Ex-evanglicals like myself left the church or at least their former belief system for a myriad of reasons, but all of us have one thing in common: we can smell religious hypocrisy a mile away. The Gemstones family wastes no time and spares no expense showing their slimy underbelly; the hypocrisy is far from hidden. But for those not really raised in church world, some of the more subtler digs at mega-rich ministries might go unnoticed. And for those of us still mired in the after-effects of the mega-church world, watching these truly horrible human beings traipse all over the name of Jesus with total disregard is actually pretty therapeutic.
The first episode starts with the three Pastors Gemstone in a neon-lit wave pool in China, adorned in white, baptizing 5000 Chinese people with all the intimacy of an assembly line. We learn later that it was Mama Gemstone who always wanted to evangelize in China, and they laud their “mission work” spectacle to their congregation as a total success with a cheesy slideshow set to MUSIC! Ex-evangelicals recognize the sham that short-term international missions create: photo ops.