This past Sunday, John Oliver said aloud what many already thought: Televangelists aren’t preaching for the right reasons.
The "Last Week Tonight" talk show host implied TV ministers are using their followers’ faith as a way to gain funds.
He went on to create his own pseudo-church called Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption, and he promoted it by saying,
“Please send us your actual money to this address at the bottom of your screen. If you do this — and this is real — great things will happen to you. And that’s apparently something I’m allowed to say!”
Oliver wasn’t attacking churches, or people of faith, as a whole — so don’t get too heated. He even referred to churches as “a cornerstone of American life.”
However, Oliver felt obligated to call out those who exploit the beliefs of God-fearing individuals for their own monetary gain.
Corrupt televangelism isn’t a new concept in the least, but John Oliver’s segment has definitely made it a topic of conversation again.
Just a few months ago, Creflo Dollar claimed a $65 million private jet was necessary for him to spread the word of God.
People who don’t consider themselves part of Dollar’s following can easily identify this request as totally ridiculous.
But, if you’re an individual who believes giving your minister access to the best available transportation will ultimately benefit you and provide you entry to the pearly white gates, you might not be so opposed.
What John Oliver suggests is people like Creflo Dollar recognize how vulnerable individuals can be when it comes to their religion, and they take advantage of that.
People respect them and offer them funds, and they get greedy. They highlight the parts of their faith that supply them luxury items, and they ignore those who call them to be humble and servant-like.
Additionally, corrupt televangelists know many people believe questioning their faith will land them a spot in hell, so who in their right mind would take that risk?
When they exploit congregations, these preachers insist it’s for the greater good of all mankind, and people who trust them believe them.
No matter what you believe, though, I think it’s important to validate John Oliver’s concerns. While not every minister you see on TV is out to get your hard-earned money, some of them might be.
They’re only human after all, and when people are willing to fund their lavish lifestyles in the name of God, it’s likely difficult for them to ignore or turn away from.
Televangelists are not the only ones who fall victim to it. Similar corruption occurs when ordinary politicians reach success overnight, or modest musicians quickly turn into rockstars.
When all the luxury is a call-to-action away, people who originally had the best of intentions might be tempted.
So believe whatever you want, and follow whichever church suits your needs, but also be wary. Don’t be afraid to question whether or not your preacher is in it for the right reasons.
I mean, do they really need all those luxurious items to spread the word of God, or do they just want them?
Don’t let corrupt people get away with taking the money of innocent people, and speak up if you see this happening around you.
Please don’t let the Creflo Dollars of the world ruin your own church’s good name.