Will Televangelism Become The New Church?
Church and Sunday Dinners.
Due to the advancement in technology, we can do almost anything at our leisure. Thanks' to our computers and smartphones, we can enjoy the benefits of online shopping, paying our bills in the comfort of our own homes, and watch church on our beautiful, flat-screen televisions, while sipping a cup of coffee or tea.
When I was growing up my family attended church faithfully. We enjoyed the powerful sermons delivered by our pastor that fed our minds and rejuvenated our souls. Afterwards, family and friends would gather around the dinner table and enjoy a home-cooked dinner, prepared by the hands of my grandmother; this tradition instilled family values and kept our family strong.
Today my southern grandmother would be shocked at the new technology that no longer requires believers to visit an actual church. Due to our busy lifestyles and demanding work schedules some believers are gravitating to a more convenient source. Therefore, the popularity of televangelist's are increasing.
The Popularity of the Trinity Broadcast Network.
I must admit I am one of those crazy people who loves to be saturated in the word. So this means I attend church on a regular basis, ferociously read my bible, and practically leave the channel on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) 24/7.
As much as I love this new technology that allows me to satisfy my insatiable craving for the word, it doesn't satisfy my need to be around other worshippers or, receive hands-on prayer when needed. As I attend church and notice the half-filled pews and see the churches that have closed down due to lack of funds it makes me wonder:
Church VS Televangelism.
We cannot deny there are advantages to televangelism; for example; televangelist's are able to reach and feed more people through seemingly unlimited resources. Also, we can receive the word of God 24/7 and not be limited to a church schedule. The bible states in 2 Peter 3:9 that God is not slack in His promise towards us, but long-suffering in His desire that no one should perish. This means He is patiently waiting for everyone to hear and have a chance to receive the gospel.
Now with our advanced technology, it is easy to believe that eventually every ear will have a chance to hear and receive; that is good news for the saints who wait in hope for the day of redemption. Still there are pros and cons to everything and so I made a list of my opinion on the pros and cons of the church vs televangelism.
The Pros of televangelism:
- They are able to reach more people
- It's convenient for the busy lifestyles we lead
- You can choose your favorite pastor
- There is no guilt if you have nothing to give
- You can hear the word 24/7
- Even a self-proclaimed atheist may decide to watch and see what this God stuff is all about
The cons of televangelism:
- There is no fellowshipping
- No hands on prayer
- No church activities to join
- No encouraging music from the choir
- No feeling of family or, sense of belonging
- No way to utilize spiritual gifts
- The air time is costly, which requires them to constantly ask for funding
The pros of church:
- Fellowshipping with the brothers and sisters in Christ
- Spiritual gifts which are given to the body for the uplifting of the saints
- Prayer from a church member which feels more sincere from someone who knows and cares about you
- The songs of praise and worship, which plays in your heart when you need encouragement
- I truly believe when two or more are gathered the Lord dwells among them. There is just no substituting the presence of the holy spirit when the praises of the believers are gathered together
- A good church looks out for the community in which it resides in
- There's a sense of family and nurturing that you can't get from television
The con's of church:
- Dealing with different personalities, which may cause an unseasoned member to run from church to church.
- In financial struggles, the pressure to give may seem overwhelming.
- A dedicated member may find it difficult to set boundaries with church leaders when pressure to help out the church interferes with worldly responsibilities
- We must get out of bed! In the heat, rain and snow, we attend tired or not
- Some church members can be cliquish and cause guests to feel unwelcome
Ministry work and the Government. How are they alike?
Although some may think the churches in the neighborhood may soon be obsolete, the growth of televangelist's is at an all time high. Now let's be realistic, we would all love to think of our preachers as struggling prophets loving the word and God so much they are preaching for free but that's not the case. They must eat too. They have bills to pay too. So it's easy to imagine the church is run like most governments with higher ups, officials and titles and what-not; In order for a pastor to be 100% available he must receive compensation.
Now this is where the eye-opener begins, while some preachers are barely keeping the church doors open, televangelist's are living high on the hog.
Estimated Wealth of Joyce Meyers
Money, Power and Privilege in the ministry.
Joyce Meyers, head of the Joyce Meyer's Ministries, is one of the world's most famous Christian bible teachers. Along with a thriving ministry, Joyce is also a bestselling author who has written over 70 books. Honest about her struggles from sexual abuse by the hands of her father, Joyce appears committed to teaching believers how to apply the word of God to their lives. Joyce's net worth is estimated to be around 8 to 10 million she has been scrutinized by peers for her lavish lifestyle which includes million dollar homes for her and her husband as well as their four children.
Estimated Wealth of Joel Osteen
Joel Osteen, the senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Texas, is reportedly worth 40 million. Joel's staggering wealth is contributed to a generous pastor salary as well as his best-selling books. Some have accused Joel of using his Mega Church to drive book sales; however, if that were the case, the same could be said of all the pastors who are also authors. The humble beginnings of Lakewood church began in a converted feed store in the year 1959 by John Osteen and his wife Dodie. With the death of his father in 1999 Joel stepped up as senior pastor of Lakewood Church. Joel is widely known as a motivational pastor who delivers the word with a twist that is fresh and inspiring.
Estimated Wealth of T.D. Jakes
T.D. Jakes is the chief pastor and bishop of The Potter's House Located in Dallas, Texas. Contributing to his wealth, reportedly 18 million, are his books which have landed him on the New York's Times best-selling list. His church sermons, frequently aired on the Trinity Broadcast Network, known as the Potter's Touch. He also holds an annual revival known as the Mega Fest and, an annual women's conference, Thou art loosed. The bishop is also a recording artist, a songwriter, and had a few of his books turn into movies in which he made cameo appearances.
Estimated Wealth of Creflo Dollar
Creflo Dollar, the head pastor of World Changers, in Atlanta, GA, has often come under scrutiny for his lavish living. He is widely known as the "prosperity pastor" teaching believers that it is their right and the will of God to live prosperously. Creflo was once investigated for "wrong doings" along with others by the U.S Senate Committee, however, nothing was found. The latest scandal was that he allegedly asked his congregation to help purchase a 65 million dollar plane for his ministry, but the videotape that supposedly surfaced from that incident has been taken down. His net worth is reported at 27 million. He is also a bestselling author.
Saint's Get Your House In Order!
Now that we've explored the pros and cons of church vs televangelism as well as compared the staggering wealth of televangelist's vs the pastors behind the pulpit we may think to ourselves is it fair that the wage for the same kind of work is so unbalanced? Well, in order to figure this question out we may need to take the article out of a spiritual sense and more into a worldly view.
In the world, we are paid according to the responsibility we hold. The supervisor who certainly doesn't labor as hard as the blue collar employees get paid more because he has more responsibility. He is accountable when things go wrong. Now back to a religious sense. It seems fitting that whoever feeds the largest flock receives the higher wage. Also, there is more responsibility that goes along with that privilege because "To much is given, much is required."
- My personal opinion is I would never choose televangelism over the church. However, I have a lineage of church roots and my old fashioned ideas do not coincide with the rapid advancement of technology. This is the time for the new generation to bring the world to a new level the same way it was my generation's responsibility to improve and evolve. It's the way the world is designed to self-evolve, grow and replenish.
- Finally, each believer must ask themselves this question. Are you focused on your wants or the promise? Which is, God will create a new heaven and earth and the world will be ruled in righteousness. No more crying; no more dying. The bible says God is not slack on His promise but long-suffering in the hope that every ear shall hear and have a chance to repent.
If you believe in the promise then televangelism's popularity makes sense. With the new technologies, it is easy to believe that eventually everyone will have a chance to accept or, reject the gift of grace. So I guess whether we love or dislike televangelism depends on our faith and wants. If you love the church and fellowshipping and the old traditional values then the church is the obvious answer. However, if you believe in the promise and you live in hope that the world will one day be returned to its original state, then the only answer is.
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Televangelism VS. Church
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© 2015 Dana Tate