Guest Post ~ Pamela King Cable

 

Would You Drink the Kool-Aid?
 
Isn't is amazing that you know to what I am referring?
 
'Drinking the Kool-Aid' in urban slang, has nothing to do with that wonderful, fruity drink we guzzled by the gallon when we were kids. It refers to the 1978 cult mass-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Televangelist, Jim Jones, took cyanide and some kind of sedative and mixed it with Kool-Aid to poison his massive following at Jonestown. It may have been Flavor Aid, but no matter what he used, we know what it means when somebody says, "Don't drink the Kool-Aid!"
 
Degrees of religious dogma flood the airwaves today during our current race for the Presidency, and it makes me wonder, who would drink the Kool-Aid? I watch a great deal of religious TV, mostly because it's what I write about. Some of it moves me, most of it—does not. Watching one particular televangelist recently, I was moved to tears. Not because of what he was saying, singing, or pushing. It was the faces in the crowd that kept me glued to the screen. Each face was wet with tears. Those precious people, reaching out for hope, for a healing, for God. Their hands raised, these folks had come to that great arena to worship, receive a blessing, and touch the hem of their Creator. It grieved me so, I eventually had to change the channel.
 
I sure hope that televangelist knows the tremendous responsibility on his shoulders. The new face of televangelism is still pretty much the old face. One of prosperity messages and miracles. The difference is that the audience has grown by mega leaps and mega bounds. In a bad economy, a great majority turns to God for help. They’re attracted by those prosperity messages. The problem as I see it, televangelists can lead sheep to the slaughter like nothing and no one else. They can bring out the tears and sell God better than Tony the Tiger sells cornflakes. They can whip up a batch of Kool-Aid, knowing millions of honest hearts would drink it. And for some reason, we Christians are hesitant to hold our televangelist pastors accountable for what they say and do. They don't have to be perfect. In fact, I'd prefer if they were not. But we tend to overlook these rock stars of religion, and confuse the human with the divine, believing every word they speak comes from The Almighty.
 
Many years ago, I never missed church. I believed, tithed, raised my hands in every service, answered hundreds of altar calls, and gave love offerings instead of paying my light bill. I trusted and obeyed. Sowed my prosperity seeds and read every prosperity scripture over and over again. I gave out of my need. For years I lined the pockets of a pastor who traveled around the world, taking my husband with him, leaving me to suffer alone at home. Until one day I asked myself this question. Do I feed my kids or pay my tithe? I decided to feed my kids.
 
For years I had loved my preacher, believed in my pastor, and gave everything I had, including my spouse, to the televangelist my pastor had become. In the end, it didn’t matter because I rebelled and “sealed my fate.” I was rejected, divorced, and eventually homeless.
 
Is there such a thing as a good televangelist? No doubt some possess honest hearts with admirable intentions. But it’s tough to retain those intentions, that good heart, the humility required and pay for expensive TV time. I speak from experience. Be careful. Don’t be a gullible. Even in a Presidential race. The wolves are still out there. And so is the Kool-Aid.
Pamela King Cablewas born a coal miner’s granddaughter and raised by a tribe of wild Pentecostals and storytellers. She is an award-winning, multi-published author who loves to write about religion and spirituality with paranormal twists she unearths from her family’s history. Married to a megachurch ministry team member as a young adult, she attended years of megachurch services. Pamela studied creative writing at The University of Akron and Kent State University. She has taught at many writing conferences, and speaks to book clubs, women’s groups, national and local civic organizations, and at churches across the country. Nearly a decade in the writing, Televenge is her debut novel. She lives in Ohio with her husband, Michael, and is currently working on her next novel.
 
 

Publisher: Satya House Publications (October 5, 2012)
Genre: Fiction, Mystery/Suspense/Romance
ISBN-10: 1935874160
ISBN-13: 978-1935874164
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound,
The Book Depository

 

televenge

Andie Oliver is a faithful woman–to God, to her handsome husband Joe, and to televangelist Reverend Calvin Artury, a Godfather in a Mafia of holy men. Raised in the 1970's to be subservient and submissive in the tradition of the Bible-belt South, she becomes a prisoner of that tradition. As a reluctant member of Artury's evangelical megachurch, the House of Praise in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Andie's dream of children, home, and marriage falls apart after Joe is hired by the ministry team.

Vivid and tragic, Televenge exposes chaos in the megachurch, and embraces those who discover their destiny in unconditional love in a world fraught with fear and intimidation. Fighting for redemption for her family and herself, Andie confronts the very definition of evil personified. Evading ruthless adversaries who will go to any lengths to protect Reverend Artury, Andie battles the darkest side of televangelism. With more twists and turns than the Blue Ridge Parkway, Televenge takes you from the Piedmont South to the Hawaiian Islands, to Nigeria, and back to the high country of North Carolina.

In pitch-perfect voices, Pamela King Cable's emotionally rich debut novel creates four extraordinary characters. Suspenseful and deeply moving, Televenge will be one of the most talked about books of the year.

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Comments

  1. librarypat says:

    Growing up in the Northeast in an atmosphere of religious diversity and tolerance, my move to the Bible-Belt Smokey Mountains on the border of NC and TN was a bit of a culture shock. Since my husband was in the military, I have lived all over the country and the world. There has been no other place quite like this. Televangelism is not unique to this area, but much of it started here. Even at the local level, I have never seen so many people follow like sheep what their minister tells them. They don’t seem to question or evaluate what they are told. From Harry Potter being a plot to destroy our children (I was a children’s librarian and put up with many stolen copies of the book, as well as people pounding the counter demanding that filth be taken off the shelves. Had they read it? Did they know what it was about? No, but the minister said it was evil.) to Catholics being demonized as Satan’s spawn and non-christians (what’s up with that?). Like you, I have seen older people give money they can’t afford to pleas by televangelists. If their programs needed money that badly, why are they living in such luxury and spending so much money on TV time. Copy Mother Teresa and put you time, life, and resources where they are really doing some good for those who need it. We all need reassurance and support, but buying promises of salvation and prayer for a price you can’t afford isn’t the way. I was taught to judge a person and a religion by what they do, not what they say. Sending an elderly widow a scrap of fabric as a prayer cloth for a hefty donation does her no good. Who benefits? The coffers of the televangelist. And they follow it up with appeals for more and more money. If they really cared about these people, they would be setting up free programs for them to help make their lives easier. That tells me they are more into themselves and making money than really doing anything else for those who need it. They are predators in the true sense of the word.

    Sorry I was so long winded, but I have know too many people that follow without question and don’t evaluate the facts or truth. This goes for both religion and politics. Around here, too often the reason for doing something (giving or voting) is because my preacher told me so. Sadly too many of them would drink the Kool-Aid and realize too late that maybe they should have asked a few questions first.

    • Thank you, for this insightful comment to the Televenge blog post. I’m discovering more and more people who are finally coming out and voicing their opinions about blindly following their pastor, no questions asked.

      Televangelism is a billion-dollar business. These men and women are the rock stars of religion. Their influence is worldwide. Albeit, not all televangelists are corrupt, but the desperation of paying for television time can drive those with the best intentions to the gates of Hell to make the kind of money they need to save face and prove they’re called of God. If not held in check, yes, they can be dangerous. This also includes religious leaders of every denomination and church size. I know tormented individuals who wonder if they’re going to Hell because they left their church over twenty years ago. It is up to the congregation to hold their apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers responsible, and not just for the finances of the church. But for what they preach, and for the little old ladies who will their homes to the ministry. It’s an abomination.

      You are correct, librarypat. There are many predators out there in TV land, and many of them are televangelists distributing their own form of Kool-Aid.

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