Sunday, January 15, 2012

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. Oh, no. It smacks of the 1978 cult mass-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. It is believed the televangelist, Jim Jones, took cyanide and some kind of sedative and mixed it with Kool-Aid to poison his 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!"

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 evangelist this week, I was moved to tears. Not because of what he was saying, singing, or pushing. I was moved by the tears on the faces in the crowd. Every face was wet with tears. Those precious, precious people, reaching out for hope, for God. Their hands raised, these folks and their honest hearts 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 massive responsibility on his shoulders. I wonder.

The fact remains, 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 also whip up a batch of Kool-Aid, knowing there are millions of honest hearts who would drink it. And for some reason, we Christians are hesitant to hold our pastors accountable for what they say and do. They don't have to be perfect. In fact, I'd prefer if they were not perfect. But we tend to overlook their celebrity, and confuse the human with the divine.

People are human. Televangelists are human. We tend to forget that. Are there any good televangelists? I'm sure there are men and women out there, preaching, whose hearts are in the right place. Whose intentions are admirable. But it is my personal opinion there have been few who have retained those intentions, that good heart, the humility required. I won't name them because it's certainly not up to me to judge, or pick, or choose. That's God's department.

I run on experience. On personal testimony. I say, be careful. The wolves are out there. And so is the Kool-Aid.

Personally, I love a cold glass on a hot day. Even on a cold day. What a treat! Just keep out the poison!

That goes for televangelists, as well.

Blessings to you and yours.

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