‘God Wanted Us to Be Rich’: Reality Show to Feature Millionaire Gospel Musician’s Lavish Lifestyle

Tankards wsNASHVILLE — 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.”

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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.

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  • B A Buersmeyer

    … And at the end of the day God is neither surprised nor worried about any of this. HE is on the throne and His plans and will are all that matter!

  • Kimberly

    The subject of money is a very volatile subject. On one hand God does want to bless His people but that blessing, like Abraham, is to be blessed to BE a blessing. God has a purpose in everything. We need to ask God why He gave us the power to create wealth? Having riches is not the sticking point with God it is doing with it what God wants us to do. It is doing the Father’s WILL. It is not wealth that is inherently wrong, it is what we do with our wealth that matters to God. It is asking, “Do I have money or does money have me?” That is a sobering question to ask ourselves. Asking ourselves, “Where is my treasure?”…. is the question. God goes past outward appearance to the heart of the matter. If we really love God, I think we are constantly making sure we are responding to His Spirit to make sure we are on that narrow path in ALL areas of our lives. By asking where are heart is at does not necessarily mean that it is wrong to be wealthy. I think the question of treasure has more to do with who has most of our heart in every area of life, including of course our pocketbook. It is possible to have both riches and our hearts be right before God. I agree with others that the fruit of kindness and goodness along with virtues of generosity and caring for the poor and widow need to be on our radar at all times….even if I do not have lots of money.

    On the other side, one can be poverty stricken and still have the wrong heart or attitude toward money. Having the love of money can be constantly wanting it or needing it because of the shortfall so many live in. There is this subtle undertone inside that can drive one who is poor. One can be in poverty and their attitude of heart can be that others should take care of them. This is not right either. We will all face need at one point or another but do we really beleive God is faithful to His promises to us? I think I tend to be more convicted about this than about how much money I have or do not have. The love of money can come out in a very hidden way by WORRYING or fretting about having their needs met, needing more to make ends meet, living under FEAR of having to pay bills without the income necessary. One can live in constant anxiety over their lack too. It is basically not really trusting God to care for us and so I know for myself I have been caught in that snare of panic. I think if most people were honest they would have to check their own hearts in this as well.

    I have often wondered about what happened to the wealth Jesus received at His birth? I have heard it said that the amount of riches the wise men gave Jesus would in today’s market would be approximately, 2 million dollars. Perhaps this was God’s provision to get them to Egypt and later on as provision for the widow, Mary, who used this to care for her family after Joseph died. Also, Jesus garments must have been worth something for the soldiers to cast lots for them and Jesus tomb though a gift was provided by a a wealthy man.

    I have these lingering questions inside hoping to get answers within my own heart about the balance of understanding money and what constitutes the “evil” in it. I think most here do not want to be deceived in this. Receiving Salvation through Jesus Christ, and in response to this love, giving our lives and hearts back to the Father in reciprocal affection and devotion, is the safest place there is, whether we are abounding or being abased.

  • Lawrence Hendrickson

    It seems as though a lot of folks who claim Christ have forgotten why he came. If one could obtain wealth, and maintain a clean relationship with God without compromise, than that is great. There are two problems I see with this scenario. One, the Tankard family has a proud look coupled with their financial gain, two, no one responding to the comments here has suggested we pray for that family. No matter how they have come across, they are still souls and Christ died for them too. We mustn’t focus on a persons present state, and condition not knowing what their outcome will be in the end. Remember, Jesus never said a rich person won’t get into heaven, he said it was easier for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle.

  • Rita

    Dumb. However, undiscerning, unbiblical thinking people will fall for this foolishness hook, line, & sinker. It’s just DUMB.

  • Kai

    Let’s be clear they are not from Nashville, TN, they are from Murfreesboro, TN. Honestly the show represented African American culture and people of TN poorly. The tom foolery that ” God wanted them to be rich”. God wants us to be wealthy in the spirit of leading a healthy, prosperous, and meaningful life through focusing our energy not on material possessions but humane values and virtues. If you so happen to become rich in the process of doing so, then so be it but do not use the Lord’s name in such vein. I’m so tired of people getting rich off of God, ripping people of that church off and buying private planes! These people are wack, all the money can not buy you class, or style. The wife is a pure gold digger, claiming how prolific she is when she just jumps for joy over all that crap they buy. They have so much yet she was looking country as hell with that white ruffled dress on and those dated carmel highlights trying to play crochet knowing damn well she knows nothing about that she’s just trying to act as big as her money, yes I’m reading. Then, that spoiled youngest daughter being raised to be just like her mama, smh. I mean seriously you’re rich, but you’re driving a hideous I guess blinged out tonka truck!!! Lol, can somebody please also help them eat better no wonder that youngest child had pimples eating hot-dogs, they curse like champs and that improper grammar and ignorant talking and acting is a hot ass mess. Instead of proclaiming your wealth and obviously paying bravo to put you on, train kids better and stop being so ghetto just with money, remember Bill you said there’s no ghetto in heaven. Your Welcome