Preachers of L.A. was the object of scorn among many God-fearing people who loathe to see the prosperity gospel in prime time, but apparently it was a big enough hit with viewers that it's getting a second season.
The first season of the reality TV show featured Bishop Noel Jones, Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Clarence McClendon, pastor Wayne Chaney, Bishop Ron Gibson and pastor Jay Haizlip. It is not yet clear if the same pastors will star in the second season.
"Preachers of L.A. documents these larger-than-life characters who are rock stars in their communities with a fresh, unique perspective that will resonate with our young audience," explained Rod Aissa, Oxygen Media's senior vice president of original programming and development.
A press release says the show "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."
A group that calls itself Christians Against Preachers of L.A. launched a petition on change.org against the show last year, but that didn't stop the show's success. The petition complained: "Biblical prosperity is not about wealth building. This is a poor representation of the Kingdom of God. These preachers' lifestyles are NOT promoting Christ[-like] ethos but rather their cars, homes, relationships and their justification on why they want viewers to see them as having fleshly desires as everyone else does."
Christian media expert Phil Cooke asked a pointed question: Is Preachers of L.A. a setback for the church? But the backlash didn't stop there. Sean Abbananto, a speaker and entrepreneur from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, predicted that Preachers of L.A. would not turn out well for rock star pastors. Although the pastors in the reality TV show series seem to be doing fine, that doesn't mean God is pleased.
Some of the rock star preachers answered back. Specifically, Deitrick Haddon used social media to speak out against pastors preaching against the Oxygen network program from the pulpit. "If your pastor's message is all about #PreachersofLA this sunday I recommend that you find another church," he tweeted Saturday to more than 180,000 followers. "Preach the word & that's all! lol"
What's your take on Preachers of L.A.? Do you watch the show? Do you think this makes a mockery of the gospel at some level? Or do think it wins souls to Christ? Sound off.