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