Apparently, I've been living under a rock and did not know that Tammy Faye Bakker Messner had passed away.
About three years ago, I ran across Jay Bakker's book Son of a Preacher Man. It is awesome. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do. It chronicles Jay's (Jamie Charles) life from the flipside... inside out... of ministry. Watching the pieces fall, watching his world come tumbling down and then crucified on television. Not only could I relate, but I think I that some of the junk I had dealt with as a PK whose father "fell" (if you will) resurfaced and I had to really, and I mean really deal with some things. Like forgiveness and what real love is. Seriously, I need to go visit his church now.
And I know some of my "I hate televangelistic ministry" friends are just dying right now, but I'm not opposed to televangelism. Yes, there are thousands of televangelists who have ripped people off. I'm not going to make any concession for them. God Almighty will deal with them and judge them justly, better than the media, better than any of us self-righteous, and better than the IRS. But for every bad evangelist, somebody has really gotten saved. God uses Bad Apples too, y'all. I think about the fallable men who have been called pastors in my lifetime, and regardless of how shady I thought they were, scripturally, if they preached The Word, then The Word doesn't go void. With that said, I am confident that some money poured into PTL may have been mishandled. I don't know all the details of who mishandled, or exactly how much or when... but it doesn't matter.
What I do know is that, amidst too much mascara, tears and a tv screen, Jim and Tammy helped revolutionize a new market for Christians to go into. When all was said and done, ministry wasn't about a bottom line $... it was about souls in heaven. Regardless of how harsh or over-the-top she may have appeared, she was human, and up to the very end of her life, she preached love.
'Cause it's all about love. It's loving people no matter how they look. It's loving people with no respect to their profession or vocation, or lack thereof. It's loving people despite their health or illness, poverty or wealth, location or circumstance. I hope that Tammy Faye rejoiced right through the gates when she got to heaven last week. No more tears... no more running mascara...