|But do they send their money to Spanky?|
The latest issue of Tomorrow's World illustrates the point. The focus for January-February is, yup, you guessed it, tithing. Now this isn't the easiest of sells. Rod "Spanky" Meredith hits the usual proof texts hard, but how do you put a positive spin on an article of this kind? The answer seems to be to find a nice, attractive family who smile and are obviously overjoyed to shell out to the cause.
So where do you go to find a photogenic family of this sort? Good teeth, nicely dressed, one kid of each gender. You'd think there'd be lots of real life families in the Living Church of God to choose from, right? And you'd obviously expect the smiling subjects to be a member family, right?
Well, it ain't necessarily so. The nice people who appear on the cover of the current TW, and reappear as deliriously happy tithers on the inside, come to you courtesy of shutterstock.com (see the small print at the bottom of page 33). They could be Anglicans, Adventists or Atheists, who knows? Do they tithe? Again, who knows? Are they even a family group rather than just playing the part for the camera? Quite possibly not. And it's highly unlikely any of them would want to help finance Meredith. Could all this then be just a tiny bit deceptive?
We do expect people in TV ads to be paid actors or models. But there's a difference between a high demand sect and a toothpaste brand.
Tomorrow's World (along with similar publications) is all about pushing the distinctive doctrines of its publisher. It isn't an objective source of news, information and commentary; its a glorified advertising mailer. Which is fine, just as long as you know that.