NASHVILLE — A new reality show is set to launch this fall featuring a Gospel musician and his blended family, who claim that they were called by God to be rich.
Ben Tankard is a best-selling jazz musician, who has won 12 Stellar awards for his instrumental Gospel albums, and has received multiple Dove and Grammy nominations. The Nashville-based musician is now poised to have his own reality show called Thicker Than Water, which will give viewers a glimpse into his lavish lifestyle.
“This southern family integrates their strong religious conviction with their penchant for the finer things in life,” reads a description of the broadcast from the Bravo television network. “With the belief that ‘God wants us all to be millionaires,’ the Tankards aim to be the best and brightest in everything they do.”
The network has also released a trailer that gives viewers a sneak peak into the life and belief system of the Tankard family.
“We live life on the good side,” Ben Tankard states. “We live in a three-level mansion [with] seven vehicles to drive, plus I love my airplanes.”
His wife Jewel also explains that the family enjoys living large, and that she believes it is all a part of the will of God.
“[W]e will do everything big–his and her Mercedes, airplanes, houses,” she notes. “We’re just doing what God called us to do.”
Jewel tells the audience that she came to believe that God wants Christians to be rich after observing a well-to-do pastor and his wife who adhere to the “prosperity gospel.”
“The first time that I realized God wanted us to be rich I was a senior in college, and I saw this phenomenal man and woman standing up preaching the word, and honey, there was nothing broke about them,” she states. “And I said, ‘O Lord, this is the Jesus I know.’”
Son Benji Tankard also advises that he would like to surpass his father in riches one day.
“In five years, I can see myself being a multi-millionaire, probably owning a couple of hotels, two McDonalds, [and having] two or three kids,” he outlines. “I don’t want to be like my dad. I want to be better than my dad. I want to be the man.”
“Sometimes it bothers people,” Jewel admits, but adds, “Somebody’s gotta have it, so why not us?”
Reaction to the broadcast has been mixed.
“Love it!” one commenter wrote. “Jesus came to give life, and life more abundantly. This is abundant living in Christ.”
“God does not want everyone to be millionaires, or else He would not have said the love of money is the root of all evil,” another stated. “This family has their priorities out of whack. If they were true Bible-believing Christians, they would be spending their money on helping the poor, building churches, providing medical supplies for the needy in Africa, Indonesia and other third world countries. But no, they spend it on themselves.”
Thicker Than Water is set to air on Bravo beginning November 10th at 9 p.m. EST. A similar reality show, Preachers of LA, featuring six Los Angeles-area prosperity preachers, will also air this fall on Oxygen.