A Louisiana televangelist has kicked up a media storm by asking followers to donate $54 million so that he can spread the Gospel worldwide riding in a new private jet.
Jesse Duplantis, an Evangelical pastor who co-founded the Covenant Church, Christians United for Israel, Covenant Compassion Center and hosts the Jesse Duplantis television program, had already purchased three private jets by 2006.
In remarks the mainstream media has touted as controversial, Pastor Duplantis has gone on the record saying that “I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the earth today he wouldn’t be riding a donkey. Think about that for a minute. He’d be in an airplane preaching the gospel all over the world.” He chuckles in the video to convey the hint of humor.
In 2016 Duplantis and his counterpart Kenneth Copeland said that adhering to the tedious schedules of commercial airlines would inhibit their need to seamlessly travel and spread the Gospel. In a recent video posted to his website, Duplantis says that Jesus spoke to him about the new aircraft and specifically named the make and model.
“It was one of the greatest statements the Lord ever told me, he said, ‘Jesse do you want to come up where I’m at,’” the preacher says. “‘I want you to bleed me for a Falcon 7X.’”
The evangelical preacher points out that such purchases are the sole property of the ministry and they are imperative to effectively spreading the Word of God all over the world.
“All it’s gonna do is it’s going to touch people, it’s going to reach people, it’s going to change lives one soul at a time,” Duplantis said.
Who Is Pastor Jesse Duplantis?
In all fairness to Pastor Duplantis, he is no charlatan. He was honored by Oral Roberts University with a Doctorate of Divinity degree in 1999 citing his “many years of effectively sharing God’s message of salvation through Jesus Christ to the world.”
He began his career in the ministry by delivering a sermon on TBN in 1976 and was dubbed “The Apostle of Joy” by John Hagee. He utilized that slogan as he developed his following and has been working full-time as an evangelical preacher since 1978. His published works include:
- Ministry of Cheerfulness.
- Heaven: Close Encounters of the God Kind.
- Breaking the Power of Natural Law: Finding Freedom in the Presence of God.
- Jambalaya for the Soul.
- God Is Not Enough, He’s Too Much!
- Wanting a God You Can Talk to.
- One More Night with the Frogs.
- What in Hell Do You Want.
- The Battle of Life.
- The Everyday Visionary.
- Why Isn’t My Giving Working?: The Four Types of Giving.
Clearly the 68-year-old evangelical minister puts in long hours in the service of God and has a proven track record. But the question many Christians are asking themselves is whether $54 million private jets are necessary or excessively spending?
Understanding Money and God
Christians tend to have mixed feelings about wealth and service for God. On the one hand, many feel that vows of poverty are appropriate to avoid preachers being tempted by the trapping of wealth and power. Others see a natural correlation between prosperity and serving the lord. They believe that earthly comforts are a type of blessing bestowed on them for their faith and devotion.
The thinking also runs through community members who enjoy blessings such as good health, thriving businesses and rich fellowships among friends and family. Succinctly put, God is good and shares his kindness. Consider the wealth and good works of these two well-known Christian leaders.
- Benny Hinn:The Israel-born Christian was raised in an Eastern Orthodox tradition and is reportedly worth $42 million. After immigrating to Toronto, Canada, he converted to Pentecostalism. The high school dropout later founded the Orlando Christian Center, is widely recognized for his “Miracle Crusades” and hosts the “This Is Your Day” program.
- Joel Osteen:This Texas-born best-selling Christian author and preacher heads the Lakewood Church with a following upwards of 43,000. His total net worth reportedly exceeds $40 million and he ranks among the most heard preachers in the world. His ministry is widely televised and carried on SIRIUS radio worldwide. His sermons focus on positive devotion to God.
The point is that the wealth associated with Christian leaders appears to be related to large followings and outreach. Donations tend to help expand the reach of popular preachers and bring more people into the Christian fold. Everyday Christians must decide for themselves whether funding an airplane is the best way to help spread the Gospel.
~ Christian Patriot Daily