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THUMBS DOWN: Ben Tankard’s ‘Thicker Than Water’ Gets Slammed By Viewers + He Answers Critics [VIDEO]

Ben Tankard and wife Jewel Tankard appear on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live' with Andy Cohen Nov. 17, 2013 (Photo Credit: Bravo)Article By Andrea McCullough:: EEW Magazine Entertainment Reporter

Just when you thought the foolery of faith-based reality shows like Oxygen’s ‘Preachers of LA” and WE tv’s “Mary Mary” couldn’t possibly get any worse, an arguably bigger disaster had made its way onto the small screen.

And when you combine the crass humor, blinged-out lifestyle and nauseatingly vain focus of Bravo’s "Thicker Than Water: The Tankards," well, it is not difficult to see why viewers have been slamming the show, questioning whether it is making a mockery of Christianity.

The antics of 49-year-old gospel-jazz musician, producer, and songwriter Ben Tankard, his wife Jewel, and their animated family members Benji, Britney, Brooklyn, Cyrene, Diamond, and Shanira, is a turnoff to many who believe the overwhelming vanity undermines the message of the gospel.

On a Nov. 17 episode of “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen, Bravo's late-night, interactive talk show that features guests from the world of entertainment, politics, and pop culture, the Tankards were asked some tough questions.

A Dallas-based questioner queried, “Do you think you’re making a mockery of Christianity by being as materialistic as you are?”

Without missing a beat, Tankard shot back, “No, I’m a man before I’m a Christian. And anybody that’s married and has five children, and three daughters, you know, you need some money ‘cause they love to shop and God understands that.”

Although, on television, some of Tankard's responses drew laughter, the tweets under the #thickerthanwater hashtag during Sunday evening’s airing were less than favorable, and no laughing matter.

Despite the fallout, Tankard appears unphased.

When confronted with viewers' disdain of the focus on wealth, Tankard quoted a bilblical passage found in Proverbs 10:22 as evidence of his belief that God wants people to be rich. The scripture says, "The blessing of the Lord maketh rich and addeth no sorrow."

Tankard also makes the bold assertion that, "If you don't get rich, you're not really taking advantage of Him (Jesus) hanging on the cross."

Watch his response live at the 1:35 mark.

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Reader Comments (14)

This dude shoulda just kept playing music and kept his mouth shut

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlexis

I have loved his jazz artistry for years. He is truly gifted but I think something like this only serves to taint his legacy and bring shame on his family. I wish to God these Christian leaders would stop with all this reality TV foolishness. It is a distraction.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDre

I'm starting to believe that reality TV is a tool of Satan (the prince of the air) to discredit the body of Christ

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

What I have seen and read thus far seals the deal for me. I will not be watching this

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatlyn

I agree with Tricia. This is a tool to distract us from actually serving one another. Its causing such a dischord in the church as if we needed another one.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTy

This show...a shameful mess! I was so disappointed watching this show. The Pastor and his wife spoke so much about acquiring wealth, and material things. What about acquiring Christ, didn't hear any mentioning of that! They are teaching this foolishness to their children and sadly,they will probably teach it to THEIR children as well. I pray that they use some of that money that they boast about, to help the victims in the midwest and others who are in need. Such a shame!

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTomeka

What about the souls who needs to hear the gospel, what about the sick who need healing, back-sliders, who need to repent and come back to their first love. And you don't need to be a minister, to care about the lost. I believe we have let the devil deceive, across the board. Lust of the flesh, Lust of eyes, Pride of life. The flesh has gone wild, some christian don't know what their place with the Lord is any more. They have gone back to their vomit! The world, and the things of the world. Prayer still work, we better get ourselves together, time is getting closer, for our Saviour return.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

Really Ben...? "If you don't get rich, you're not really taking advantage of Him (Jesus) hanging on the cross." The meaning of what was accomplished on the cross is lost in your statement. Please don't repeat that again. Try this one instead..."Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added." We can't pimp God for what's in His hand and that seems to be the message of this show.
I have enjoyed Mr. Tankard's music but I didn't know what the man behind the music really thinks about our Lord until I saw the show (which I won't be watching again). I feel sorry for his children and the materialistic bar he has set for them. We can't hold BRAVO accountable for this fiasco because they are doing what they do...making money. I don't expect them to be a moral compass for the Body of Christ. I DO expect those in the Body...especially those in leadership and influence like Mr. Tankard, to be more discerning and wise in how they present the message of Jesus. This show is embarrassing. #makeitstop

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterA Pastor's Wife

Saddened by this show... terrible!

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeri

The lord is exposing these charlatans!

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereljaye

The Tankards love to be on reality shows. Jewel was on the amateur million dollar club that played on Centric or TV One that promoted millionaires apart of the multi-level marketing schemes, which some churches have practiced.

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Just like so many christians Ben and Jeeel have been seduced by mammon and will find it very difficult to entrr into the kingdom of heaven. If there was one iota of the anointing o Ben Tankard if he was a theeat to the kingdom of darkness in any way you can believe Bravo would not have created a platform for him. So sad

January 6, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjuanita

Looks like all yall haters are eating humble pie. Thicker Than Water ended up being the top rated new reality show of all time for Bravo with 13 million viewers for the season. The Tankards get the last laugh on all the haters. I can't wait for season two to start this winter. I'm glad I'm not a hater. LOL..

October 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Lee

These people make me sick !!! They seem very materialistic I would like to know if they didn't have any money if they would be saying praise Jesus all the time !!!

January 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersaint

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