Prosperity Gospel private jet owners

Are preachers of the prosperity gospel truly doing the Lord’s work by crowdfunding private jets and living in luxury?


Jesse Duplantis recently asked his followers for money to purchase a new $54 million private jet, explaining that God wanted him to have it. He later backtracked on those comments, saying that he just wants his followers to “believe” for the jet, not necessarily pay for it. However, given that he’s still accepting money from followers (and since free jets don’t tend to appear out of thin air), we’re not so sure “believe” isn’t a codeword for “donate.”

Jesse Duplantis Ministries already owns three private jets. This would be the fourth. Why does he need another one? To better spread the gospel, of course. Oh, and in his words, regular commercial planes are known for carrying “demons.” Yikes.

But Duplantis is far from the only prosperity gospel preacher. He’s not even the first to wish for an airplane from his followers!

Traveling in Luxury

Back in 2015, the televangelist Creflo Dollar requested $60 million from his followers to buy a fancy jet. And Kenneth Copeland, another televangelist, just recently acquired his own plane – a Gulfstream V – paid for by donations from his flock. When pressed on the issue, these superstar pastors justify their lavish mode of travel by insisting they need private jets to effectively spread the word of God.

According to Copeland, the famous televangelist Oral Roberts suffered greatly on commercial flights: his spirit was “agitated” by other people on the plane who requested prayers. Apparently, such minor requests are too much for mega-pastors to handle. Better to get away from the needy masses – that’s what Jesus did, right?

Jesus Leading by Example

Er, not exactly. Consider what the Bible says about how Jesus treated people. In the book of Mark, right before Jesus feeds 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, it says:

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.”

By examining another comparison, one gets the idea that Jesus would not approve of preachers traveling on private luxury jets. When Jesus entered Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday, he chose not to ride on a horse or a camel – symbols of wealth and status – but instead rode a lowly donkey, the animal of the masses.

Christian Compassion

There are many other instances in which Jesus talks about helping those who are less fortunate – the Parable of the Good Samaritan being perhaps the most well-known. In the discourse with a ruler recorded in Luke 18, Jesus tells him to “sell everything you have and give to the poor” to have eternal life.

Jesus did acknowledge that money was needed to support the Lord’s work, and also seemed to believe that it was right to pay taxes. In one parable, a man is praised for investing his resources to gain money. But in other scripture, believers are told to depend on God to meet essential family needs. We shouldn’t hoard our resources but invest in the lives of others.

Jesus may not ride a donkey today, but it’s debatable whether he would expect first-class travel accommodations to carry out his mission. The picture painted of Jesus in the Bible does not give the impression that he would expect to be lifted up and put ahead of others.

Prosperity gospel

Prosperity for Whom?

So where does that leave so-called “prosperity gospel” preachers like Jesse Duplantis and Ken Copeland? Are they truly doing the Lord’s work by crowdfunding private jets and living in luxury? Or are they just putting on a “holy act” to squeeze money out of naïve followers?

If the prophecy of the Second Coming is fulfilled, one wonders what might happen to these prosperity preachers. When it’s their turn to be judged by God, will they ascend to heaven? Or will they be left behind with the other “heathens”?

At least they could still travel in style.

 

60 comments

  1. John Owens says:

    I think this is what is meant by taking God’s name in vain. Special place in Gehenna fire for them.

    1. Clownzilla says:

      These people are all phonies

    2. Jeffrey Mitcham says:

      they are all going to hell, and they know it, so why not enjoy it while they can, eternity is a loooonnnggg time. burn in peace!

  2. WILLIAM A.THOMPSON says:

    God will provide those that adhere to his word what ever they ask of him. It is then that the commitment to serve in his name takes place, We must avoid judgement.

    1. Robert wilbur says:

      Righteous judgement is accepted this is robbery.they hurt the ministry when there wishful followers are left still poor.
      Robbery in God’s name

      1. PJ says:

        ???? You probably support them, and don’t “Study” the word yourself!

    2. Starla Lowry says:

      True, God will supply and the funds may come from contributors, but God will supply. A minister should not say that God is going to give him what he needs and ask his followers for the money. The Bible teaches to ask God — nowhere does he say to ask the people.

      1. bob fluetsch says:

        Excellent! My mom used to say: ‘God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s supply!’

  3. Reverend Ian says:

    “Oh Lord won’t you buy me a mercedes benz my friends all have porch’s I must make amends”.
    Cars drive down roads. Travellers fly to and from. Greedy self indulgent bastards steal from the people
    and benefit themselves.

    This is wrong.

    God Bless,

    Rev Ian

    1. mark hitchcock says:

      I agree it angers me to see churches and ministers spending and asking large amounts of money maybe if they really cared about people besides themselves they might think some poor member of their church might be homeless but put a dollar in the collection plate

  4. Gerard Spits says:

    Jesus went on foot. A bit hard these days, but a million dollar airplane …….
    crazy ! !!

    1. Kathleen Heseltine says:

      Try MULTI-MILLION dollar airplanes and homes and first class travel at the drop of a hat. It’s shameful knowing how much need there is in the world for the basics of life like clean water and nourishing food. We see too many preaching the gospel but not adhering to it’s tenants. It’s showboating at it’s worst and totally disgusting knowing how much good all that money could do towards helping those in need.

  5. George Massarone says:

    They have always preached to beware of the false prophets. They are the false prophets to which they refer to.

  6. Father Fred says:

    No. They are simply the modern version of the travelling snake oil salesman. Having worked in broadcasting, and specifically a station which brokered “pay to preach”, it’s insane the number of people who are taken in by people using the power of the pulpit for their profit.

    1. Carol Waldenburg says:

      Good phrase, The Power of the Pulpit. Truly, this is a type of heinous spiritual blackmail and I believe these people will be held accountable by God.

    2. PJ says:

      Amen! People are taken in to these ministers because they do “NOT” know the word of God!!!!! Study the word for yourselves people!!

  7. Joe Flabenowitz says:

    Jesus didn’t need a jet.
    That is all I will say.

  8. Glenn Sego says:

    DO NOT BUILD MANSIONS FOR YOURSELVES HERE FOR THERE ARE MANY ROOMS (MANSIONS) IN MY FATHERS HOUSE IF IT WERE NOT SO I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU SO.
    CHRIST DID NOT EVEN HAVE A BED OF HIS OWN TO LAY HIS HEAD WE ARE TO BE AS CHRIST IN ALL THINGS , THE APOSTLES DIDN’T A LOT OF MONEY THEY DIDN’T HAVE LAVISH CHARRIOTS INSTEAD THEY FOLLOWED THE TRUE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST .
    IT IS EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO FIT THROUGH THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE THAN IT IS FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN . YOU SEE THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE IS A PASSAGEWAY THAT ONE MUST GO THROUGH SIDEWAYS BECAUSE IT IS SO NARROW , AND A RICH MAN CAN NOT LET GO OF HIS BELONGINGS TO FIT THROUGH .

    CHRIST TAUGHT US THROUGH PAUL THAT WE ARE TO REJOICE IN OUR SUFFERINGS , HE TAUGHT US TO DENY SELF NOT TO INDULGE OURSELVES .

    DO I AGREE WITH THESE MEGA CHURCHES AND PROSPERITY TEACHERS ? NO I DO NOT , IN FACT I WARN THEM OF THEIR WAYS AND TRY SHARING THE TRUE GOSPEL WITH THEM UNFORTUNATELY FOR THEM THEY REFUSE TO LISTEN. ALL I CAN DO IS PRAY FOR THEM AND CONTINUE , SHARING THE TRUTH WITH ALL WHO HAVE EARS TO HEAR AND EYES TO SEE THE TRUTH .

    I LOVE YOU ALL WITH THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IN HEAVEN ABOVE ,
    MAY HE CONTINUE TO BLESS US ALL WITH MORE UNDERSTANDING OF THE TRUTH AND MAY HE BLESS US ALL WITH MORE COMPASSION FOR ALL IN THE NAME OF YAHSHUA (JESUS) AMEN.

    1. PJ says:

      Amen! The Love of money has blinded these greedy ministers, not Men of God!

  9. Doug Barron says:

    These charlatans are a piss yellow stain, and a deep embarrassment.
    They fall below even the pharisee, who Jesus said; “you are of your feater the devil!”
    These fellows disgust me.

    How can a thinking follower of Jesus support any one of these shiesters?

    It is totally beyond me!

  10. John says:

    There is no place in heaven for these pulpit thieve who show anything but love. They deceive the poor and change the gospel to suit their personal desires and riches. Enjoy your riches in hell.

  11. David says:

    Why do people believe in these false people. They are as far removed from gods will as it is possible to get. They are a disgrace to all Christians and should be driven off air

  12. Michelle Hayes says:

    The Bible warns us of false prophets that will be teaching and preaching towards Christ return. This is a perfect example of false prophets at work.

  13. brewandpotionmistress says:

    $54 million dollars would go far in feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, & giving comfort to those who are struggling. Money which would be far better spent on raising up our brothers & sisters in need instead of on giving a cushy commute to someone interested only in maintaining his own opulent lifestyle.

  14. Tamara Lesley says:

    A person becomes a Pastor at some time in their life when they feel God called them to minister to those who do not know God’s word. They feel they were called to share God’s love with others, to teach them to love others and to have compassion for those who have less than most people and to share either monetarily or by speaking to them about God’s love for them.
    No man or woman that is called to preach or are just good speakers have the right to own more and live more extravagantly than the people who attend their Church services. They are not to be looked upon as a God force but as a person who shares God’s love. They should live according to the amount the Church offered to pay them weekly which allows them to live comfortably.
    When a Pastor begins asking their congregation for money to fund extravagant items they have become greedy and hold power over their people who attend the Church. Being greedy is a sin as written in the Bible yet their followers worship them and will do and give to the Pastor whatever is asked of them believing it will only bring them closer to God.
    When a Pastor begins to ask for money from the people that love him because he has acted like the Chosen One then they should leave that Church to find a Pastor that is there to serve God and to teach them to love one another and to give to those that are in need.
    Be ware of those that ask for more money to live on than those who go to Church. Most people pay their tithes giving more to the Church than they can even afford, sometimes taking money out of their funds reserved for groceries on Sunday to attend Church. I have seen this first hand even through my mother giving more than she could afford.
    A Pastor is supposed to minister to his flock who follow and love him and in return counsel those who need counseling for marriage problems, depression among other reasons. I have a family member who acts as a Pastor and lives on a far higher income than any of us in the family. We know he is stealing from the congregation but as long as he acts higher and mightier than others he preaches to he receives enough money for new cars, a new home and even vacations. All of these worldly items are given to him because he acts like a man that seeks God in their behalf to heal them and to teach them the word of God.
    No man should be worshiped and given large sums of money because he preaches God’s word. A true Pastor is humble and giving to those he shares God’s love with. You will find these men in smaller Churches that follow in Jesus’ footsteps teaching his congregation the word of God and living on the same level as those whom he teaches and preaches the word of God to.
    Greediness is a sin and the Pastor that lives beyond others means is selfish, self-righteous prideful men who will one day answer to God. They are stealing from those who struggle to pay more tithes than they can afford and do without what they need to live on.
    In my mind this is robbing from the poor to give to the rich. These Pastor’s feel they deserve to be considered a divine individual who is destined to become wealthy. They have brain washed their people that they are worthy of God’s love more than those who worship God under their direction. They hold him higher and more worthy to receive and live better than they do because they want to enter the gates of Heaven when they die. These condescending thieves who say they are working for God don’t even hold a job. They only attend Church to speak two or three times a week and expect to become rich from those who worship God and Him as a disciple of God. One day when they pass over they will be turned away from entering the gates of Heaven by God telling them they have sinned by pretending to be one of his disciples.
    Do not become led to believe a man who expects to be loved and held high in esteem and claims to be a follower of God is entitled for you to maintain his prosperity through offerings or tithing. He should love his congregation and be willing to minister to them in Church, counsel them when needed and find ways to help those who are in need of food, clothing or housing in many different ways. A true Pastor is there to serve God and to serve you also by sharing God’s love and guiding you to make the right choices in the way you choose to live and act. He is a servant to God and acts accordingly.

    1. Steven Lovelace says:

      Amen to that.

      Unfortunately these greedy preachers that preach at these mega-churches are stealing from much more than just their congregation.
      Or greedy preachers period.

      They are stealing from the neighborhood local small churches.
      And from the neighborhood that support them.
      You cannot give what you have not.
      Whether it be food, clothing, or finacial side to the widow with children, working 2 jobs,
      Or giving presents at Christmas time.

      How many small churches keep getting smaller til they close their doors ?
      The pastor barely supports his own.

      1. Mark says:

        I am thinking What ? If instead of building many Mega Churches we built mega homeless and low income housing buildings with a space provided for Church services and counseling and a minister would be provided a place to live on property free of charge What a better way to show those who can afford to donate . How the money , goods , or services they donate are being used for. I don’t mean a Church camp or compound but a place where the people who have extra to share or contribute and those who are truly in need can have a common ground to help or guide each other . If a man or woman can convince people to give for a Mega church building that sits almost empty except Sunday and Wednsday Why not use that same idea to convince us all which concept would be more like the teachings of Christ The wealthy still get a tax break and the less rich get a home and so does the Minister. Maybe it’s not a good idea but What would Jesus do with his donation. I know which one I would give to I am a believer , a taker , and a giver. Not perfect but still have some hope that if not in my lifetime but maybe my grandchildrens the world will change for the good of all people But the odds aren’t looking good today But without Hope and Faith the World would be worse I believe. I’m finished writing my thought for now But Say hello to a stranger today it only takes a minute or less and it’s free

  15. jeanne lubeck says:

    The big question is ‘How can we help those who follow such false prophets’? What is blinding them? What fears and hopes are they pinning on these thieves in the temple? As long as there are followers there will be con men (and yes sometimes con women) to lead them.

    1. PJ says:

      Amen! People are seeing and hearing what they want to until they come into the knowledge of the truth.

  16. Rev. Elizabeth S. Arsenault says:

    I truly believe God is not happy with this. One of the greatest sin is Greed. It is pure greed. They can fly commercial or rent a plane. It is cheaper. The money people donate to them is to help the poor and starving. Not stuff their pockets and make them rich. Yes, they deserve an income but not to that extent. This just puts a bad taste in people’s mouths who do not believe in God and think it is all a sham. So many future Christians being pushed away.

    1. PJ says:

      Amen Rev. Liz!!! The Love of money…is the root of all evil, …which some have covered after, have erred from the faith…..

    2. Mark says:

      Yes yes Buy or rent a home in a poverty stricken neighborhood and show by example

  17. Raydeen Edwards says:

    there is men of God and there is hireling, you decide

  18. Andrew Keith says:

    If the people are stupid enough to give then good for these”men of God”,I have been thinking about starting a religion myself,mo money mo money mo money

    1. Rev Ned says:

      Robert Heinlein was pals with L. Ron Hubbard. One day Hubbard was complaining about not enough money. Heinlein told him that if he wanted to become rich, he should start his own religion. …Scientology appeared.

  19. James Casey Farrell says:

    Those preaching from the Bible – according to the scriptures- are worthy and deserving –

    1. PJ says:

      Everyone preaching from the Bible are not real men and women of God! This is why So many people are being deceived today.

  20. Rev Ned says:

    Who cares about Trump’s tax info. I wanna see Joel Osteen’s tax info. BTW, his picture should’ve been up there too.

    1. Jerry Brooks says:

      I could not agree more

  21. Jerry Brooks says:

    I cant help but laugh like this is the first time people of done this we talk on some site but never come together and change it dont pretend it doesent happn every day in your local church’s what a joke no suprise

  22. Rev Ned says:

    My favorites of these entertainers are Jack van Impe and he wife Rexella.

    1. Rev Ned says:

      Should read “his wife”.

  23. MC says:

    I know a minister who said that the Lord told him not to mention anything about money when you travel. He said that the Lord told him just let the plate pass and give the people a chance to give. Don’t mention anything about what you need or want. He said that the Lord told him that He knew what he needed and would take care of him. Before he passed away, he called at least 2 of the three in your picture together and told them that they were leading people astray about money and not scriptural about it and it shows that they didn’t listen.

  24. Bill Fox says:

    If you want to donate, it’s voluntary. If you don’t want to donate, that’s voluntary, too.

  25. Gwendolyn Lord says:

    “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter heaven”.

    So, what did Jesus say to His followers….I believe it was along the line of give up everything and follow me.
    How did Jesus react to the money lenders in the Temple?

    In the Old Testament, what happened to those who worshiped the Golden Calf?

    Just sayin’…….

  26. Reverend Buzz says:

    We can only be treated the way we let others treat us. As long as there are those who continue to support such ministries, they deserve what they get. Remember, the platinum rule is superior to the golden rule. “Do unto others as THEY want done unto them,” NOT, do unto others as you would want done unto you.

    A basic premise of the ULC is “Do The Right Thing.” Apparently their are just too many who can’t determine the difference between what is right and what is wrong. If I may be so bold, GREED is wrong!

    1. bob fluetsch says:

      Far above the ‘platinum rule’ is my old dad’s rule: ‘Do unto others BEFORE they do unto you’!

      1. Reverend Buzz says:

        I trust your comment was in jest. Otherwise it may seem as though you are advocating a negative behavior towards others.

        Do that which is right.

  27. Joy says:

    They do not deserve it. They should use that minmy to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    1. Reverend Buzz says:

      I did not mean that the prosperity ministers deserved the gains from their greed. I meant, those who continue to support those ministers will only receive in return empty promises.

      Proof again that, if something can be misunderstood, it will be.

      Do that which is right.

  28. Canadian Yankee says:

    People listen to these men and women because they fill a need. I don’t begrudge them one dime but i would not follow their path. If people want to listen to them and follow the gospel of prosperity so be it. As Reverend Ike repeatedly said, “God made diamonds for his folk not the devils.” He preached prosperity through work and helped thousands find jobs in NY city. Dis he siphon of some for himself, yes and did he ride around in a big car, yes. He also said why would you trust a guide that would get you out of poverty that was dressed in sack cloth and ashes. Before any of you decide to pound me because Jesus wore a robe and sandals, do you actually know what he wore and the quality of it? Most of the pictures of Jesus were painted hundreds of years after his death. BTW Jesus did travel the an entourage..

    I suspect many of the folks above are just jealous of they peoples success.

    1. Reverend Buzz says:

      I remember my mother listening to reverend Ike on the radio back in the 50s. There are some who believe “professional wrestling” is real. While others enjoy it for the choreographed entertainment that it is. Similarly, there are those who watch prosperity ministers for the entertainment value and inspirational message provided. As long as those watching do not become deluded into thinking these spectacles are for their benefit, let them enjoy watching and even pay an amount commensurate with that entertainment value. But as soon as they start sending in money they can’t afford, they have been deluded and are causing harm to themselves as well as those in their care. Do that which is right.

      1. Mark says:

        You mean professional wrestling isn’t real I have seen a 300 pound wrestler jump from the top rope onto another wrestlers neck slamming him with his knee into his throat and the wrestler on the ground got up and shook it off and came back to win the match without a scratch That shows me that God wants us all to be aware that what we see and hear isn’t always easy for us to understand unless we are knowledgeable about what the real plan is all about or maybe it teaches us to learn some common sense in all of our actions and thoughts The guy on the Top rope doesn’t always win if we follow the plan Jesus has tried to get all of us to follow Amen

        1. Reverend Buzz says:

          So nowhere in your thought process did it occur to you that the outcome of that match was through a carefully staged performance rather than a Devine plan. Faith and trust are wonderful characteristics to have, however, they can lead to gullibility.

          1. Mark says:

            Yes I definitely understand that wrestling is a staged but carefully thought out to insure the safety of both wrestlers . Maybe I didn’t word it right but the point I was trying to make is if we follow God’s plan we will be safe too , but you are correct many people using God’s words to convince others are performing all the moves correctly until it’s time for one to come out a winner and then they change the plan so that it’s not even staged anymore it’s an outright lie , but usually are prepared with a carefully worded explanation of why they are winning and you are losing your cash . Life itself should be a carefully thought out plan Just like wrestling anyone with common sense should know a Jet or a Homeless shelter is a no brainer Jet benefits One and Shelter benefits many. I wouldn’t put blame on the mean and weak with no common sense but A stupid man doesn’t fly a private jet Just like God gave us freewill to give he also gave us freewill to be dishonest and greedy. Why doesn’t a majority of the Church propose to these supposed Christians to sell unneeded asserts and reinvest in the needs of humanity. We can’t save the world alone but we can maybe help one at a time

  29. mark hitchcock says:

    I understand and agree with what you are saying about people having a need for a hope of prosperity here on earth and I do not believe that Jesus would want us to live a poverty stricken life and you are correct that it is not our place to Judge those who use His Word for personal gain. Some of us may not think that is Gods Will for humanity I believe that is where His teachings to Love one another as we Love ourselves .should be a discussion a man or woman preaching and deceiving their followers needs to be reminded of . because if I have a thousand bottles of water in my own water bank and my flock is thirsty then by His teachings I would have to make a choice . Do I keep all the water for myself or share with my thirsty flock of followers who have heard me say many times that that it is better to give than receive . Yes its good to receive but I believe if one man has the ability to obtain more bottles of water than another fellow human being and that other human is not Lazy then I would be keeping His Word if I gave a portion of my water to others . If a man or woman that has been Ordained to carry the Word is unwilling To give and not just a bottle or two then maybe they dont have Faith or believe the Word themselves . Its a difficult world we all inhabit together . I hope that I can continue to learn and be faithful to His Teachings to share not only words but the tangible gifts God has provided for all on this earth to share. . and a good guide cant make you follow him or her in his sack cloth but if I have no money to pay the well dressed guide then I either learn quick how to get where I am going or have Faith that God put the ragged guide here for me and you because he or she is so busy guiding the lost to safety or prosperity that he or she is content with helping others without being thanked or rewarded for his help . That is a hopeful thought to myself . Need Before Greed Amen

  30. Khalil Goddard says:

    They are disgusting and those who give them money are naive in the extreme.

    1. Mark says:

      Pray and try to share the real word of God with both sides of the isle and maybe lead by example Sometimes words spoken aren’t heard Peace and prosperity would be nice money can’t buy or sell our Souls

  31. Rev Koaneti Akuila says:

    Rev Koaneti Akuila
    I came from one of the underdeveloping country, Tonga located at South Pacific sea. My understanding of the Church and its meaning is to serve God in according to God’ wills and to serve people according to their needs. We are deserving many blessings from God if we truly follow God’s wills is that meaning to share those blessings with others’ needs. By doing this, is to minimizing a gap between rich and poor or come equally in the presence of the Living God. There is no identifying service in following God’s wills and to serve the needs of people via prosperity gospel. Those false prophets are serving themselves by disgracing, stealing, killing and controlling lives of less knowledge and very emotional people.
    This is a good example of love of money and the working of the devil and Satan kingdom. They are some of the wolves wearing sheep’s skins.

  32. kathleen kelley says:

    They are damned already.

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