This morning, I turned on the TV and it was set to a channel that I did not recognize. At the center of the stage, a charismatic speaker was entertaining a large audience who were fully captivated by his message. Their responses shifted from wild applause to unrestrained laughter and I initially presumed that the speaker must have been a comedian.
As he continued to talk about God, it seemed that he was merely be
facetious and poking satire at the religious fundamentalists. To the
best of my recollections, his story could be summarized along the
"My wife and I were driving at night on an
empty interstate in Texas and she urged me to slow down or else I'd get a
ticket. I retorted that there was nobody on the roads at this hour, so
there was no danger in driving fast and there would be no policeman to
discipline us. Then suddenly, I saw lights flashing behind us and I
pulled over. As the cop approached our car, my wife anxiously began
looking through the glove compartment to find our proof of insurance and
registration. The already vexed officer was becoming increasingly
impatient, but suddenly God's grace shone through! My wife found our
first wedding ring in the glove compartment that she couldn't find for
three years! And suddenly, the police officer recognized me and asked me
if I was that famous pastor he saw on TV. I responded with a nod and he
inquired if I'd save him a spot at my next sermon and he left
immediately when I told him that I'd save him the whole section!"
Wild applause erupted in the audience and the lecturer seized the
moment to provide his own interpretation of this event. "You see, God
works in mysterious ways!" He elaborated as the audience cheered
enthusiastically. "Everything in your life is strategically ordained and
if it wasn't for that police officer, we would have never found that
ring. If I wasn't God's servant with a large following at my Church, he
would not have let us off with a warning".
I could not refrain
from laughing and the comedian appeared to be an outstanding job
ridiculing televangelists with delusions of grandeur. After all, I
thought, how could this guy possible be serious!? There is no way any
reasonable person can honestly believe that God "strategically ordained"
the circumstances of his life to turn him into a popular preacher so
police officers do not give him tickets. Even by the standards of public
figures such as movie stars and politicians, it takes a megalomaniac of
stupendous proportions to even entertain so preposterous of a notion
that God purposefully put a police officer on the streets of rural Texas
JUST SO he can find the ring that he lost three years ago.
To my astonishment, the speaker then promoted his book "Fearless"
which he promoted with even fiercer missionary zeal than his faith.
Despite his cheery demeanor and the wild applause from the audience, it
turned out that the speaker was not a comedian but a popular pastor,
The hubris of televangelists knows no boundaries
and their self-centered thinking habits never cease to confound me. The
famous Oxford Psychologist Kevin Dutton cited several studies showing
that similarly to politicians lawyers and CEOs, psychopaths and narcissists are quite common among the religious leaders. Don't take my
word for it, see for yourself!
Never-mind that our most popular televangelists live in mansions, drive
luxury sedans and preach in opulent Churches when thousands of people
live in poverty just miles away from where they preach. Forget about
the allegations that Paul Robertson was involved in the smuggling racket of the Congolese blood diamonds .
Just try listening to the messages of these self-centered demagogues
and judge their character on that basis. Keep an open-mind and see if in all honesty, you can see these individuals as anything but raging