Tammy Faye Messner died this weekend tragically from cancer. I watched her on television talking about her illness but what struck me as interesting was her strong proclamation that she was going straight to heaven. Not that she is or isn’t going to heaven, but I have a few problems with how these televangelists live their lives versus what the bible says. She was revered by a lot of people as a person who was so full of faith and love. She could be seen pretty much everyday crying, singing and begging the faithful for their hard earned cash. She was also seen as a naïve person unfortunately marrying not only one but two men who ended up in prison. Some things that people don’t know about her was that she was considered of above average intelligence to the point that she was a member of MENSA, also she had been addicted to the drug Ativan (AKA Lorazepam, used as a sedative, tranquilizer and anti-anxiety).
For her to be so smart; I mean MENSA smart is it any type of quirk that she would be so unfortunate to have two husbands jailed for some type of money fraud? I am not saying that she was in anyway involved in any of it, but it does raise some eyebrows. This all brings me to the point I am trying to make. She lived a lavish lifestyle full of out of control spending. Million dollar homes, yachts, jewelry, trips, and any other expensive thing rich people buy. Then you have to think of the religion she touts or the book she read from daily and you have to wonder if she read this passage “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’” -Matthew 19:23-24. Or this one “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” -1 Timothy 6:9-10
There are a lot of people who felt that she was a wolf in sheep’s clothing who prayed on the elderly and faithful to swindle them of their money. They had charities set up but a lot of the money went straight into their personal coffers. But, how much did she or their church really do for the poor, sick, hungry, and ailing? Maybe they could have lived as Jesus and used every dime to take care of people, or maybe I’m being to naïve. A passage sticks out about this from -Matthew 25:41-45 – “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me.’”
Did she live her life by these rules that she so ardently used to bring the money rolling in to her bank account, I think not. But, who am I to judge, as it is put in the bible judge not less ye be judged. I am just giving everyone a little food for thought. Why is it ok for your pastor or preacher or whatever you have in your place of worship to live as kings do, while you and the rest of the congregation barely scrape by? Think on this and take it with you on Sunday, or whatever day you do your worship.