Apprising Ministries continues to warn that the mainstream of evangelicalism is spiraling badly into what I’m calling a New Downgrade No-Controversy. Certainly a part of this is increasing syncretism e.g. embracing blatant Word Faith prosperity preachers like T.D. Jakes.

I’ve also told you that popular evangelicals such as prophet-leader Steven Furtick cannot bring Jakes into the heart of the church visible without also dragging in his considerable baggage. Not the least of which is women pastors as part of his horribly skewed spiritual progeny.

Take for example, Christian Post On How ER’s T.D. Jakes Installed Sheryl Brady As “Pastor” and WF Pastrix Paula White: As Paul Is To Timothy, So T.D. Jakes Is To Me. The reason I’m focusing on the issue of women pastors at the outset here will become obvious as I continue.

I point you now to Christian News Network reporter Heather Clark and her report the other day Provocative Preachers’ Wives to Flaunt it All in ‘Shocking’ New TLC Reality Show. Therein Clark informs us:

As a premiere of what is to come in 2013, TLC is unveiling a new reality show that features a behind-the-scenes look at the everyday lives of five preachers’ wives from Atlanta, Georgia, whose lifestyles are much different from what they portray in church.

“If you pull back the curtain and see us for who we truly are, you’d be shocked,” states Ivy Couch, whose husband Mark leads Emanuel Tabernacle Church.

The Sisterhood is set to begin airing on January 1st on the popular Learning Channel, which often features reality shows of various types. The broadcast follows five women that are married to preachers in one of the largest cities in the Bible Belt, who often dress provocatively, giggle about sexual matters with their friends and husbands, and live on the edge in a variety of ways. (source)

Early in The Learning Channel (TLC) video promo below you’ll hear Christina Murray, “whose husband Anthony leads Oasis Family Life Church,” tell us, “In the church world the pastor’s wife is called ‘the first lady.”” No, this idea is found almost exclusively in Word Faith prosperity circles.

Sure enough, as look more closely at the churches these women represent, this is precisely where we’re headed with this “new reality show” on TLC. For example, Clark quotes DeLana Rutherford:

whose husband Myles leads Worship With Wonder Church in Kennesaw, Georgia. DeLana, a singer, and her husband are quoted as having a “strong mantle of a proceeding and prophetic word.” (source)

 Andrea Billups of People.com now adds:

Premiering on Jan. 1, TLC’s The Sisterhood takes viewers behind the pews and into the lives of some of Atlanta’s “first ladies,” as preacher’s wives are often known in the evangelical community.

The view from inside their world, their world, as they support their husbands and churches, is a radical and candid rendering of how most people might view their role. They argue, get tattoos, work out to look hot and talk openly about sex, drugs and their not-so-godly pasts in a series certain to shake the Bible Belt. (source)

Back in February NewsOne gave us a fuller picture as to what’s actually going on with this real preachers wives-style reality show:

with True Entertainment, the production company behind The Real Housewives of Atlanta, the network announced that it is working on a project tentatively titledPreacher Wives that will follow the lives of the “First Ladies” of Atlanta churches, reports the Hollywood Reporter

True Entertainment president, Steven Weinstock, shared his excitement about this unexpected partnership and also the rationale behind the new series:

We are excited to work with TLC to profile the lives of these strong-willed women. With most praise in religious communities directed towards male preachers, we are thrilled to give these remarkable ladies the spotlight they crave and deserve.”

The series will follow the women as they preside over their husbands’ congregations, as well as shadow their private lives and the conflicts that inevitably arise when trying to balance both, reports THR.

It should come as no surprise that TLC has decided to jump into the Wives fray. The Real Housewivesfranchise has proven to be a goldmine for Bravo, with an estimated $35.6 – $162 million generated in ad revenue within the last two years. With the copy-cat success of VH1′s Basketball Wives and Mob Wives, we should probably expect the same cat-fights and shenanigans from Preacher Wives; only this time, it’s for the Lord. (source)

You’ll see in the promo below, this is quite likely. Heather Clark highlights some of the titillation we can expect from “the soul-searching sass of real-life preacher’s wives Delana, Christina, Ivy, Tara and Domonique”: ((http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20652368,00.html, accessed 12/4/12.))

“She’s fit and fabulous and her wardrobe leaves little to the imagination,” reads the bio for Tara Lewis, a certified fitness instructor who recently moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles after her husband took a job at a church in the area.

Tell the devil he’s a liar!” Lewis announces in the preview, while wearing skin-tight shorts and a t-shirt that she pulled up to expose her midriff.

“Did you get breast implants, too?” asks Christina Murray over dinner with the women, whose husband Anthony leads Oasis Family Life Church.

“Christina often makes it known that she’s a sassy Latina who you don’t want to mess with,” her bio reads. “Christina and Anthony …  have to wrangle their two challenging teenage daughters who are just as sassy as their mother.”

Another scene shows Ivy Couch laughing as she opens a gift bag from her husband to find that he had given her handcuffs to use in the bedroom.

“You better watch yo’ self, girl!” her husband jokes.“People don’t expect a preacher and his wife to have a good sex life,” Couch tells the cameras.

“It’s very difficult to be a ‘first lady.’ Very difficult,” she declares in another scene. (source)

No, it’s very difficult to see how The Sisterhood will be anything but another embarrassment for the church visible:

HT: Fighting For The Faith

Further reading