Televangelist Kenneth Copeland announced on his website this week that
his duplicitous fleecing operation Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) has taken possession of a Gulfstream V airplane. (HT: Christian Daily Reporter)
“What a wonderful gift!” Elite CX Team Leader Charlie Bollinger wrote about the purchase on his KCM blog. “We knew the Gulfstream V would come quickly, and now we have it. And it’s all because of you, the faithful KCM Elite CX Team members–combined with the blessings of a FAITHFUL GOD!” Copeland didn’t disclose how much the “ministry” paid for the GV.
KCM explained that the Holy Spirit had confirmed that the Gulfstream V was “the plane the Lord had set aside” for the organization. (Because, you know, God has a giant hangar in the sky from which he sends extravagant gifts to good little televangelists or something!)
“Right away discussions began, and Brother Copeland developed a wonderful personal relationship with the seller, Christian businessman and movie-maker Tyler Perry. Soon a contract was signed, a cash deposit was paid, and the aircraft was brought to Dallas for a very thorough pre-buy inspection process, which has wrapped up in November,” the “ministry” wrote, noting that they had enough money in the bank to pay for the plane in cash.
KCM announced their intent to purchase a new plane, explaining on the blog that the original goal “was to receive enough contributions by Dec. 15, 2016, to purchase a second Citation X at a greatly discounted price of approximately $17 million.” But, alas, God intervened. “The Lord spoke to Brother Kenneth saying, You’re believing for the wrong airplane. The Citation X is too small; you have already outgrown it. The second Citation X will come, but at a later date,” according to the blog. “Brother Copeland said he received a word from the Lord to purchase a different and larger airplane—one with more seating capacity and larger fuel volume. So, the Lord has shifted our priority to a Gulfstream, which is a larger airplane.” [Emphases original.]
Copeland notes that while the Gulfstream is in outstanding condition, the ministry will need to upgrade the avionics and will also need to “reconfigure the interior to better serve KCM’s needs for international flights.” The cost for the upgrades will be approximately $2.5 million (nothing but the best for God’s favorites!). Copeland told his followers, “We need to set our faith NOW on receiving that additional seed so that we can sow it within the next three to four months, as the upgrades are completed.” They are seeking additional funds to lengthen their runway and build a new hangar, according to a video posted to the blog.
“I know that for every Elite CX Team member, the Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land He is giving you (Deuteronomy 28:8). And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28),” Bollinger wrote.
For those unfamiliar with the Prosperity Gospel, that’s code for “If you send us lots of money God will give you whatever you want.” It distorts the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, turning God into some kind of cosmic fairy godmother. Afflicted with cancer? Send Copeland some seed money and God will repay you with a miraculous healing. Behind on your mortgage? Send Copland money and your problems will be solved. God might even have a mansion set aside for you! Cheating husband? Copeland can take care of that too if you send him enough cash. The idea is that God wants his followers to have health, wealth, and prosperity. The key to unlocking those blessings is to send money to televangelists
History, of course, gives lie to this heresy. From its first days, followers of Christ were persecuted and marginalized. The New Testament records that they were stoned to death, beaten, flogged, and imprisoned for their faith. And it got worse from there as the early Christians were persecuted relentlessly in the ensuing centuries — persecution that continues to the present day. Jesus told his followers to expect persecution, saying the world would hate them because they hated him. You can search until Jesus returns and you won’t find the words “seed money” anywhere in the Bible.
Beliefnet names Copeland as the richest pastor in America. “Kenneth Copeland Ministries operates on a 1,500-acre campus near Fort Worth, TX, equipped with a church, a private airstrip, and a hangar for the ministry’s $17.5 million jet and other aircraft,” they wrote. “Copeland resides with his wife Gloria in a $6 million church-owned lakefront mansion.” ET Inside puts his net worth at $760 million.
People like Copeland, Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen and others who push this malignant distortion of Christianity prey on the poor and vulnerable, enriching themselves at the expense of the downtrodden. They beg followers to send their last few dollars while they live a life of luxury. Don’t believe me? Listen to Justin Peters’ interview of Benny Hinn’s nephew, Costi Hinn, who exposed the greed and excesses of his uncle’s “ministry.”
What makes me so angry about this is that Copeland thinks his extravagant jet is necessary to carry out his ministry. Watch this video of Copeland and Creflo Dollar saying as much:
In real-world Christianity, outside the gilded palaces of Dollar and Copeland, missionaries scrimp and save, sometimes for years, to purchase a coach ticket and the supplies they’ll need to get to countries where they choose to minister. And organizations like ABWE International and Mission Aviation Fellowship train pilots and purchase dilapidated Cessnas, rehabbing them so missionary pilots can take aid and the Gospel to the most remote parts of the world. But I guess when your “ministry” is all about hawking wealth and prosperity, you’ve got to sell your “gospel” with shiny jets and gilded palaces.
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