On this, the eve of a new year, I want to ask you a serious question: God wouldn’t fly coach so why should his preachers? Now, don’t laugh, I’m being serious! Well, OK, not really. However, “prosperity gospel” movement preachers Jesse Duplantis and Kenneth Copeland are as serious as an eclipse in Egypt.
These superstar ministers are perfectly comfortable in their justifications for traveling the globe to various ministry sites in multi-million dollar private jets. As Duplantis calls his, the “plane that God so graciously gave us.” That alone should make his followers feel peace that passes all understanding. After all, if God is handing out private jets, then followers’ hard-earned tithes are going to help the poor of the world!
Sadly, the peace isn’t the only thing that passes all understanding; Duplantis’ and Copeland’s logic also requires an interpreter.
As you hear Copeland explain in the video, “Now Oral [Roberts] used to fly [commercial] airlines. But even back then it got to the place where it was agitating his spirit, people coming up to him, he had become famous, and they wanted him to pray for them and all that. You can’t manage that today, this dope-filled world, and get in a long tube with a bunch of demons.”
Really? It’s agitating to the spirit of a Minister of the Gospel to “pray for [people] and all that?” Really? I may not be a Bible scholar, but I do recall that one of the big tenets of Jesus’ teaching was helping each other in times of need, whether by physical labor or prayer. One is forced to wonder how many of Duplantis’ and Copeland’s followers, those generous souls who gave God a helping hand in providing those jets, are among the “demons” flying commercial airlines.
It’s not for luxury that these men of God do these things. Copeland goes so far as to say that he could “scratch [his] flying itch” by taking a spin in his open-cockpit, single-engine plane. No, he insists, he and his ilk fly private jets because “We’re on that airplane so we can talk to God.” Apparently, God demands that one unbuckle one’s seat belt and pace around the cabin in order to have a good conversation, something one just cannot do in coach.
According to Copeland, he’d have to stop “90% of the stuff we do” if forced to fly commercially. “We’re in soul business here. We got a dying world around us. We got a dying nation around us. And we can’t even get there on an airline.”
Peter walked from Joppa to Caesarea (40 miles) in two days, according to the Book of Acts, but Duplantis and Copeland can’t fly coach? Call me Doubting Thomas.
Duplantis though, insists that God is all about private jets. On a recent flight, Duplantis was chatting with the Lord (pacing the cabin, of course), when He brought up the topic of Duplantis’ current private jet.
“As I was going home, the lord, real quickly, he said, ‘Jesse, do you like your plane?’ I thought, that’s an odd statement. I said, ‘Well certainly lord. He said, ‘Do you really like it?’ And I thought, ‘Well yes, lord.’ And he said, ‘So that’s it? You gonna let your faith stagnate?’”
You see, God really wanted to give Jesse a bigger, better private jet, but by “settling” for his current plane, he was thwarting God’s ability to bless him. This status quo, according to God, would lead to spiritual stagnation.
Personally, I find it very hard to believe that God, capable of creating life itself from dirt, couldn’t find a way to overcome Duplantis’ complacency and park a new jet in his hangar. Sadly, I find it much easier to believe that this is Duplantis’ way of telling his followers he’s going plane shopping.
Matthew 6: 5-6
“5When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
Not to question the Almighty’s Abilities, but I’m guessing your reward isn’t going to be a jet. Nor do I believe your “inner room” requires clearance for takeoff.
Happy New Year!
We’ll be back in 2016. Thank you for your support!