Thursday, November 29, 2007

Trash a televangelist for Jesus

Here's a story about Ole Anthony and how the Trinity Foundation got started. It includes the tale of how they got a bug up their bum about televangelists.
Another time Ole counted the number of homeless people in America, then compared that to the number of churches, and announced one day, "We don't have a problem! If one homeless person slept in each church, the problem is solved." Especially since most American churches are only used one or two days a week. So Trinity sent speakers out to ask churches to adopt a single homeless person.
That didn't take too well. Most of the local churches just sent all the homeless people to Trinity.
And it was those very homeless who led Trinity to its biggest and most controversial work, the trashing of televangelism in America. The homeless would arrive at Trinity after being kicked out of some place, usually by their families, who were overwhelmed by their constant problems and inability to make money. But in several cases, the homeless person had spent his or her last dollar, not on food, not on drugs, not on gas for a car, but on a "faith pledge" to a televangelist. Many of these television preachers talk about the "hundredfold blessing" you get when you donate money to God, suggesting that God is a kind of spiritual casino who pays 100-to-1 odds when people need Him.


"It was literally widows and orphans," said Ole. "That's who supports the televangelists. The weakest, most vulnerable people in the world."
Unfathomable are the ways in which that shit ain't right.


Wendy J said...

And there is the real story at

Toby said...

Wendy J,

Your claims against Anthony and the gang don't contradict any of the stuff I quoted. At least, nothing on your website (which I've visited before) says anything about the story of how the anti-televangelist action got started.

Apart from that, I'm well aware that communities of the sort led by Anthony lend themselves well to cult-like social dynamics. I am under no illusions that Anthony is a perfect man. That said, though, your website does not do much to back up your specific accusations. What seems to be the crucial episode behind your departure (Anthony's dismissal of your wedding) is a pretty trivial dispute, and not particularly cult-like. Perhaps there is more telling information in your book--but your website gives me no desire to your book.