Recently I read where a prominent and popular televangelist is asking 200,000 of his television viewers (I call them “his fans”) to donate at least $300 each for a special fundraising campaign. And what might that campaign be for? So his organization can purchase a new luxury airplane for his use. The cost? A mere $65 million dollars! The celebrity preacher, who is a leading advocate of the Word of Faith Movement, claims he needs the new Gulfstream G650 jet to replace the aging airplane his ministry now owns. By the way, the Gulfstream G650 is considered to be the top of the line for luxurious executive class airplanes in the world.
No doubt he is promising his followers that, if they make that $300 “seed” donation (on top of what they already send him), then God will certainly return it back to them in greater prosperity. This line of thinking and fund raising is typical of those of the heretical Word of Faith mentality. They unapologetically promote an unbiblical and unethical theological perspective that the more you give, the more you get. Sadly, it is all done in the name of Jesus. Somehow, I think Jesus would be, or, I should say, is appalled by that kind of distortion and exploitation done in His name.
Now understand, I have no problem with legitimate Christian ministries and churches soliciting funds. Its the only way they can get the resources they need for their work and to pay their employees. However, I have great trouble with organizations whose leaders live in elaborate mansions and fly around the world in luxury jets. It is tragic that so many of God’s people, who sincerely love and worship Jesus, can be so manipulated by smooth talkers who twist the Bible and make untenable promises. We have to ask, does that preacher really need a $65 million dollar jet? Why can’t he just fly on commercial airlines like the rest of us do? Is he that special?
Think of all the ways that money could better be used to further the Kingdom of God. What about the thousands of Christian missionaries around the world whose salaries would be easily covered by that enormous amount of money? Think about the many Christian hospitals and nursing homes that would benefit from even a small portion of those funds. Think of all the local churches that desperately need the gifts of their members to pay their pastors and staff who work long hours ministering directly to their congregations and communities. Shamefully, so much of those resources goes instead to unscrupulous TV personalities who live like kings and will never have any contact with their donors at all.
Christians have a duty to be vigilant in their stewardship of the resources God has entrusted to them. That includes where they give their money and how it is used by those they support. Also, God will judge harshly those charlatans who fraudulently deceive His people! Christian stewardship matters!