Saturday, March 24, 2007

Satan wins

In the history of Christian heresies, a pattern emerges: A religious movement becomes damned when adherents start to critique the wealth of the orthodox. The Waldensians, the Cathars, the Fraticelli, the Jansenists: The "sin" they all shared was not strange doctrine but the call to poverty.

What's past is present. I never thought I'd recommend a story co-written by John Stossell, but check out this piece on the obscene lifestyles of "Christian" televangelists:
The popular Kenneth Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries lives in a large mansion in Texas. He recently asked his audience to help him spread the gospel by giving him $20 million to buy a new jet. Copeland promised that the plane "will never, ever be used as long as it is in our care, for anything other than what is becoming to you, Lord Jesus."

Our ABC affiliate in Dallas, WFAA, took a closer look. Reporter Brett Shipp obtained flight records that revealed that the Copeland jet, on its way to an evangelical seminar in Australia last October, made a two-day layover in Maui. Then it was on to the Fiji islands for another stop.

After seven days in Australia, the Copelands headed to Honolulu for another three days of what they called "eating and rest."
This story ought to be read in conjunction with this seemingly-unrelated article, "Subprime Bust Forces Families From Homes."
Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
Televangelist Pat Crouch considers that sort of talk diabolical:
Paul Crouch, however, disagrees. In the past, he has fired back, charging that "these critics want us to be humble and poor like Jesus. … Let me tell you how subtle that is from Satan himself. If God's people are poor as Job's turkey, who's going to pay to send the gospel to the ends of the earth?"
So really, if Copeland stops using his private jet for r&r jaunts to Oz and Maui, Satan wins.

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