‘Real Preachers of L.A.’ are for real

As if we didn’t need another “Real (fill in the blank) of (fill in the blank)” reality show, the Oxygen Network premiered “Real Preachers of L.A.“.  I suppose it was only a matter of time that preachers/ministers would get their own reality show since everyone from gold miners to Kevin Hart has one.

What shall I say about this show and it’s premise? Well, for one it is entertainment. No producer would bring a reality show to TV if it wasn’t controversial. I can’t imagine a show with a bunch of preachers in middle America going to air – unless they were zombie preachers!

Kate Bower at the CNN Belief blog describes it as:

a chaotic mix of prayer, “house porn,” and neatly orchestrated dust-ups between senior pastors and their “first ladies.” In some ways, the combination of the prosperity gospel with the “Real Housewives” format is a match made in Oprah-produced heaven. Men of the cloth cruise Southern California in lavish cars weighed down by their gold watches and tiny dogs.

The show centers around a group of mega church well to do hipster preachers with family, cars, parties, and other celebrities. The display of semi-lavish living is opening flaunted on the show. Ron Gibson, one of the show’s preachers, explains the lavish living as:

“P. Diddy, Jay Z. They’re not the only ones who should be driving Ferraris and living in large houses.”

Much of the show’s under current is a popular and controversial Christian movement known as Prosperity Gospel or Prosperity Theology. The Jimmy Swaggers and Jim Bakers of the world brought this movement to television. Basically, the thinking goes, if you are faithful and give abundantly to a church or ministry, God will bless you with wealth and happiness. In turn, preachers get to live in multiple houses and live a lifestyle fit for King Solomon.

Unfortunately, shows like this reinforce a stereotype of preachers who are greedy and profit from their ministry. These ministers exist but the vast majority of ministers don’t make anywhere need the type of money the “Real Preachers of L.A.” are making. Many pastors small churches and are bivocational.

So, there you have it. You judge if these Real Preachers of L.A. are the real deal or just all show.

Alan Rudnick

Author's Website
About the Author
Alan Rudnick has been featured on television, radio, print, and social media and serves as the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa, NY. He has quickly established himself as a leader, blogger, and commentator in the areas of faith, Christianity, ministry, and social media. He is the author of, “The Work of the Associate Pastor”, Judson Press. Alan’s writing has been featured with the Albany Times Union, The Christian Century, Associated Baptist Press, and The Fund of Theological Education. http://alanrudnick.org

Read more posts by