HAWAII: TV newsmagazine Inside Edition’s Lisa Guerrero recently conducted an ambush interview with Texas televangelist Kenneth Copeland. Her concern was his ministry’s use of private aircraft. The Inside Edition interview spread virally on the internet. This in large part because of short, highly edited, pejorative clips posted on social media by groups like Occupy Democrats. This is yet another attempt by the mainstream media to mischaracterize and slander Christian leaders in America.
As a born-again believing Christian who has been a partner with Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) for almost half of my life, I am deeply thankful for their global ministry, and I would like to set the record straight.
1. Mainstream media criticism of televangelists is driven by a political agenda to squeeze more income taxes out of private individuals.
For years now, mainstream media has selectively attacked various Christian televangelists for their use of private aircraft and suggests that somehow church donors are being defrauded of money “that should be going to the poor.”
In reality, voices in the media who claim Christians should “be giving to the poor” really mean “Christians should be taxed more by the government.”
Pundits who attack Copeland and other ministers frequently use the absurd yet elitist logic that the government is purportedly losing hundreds of millions of dollars every year in revenue because of tax-exempt organizations.
In other words, people who resent ministries owning jets think that private donors have no right to contribute as they feel led. They feel the government should be confiscating that money instead to pay for more government.
As a private donor, the income that I earn from years of studying hard and working hard belongs to me, not the government. Money that I donate to a religious organization, non-profit, or charitable cause is not “lost revenue to the government” it is my personal choice as a free citizen.
Freedom is the right to use my hard-earned property and finances without a zampolit political officer of the state to hover over my shoulder telling me what I can or can’t do.
The mainstream media will attack televangelists over supposedly “lavish” uses of private jets. However, they conveniently turn a blind eye to politicians. Politicians who abuse campaign finances or waste billions of taxpayer dollars. There is an elitist, hypocritical double standard in America which turns a blind eye to the establishment but persecutes the few Christians who are out front.
That suggests to me that this mainstream media witch hunt against televangelism is less about “helping the poor” and hurting people of faith.
2. KCM provides respectable, valuable service to America and is a global leader in humanitarian operations. Owning a private jet is an aviation ministry.
For almost half my life I have been a partner with KCM and I have greatly appreciated the ministry of Kenneth Copeland. Whenever natural disasters occur anywhere in the United States or around the world, KCM provides assistance to ministry partners and to affected communities.
The level of service that KCM provides is so thorough that as a ministry partner if I have so much like a hurricane warning against Hawaii. Or if there is an international crisis in progress which threatens the area that I am in.
Even if it should happen to be my birthday, someone at KCM will call my cell phone to make sure I am okay and to ask me if I need anything.
That is genuine concern – my health insurance provider and my state government, which supposedly “care” about me, don’t even provide that level of individual service despite being far larger in manpower and funding than KCM.
When KCM asked for ministry donors to help fund the purchase of their Citation X I donated to the project. As Kenneth Copeland mentioned in his Inside Edition interview, the use of private jets is necessary for a national or international ministry.
Because large ministries provide both global Christian outreach and worldwide assistance, the ability to have an aircraft that on a near-24/7 basis is important. A plane that can be rapidly fueled, loaded up with ministry staff, volunteers, medical supplies, food, or other essentials especially in times of political instability or weather calamity is very necessary.
Ministers, especially those who are well-known by the public, need the ability to travel in private so that they can work, collaborate, and prepare for large events. It is very difficult to work while traveling if everyone knows you and is asking for a moment to speak.
Private Aviation has safety benefits
There is also an important safety reason for making use of a private aircraft. Because many large churches are often concerned about the maintenance of commercial aircraft which see high usage.
The argument for forcing a televangelist to fly on a commercial airliner “just like anyone else” makes as much sense as requiring the president’s cabinet members or active duty general/flag officers to buy tickets and fly with the public.
Private jets exist for a reason, and that is to allow unique individuals and organizations the ability to travel on their own schedule with flexibility and security.
3. I don’t take advice on what “Jesus said” from political activists, media pundits, and politicians who don’t even believe that God exists.
Last and most important of all, the greatest irony in the mainstream media’s absurd attacks on televangelists is that many people who accuse ministers of “not following in Jesus’ commands” don’t even believe in Jesus, let alone “God” in general.
I know what the Bible says about charity, money, and faith. What I do, what I say, and how I donate or spend my money is something that I choose to be accountable to God and His Word over, not pop culture and politics. What I do in and for the Christian faith is truly none of the business of political activists, media pundits, and politicians who don’t believe in God. America has developed an “offense culture” where people actively look for things to be offended about or people to rage against, and the criticism of televangelists in America is truly about handicapping Christians financially and politically.
I’m not going to take seriously a mainstream media that purports to tell me how Jesus wants the Church to spend money when that same media goes out of its way to portray Jesus as a fraud who never existed and thinks that Christians somehow are deluded “anti-scientists” for believing that God is the Creator of the Universe.
Message to the media:
If I’m so wrong about money and faith, then leave me and the tens of millions of other believers in this country, along with our televangelists, to be in peace. As the Bible we Christians believe in says in Acts 5:38-39, “Leave these men alone. Let them go! For if their purpose or endeavor is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God.”