The Sin of Partiality

hat tip to Lavrai for the “pre-buzz” on this story

vip

When I was a member of Eddie Long’s churchclub, it never ceased to amaze me at how Eddie collected celebrities and athletes as “sons and daughters”. He loved to parade around with Usher, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Quincy Carter (former NFL quarterback), Brian Jordan (former Atlanta Brave), and various other local celebrities and politicians. These folks always got prime parking, front row seats AND a private meeting with “the bishop” every service – except Montell Jordan (you know…”this is how we do it…”). Jordan would always attend services with his wife and children and sit on the back row, shunning the ushers and Deacons who tried to get him to “come up front”. He would sit quietly and leave right after service was over – no fuss, no entourage, no drama.

I am reminded of those days because ESPN aired a very interesting story (with an accompanying article) exploring the relationships between pulpit pimps and their famous congregants. Specifically, the focus of inquiry was the law of the tithe that mega-pimps throw around the necks of star athletes – and their lust for the star’s cash. Below is the full video presentation in two parts (less than 12 minutes for both videos). The videos and the host commentary pretty much says it all, so there’s no need for a thesis from me. I have written extensively about the tithe and the unbiblical practice of using it to extort followers as well, so this is simply an illustration:

“Pulpit Pimpin’ + Rich Athletes = $$$!”

In all honesty, does any of this surprise you – especially coming from the likes of Creflo Dollar, TD Jakes and Randy White?

I am keenly aware of how the pimps watch their weekly cash grabs like you and I watch our 401K statements (or least how we used to watch them). The pimps are not stupid – blindly ignorant of the Word of God? yes – but smart enough to know that you rob a bank because that’s where all the cash is.

If the vipers read the Word of God as much as they read the Robb Report, they would see (yet again) that they are in direct violation of the Word of God:

James 2:1-9 (New American Standard Bible)

 1My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

 2For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,

 3and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,”

 4have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

 5Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?

 7Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?

 8If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.

 9But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

If you are a member of a mega church and your pastor caters to the rich and famous, how does it feel to know that you can’t crawl on your belly over cut glass to get within spitting distance of your pastor, yet for a little cash you can summon a meeting – even a counseling session– with the mand of gawd?

And poor (literally), pitiful Evander Holyfield. This man has been taken advantage of by Don King AND Creflo Dollar – what a dubious distinction, indeed! Here is a man who has baby mamas and babies across the country (as a self-professed die-hard Christian, mind you) AND HE DOESN’T TAKE CARE OF THEM!…but he sure makes certain that Cashflow Dollar is well-fed and can fly across the country at his leisure.

It’s sad to see a grown man manipulated into giving by being told that everything in his life is in order EXCEPT his tithing – especially since he was fathering children out-of-wedlock during that same period. So if I’m to believe the pimps twisted tithe logic: sow a financial seed and you’ll be blessed with victory; sow your …um…personal seed (out of wedlock) then it doesn’t matter. A REAL pastor would’ve taken Evander to the side and read him directly from the Word of God:

1 Timothy 5:8 (New American Standard Bible) 

8But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  

Stories like this ESPN piece continually throw back the curtains of the mega church pimps so that the sheep can see their REAL intentions.

Be certain, the wolves and vipers will still have their unfair share of apologists – and more stars and athletes are willing to line up to kiss the gold ring of “da bishop” so that God will bless them (i.e. excuse them for the wickedness in their lives). These donations are nothing more than the 2009 version of indulgences.

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12 Responses to “The Sin of Partiality”


  1. 1 N'Catina April 21, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    I believe one of the best places where one’s spirit can be crushed is in the church (institution). At a critical time where there are many people that are in broken relationships (be they spousal, familial, etc–forget money and other circumstanecs for a moment), apparently, it’s not enough to frequently shake down people for money. Now, to help solidify the lines separating the “royal class” from “disposable trash,” those already struggling with loneliness and alientation are now prime for ALL MANNER of abuse; with the most desperate entertaining destructive behaviors that could lead them to physical death.

    In the most extreme case, I have seen this happen with a very good friend, vacillating in her feelings and emotions (plus abusing Rx drugs and alcohol), doing so while involved with a disengaged “church.” For some others, there were varying degrees of disillusionment in being involved in assemblies whose leaders have very little use for those that don’t make themselves personal rainmakers for the “pastors.”

    It’s not enough to be present at all services, donate your time, talent and suffer indignities, keeping your mouth shut for the sake of “not being offended” and “serving in the ministry.” If you don’t have the funds, you’re a nobody! This is not an instance of “not all churches are like this.” The sheer callousness of people’s behavior (taught by the leaders/promoted by congregants) has been allowed to happen as the masses were taught to chase wealth at the direct expense of nuturing relationships.

    Among the many stories I have seen of people being specifically targeted and fleeced for funds, I find the church caste system to be THE most destructive. People rightfully expect to be loved, embraced, validated, nutured, cared for and affimed in church by the people associated with that assembly. These “church institutions” are often the only chance a person has of receiving these critical elements. They are needed to not only demonstrate the love of God to one another, but have some semblence of someone actually “caring” for and about them in this life. No ulterior motives. With these settings, what’s the purpose of the popular churhc phrase “come as you are???,” or does that only apply to the rich and famous?

    I’m proud that Montell Jordan (love his music) made himself and his family inconspicuous before, during and after church time. That demonstrates humility to me. Eddie Long and a few others can stand to learn from this example, as well as love people as they are, and not by how much they can increase your bottom line.

  2. 3 Praiser4life April 21, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    These charlatans never cease to amaze me. The Whites are a fraud and their rotten fruit continues to be exposed. IST I guess they have never read James 2 or maybe they have and just don’t care.

  3. 4 thatyoumaysee April 21, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    It is so, so sad to watch this. I attended WWIC for a long time but left in 2005. The last service I went to, my wife was 8 months pregnant and we had to walk around the outside perimeter of the church to our car. One of the, many, security guards stopped us and would not let us pass by the garage because one of the celebrities was getting in their vehicle. I was standing there in awe. If you cant respect the laws of God then at least let pedestrians have the right of way. lol.
    But we used to sit in service, hungry, with our lights about to be turned off giving our last $3 because Paula always said, “dont let offering pass by without giving, i used to give a button.” While the first 10 minutes of service were dedicated to recognizing the celebrities in the front row.
    Did you notice the famous defense that “were supposed to be blessed?” I wrote a blog that really just says, the shepherd is blessed when his sheep are healthy, not when “they” are wealthy and the sheep poor and sick. Welcome to Laeodicia.
    I just want to clarify, we didnt leave becasue the guard stopped us, we decided that previously. God took us out before things got really bad. I used to sit in service at offering time and ask God what about holiness? And still I was an unwise steward. In the end I am thankful that we went through it, we’ve learned to obey God

  4. 5 prayrwarrior April 22, 2009 at 9:10 am

    N’Catina,

    I can actually remember when my home church and pretty much all of the churches in my neighborhood were doing what you mentioned:People rightfully expect to be loved, embraced, validated, nutured, cared for and affimed in church by the people associated with that assembly. This story makes me nauseous.

    I have not found one church in my neighborhood that is genuinely seeking to do that anymore. There are now ulterior motives for everything a church body does, the end thereof being mainly for media exposure and money.

    I am prayerfully searching for that old church I grew up and came to know the LORD in. Right now I am studying the WORD of GOD at home with my husband and daughter, but I miss the fellowship of the true saints. As the church veers farther and farther away from the truth of JESUS, and less and less is required of the mand of gawd, people like me will continue to leave in droves. The church of today, especially the Black church, never counts up the cost of sin until it’s time to pay.

  5. 6 Lady D April 22, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I saw that video ystdy and was embrassed for Holyfield. He sounded like an idiot (not meant to insult him). But the childlike, simplistic way he spoke was scary. A grown man on national tv confessing that he’s worse than an infidel!
    But I remember repeating the same mantra, “the tithe must be paid, even if I lose everything”. Thankfully I didn’t because God had mercy on my pathetic soul!
    Wolves are everywhere! A new pastor was hired by a very wealthy church in my town made it his first duty was to contact the wealthy givers and try to take them out for a meal. Several were turned off and left the church. But the non-esstential givers were never asked or even acknowledged.
    Shame on every money grubbing, wife swapping, sin cloaking so called minister – shame on you.

  6. 7 Ken April 22, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    N’Catina is right on about the “caste” system in the church. I can remember hearing Paula White bragging about her friendship with Tyra Banks and how Tyra was able to call her anytime of the day or night for “counseling.” Of course that made me wonder how many of her members at WWIC had her number and could call her anytime they had a problem. This kind of thing shows what these people are really all about. The cult of celebrity is no longer just outside of the church, but has become full blown inside of the church. These people don’t care about anybody but themselves. They use everybody they come in contact with. Equal opportunity wolves? You bet they are! Rich, poor, black, white, male, female. It doesn’t matter just line up and ante up. “Passah” has Bentley payments to make……

  7. 8 Rachel April 23, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Why are we surprised? God told us the sanctuary would be given over to the enemy. But it is suprising. In the absence of truth, lies and deception abound.

    Psalm 74:3 Lift up Your feet to the perpetual desolations. The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary.

    Rachel

    • 9 N'Catina April 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm

      I don’t believe any of us are surprised by what we are seeing as much as we are disheartened, angry, bitter or otherwise discontent with what is happening in these assemblies.

      As I pointed out in my first post, there are many hurting people in this society, and the church has been exalted in society’s eyes as the “safe place to fall.” The modern-day “church” is anything but, and believe we all have a duty to alert those caught in the system to get out. The lives of too many are at stake for this mess to continue.

  8. 10 Vaughn April 23, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    I really want to know who’s surprised by what they see in church, when a supposed mouthpiece (alledged vessel) would continuously do these sort of things, this would be the red flag needed for you to move on, because notice is already taken note of!

    These hirelings assimilate the world and hold to its standards of behavior, so again I ask who’s surprised?

    Notice that I didn’t say who’s dissappointed?!

  9. 11 Meg April 24, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    These so-called “techers” should be ashamed of themselves by pimping off the star athletes for their fame. It is very,very,very, sad that they are taken advatance of them insted of telling the TRUE gospel to them.

  10. 12 terry@breathing grace April 28, 2009 at 6:30 am

    You’re pretty sharp, so I know I’m not telling you something you don’t already know, but I think this whole “spiritual fathers” mindset was taken from 1 Corinthians 4, where Paul called himself their “father in Christ Jesus through the gospel”(verses 14-15). He continued in verse 17 to call Timothy “his faithful and beloved child in the Lord”.

    I am with you in that I think this has been twisted and manipulated to mean something totally unrelated to what Paul intended. Most members in the average large church don’t have enough of a relationship with their pastor to have what could even remotely be considered a spiritual mentoring relationship (like Paul had with Timothy, for instance), but these verses are used as a way to keep members bound to a ministry, even if that ministry is out of step with Scripture in every way.


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