For those who’ve been following the news, the televangelistic world just lost one of its stars, Dr. Zachery Tims, Jr. Dr. Tims was founder and pastor of the New Destiny Christian Center of Orlando, Florida.
Dr. Tims was found dead in his room at the W Hotel in New York City’s Times Square with an envelope of white powder, which is still being examined by the NYPD. Tims was in town for a meeting at the time.
In an earlier Facebook post, I made the post, “Any would be moralizing preachers out there, please take note! Don’t let your ecclesiastical power get to your heads! You could end up like this cat.” I wrote that piece because of what I’ve seen in the Televangelism circles where big-time Televangelists like Tims, TD Jakes, Eddie Long, Paula White, etc will preach morality (often with a judgmental tone) and later wind up being on the front page news due to some indiscretion (usually sexual or financial). In fact, Tims and his wfe, Riva broke up after news of Tims’ affair with a stripper.
This breed of fundagelical animal doesn’t fly with my idea of what Jesus the Christ preached. These televangelists are a product of American Capitalism infused with “prosperity thinking.” They attract thousands of followers-especially among people of color (who are the most marginalized in the US of A). They live large while most of their followers struggle with the rest of America. In fact the hotel Tims was found in-The W-is no fleabag dump-you have to have some serious bank to bed down there.
Also, these people have too long abused their ecclesiastical position to beat down others who don’t fit their narrow view of what people should be (GLBTQs, swingers, the sexually liberated, people who disagree with their brand of “theology”, etc). They never took the time to dialog with the “other” and have reinforced the (often true) stereotype of fundagelical narrow-mindedness and intolerance.
I too used to watch these guys and try to apply their teachings to my life. I found out that such teaching flies in the face of what Jesus taught: not loving money, not craving power, Pharisaic thinking. Therefore, in my quest to live a mystical, liberal, non-literal, non-realist Christianity I had to jettison this crap.
In the end, it’s those who follow who suffer. We don’t know what the circumstances surrounding Dr. Tims’ death will do to his followers-those who’ve invested heavily in his ministry. And if-God do forbid-Dr Tims was using drugs, what impact will that have? Also, his family, how will they fare? New Destiny’s doing the best it can, but only time will tell.
For now, Rest In Peace Dr. Tims.