Fort Worth, TX—
Kenneth Copeland is the richest televangelist in America, and his net worth is anywhere from $300 million to over $1 billion.
Copeland subscribes to the prosperity gospel, a theological philosophy which argues that Jesus was confused when He said all that stuff about money changers, the rich not getting into Heaven, and how hoarding wealth will send one to Hell.
The Halfway Post reached out to Copeland on a telephone call, and he was very surprised to learn from us that Jesus once said it was harder for rich people to get into Heaven than it was for a camel to get through the eye of a needle.
“Are you sure that part is in the Bible?” asked Copeland. “I don’t remember it at all. It may have been a few years since I last opened my Bible, but I think I would have remembered something so vivid as that. It just doesn’t sound like Jesus. Think about the other parts where Jesus referenced money. Like that time when Jesus turned the jug of water into a jug of gold coins, and made it rain, like the young kids say, on all his Disciples. I love that part. I really take that metaphor to heart. You know, a lot of people will read the Bible and think about Jesus literally, but that’s a mistake because Jesus always spoke in metaphors. Like that metaphor I just described… we shouldn’t take it literally, and think that Jesus really wanted us to share our wealth with the less unfortunate around us. In that instance, Jesus was metaphorically teaching us a lesson, and His Disciples in that anecdote were like his various stock portfolios and savings accounts Jesus was putting all those coins into. It really takes a bit of educated thinking to accurately interpret Jesus’s words.”
Our Halfway Post reporter then asked Copeland if he thought his ministry was behaving in a Christian manner by rebelling against the state-wide quarantine orders, and calling for his cash-strapped congregants currently unemployed to continue donating to the church regardless of their coronavirus-related economic hardship.
“Of course I’m behaving like a Christian,” snapped Copeland. “When Jesus went to the money changers in the Temple in Jerusalem, did he knock over tables or make a big ruckus? Of course he didn’t! He took a cut of their profits, and demanded they tithe 10%! I’m doing exactly what Jesus did! I’m not collecting all this money from my congregants because I want the giant mansion, or the fleet of private airplanes, or the collection of priceless, homoerotic Medieval art, or my giant staff of two dozen hot pool boys from South East Asia, or my weekly plastic surgeries… Jesus wants me to have all that! Jesus is a very understanding savior, you know? Jesus is a great guy, and I try to honor him with my life of conspicuous consumption. On my credit card is a picture of Jesus Christ I customized myself. I like to be reminded of Jesus every time I’m buying something that costs more than a middle class family’s annual income. I love being reminded of Jesus in my every day life. I even wanted to name my ministry after Jesus, but then I realized that I wouldn’t get enough credit or name recognition if I acted like my Christian preaching was all about Jesus, you know? I think Jesus respects good, personal marketing, and I think he’s happy taking a supporting role behind me. Sure, Jesus did a bunch of great things, like die for our sins and whatnot, but I’m the one up on stage. It’s my name on the church, and my face on the logo. I admit, I’m a bit of a star. It’s not Jesus electrifying my congregants’ souls, and opening up their wallets and purses, or blowing away the COVID… it’s me. And I’m trying to build a brand. It’s hard work doing this, and it’s not like Jesus can ride on any of my three private planes, or hang out at my $6 million mansion. He’s metaphysical, so he could never really enjoy my luxuries like I can. And Jesus really loves how I’m giving back to the economy by buying things very few people in the world could afford. And I do spend a lot. But I expect a lot from my money as well, you know? I’m not going to pay all those South East Asian pool boys to stand around doing nothing!”
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(Picture is a screenshot from this skippable video.)