‘Preachers Of L.A.’ Respond To Critics, ‘Even Jesus Had Haters’

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As the “Preachers of L.A.” continue to display their lifestyles in front of a national audience, the show’s cast members appear to be unscathed by critics taking aim at their lavish habits.

In recent weeks Bishop T.D. Jakes rebuked the megachurch pastors during his Sunday morning service, declaring that he’s “not bling-blinging” and that he’s far from being a “shake and bake” preacher.

During Thursday’s episode of “The Arsenio Hall Show,” the cast responded to the negative feedback, and admitted that they’re not going to “play ping pong” with the opinions of others.

“Anytime you’re moving into space that is uncharted you’re gonna have haters. Jesus had haters,” said Bishop Clarence McClendon. 

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24 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t hate Jesus any more than I hate Harry Potter. They are both characters of fiction. I detest con men, people who trick, especially the poor, out of their money. They prey on the gullible promising infinite eternal bliss if they play the con and infinite eternal torment if they don’t. Threating torture is a form of extortion. The only difference from traditional con men is these con men are almost never prosecuted, and their victims rarely catch on they are being had. The con has been around so long the perpetrators have become a special privileged criminal class. They have convinced even non believers they are doing nothing disreputable.

  2. I am SOOO f*king tired of hearing the word ‘haters.’ It’s the new all-purpose epithet for anyone who criticizes you. I’ve had it thrown at me numerous times when i point out e.g. that Abraham was a murderous psychopath, that Lot was a rapist of his own daughters, and so forth. In response to a long and lucid (and even very polite) paragraph about Omnipotence and Divine Love being mutually exclusive, some cretin wrote “Haters gonna hate.” It was like talking to a five year old.

    It’s a baby word, with no content, that avoids identifying just what the accusing person objects to. And when it is thrown at someone who criticizes your fairy tale, it amounts to ‘You are a big Meanie!”

    • In reply to #5 by justinesaracen:

      It can be used that way. OTOH, some people just like to say something negative or offensive for its own sake. That’s slightly different from what I’m doing here, which is contradicting an assertion because I feel I justifiably can. It’s a less refined version of the same impulse, I suppose.

  3. “Anytime you’re moving into space that is uncharted you’re gonna have haters. Jesus had haters,” said Bishop Clarence McClendon.

    According to the gospel stories, he certainly did! – But this is neither recent nor “uncharted”!

    Cleansing of the Temple
    In this Gospel episode Jesus and his disciples travel to Jerusalem for Passover, where he expels the money changers from the Temple, accusing them of turning the Temple into a den of thieves through their commercial activities.

    Those bias-blinkers certainly filter out irony!

    “I teach our people that the kingdom of God is a kingdom of relational influence. And anybody you refuse to relate to, you’ve also refused to influence.”

    A wide sweeping trawl briefing proselytising sales-people on seeking potential customers for funding con-men!

    “When you start influencing people you’re going to get their opinions. And so, opinions come, opinions go,

    Ah! He pretends all opinions are of equal merit – perhaps following up with asserting biased ones more equal than others!

    but I believe that we’re moving into an area where others are going to follow”

    Unfortunately when it comes to the vulnerable gullible, there is one gullible follower born every minute!

    During Thursday’s episode of “The Arsenio Hall Show,” the cast responded to the negative feedback, and admitted that they’re not going to “play ping pong” with the opinions of others.

    When they have no honest or credible answers for their critics, – they just refuse to answer, and fob off the public with platitudes and a bit of posturing! Unfortunately some media audiences in the US seem to swallow this sort of shallow superficiality!

    • In reply to #8 by Stevehill:

      Are we talking about the Jesus who said sell everything you have and give it to the poor because you have treasure in heaven? Or a different one?

      It’s the same one Steve but to be fair he did think he and his followers were living in the end-times, so no real need to plan for the future.
      These ones perhaps have a clearer line to God?

    • In reply to #10 by UnpollutedFruitcake:

      Jesus: “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24

      This is taken symbolically by many. Here is one “metaphysical” view: The eye of the needle is architecturally a very narrow passage. A camel with all it’s baggage and belongings packed on it’s back could not fit through. In order for the camel to enter through the needle it would need to unload it’s worldly stuff – burdens, feelings of lack, hesitation, doubt, problems, fears, disputes, hatred…By lighten its load, slimming down, we enter a new higher state of mind and life – the kingdom of God.

      • In reply to #14 by QuestioningKat:

        In reply to #10 by UnpollutedFruitcake:

        Jesus: “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24

        This is taken symbolically by many. Here is one “metaphysical” view: The eye of the needle is a…

        The saying is taken symbolically by Christian apologists who want to change the meaning of the original text in order to soften it’s critique of wealth acquisition. The alternative interpretation which claims this is based on some gate in Jerusalem, unpack the camel, etc. is just made up. There is no scholarly evidence to support it. It’s an example of how hypocritical many of the most prominent Christians really are, they work endlessly to help the greediest and to harm the poor when clearly Jesus said to do the opposite.

        I’m not claiming to be an expert on New Testament scholarship but I’ve read a few books on the topic and any reputable scholar I’ve ever read is always clear that the meaning of that passage is unambiguous and that Jesus was absolutely for helping the poor and not acquiring wealth on earth.

  4. I’ve always been fascinated with religion in USA. Of all the bizarre versions of Christianity you can find in USA I find prosperity theology to be the most interesting. It’s amazing that you can so completely turn everything on it’s ahead and still get away with it. I mean, it’s a prime example of how most religious people don’t really give a fuck about the bible or scripture in general. They want a preacher that tells them what they want to hear.

  5. I have not seen this show, but I am familiar with “prosperity consciousness.” The thought behind this view is that God wants you to prosper and do well. It comes from the acknowledgement that poverty is at the root of many social ills and should not be valued. Here’s the thing. As much as the Bible tells you to reject worldly stuff, it also tells you to prosper and these preachers have gravitated toward this message. The Christian religion also tells you to have what you need and not any more. “Give us this day, our daily bread.” Not give me all of my retirement income now. Money should be a tool for you doing what you consider to be your work in this life and not an excess. These are classic ways in which the religious have cherry picked without viewing their religion as a totality. Ministers who are living high off the hog are not in alignment what they consider truth and have made excuses for being “fat.”

    Here is the solution: They are stepping out of the role of being a social agency servicing a need for the community- namely the poor. All income, all real estate, tithes, etc. need to be fully taxed just as you or I would be taxed on our income. Their special consideration for housing should end. They are running a God business and even their religion states that this is what they are doing.

    Regarding even Jesus had haters comment, true, people who have done worthy visible deeds usually are criticized. It’s more fun to shake a tree with fruit rather than one without. What they don’t realize is that there is a fine line between criticizing someone’s views and pointing out the injustices. Scam artists usually have a great fall; we will wait and see.

  6. To paraphrase John Kenneth Galbraith, the conservative christian right is here engaged in one of its favourite philosophical exercises; the search for a higher moral justification for greed.

  7. A good reason(and there are many) to repudiate religion,in this instance Christianity, is that people can make the Bible say whatever they want it to say.
    Subjucate women? Just refer to the Not so Good Book.

    Keep slaves? Hey the Bible is with you there.

    Practise apartheid? The Bible can defend your stance.

    Get rich at the expense of the gullible? See above.

    The sad thing is that people won’t wake up and see that they are being taken for the ride of their lives.
    I once pointed out to a believer that the Osteens lived in luxury at the expense of others and that this was not a moral thing to do.She got into a huff and said that I ‘should not judge lest ye be judged.’ Well…I left her to wallow in her stupidity.

  8. Here is an easily readable overview of the actual scholarship and archeological data related to the eye of the needle passage. I wanted to double check because it’s been a long time since I read any of these books but it confirms what I thought, there really was no evidence that this “eye of the needle gate” ever existed in the first place and the revised interpretation is probably based on Puritan Christian dogma from the 17th and 18th century that equated wealth acquisition with being blessed by Jesus — but it’s not at all an accurate reflection of the meanings of those ancient texts.

    • In reply to #17 by Red Dog:

      According to Asimov’s Guide to the Bible, “camel” is a mistranslation for a camel hair, which any user of artists’ paintbrushes will know is a very fine hair. Therefore, Jesus was pointing out that being rich is no impediment to going to heaven (as long as you were godly and used wealth wisely etc etc etc).

      • In reply to #18 by Stevehill:

        In reply to #17 by Red Dog:

        According to Asimov’s Guide to the Bible, “camel” is a mistranslation for a camel hair, which any user of artists’ paintbrushes will know is a very fine hair. Therefore, Jesus was pointing out that being rich is no impediment to going to heaven (as long as you were godl…

        Asimov was a brilliant guy but he wrote on a lot of topics and he was by no means a biblical scholar. I’m not sure where he got that but I think its a fringe theory. Of course you can always look at a text and say “well if this word were mistranslated and it was actually Y instead of X then it means…” But that isn’t scholarship that is pseudoscience, starting with the conclusion you want and then reinterpreting the data to make it fit. In all the texts we have it’s “Camel” in the original Greek and the only “evidence” that it was a mistranslation is from people who don’t like the meaning of the text as it stands and hence find alternative words that sound close and speculate that it was a mistranslation.

    • In reply to #17 by Red Dog:

      Here is an easily readable overview of the actual scholarship and archeological data related to the eye of the needle passage. I wanted to double check because it’s been a long time since I read any of these books but it confirms what I thought, there really was no evidence that this “eye of the nee…

      Thanks for the link.

      The saying is taken symbolically by Christian apologists who want to change the meaning of the original text in order to soften it’s critique of wealth acquisition.

      I agree.

  9. One more point on the Camel question. Here is a translation of the actual text from Wikipedia

    I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:23-26

    Now, note the last sentence “with man this is impossible but with God all things are possible” If all he was talking about was threading a thread through a needle is that really all that impossible? Is that something that if God could do people would be impressed with? Obviously not, the text as a whole only makes sense if the beginning part is referencing something truly impossible, not something that requires an expert Saul the tailor but something really impossible like having a camel pass through the eye of a needle. Also, the overall intent of the paragraph is clear from the opening sentence “it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven”

    • In reply to #20 by Red Dog:

      One more point on the Camel question. Here is a translation of the actual text from Wikipedia

      I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God….

      When i was a teenager an old vicar claimed that the “eye of the needle” was a back gate in the walls of Jerusalem.

      I see from Wiki that this story seems to be unevidenced, but has been around for a long time.

      Eye of a needle
      The “eye of the needle” has been claimed to be a gate in Jerusalem, which opened after the main gate was closed at night. A camel could only pass through this smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed. This story has been put forth since at least the 15th century, and possibly as far back as the 9th century. However, there is no evidence for the existence of such a gate.[3][4]

      Variations on this story include that of ancient inns having small entrances to thwart thieves, or a story of an old mountain pass known as the “eye of the needle”, so narrow that merchants would have to dismount from their camels and were thus more vulnerable to waiting brigands. There is no historical evidence for any of these, either. This also ignores the explanation given in Matthew 19:26:“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

      It looks like this is yet more proof that theists have been making stuff up for centuries!

  10. It looks like this is yet more proof that theists have been making stuff up for centuries!

    Simply amazing. I’m reminded of Sam Harris commenting (many years ago) that he felt fundamentalists had more intellectual honesty by taking the Bible literally. I can understand cherry picking, but this is a case of misrepresenting the truth and applying to a biblical story to soften the harshness of the story.

    Is anyone here literate in the Bible that can quote several passages that show wealth vs. poverty?

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