By Keturah Jones
One night, I was awoken by a loud voice on my television, prompting me to order a baggie of water that would make all of my financial troubles disappear. I thought I was dreaming. If I drank this water, would my student loan fees magically disappear?
It is sad that religion has resorted to gimmicks to get people to give money to their ministries. Growing up I was taught that you must give 10 percent of your earnings to the church — which was called “tithing” — and give an offering.
Not being able to take another minute of this so-called prophet, I grabbed the remote and began flipping through the channels. Next was a popular local televangelist advertising one of his “mega” conferences. He had a celebrity lineup of entertainers for his conference, which resembled being on the red carpet at the Grammys. Oprah, Jennifer Hudson, Brandy, Tyler Perry and a host of others were featured as guests. I wanted to go. But after calling the 800 number, I was asked to pull out my credit card. I quickly hung up.
Since when did hearing the word of God come with a price? I don’t recall Jesus charging the large multitudes who followed him around to hear the word of God. If anything he gave it to them for free.
Now please don’t go get your wallets or Bibles all twisted up. I’m not saying that your pastor is a pulpit pimp. However, there are preachers who are more concerned with money, power and prestige than saving souls. They stand in our churches and appear on our televisions claiming that if we give money to the church, then we too can have wealth, healing and power. They give out water, special prayer cloths and ink pens in exchange for your money. They are pimping these things in the name of Jesus.
My father fell prey to one of these schemes. He gave $100 to get a “miracle” ink pen. The preacher promised that whatever he wrote with this pen would come true. My dad got home and thought he would give it a whirl. The ink inside the pen had dried up. I laughed and asked if he could get his money back.
My father laughed it off, but he too was trying to find an explanation. He told me that, whether the ink pen worked or not, it was his faith and belief in God that was going to bless him. If the preacher was crooked or lying, God would punish him. I asked, “Dad, couldn’t you just have taken an ink pen out of your pocket and believe the same thing for free?” He never responded.
I am convinced that you never have to pay for a blessing from God, nor do you have to pay to hear the word of God. Preachers have assumed the role of pulpit pimps. They take our trust in God and pimp it through material and carnal things for their own gain.
So next time you are approached by a preacher to buy an ink pen, prayer cloth or baggie of water, remember to check for hidden cameras.
Because you just might find yourself on the latest episode of “You Just Got Pimped.”