700 Money Club

The 700 Club is a daily Christian TV show available on Satellite that I record from time to time. I like to keep track of the Christian world, and the show gives an interesting peek into the life of evangelical America.

I tuned in to see Gordon Robertson, son of one-time presidential candidate Pat, as the host. It begins like a news programme, with Gordan and his co-host sitting at a desk, describing the bad snow storm currently over America. There’s certainly a slight pro-Trump bias; their second news report was of a doctor confirming the president’s excellent health. The third was described as ‘wonderful news’- America’s withholding of millions of dollars of UN aid for Palestinian refugees because of the agency’s anti-Israel bias. 

After this, there’s an internal commercial break. Pat advertises his new DVD all about prayer; the next slot is for CBN, 700 Club’s proprietor, advertising the benefits of monthly donations and the good work they do around the globe. Donors can receive ‘monthly, life-changing teachings from Pat and Gordon Roberston’.

There follows a feature story. A certain couple’s income was halved, but they kept on tithing during the difficult times. God therefore revived their respective businesses and made them four times as a rich as they were before. .

The next story is of a divorced mum with a beautiful southern drawl whose credit card spending landed her in debt. How on earth would she pay her ‘aylectric bee-ul’? She went to church and heard the importance of tithing. The following week she began tithing as well as budgeting and started to save. All is now well. Praise God for ‘taa-thing’.

Gordon Robertson features again with exciting news: viewers in Louisiana and Mississippi, despite the snowy weather, feel led to challenge the show’s other viewers to give $90,000 by the end of the programme. My, I thought, what generosity these brothers have: to challenge other people to part with their cash, despite it snowing outside. Now that’s what I call faith. Can that much be raised in only 41 minutes and 16 seconds? A room full of telephonists is standing by. It’s almost as if they knew the good folk from Louisiana and Mississippi would make this challenge. Straight away, the phones start ringing. Those who donate will receive Pat’s Prayer DVD as a thank you. It includes a helpful section on ‘How to get your prayers answered’. If the 700 Club management asks God for funding as powerfully and persistently as it asks its audience, it’s a wonder they haven’t too much to count 

Enough of money. The next feature was Fern Wallace who, as a ‘senior’, felt she wanted to help others. Se therefore funds wells for poorer people in the developing world. It turns out that she became a 700 Club ‘partner’ in 1979 and is now a member of the prestigious ‘Chairman’s Circle’. I looked this up. Those giving more than $834 per month may join this inner sanctum. I noted the benefits, which include:

Monthly audio teaching tapes

Monthly Conference Calls with Dr. Robertson or a CBN Executive

Personal CBN Prayer Partners

An attractive Chairman's Circle pin.

With privileges like these, can you afford not to give $834 dollars per month? I was a little surprised that even a story about wells should become a reminder to give money to this television show.

There’s something wholesome about the 700 Club. It seems to sum up honest, mid-west/deep south gospel Christianity. The southern drawls and comfortable sets I rather like and its charity work I admire. Yet its frequent requesting of cash leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Does it have to be like this? I‘ve never had to manage a TV show before, so perhaps my question is impertinent.