ANALYSIS: Black Pastors Reality TV: Pious or Pimped Out?

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  • Maybe I’m old-school and too much of a traditionalist, but I prefer my pastor preaching from the pulpit about faith and spiritual uplifting, not pimped-out in gold necklaces, tinted goggles, black leather jackets, and pontificating on reality television.

    But that’s just me.

    I’m referring to a minister named Deitrick Haddon – the pimped-out preacher — who is one of six African American “mega pastors” who will appear on a new television reality show called “The Preachers of LA,” which debuts on Oxygen in October.

    Haddon, the son of a bishop and an evangelist, has been preaching since he was 11 years old and started conducting the church choir at 13. At 23, he married the woman he was expected to marry but when he got a divorce, the members of the church shunned him. So he turned to his music for comfort and he now finds himself at a crossroads: Ministry or music?

    In the previews for the show, the pastors are shown wearing tailored suits, tattoos, and riding in flashy cars with entourages in tow.

    I’m not knocking the six black pastors who have signed on for a new reality show on Oxygen called “Pastors of L.A.” — a detailed look at the lives of men of God in Los Angeles.

    But I do question why the pastors chose to participate in the show. Are they truly hoping to use the program to minister to those who need spiritual guidance? Or are they simply using the high-profile media platform to rake in more cash and bask in the spotlight of a national television audience?

    “Pastors of L.A.’ will give viewers a candid and revealing look at six boldly different and world-renowned mega-pastors in southern California, who are willing to share diverse aspects of their lives, from their work in the community and with their parishioners to the very large and sometimes provocative lives they lead away from the pulpit,” says a press release from Oxygen.

    But is this the way black pastors should be portrayed on national television – and on a reality television show?

    “I’m totally against it,” Pastor William J. Smith of Saint Tabernacle Church in L.A. tells the Grio. “When you put the church in the category of all these other shows – though I don’t watch them, I don’t have time for that foolishness. It demeans the church. It brings it down and it takes away the value of why it’s here. That’s why the church is in the condition that it’s in. Because the church has, in a sense, aligned itself with themes of the world.”

    I agree with Pastor Smith. Black pastors should aspire to a higher sense of integrity and not allow egos – and money – to encourage them to move away from a message of spirituality to something akin to entertainment.

    Are these pastors using the reality tv show to save lives? Change lives? Offer hope to those in need?

    It doesn’t sound like it.

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    24 thoughts on “ANALYSIS: Black Pastors Reality TV: Pious or Pimped Out?

    1. Black preachers are the deceivers that their masters taught them to be.They have fooled their own selves into believing that the christian message is real and nothing could be farther from the real truth. The message of today’s church is TOXIC to a free thinking mind.All religions were created by MEN to control the masses.

    2. Interesting saying God wants you to be rich. Then tell me why the son of God was extremely poor. Joseph was a carpenter and that is what Jesus was trained in back then carpenters were the lowest of the low. Jesus also said it is easier for a camel to go thru the eye of a needle then a rich man to come into the Kingdom of God. Not all people who say they are of God will make into his Kingdom. These pastors are flaunting their wealth and maybe they are Christians but christians should be humble place others first and be like Jesus as much as a person can be NONE of these pastors appear to emulate the person they say they are serving. Bunch of selving self righteous men and women. Better hope their heart and soul is in the right place cause if they lead any of the congregation to hell and not heaven they will have to answer to God himself and man I sure would not want to have to explain cause of my actions people are now in hell…

    3. I think that possibly passing judgment on an entire season based on simply the first episode is a bit premature. And, just because these men are pastors, they are still just men. No more, no less. Men are fallible, men make mistakes, men are not perfect. If that is but the one lesson someone gets, then so be it. So many people put pastors on these pedestals and treat them as if they are a god. Only Jesus is perfect. Although one gets to see the cars, etc., and if we do not get distracted by the bling that those in the editing room at Oxygen is utilizing to perpetuate the stereotype of “prosperity gospel,” we may all be able to learn something from this show, in particular who are these men REALLY that stand behind various pulpits. My interest was peaked but I choose to look beneath the surface, because more often than not, that is where the truth is. Hidden. And, if some of those that attend various churches and see similarities among their pastor and any of these pastors, I guess some decisions need to be made, huh?

    4. Isn’t one of the six preachers white? The way to end this show and all Reality T.V. shows it to not watch them. Period. Too bad most folks complain but watch it as it is a train-wreck they can’t turn away from watching. Turn that crap off.

    5. Joy, your bitterness is so vivid! Wow! Sad. You can fool everyone on this thread but you can’t fool yourself. Your struggling inside. I don’t support or condone all of these preachers/pulpit pimps, but it’s not about them. It’s about you and whatever you choose to be your “spiritual center”. What has God done to you, or has NOT done for you? Your fooling yourself if you think it’s all about one acquires.

      • Sorry but your comment was partly true because anyone on television or who have a public platform influences culture at large and shape the mindset of gullible folks which affects us all.

    6. This world is going to hell fast you can see it all around the pimping ass pastor will be out front with with gas underwear and their wives because she knows what he is doing is wrong ,Pimping of poor black people that has nothing be hope. Listen to art Madison in this world we live in that’s the type of church i remember going to.

    7. Black pastors have been pimps for years and this show will give them more opportunity to draw brainless blacks that go to church, make them rich, and still live in poverty. Stupid is as Stupid does..

      • Robert: True that!!! Some of the poorest Black people in the world are always the first ones to say “Praise the Lord” “God is Good” “Wait on the Lord.” Yeah Right!! A lot of religious folks are broke as a church mouse, don’t have a job, don’t have a husband/wife, and don’t have a pot to “P” in. But they are “keeping the faith.” Go figure!

        • Don’t blame Jesus because some church folks say praise the Lord but are broke and single. Just because someone sits on a pew and says praise the Lord does not mean they are practicing Christianity in it purest sense. It could be they are not following the teaches of Christ at all such as don’t have babies out of wedlock, use the wisdom and commonsense God gave you and make the most of your god-given time and talent and not just sit on a church pew saying praise the Lord.

          I know quite a few religious folks and being religious does not mean you know Jesus or his teaching all that much. Some folks go to church to escape their problems that they keep creating. Others go and find real peace and grace.

      • First off you say black preachers as if you know them all. Also there are preachers of all races who teach prosperity sow a seed to me and God will bless you. You must not have ever heard of Mike Murdock and Kenneth Copeland!!!???

    8. We the people of GOD are to judgmental, the WORD says GOD will use the foolish things to conform the wise. Pray and ask GOD to move in ways that only HE can. Somewhere along the way we stop praying, believing, and having faith too gossiping, demeaning, and having malice. we the pwople of GOD need to (PUSH) Pray Until Something Happen.

    9. There is also a white preacher included on this show…is this analysis the same for him? Perhaps getting another perspective of how a preacher lives and what he goes through as a man of God will give his congregants the understanding that they need to be in a relationship with God and not put man up so high on a pedestal. At the end of the day, he’s still just a man.

      I believe it would be interesting to see what kind of outreach these preachers have in their communities and what type of impact they have through their ministry. If they begin to indulge in things that are shallow, then I’d turn it off. As a believer, I can only pray that God will allow this show to be used to bring people to Christ.

    10. I guess I’m also like the writer of this article, old school. I think this show will be a train wreck and will give the traditional preachers a bad name. This will make a mockery of the church and will NOT cast the preachers in a positive light. Just like that first ladies of the church show. I will NOT watch this and I urge others to do the same. The quicker this mess can be removed the air, the better!!

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