I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the audacity of the prominent, Atlanta based, televangelist who asked for 200,000 people to give $300 each to purchase a $65 million luxury jet so that he could, according to his website, “safely and swiftly share the Good News of the Gospel worldwide”.
I don’t name names because I don’t want to give any further attention to such hi-jinx. If you want to know the “who” behind this idiocy, all you have to do is a google search. And, as always, I want to address the underlying issues of this mess rather than blast some brother who is held captive by a ridiculous religious order and has an erroneous, highly inflated opinion of his gift and calling
At the outset of his fundraising campaign, he pulled the “God told me” card but, evidently, God has changed His mind now since the televangelist received serious backlash from the public (both within and without “Christian” circles) causing him to shut the campaign down.
So, apparently the $65 Million Question seems to be answered.
No! He doesn’t NEED a $65 million jet to preach the (his) gospel around the world, nor does he NEED it in order to fulfill his calling or ministry. Such notions are utterly absurd and have epidemically kept God’s People enslaved throughout Church history making bricks to build men’s kingdoms rather than liberating them to be formed as Living Stones and fashioned into God’s House.
I mean, Apostle Paul didn’t raise money for a new yacht in order to “safely and swiftly share the Good News of the Gospel worldwide”. God had Paul cross the Adriatic Sea on his way to Italy aboard a ship that would eventually sink near Malta. Okay, that was tongue-in-cheek but you get the drift, right? There seems to be a different idea nowadays among a certain ilk of ministry participants about what it takes to spread the Gospel as compared to Apostle Paul.
Having been part of the religious jet-set for a brief period of time, I’ve ridden on the private jets and was steeped in the mindset that fuels such nonsense. I’m not proud of that fact. It was a necessary part of my education. I understand fully all of the presented reasoning behind a man of God needing a private jet. I understand it. I also reject such reasoning.
I don’t want to debate the issue as if there is any credibility on the side of favoring such a notion. Having learned my lessons, I can tell you that such thinking isn’t congruent with biblical, Kingdom concepts and therefore cannot be representative of Father’s House.
Beyond the hubris that cause the “big boys” to sit around and compare their airplane’s type, cost and capability among one another (I’ve heard the conversations), what is truly abhorrent is the sheer waste of resources for the convenience of having a personal jet. You must realize that the $65 million to purchase the jet is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s maintenance that must be performed on a precision instrument such as jet airplane. You must have a place to park the jet when not in use. Then, there’s the fuel to fly it. Then, you have to pay a skilled pilot to fly it. Permits for the plane. Insurance for the plane. The list goes on and on. Anything and everything involved in operating a $65 million jet aircraft is not cheap and it is a perpetual cost.
And who is footing the bill for this cost? Yep, God’s people who are inaccurately operating under the misguided belief that fulfilling the great commission means them tithing and offering their wallets empty in order to send God’s highly-anointed ones forth into all the world to do their thing. A broken “church” system based upon worldly reasoning operates that way but it is NOT the way of the Kingdom.
Would you like a glimpse of the reasoning behind a brother making such an appeal? I mean, he didn’t just up and decide to ask for $65 million for an airplane. There’s been years of teaching and instructing the masses in how things work for him. I previously alluded to this anointed Vision Caster back in May 2013 in a post entitled, Oh, Vision! Where Art Thou? These are his own words and just a portion of the foundational principles upon which his ministry is built.
“You don’t come to this church to be fed. You come here to help me fulfill this vision. That is, if God called you here. You haven’t been called here so you can be fed the word. Now, if you get fed in the midst of it, that’s good. But you’ve been called to find your part in bringing this vision to pass in the earth. That’s why you’ve been called to the church. If you don’t understand you have a part to play in this vision to come to pass ……..that’s why God called you. When God calls a person to a church, your called to that church to help that pastor fulfill that vision.”
I don’t want to get going on the whole Vision Casting issue again but, you can see how that such teaching represented from the quote could set the stage for a the Big Spiritual Kahuna to petition for a $65 million airplane and/or other abuses perpetrated on God’s People. Such standard operating procedure is purely man placing their hands on Father’s business and forming a religious, church order and has absolutely no relevance to Kingdom operation and Father’s heart.
Here’s the point: The Body of Christ must be set free from the organized, religious manipulation of apparently “anointed” men who, according to Apostle Peter, will operate …..”in the sphere of covetousness, with molded words will exploit you..” (2 Peter 2:3; Wuest Expanded Translation)
Granted, a petition for such a luxury as a $65 million airplane along with all of it trappings is an extreme example so you can imagine how many “lesser” violations occur in the context of such a system. And, while there is a portion of believers who are protesting such a gross display in the name of God as this request, there are those believers who maintain support of the idea. The sad truth exists that such carnal administrations in the name of God will never cease and believers will subject to them for as long as they are willing to accept them. Unless there is a pulling down of the strongholds of inaccurate teachings with which they have been inundated, a changing of thinking from “church” concepts over to kingdom realities and a willingness to walk away from obsolete orders of doing, believers will resign themselves to what they have always known.
For much of church history, the function of “clergy” was outlined with clarity, was vital to the life and heart of the community and respected. In modern Western culture, the extreme role of “Christian celebrity” has evolved into a position of enviable high status and unquestionable authority. Such celebrities have become the ministry and we have been told that an existence such as theirs’ should not only be readily accepted and appreciated but actually held sacred.
For some groups who seem to be progressive in certain theological areas, such celebrities are identified as apostles, prophets or even spiritual fathers. Yet, remaining behind the flowery words and teachings, spiritual elitism prevails and personal agendas are put forth and people are driven to bring them to pass.
My prayer is for the People of God to awaken to the reality of Christ in them, the hope of glory ……..for Father’s Purpose to be fulfilled and not for the Christian celeb to get his jollies and build his reputation because of how far his kingdom extends and it is convenient for him to have his own personal airplane.
I’ve been fortunate enough to see glimpses of the priesthood of all believers get beyond a doctrinal concept and actually operate in the context of community. Experiencing believers operating as the agency of Father’s Life to other believers and to the world has me thoroughly convinced that It will take an organism, not any man’s religious organization, to finish Father’s business in the earth. With that in mind, I think a far better pursuit of an equipper’s time would be spent encouraging believer’s to mount up on their spiritual wings as eagles rather than trying to bilk $65 million out of them so that he can fly the friendly skies in style.
Keep your peace!