. All the while he was on the air he would make odd facial expressions and have strange little conversations with God. He's also well-known as "the Farting preacher," courtesy of some clever techies with an Internet connection.

Anyway, some news organization did a big expose in which it was discovered that Mr. Tilton employed a bunch of people to simply open the mail, take out the money, and dispatch, unread, whatever was left in the envelope to the shredder and ultimately the dumpster. Mr. Tilton had to take a leave of absence and I understand he had a great deal of financial and marital difficulties (in the divorce papers, his wife claimed that Mr. Tilton told her that he was the Pope and that rats were eating his brains).

I guess he's back. What a weird feeling, to see him on TV, wheeling and dealing! It makes me wonder - what exactly will be the eternal reward of the folks who use the Gospel exclusively for monetary gain? Or who focus it on materialist objectives? (Think the whole "Word Faith" movement here, Kenneth Copeland et al.) Maybe Mr. Tilton really is out of his mind, and the merciful God will, full of pity, overlook everything. One hopes.

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