Piety, integrity, and humility are admirable traits. Ironically such traits are rarely found amongst televangelists; but I’m sure you already knew that.
Texan televangelist Kenneth Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries has taken preying on the poor and desperate (as opposed to praying for them) to a whole new level; he has his own private jet plane, according to a church announcement, courtesy of his ministry which purchased the “debt-free” jet plane for at least 6 million dollars according to the Christian Post’s analysis, though the exact price that was paid is unknown and likely closer to its original 36 million dollar price.
“Father we thank you so and I’m asking you now sir, according to your word, bless our partners beyond measure. Yes, in the name of Jesus. For you said in 2002, ‘I’m sending you new partners who are very strong financially and they will obey me. And I will increase your longtime partners and they will obey me,” Copeland, 81, said in a prayer of thanksgiving for the new jet.
Copeland had explained his “need” for the jet in a Dec 29 2015 televised broadcast of “Believers Voice of Victory”.
“We’ve got to have this! The mess that the airlines are in today. I would have to stop — I’m being very conservative — at least, 75-80, more like 90 percent of what we are doing. Because we can’t get there! That’s why we are on that airplane. We can talk to God!” Copeland said.
“Now, Oral [Roberts] used to fly airlines. But even back then it got to the place where it was agitating his spiritual. People coming up to him, he had become famous, and they wanting him to pray for them and all that,” Copeland explained. “You can’t, you can’t manage that today. This dope-filled world, and get in a long tube with a bunch of demons. And it’s deadly.
“I wanted to make that clear so the devil can’t lie to you and say, ‘See them there preachers spending all that money, just fat cats riding around.’ No, we’re not; we’re in business,” Copeland said.
Now, getting a jet plane funded by your donors is one thing. Unfortunately, maintenance, jet fuel and upgrades to the plane will not be directly supplied by God- according to Charlie Bollinger, Kenneth Copeland Ministries’ partner and volunteer, they will need 2.5 million dollars more for upgrades that will apparently bring the plane up to FAA standards. A further 17 million will be needed to maintain the plane.
“So, as Elite CX Team members, 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,” Bollinger urged Copeland’s donors.
“Beyond the purchase of the Gulfstream V and its upgrades, remember that the overall Mission 3 goal is $17 million. By sowing the balance of those funds as the CX Team, we will be sowing toward: the construction of a new hangar, upgrading the existing runway, and purchasing special GV maintenance equipment,” he said.
Admittedly they are sowing their seeds, though it seems strange that televangelist donors enjoy precisely where these seeds are being sown.
According to the Secular Policy Institute, tax-exempt religious institutions would have had to contribute 71 billion dollars of tax revenue if they did not enjoy their privileged status. It is unfortunate that many religious institutions do not spend the money their donors had entrusted them with in a manner that aids the needy or benefits the community. Researchers at Secular Humanity point out that “The Mormon Church, for example, spends roughly .7% of its annual income on charity. Their study of 271 congregations found an average of 71% of revenues going to ‘operating expenses’” while “the American Red Cross, which uses 92.1% of revenues for physical assistance and just 7.9% on operating expenses.”
There are many smaller churches and religious institutions that do spend their funds on good causes and are transparent with their spending. Those deserve their tax tax-exempt status and the good will of their respective communities. A television-star pastor is just that- an arrogant, egotistical and charismatic individual who spends lavishly on himself. Sadly, as John Oliver notes in the video below, televangelists more often than not require a private jet because somehow flight allows them to broadcast themselves better onto your TV screen.