This is a true and funny story that I feel reveals much truth about certain sects in American Christianity.
This past Saturday had been a long day. I had spent some early morning hours at the office and my wife had spent the morning getting our three sons ready and dressed to be at our middle sons football game 40 miles from home by 9:00 a.m. By the time we got home later in the afternoon, we were ready for some R & R.
After our 2 year old had taken his nap and gotten up, he came into the living room of our house. As my wife and I both played with our new camera (a Nikon 3100D – it’s awesome) and sorted through the photos and videos made at our son’s football game, the baby began pushing buttons on the television. Of all places his roulette of button pushes could have landed, it hit TBN, the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Perhaps it was neglectful parenting, but my wife and I continued in our tasks as our young son stood there in front of the television watching some man teach people that if they give their money to rich people instead of poor, God will bless them. After about 25-30 minutes of this, my son decided he had enough and moved on to talk to his mother and I. Keeping in mind that this child had been watching what touts itself as Christian programming, take a guess what his next actions were.
Did you guess? Did he want to talk about Jesus? Did he want to talk about God? Did he want to talk about forgiveness of sins, repentance, atonement, or nail-scarred hands? Well, if you guessed hands, you would have been half right, but it wasn’t nail scarred hands. No, this two year old walked away from watching this television program having learned a sad lesson. He approached his mother and I with his hand out saying “Dollar, dollar, dollar…” over and over again.
Trinity Broadcasting Network taught my son how to beg, pander, or fine tune the prosperity gospel. My wife and I were floored by this as well as saddened. After watching Christian programming a child would walk away thinking about the love of money is one of the saddest things I can imagine.