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Jets vs Jesus

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Skärmavbild 2016-01-05 kl. 16.25.03

A Cessna 550b, one of Copeland’s jets according to the Christian Post.

So it’s no secret that several American prosperity preachers are ridiculously rich. When I’m out speaking about the importance of combining signs and wonders with simplicity and community of goods, my favourite bad example is charismatic Word of Faith leader Kenneth Copeland, who owns a mansion worth six million dollars, two private jets and his own airport, the Kenneth Copeland Airport, where he keeps his jets close to his million-dollar mansion. Most of his money is from ordinary people, who donate thinking that they’re doing something good for God’s Kingdom and that God will bless them with riches as well.

In a recent video, Copeland and Jesse Duplantis give some horrible reasons for why they “need” their luxurious jet planes: they need to stand up and pray, avoid people who want them to pray for them and who are filled with demons, sleep on the plane and travel long distances across America basically every single day. Now, you can stand up and pray on a commercial airline, or sit doing it; ministering to people is obviously a good thing and if you tired just tell them; and rather than spending millions of dollars on these pieces of luxury, I think it would be healthy for these men to travel less and sleep in normal beds more often.

Not only are private jets incredibly expensive when you buy them, but as J. Lee Grady has pointed out, maintenance costs about four million dollars per year, and a flight costs about 100 times more compared to using a normal plane. Flying is very harmful to the environment, and that harm increases enormously when using a private jet instead of a plane that many people fit into; just like buses are better for God’s creation than cars.

And think about the millions of poor people who could have benefited from that money, think about all the Bibles that could have been printed and evangelists that could have been trained. The mistake that these gentlemen are making is when they think that the Kingdom of God is spread the most when they rush all over United States at the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog, bouncing from one church to another. Nothing in the Bible suggests that.

In fact, Jesus transformed the whole world by ministering locally in Israel, walking on foot and sometimes taking a boat (even though He preferred walking even on water). There were horses in His time, but Jesus and the apostles didn’t need speed, just the Holy Spirit (in Sweden, we say that we use “apostle horses” when we refer to walking). 

As followers of Jesus, we should live simple and only use planes exceptionally. And when doing so, of course we should minister to fellow human beings and cast out demons. I love John Wimber’s testimony of how he led a guy to Christ on a plane from Chicago to New York by speaking prophetically into his life. He had not jet and he did more good for the Kingdom than these prosperity heretics will ever do unless they repent from their mammonism and pride.


  1. Bill Samuel says:

    I think perhaps the most useful way to respond to such gross examples is not to condemn these pastors, but to reflect how in our less flashy ways we ourselves justify things we do which may not be faithful to God’s call on our lives.

    • Mark Douglas Vilen says:

      I disagree. They deserved to be called out and questioned for their unnecessary extravagance. Maybe some of us have some nice things we don’t really need, but I find that to be ridiculous in comparison to guys who take private donations and purchase multimillion-dollar jets and such. They should be held accountable.

  2. Mike Rogers says:

    I become very tired of hearing these types of ministries justifying their extravagances as a means to “protect the anointing” on their lives. The anointing is the manifest presence of almighty God. I don’t think He has much concern about being protected. If there are demons on commercial flights then “the anointing” should be there to tear down “high places”.

  3. Agent X says:

    Syncretism. Personally, I think that is the mistake these prosperity preachers are making. It’s a false religion. The real god worshipped is Mammon, but presented with the words and trappings of Jesus so as to smuggle this false god into the holy place.

    I suppose the real question has more to do with how much of a “mistake” that is – as if it were accidental somehow.

    I am certain that I hold some mistaken beliefs and do some mistaken praxis. Sometimes it is just sinful… I do that too, btw. But I repent, hopefully, make amends and find grace to move forward still.

    That is true of both mistakes and sin, really. However, the mistakes, those currently on-going, are below my radar, so to speak. The willful sins are more a matter of conviction and then repentance.

    Point being, prosperity preachers are either sinful idolaters leading sheep astray and must find conviction and repentance before judgment fire or they could be deeply mistaken, and at least they proclaim the holy name (as St. Paul might give allowance for).

    I hesitate to judge. That is the place where angels fear to tread. That is God’s domain, not mine.

    But I gotta say… we have some really clear Bible teaching to the contrary. Teachers are held to that level of standards. Also, I feel certain that other teachers somewhere along the way (not the least websites such as yours) have presented worthwhile challenge to their “mistakes.”

    I am finding it difficult to sympathize with such preachers – say like Jesus might sympathize with an adulterous woman caught in the act!

    On the contrary, there is a very clear love of power going on here rather than a risk with the power of love.

    So…. hmmm…

    I really cant defend such preachers….

  4. I think this type of ministry begs the question; how did the early church operate? They owned property, some rich, some poor. Many rich people in the body ARE extreme givers. Im kinda mulling on the model of church, and why we dont replicate Acts more often. The early Church definitely had offices and levels of authority, but in the 20th&21st century I see a lot more branding and centralization. Which is more effective for mentoring those in authority: 500 churches of 100, or 1 church of 50,000? Do we want 1 famous worship leader, or 500 experienced, spiritually mature worship leaders? A believer needs the chance to operate in his or her calling. Lord, hear this prayer.

  5. Elemi Sam says:

    We would certainly have you come to Nigeria to reeducate those wicked so-called men of God if at all they are. Order of the day in Nigeria is the struggles to acquire wealth in ministry including the acquisition of multiple private jets which according to them, “jets are ultimate necessity for ministry.”
    It is a disgrace to see how ministers worldwide are going about with God’s business.

    These ministers are babies who need complete reeducation of the mind. From all indications it seems prosperity preachers are sick. They need help. We shouldn’t sit back and look at them as if they know their left from right.

  6. bema says:

    Reblogged this on Bengts Blogg and commented:
    Ibland kan jag tycka att han överdriver och missar nyanserna, men jag måste säga att jag hänförs av och uppskattar Micael Grenholms radikalitet i hans kritik av västvärldens rikedom. Det är hans speciella nådegåva, och en profet skall inte skräda orden. När han kritiserar den amerikanske pastorn Kenneth Copeland som äger en villa värd sex millioner dollar, två privata jetplan och en egen flygplats och som praktiskt taget dagligen åker runt hela USA i sina jetplan och försvarar det med att det är nödvändigt för evangeliets skull, då tycker jag inte alls han överdriver. Ta del av hans inlägg på bloggen Holy Spirit Activism som jag här rebloggar.

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The author

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Check out my YouTube channel!

A Living Alternative

God vs Inequality


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