Lifestyles of the Rich and Religious

10/17/2007


"Lifestyles of the Rich and Religious" is the finest ongoing effort in the world in the field of Investigative Cartooning. Of course, it’s the only example in the world of Investigative Cartooning. Each month we comb through our vast archives of rich Christians, searching for the perfect . . . well, searching for the one who deserves . . . uh . . . searching for the one who’s easy to find, and then we subject him or her to the triple whammy of private eye Pete Evans, who puts together the facts and gathers the incriminating photos; drive-in journalist Joe Bob Briggs, who hangs around the outskirts of aforesaid Christian’s vast estate and writes about it; and cartoonist Jim Siergey, who brings this journalistic gospel to life with his fine brush strokes, as he complains loudly about how Pete and Joe Bob expect miracles of penmanship by forcing him to cram in thousands of words of copy. Herewith, everything you probably didn’t want to know about Kenneth Copeland, multi-millionaire preaching czar of Newark, Texas.

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Text by Joe Bob Briggs

Art by Jim Siergey

Research by Pete Evans


Comments(272)

m0a0t7rix | 10:59 pm on 11/12/2007

Right on dude/dudette! Yes there are some who are really poor and in ministry. Be discerning and give when the holy spirit tells you -not because someone is watching or chastising you.

I am sick of false prophets attacking the true flock and claiming jesus gave them a yacht, etc. as they greedily convince people to give their last scheckles thereby keeping it from the flock's own loved ones' hungry mouths. They want your inheritance and they will manipulate and discredit you if they have an audience. They'll not be ashamed to take that gift and give it to their own. And Jesus weeps.

bluestraveler | 06:02 pm on 11/13/2007

The truth is , we've all been "bamboozled". Bamboozled, misled, lied to, manipulated and conned beyond belief. I suggest everyone think about what we've been asked to believe. Let's do our homework. Let's start over. Begin with the premise that there is no god. Now, someone wants to sell you on the idea that there is an invisable, man-like entity somewhere in the sky that sees all 6 billion of us similtaneously and can intercede in our daily lives at will. Why? Why should we believe that? Because our mothers told us to? Our priest? Our rabbi? Where's the evidence? We can't argue a negative, so the burden of proof is on the person trying to sell this unbelievable story. So, prove it. And if they can't then why waste our time? Have "faith" they say. Faith is really just a cop out. Someone's inability to reasonably explain or prove the unexplainable. Again, let's do some homework. Let's "test the spirits". We may find there are none. Then maybe we can quit pointing fingers and finally grow some as a species. We owe it to ourselves. When we were children we all believed in Santa Claus and it felt good. But we grew up and moved on. It's called maturity. Let's all have the courage to ask the right questions rather than just accepting the wrong answers.Let's all THINK and really grow rich! Later. Bluestraveler

Tyler | 11:20 am on 12/04/2007

Obviously you're uneducated, and obviously, despite your huffing and puffing, you're not a thinker. The giveaway is your statement "Begin with the premise that there is no god." This is not only illogical, but ignorant. Had you attended college and taken philosophy courses you might know that. You continue to expose your own personal experience and project that onto everyone else in your revealing statements about believing what you were told by your mother and others, and how you believe they were trying to "sell" you on the lie of this "invisable[sic]" god. Well, that's your own, personal, anecdotal experience. Yet you apply that with a broad brush to all people who believe in God, a god, or even spirituality. Your ignorant remark about "burden of proof" and "we can't argue a negsative" is further indication of your ignorance in logic and reasoning and in philosophy on a greater level. There is no burden regarding proof, and a negative can certainly be argued if it is valid, because it is therefore not a negative. Well, I don't expect you to understand any of that, and I certainly don't want to take on the role of teaching you what others study for years and pay heavily for in time and money. But I'll point you in the right direction and tell you to study philosophy - focus on metaphysics and epistemology in particular.

Maturity is realizing that you don't "know" what you think you know, and realizing that your personal experience is not universal to ll other individuals. Seems like you need to mature quite a bit.

bluestraveler | 02:57 pm on 12/08/2007

Ouch. First of all don't assume someone is uneducated because he or she diagrees with you. And, no I don't believe you can argue a negative. I see absolutely no evidence for a god. None. If you have any proof that there is one somewhere then let's see it. Weak. Very weak! Good luck with your delusions.

Bob | 08:53 pm on 12/12/2007

I see absolutely no evidence for a god. None. If you have any proof that there is one somewhere then let's see it.

Please bear with me as I make a loving comment by using scripture. I can only mention a few here as there are many, many others.

"no evidence for a God"

The heavens are telling the glory of God. They are a marvelous display of His craftmanship. Day and night they keep on telling about God. Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it and moves out across the skies as radiant as a bridegroom going to his wedding, or as joyous as an athlete looking forward to a race! It crosses the heavens from end to end and nothing can hide from it's heat. PSALMS 19:1-6.

"no proof"

Faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for; it means being certain of things we cannot see. It was this kind of faith that won their reputation for the saints of old. And it is after all only by faith that our minds accept as fact that the whole scheme of time and space was created by God's command-that the world which we can see has come into being through principles which are invisible. HEBREWS 11:1-3

Without faith it is impossible to please God. HEBREWS 11:6

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. ROMANS 10:17

Failure to read and study the Bible honestly, to know by personal experience what it says, results in no faith.

Why do I bother with this kind of post....because I was once where you are and reading the Bible honestly changed my life and my eternity. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, not some televangelist.

Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. II CORINTHIANS 5:12

steve(bluestraveler) | 01:56 pm on 12/15/2007

Bob, thanks for the reply. I have read the bible. I'd like to think that I've done so honestly. I did not come to this determination that god probably does not exsist overnight. I've struggled with this now for over four years. Being brought up catholic, one tends to be, like in most religions, systematically brainwashed from a very early age. Deprogramming from any cult takes much effort and time. Thank goodness I'm finally becoming a more free and open minded thinker. I sincerely wish the same for yourself. You sound like a reasonable person to me. It's a shame how much time we waste believing things that are totally unreasonable."The faith and reputations of the saints of old". Who for example? Abraham possibly? I wonder what Sara thought when he "pimped" her out to strangers he feared. More than once I might add. And Lot? Can you say incest? You can't just pick and choose scripture that's convenient and comfortable. Let's look at the whole story please. Again thanks for your response. I always welcome honest an discussion.

T'cher | 09:59 am on 6/05/2008

So, your using man's falling short of a standard to try to discredit the existence of God? Exactly where did you get this standard from? The Catholic Church you (for right or wrong) denounced? Who's standard of good does insest and "pimping" one's wife violate? Yours? If so, then the person next to you may have a standard that these things don't violate. On what basis do you judge (and you DO judge) them on. If we're all just really, really old pond scum, then who cares. It sounds like you do. Why?

Anonymous | 07:14 pm on 12/28/2007

wow Tyler, you sound like about a 2nd year bible college student. way to beat someone with the bible, or your philosophy text anyway.

T'cher | 09:48 am on 6/05/2008

Speaking about doing a little homework, do a little UNBIAS historical research, I mean serious research. While you're at it, check the net for an essay by Simon Greenleaf, founder of the Harvard School of Law (you have heard of Harvard, haven't you?)who put the testimony of the Gospel writers to the legal test of admissibility of evidence in a court of law. There is so much evidence out there. Don't you think eternity is worth the effort? Faith is not blind. It is based on evidence. Don't bury your head in the sand because your'e too proud to submit your life to a Creator.

bluestraveler(steve) | 12:30 pm on 6/28/2008

Research? Very few researchers deny the historical fact of Jesus. However, just because someone actually lived and preached and supposedly did miraculous things does not make him god. You do some serious research my friend. Science has come along way since the days of Mr. Greenleaf. Greenleaf reminds me of a Josh McDowell and his weak approach to the "evidence" that god exists.I suggest you broaden and modernize your horizons somewhat. You are right. There is alot of evidence out there. Not only Harvard, but Cambridge, Johns Hopkins(you have heard of them haven't you?)

I would argue that it's people like you who live in the past and keep your delusional brains buried in the sand. You all want to live forever and you fear any suggestion that this life,as awesome as it truly is, just might be all there is. Well guess what? This is all there is. So savor (not savior) it brother and stop wasting precious time. Carpe Diem!

Anonymous | 05:21 pm on 12/05/2007

Here! Here!!

Anonymous | 03:43 pm on 2/13/2008

Were the people that gave money to SOLOMONS TEMPLE STUPID ? That was pretty excessive wasn't it ? Quit judging ! if you don't like them then turn off the TV. How many people are you preaching too ? Most of the people that complain are just mad because their religious spirit won't allow them to enjoy life and live the good life. They just talk and talk. Some of us are actually edified by these people and I'm personally encredibally BLESSED and the only one that gets the glory it is God !!

Randall | 04:16 am on 2/27/2008

The difference between giving money to build Solomon's Temple, or St Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Meenakshee Temple, in Madurai or the Shwetagaon Pagoda in Rangoon and the accumulation of private wealth by televangelists is that public structures like these were from their inception intended for the public, common use and inspiration of all who go there. Not so private gymnasia or jets. Nor, I stronglty suspect, if one really put the question to them directly, are such evangelists and the like who acquire lavish stuff off the backs of the duped particularly interested in whether faithful donors are inspired or blessed by the private uses to which the fruits of their fund raising are put.

Anonymous | 01:03 pm on 2/27/2008

what "god" do you serve? Satan can bless you too, and he doesn't care if you give the glory to the god of this world. It is not judging, it is exposing the truth!

Have another sip of KoolAid.....

Anonymous | 03:55 pm on 2/13/2008

SATIN IS THE "ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN". Satan doesn't need your help.

BJ | 03:10 pm on 11/14/2007

These crooks are counting on people like you who drink the koolaid without questioning. Copeland and his band of robbers mix in just enough truth to make people follow along just in case they're right. You don't get that rich by being a dummy or by spouting off a perscribed faith mantra.

Anonymous | 03:56 pm on 2/13/2008

SATIN IS THE "ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN". Satan doesn't need your help.

Anonymous | 07:54 pm on 3/03/2008

This statement you keep posting when someone calls the copelands "heritics" or "pimps".. I know it seems clever.. but lets reason it out..

Lets take a look at paul in 1 corinthians 4:18-21
18 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?

We see paul here comming to straighten out some false doctrine..

and again in 1 corinthians 5 3-7
3 Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. 6 Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?

7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

Did paul have that "satan is the accuser of the bretheren..etc" attitude here?.. no he was confronting clear error.. to the point of comming and kicking the people out of the church himself.. would you say that paul was being a "helper to satan"?..

you say that line like it is the end all to accusing a minister of gross doctrinal errors and the changing of scripture which takes place in these ministries.. and is in many points condemed by writers of the new testament.... it only takes a cursory examination of this ministry in comparison to paul and the other apostles letters.. to see the error

and what did paul.. who was (i would think) far more worthy of blessings than just about any saint of today.. how did he approach money in ministry

2 corinthians 2:14-16
14 Now for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved. 16 But be that as it may, I did not burden you.

paul worked as a tent maker to support not only himself in ministry but also those whom worked along side him... he did not normally burden the church.. to "give him money to minister"

richard | 12:33 am on 11/15/2007

Fair arguments all, but this is more than just moaning about our pastor because of his fashion sense or choice of songs on a Sunday. The TV evangelists have a legal responsibility to not pocket ministry `donations` given in good faith and they have a moral responsibility not to take bread off the plate of a weaker brother or sister because they're good at blowing smoke and justifying it with scripture. Judge not lest ye be judged, of course - but the Senate investigation could save these evangelists from being condemmed to hell if they have been stealing money and misrepresenting Christ.

BoycottTBN | 03:05 pm on 12/11/2007

Richard....whadda ya mean "IF"??????

and "judge not" and "speck in your eye" is talking about hypocritical judgement....so unless you are fleecing your flock....JUDGE AWAY...

Christians are supposed to judge false doctrine, and our leaders, etc. Jesus rebuked the false teachers of his day and so did the apostles.

If we had done our job, and not let the pastor's get away with twisting scripture, then we wouldn't be so vile to the very world we're trying to save.

Their board is their friends, relatives, and bribed off elders. So, no one is accountable where the money goes.....

Anonymous | 12:11 am on 3/04/2008

paul also writes in timothy that those who lead.. if they are found to be sinning(which teaching error would be) they are to be dealt with in an extra harshness.. to set an example..

1 timothy 5:20 (after giving a warning against quickly accusing ministers..to be sure of sin)
20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.

Anonymous | 09:52 pm on 11/15/2007

you can be tried all you like but when you truthfully open your eyes to the finaancial abuse that goes on and the lies which speak of the great wealth to the giver which never comes and yet the preachers who teach such have their wealth the same year is what is totally an insult to god.

if they believe their teaching then why dont they give away their house and lets see a hundred fold return...seen any houses lately..i dont think u have..

i am not against wealth or preachers..only abuse and lies at the expense of the poor and downtrodden...whens the last time oral roberts gave you a $1000.00 to help out..never....but i can bet he would ask you to give and tell you that if you dont gode can bless you..what a guilt trip

Anonymous | 03:56 pm on 2/13/2008

SATIN IS THE "ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN". Satan doesn't need your help.

Mark | 12:08 am on 11/22/2007

The difference is that pastor like Copeland and his ilk spend their "Christian" influence to manipulate good, generous but naive people into sending them hard-earned donations. How many thousand Christians send him money just to fuel his 8 airplanes?

I believe Jesus has more reckoning in store for false teachers like Copeland, than good honest criminals like Ken Lay, who at least never used Jesus as a money making scam to coerce naive widows to send money.

Jesus is tragically abused as a money-making scam, as a political free ticket. Please everyone, read your Bible, open your eyes, stop this.

Believer | 08:28 pm on 1/04/2008

Sharon

Your heart is in the right place. I really feel sorry for that person who criticized you calling themself "Boycott TBN". Their comments about you were way out of line. You have spoke in love. The one called Boycott TBN definitely has not spoken in love and has also spoken in ignorance and arrogance. I don't know if anyone else criticized you because to tell you the truth after reading some of the comments made earlier and after reading Boycott TBN I wanted to throw up. Sharon, you are right in saying we have no right to pass judgment on The Copelands or any of the other ministries under investigation. If this Senate Investigation does reveal that any of the six have done wrong doing; than God will deal with those ministries just like he deals with us if we are in the wrong and fail to repent. In fact, it would be my prayer and hope that the six ministries have conducted themselves right. I personally do not want to see another scandal involving a Christian leader. Although, maybe it shouldn't, it hurts the faith of many Christians and keeps some of the lost from not wanting to give their lives to Christ. But the investigation is in God's hands. Thankfully it is in God's hands and not in mans.

BoycottTBN | 04:48 pm on 1/16/2008

Dear "Believer".....

Thank you for responding to my post to Sharon. I do hope you have recovered from your "throwing up" and can listen or read what I am about to type.

If you are a Christian, you are SUPPOSED to judge false teachers. "Judge not" refers IN CONTEXT to judging someone hypocritically. ( Matthew 7)Also check out:(http://www.bibleteacher.org/Judging.htm)and then read your bible again and compare. Get other translations as well, and study this out....I was like you at one time too and didn't know.

By your analogy, we should not punish anyone, but just let "God handle it." So, child molesters (Earl Paulk), tax evaders (Jim Bakker), rapists, murders, etc. should not be punished by man, but just let it go and let God handle it!! Does that make sense to you?
If so-called Christians were doing their jobs, then all this MESS would not be in the news. There would be no need for a Grassley investigation, because there would be checks and balances in place just like in every other non-profit. Instead, we have these mega churches whose so-called board is their family and friends. Their elders are bought off with expensive designer clothes, bling, dream vacations, etc.....BRIBERY BY ANY OTHER NAME!!

Speaking of non profit, can you please explain to me how you can make a CD for $1.00 and sell it for $7.00 and call it non profit?

Kenneth Copeland "sells" a false Jesus....a "cash-cow" Jesus, if you will. Jesus said, "freely you have received, now freely give." (Matt 10:8). These mega churches not only teach false doctrine, but they are taking money from the poor, widows, and orphans. The very people who Jesus ministered to. They teach a false doctrine called the Prosperity Gospel which is nothing but twisted scripture.

For instance, they tell you to "sow seed" and God will be so grateful, and is so needy of your hard earned money, that he will return it to you 30, 60, 100 fold. Kind of like a Christian slot machine.....wouldn't you say?

But the true meaning of "sowing seed" is to sow the Word of God into other people's lives.

If you read the NT, Jesus speaks more against money than he does for it. Also, Jesus did not teach us to tithe. Paul taught (after the Cross) that we are to give as we purpose in our hearts, and to give cheerfully. (2 Cor 9:7)

When Christian single-mothers and fathers are turned away from being helped by these filthy rich mega churches because they can't afford to tithe; and the pastor is living like the king of a small country, there is something very wrong. This should not be....

Here are some verses of scripture that shows how Jesus and the Apostles handled false teachers of their day, I hope you will take the time to study these scriptures and see for yourself that the only one getting rich from this are the pastors.

John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees (the religious leaders of his day) "a generation of Vipers" (snakes) (read Matt. 3:7). Today, he would be accused of being unloving, unkind, and unchristian.

Jesus said to the religious Pharisees, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matt. 12:34). To many evangelicals and some fundamentalists, this would be unacceptable language today, but it is biblical language and it came from the mouth of the Son of God.

Standing face to face with these false teachers, Jesus Christ the Son of God, called them "hypocrites", "blind guides," "blind, " "whited sepulchers," "serpents," and "ye generation of vipers" (Matt. 23:23-34). Yet, we are told today that we are to fellowship with men whose doctrines are just as unscriptural as those of the Pharisees. Some who say they are Bible believing Christians insist on working together with Roman Catholics and other assorted heretics. Yet, according to many, we are not supposed to rebuke them for their compromise.

Near the beginning of His ministry, "Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence, make not my Father's house an house of merchandise" (John 2:13-16). Our Savior is presented today as one who was meek, lowly, kind, and loving, even to false teachers, but this is entirely false. When dealing with false teachers and prophets, His words were sharp and His actions plain.

Near the end of His public ministry, Christ found it necessary to cleanse the temple once again. The exposure of false doctrines and practices is a never ending job. At that time He said, "Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves" (Mark I 1: 17). Is it any different today? The thieves come into the house of God, and rob God's people of the Bible and peddle their perverted Bibles instead. At the same time this den of thieves rob the people off the doctrine of separation and the doctrine of sanctification. Then you can hardly tell God's people from the people of the world. In all honesty, should not these thieves (false teachers) be exposed?

In our day these false teachers have come into the churches with their books, music, literature, movies, psychology, and seminars, and have turned the Father's house into a den of thieves. It is time that men of God stand up and expose their errors for all to see.

We are to REJECT HERETICS. "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject " (Titus 3: 10).

http://www.factnet.org/discus/messages/3/7978.html (excellent and biblical website)

The prosperity gospel is perverted scripture and if you follow the money trail, it is only the pastor's who are getting filthy rich, while the congregation keeps playing that spiritual slot machine.

I hope you know that this post was done in love....when Jesus overturned the tables and called them MONEYCHANGERS, he did it in love, but he was angry! There is such a thing as righteous anger.

BoycottTBN | 04:52 pm on 1/16/2008

Believer,
also, please read Prov 22:16

He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.

Steve | 04:08 pm on 2/13/2008

Hey BoycottTBN, I used to be judgmental like you. I knew the scriptures well and I thought I was justified in my criticism's. When you get the beam out you'll be able to see that what these ministers are ministering is true but to get the beam out you have to quit judging them. It's the only way to see. I'm sure I was even worse than you.

Anonymous | 01:06 pm on 2/27/2008

And I used to be a KoolAid drinker like you until God finally opened my eyes and pulled me out of that apostate church. Too bad for you....getting the "beam out" is talking about judging hypocritically. I have not RAPED anyone for money, lied or stolen money from the poor and weak, so therefore, I have not judged hypocritically.

If you knew the truth, you would have known that!!

Anonymous | 03:59 pm on 2/13/2008

SATIN IS THE "ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN". Satan doesn't need your help.

T'cher | 08:40 am on 6/04/2008

Dear Sister Sharon,

You seem like a sincere sister in the Lord.

Please understand, it is not the riches, it's the means by which they are obtained. Furthermore, Cope's teaching is riddled with heresies that have nothing to do with prosperity. They often have to do with the personage of God, the "deity" of man, etc. These false teachings lead sincere believers like yourself from what God really desires from them: intimate, loving fellowship without asking for anything else. Not to imply that you do not have this. It's just that Jesus would want you to keep it.

There is a big difference between not judging and allowing people to be deceived away from the heart of Jesus. "For I am afriad that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ." 2 Cor. 11:3

Sue | 02:01 pm on 10/21/2007

Hi
I agree that a lot of those rich TV Evangelists are preaching a gospel of wealth...they are all multimillionnaires and lot of the people attending their church can barely meet the two ends at the end of the month..what I hope is that they will help others with their finances the widows and the poor people...It is written to whom more is given more is required...there is nothing wrong in being rich but what is wrong is that they never seem to have enough and when hearing them they need money for this and that..if they don't share their wealth they are not real followers of Christ... I hope also that their clothes are given by the stores because they all wear expensive clothes.....a real follower of Jesus Christ die to himself/herself and carry their cross..was Jesus Christ a millionnaire?

Jay | 03:52 pm on 10/21/2007

Sorry, Sharon, it's not ok when someone who claims to be following the Jesus who is written about in the Gospels, is raking it in, driving Bentleys (Creflo Dollar), buying $3,000 suits (T.D. Jakes), ownes of multi-million dollar aircraft (Copelands),while the poor Lazaruses at their door die in poverty. I can't believe these folks have ever read the Gospels they claim to represent. This guy, this Jesus I follow, he was an incredible radical who got in trouble and was accused of being divisive. He did so because he demanded a lifestyle that was consistent with the message he preached.

Anonymous | 03:50 pm on 11/06/2007

JAY I AGREE I GUESS THAT'S WHY JESUS SAID IT IS EASIER TO GO THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE THAN A RICH MAN TO GO TO HEAVEN. FUTHERMORE, WHY DID JRSUS KICK THE MONEY CHANGERS OUT OF THE TEMPLE? I FEEL IT'S NOT GOOD FOR THESE FOR THE SO CALLED PREACHERS TO DRIVE 150,000 CARS AND WHERE 3,000 SUITS AND THE LIKE, WHEN THE CONGRAGENTS ARE JUST BARELY MAKING IT.

BJ | 04:26 pm on 11/14/2007

Damn, and all this time I thought it was Jesus that kicked the money changers out. : )

Anonymous | 10:52 pm on 10/21/2007

Hi,
In regard to the "Chrisitan brothers" that Sharon is tired of people criticizing - the good news is that I'm not going to criticize them, in a sense Sharon is right about that.

But we also need to understand that the people being discussed have blatantly, and for many years, preached Godliness as a means of material gain. This is without question.

Paul talks about this in the book of Timothy, in particuarly Tim 1 :6, where he clearly tells us to 'withdraw' from such people. "If a man preaches Godliness as a means of gain, withdraw yourself from him". He goes on to say that such a person will 'pierce himself through with many sorrows'[as the people mentioned in Sharon's text clearly did].

In fact, if you look at the in the context of the entire book of Timothy, and add to it the words of Jesus Himself who said 'it is harder for a rich man to get to heaven than it is for a camel to get thru the eye of a needle' - then the conclusion is that it becomes a fine line who we embrace as 'brothers'.

There is a good reason this type of teaching 'divides' the Christian community. No follower of Christ will embrace it, and the word is clear that we are to remove our selves from those that propagate such teachings and have nothing to do with the people who teach them. To put it simply, man just cannot serve God and mammon both.

PAPABEAR | 12:15 am on 10/22/2007

I LIKED THE STORY WHEN I READ IT IN THE DOOR ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT THIS IS BETWEEN BROTHER COPELAND AND GOD AND LEAVE IT AT THAT.

PeepiKeep | 12:26 am on 10/22/2007

(Sharon,)
You make a very good point, and one that we should all remember, but be careful: when you begin thinking that difficulties in life are a result of you not doing well enough (or 'using your talents better'), you are being lured into a cunningly made trap. Difficulties and problems are no more a response to any personal failures than blessings and boons are a response to acting right. In fact, it's this very doctrine that Jesus came to replace (see the 'They say... but I tell you 'verses and the Beatitudes).
As a poor pk (pastor's kid), I am often guilty of automatically associating money with people up to no good. That can cloud my vision and has in the past, but because I can identify it and deal with it, it does not stop me from exercising the discernment God gave me. After all, Jesus doesn't say that we'll be blind forever because of the logs in our eyes, he just says to take them out before we rely on our vision.
And it's worth pointing out that he's talking to the very prestigious, very rich, very religious at that point, not the poor. Most likely, today, he would be telling these very rich, very religious televangelists that before they accuse their audience of being not generous enough or faithful enough, they should focus on their own love of money and self-love. Everyone should take the advice to heart, but Jesus makes it clear time and time again that accumulation of wealth does not mean you have used your talents correctly, and that the rich have reason to worry. (Think of the parable of the talents itself; the value that the good and faithful servant amasses is only valuable once he hands it over to his Master.)
As for me and the very richigious... beyond any theory, I am more affected by personal experience and discernment. I have seen a very generous, huge-hearted, wonderful man living on a lifetime of careful savings pour every cent of a hard earned living into the mail in support of one of these people, convinced he was supporting the next Moses. It was sad, terrifying, and maddening for me as a child to see such a strong, faithful man be swindled so easily.
Christ has no trouble telling Peter "Get behind me, Satan" right after he calls him the Rock and foundation of his Church, and certainly has no trouble telling hypocrites what they are. No sinner can be as explicit or as sure as he could, but we have to know whose we are and what He stands for. To use your example, we are not trampling the wounded underfoot by calling 'hypocrite' -- instead, we are shouting 'DUCK,' hoping to save them from imminent disaster. I know it sometimes seems harsh and exclusive to do this with parody, but there is NO WAY that anyone can come to, and especially come BACK to, Christ without a heapin' helpin' of humility. A little laughter might even ease the way.

Sorry for the incredibly long comment.

Sharon, you have a very loving, forgiving, and generous impulse, and more humility than most of us can dream of. Please do not shortchange yourself. Yours is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Chadrory | 03:30 am on 12/23/2007

PeepiKeep...
Blessed are the pure in heart.
Nice words, my friend.
And, yes, I am speaking kind words for you. But don't worry. I believe you stated the obvious.

nanc | 12:26 am on 10/22/2007

if "christians" were to take up the mantle with which they should, we'd have NO need for ANY TYPE of social programs within the u.s. - PERIOD.

we've lost the race in the u.s. because of these greedy preachers - if they have a hungry or homeless person within ten blocks of them, shame on them.

there will be no taking this country back to its judeo/christian roots the forefathers had in mind at the birth of this nation.

we are under harsh judgment...as in the dayz of noah.

btw - i like your new door.

portwes | 02:08 am on 10/22/2007

The wealth the someone might have, in and of itself, is not the problem.
It's the lying and fraud that they performed in order to get people like my 95-yr-old grandmother to send money in. "Our ministry is in deep need right now", "our ministry can only continue with your generous giving", "if you give sacrificially now, God will return it to you 10-fold", "your money will bring even more people into the kingdom".
And when these "Christian" TV celebrities use that money to surround themselves with more and more luxury & possessions, then it is an abomination to God. In Jesus' time, the equivalent was the money changers and merchants in the Temple, and we know what Jesus thought about their activities. Greed has no place in proclaiming the kingdom of God.
It's also laughable that these people are getting grotesquely rich by hiding inside their precious "NON-PROFIT" organizations.
No, it's NOT just between God and Brother Copeland! God made us intelligent beings so that, among other things, we could discern what is rotten in His church, and shame on us if we don't expose that which is totally against what Jesus taught! Keep up the good work, Wittenburg Door!

Al | 05:59 am on 10/23/2007

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that there is something terribly amiss when you have a pastor - and I think there is good reason to use that word loosely - who makes the kind of money that Kenneth Copeland and some of the others mentioned in previous posts make.

Mind you, there is nothing wrong with making a living. But doing it to excess, and on the backs of countless poor people, IS an egregious sin.

Finally, a personal observation. Ken Copeland has always struck me as the kind of person who can strut while he is sitting down. If he ever does sit down. He should be embarassed, though his public persona doesn't appear to be.

Raquel | 11:41 am on 10/23/2007

Absolutely right. We shouldn't blame rich evangelists one bit If people who don't have that much money to spare choose to give it to Copeland or Tilton or whoever in the misguided belief that God wants them to do so. If poorer people want to line the pockets of preachers, hey! This is America, no? Praise the Lord, jump on that private jet and have a Mojito.Gosh, God is great, isn't He? He loves a capitalist more than anything! And I'm sure if Jesus were watching right now, he'd just sit back, shrug, and not make a judgment. Because that's the kinda guy he was. Of course there was that time he got pissed off and kicked all those money lenders outta the temple, but. . .I guess he was just having a bad day, or as a lapsed catholic I just don't understand Christ's philosophy. That must be it.

Carol | 02:37 pm on 10/23/2007

If I had a penny for every time I've heard some of that quoted out-of-context blather that attempts to defend religious pimps in their plundering of the poor, I might be rich myself! I am dismayed that people seem to be so easily deceived and many don't seem to have any solid reading and comprehension skills. If you read the entire passage in the Bible in which "judge not; that ye be not judged" and the removal of the mote in your own eye before trying to remove the mote in someone else's (Matthew 7), this does not forbid judgment. The passage tells us to use righteous (non-hypocrital) judgment. Many people seem to stand the passage on its head as if Jesus were forbidding all judgments. I am tired of so-called "prophets of God" dishing out there false prophesies and false doctrines. Then when they are rebuked, they cry "touch not mine annointed." Jesus had some very harsh, and yes JUDGMENTAL, words for the religious leaders of his day, and I believe the Bible condemns the actions of these rich prosperity preachers. I pity all of you that are deceived by them and that some of you may even be taking food out of your families and your mouths to line these people's pockets.

Anonymous | 05:08 pm on 10/23/2007

It's not just the money that Copeland has. His theology is very shaky. When Kenny proclaims that "you don't have a god in you, you are one" I have to say nonsense to that! Or, try this one, Copeland claims that the "spirit of God" told him that he, Kenneth Copeland could've defeated the devil in his own domain if only he (Copeland) had the same revelation knowledge that Jesus had! This is the rankest of heresies! Why people support this man is beyond reason! Yeah the opulent lifestyle is bad enough,but this stuff I've shared is far worse! Geez! People wake up!

PimpAlert | 11:45 am on 10/24/2007

To Al,
How would you be able to tell if Copeland was sitting?

To Others:
I'm not as nice as most that have written here! I am past ready to expose these con artists. I would never dare to put my "mouth" on a real man of God. But these pimps are not men/women of God. Send me $1000 and God will heal your sick child, etc...ugh!!

Here's some names to watch out for: (If your "profit" oops...I mean pastor is on the list, don't yell at me, Google him/her with "false teacher" next to their name and you might just be shocked at all the info you find. Research it....if it were lies they'd sue their pants off!!

Ken Copeland, Ken Hagin, Benny Hinn, TD Jakes, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, John Hagee, Rod Parsley, Greg Dickow, TBN, Paul & Jan Crouch, anyone on TBN, God Channel, anyone on the God Channel, DayStar, anyone on Daystar, Paula White, RAndy White, Juanita Bynum, Thomas Weeks, Nasir Sakiki, Jesse Duplantis, Cashflo Dollar, Freddie Price, Peter Popoff, James Ewing, Bob Tilton, Marilyn Hickey, Oral & Richard Roberts, John Avanzinni, Steve Munsey, RW Shambach, Rodney Howard Browne, Mike Murdock, Pat Robertson, Rick Warren, Ted Haggard, Clarence McClendon, Reinhart Bonke, Mark Chironna, Larry Huch, Morris Correlo, Kim Clement, Robert Schuller, and this is just the short list.

John Hagee is hawking his new book and says, "Jesus did not come to be the Messiah." yup...you can Google that quote w/ Hagee's name next to it and you can hear the man say it out of his own mouth.

Be blessed,
PimpAlert

gpg | 10:22 am on 11/01/2007

Well said Pimp alert but let's not forget one of the most pompus of the "prophets" Mr. Rick Joyner. And how about Randy Clark?

BJ | 04:59 pm on 11/14/2007

Who on the list have you "put your mouth on?"

Kristy | 07:44 pm on 11/29/2007

This statement is so very true! But the bad news is most of the victims of these fraudulent miniseries are not able to access the internet and learn the truth about who they are becoming involved with.I believe that is what happened to my mother anyway.She didn't know how to turn a computer on.It's a major problem!!! I have spent almost three years glued to my computer doing research on the Copelands, and comparing it to material that belonged to my mother.The Copelands mom speaks of is not the Copelands I have come to know all to well. What are we to do, go door to door, sadly that is the only way you are going to reach all of the victims of this abuse. I am posting a letter I wrote to the Copelands a few weeks ago,this one among many I never received a response on.I would love to be able to copy it and send it to every mailing address of every partner. If you have any other suggestions email me.Or if you come up with a list I'll get started.southernsoil_6327@yahoo.com
Kristy Beach & Bonnie Parker

The Senate Finance Committee is investigating the finances of six mega churches, but will this be enough to save lives? Looking into their finances should only be the beginning. By allowing these public roll models to get in front of a camera and silicate money for healing among many other guaranties is just simply wrong! Have there been any inquiries into how many deaths are related to this fraud? Freedom of religion, has become to some a death sentence. It has proven that Gloria’s Copeland’s Healing School being taught by Gloria herself , has students that fail costing them more than a suspension, it’s costing them their lives! Encouraging innocent people to take chances in life concerning their health should be illegal!!!!
Is there anyone out there who cares about the victims of this abuse?
Is there anyone who is willing to stand up for these victims?
Yes, finances are important, but a life taken by this fraud, can not be replaced!!!! Finances can!!!!
Have we all forgotten what’s important, Wake up! It is not only about the money!!!!
For instance:
Letter to,
Kenneth and Gloria Copeland,

Before knowledge of, KCM, BVOV, GLORIA’S HEALING SCHOOL, and EMIC, our lives were simple, and complete. Before BVOV, faith had no mathematical values, you was never told you had to little, or to much. Before BVOV, sickness was not blamed on lack of faith, nor finances. Before BVOV, rewording, or falsifying bible verses, well, before our knowledge of prosperity gospel (materialistic Christian belief: the doctrine taught in some Christian groups that God will grant wishes to the faithful, especially those wishes involving material wealth .Encarta ® World English Dictionary), this act was unheard of, tithes received during collection were used for the upkeep of our church, parsonage, cemetery, and exedra, the exedra was legit. Before BVOV, I had a mother, faith, finances, piece, and a belief in God I never questioned for there was no reason to. My personal thanks goes out to both you and Gloria, prosperity gospel truly is a life changing experience!
The first time I tried to contact (BVOV) was back in 2004, a few months after the death of my mother (Bonnie Parker) who was a long time partner of your ministry, since 1995 to be exact. That’s a lot of faithful years is it not. And now what began as a simple request for answers over two years ago, is now national news. Though I made many efforts to contact you, none of which were successful. (Mail, Email, , Phone, and even visiting Eagle Mountain Church personally) We were in Dallas for the filming of a documentary (Suffer the Children sufferthechildren.com)which was being funded, and produced by director Trever Glass. The film was to show, from the victims point of view, the tragic abuse, suffering , and fraudulent behaviors preformed by certain mega church ministers, mainly focusing on the prosperity gospel ministers. I was asked if I would like to visit EMIC, and take a tour of the massive facilities. Nervously I said yes. Was I finally going to be given the chance of speaking with either of you? With a copy of the original letter, and pictures of mom before, and after BVOV, tucked safely in our backpack we began the tour that would leave me with even more questions than answers. The tour guide was very nice, and very informative. She had not a clue that with every gloating word she spoke, I was fighting back the tears they were bringing. Were the trophies you have proudly displayed at EMIC, acquired on these trips? Did you pay to have them stuffed, or did the church catch that bill for you? There I was standing in the maculate office, (by the way, how much did that high dollar office furniture set you or the ministry back), of the very people I felt were most responsible for my mothers death. No you didn’t put a gun to her head, but your guidance did prove to seal her fate. I do highly recommend this tour to all your partners that contribute to this lifestyle you both so take advantage of. Nor you or Gloria were present the day we dropped by, but I left the letter, and photos with an employee of EMIC. John Copeland called me a few day’s after we toured EMIC, saying how sad I appeared in the video tapes that were recording our every move during our tour.. I was not sure what to say, a Copeland was on the other end, not the one I was hopping for but a Copeland. There was no way to explain to him the hurt I felt inside that not he but his parents created. The call was short, I basically said no comment, for their were no words to express the feelings I had at that moment! Perhaps the Copelands, Kenneth and Gloria, believed my accusations are unprecedented.. By giving me the chance of showing you in moms written proof I will be happy to reveal you the source of my accusations. Never less, no response lead me to believe neither of you have any remorse for their actions, and that you both must believe they had done no wrong. Personally, I could not live with myself after it was brought to my attention that the mere words coming from my mouth, could indeed cause someone to loose their life. Maybe, hopefully, someday sooner than latter, the dangers related to prosperity gospel will become clear to you both, until then God help us all.
Your problem now is, no longer am I the only one publicly asking for answers, you now have the whole United States of America awaiting to see how this Senate investigation unfolds. In February of this year WFAA News in Dallas broadcasted the findings of an investigation (by Brett Shipp) regarding the misuse of the ministry’s jet. I’m sorry but it is really hard to comprehend you and your wife going on vacation in a jet my mother paid for with her life. Just incase you missed the news broadcast, that was one comment I voiced loud and clear. After that news broadcast aired, I began relying on WWW.WFAA.COM for any new developments, or some kind of comment from anyone at BVOV, EMIC, or either of you personally. The broadcast received the same response that I had come to know all to well over the years, no response, from either of you. Being in the public eye I’m sure has it’s advantages and also disadvantages. You are looked up to by millions of people. It never crossed your minds that a tragedy such as my mom’s was a possibility? You take on a huge responsibility when you get in front of a camera, step onto a stage, and in the recordings of your tapes and cd’s, to each and every one who are watching and listening. Your words can, will , and have, become fatal, the question now is not will it happen again, but when, if your words go unchanged someone’s else’s death is inevitable. As for my family the damage is irreversible. The probe into your finances is long overdue. As for the ones already passed on, the bankrupt, the homeless, and the devastated lives your ministry has destroyed over the years, but it’s better late than never!! I’ve been told by some that my mothers story, and my persistence for the truth, played a part in the investigations into your finances. If so my objective is done. Showing the public the possible consequences in becoming involved with the prosperity gospel was my main objective!!!! As well as taking the tour of your ministries assets, your partners need to read for themselves, (anyone sending money to your ministry) the requests from the Senate related to your finances. I believe they also will have a few questions for you. Oh and the comment you made when caught off guard by the media, WFAA news, (you may view this on there web site), and are questioned about the misuse of the ministry’s jet, your comment was ”None of Your Business”, do either of you have the courage to look me in the eyes and say that to me? The cost we paid for that jet can never be repaid. Expenses that accrued during and after moms illness, left us with no choice but to take out a loan on our house, which was paid in full at the beginning of 2004. This was all to much for us to handle, we have struggled to make the note the last few years, but we can’t last much longer. So we are basically still paying for that jet, and the joyrides both of you take on it. When mom gave her life for your ministry, and now possibly our home will be lost also, I believe that gave us a right to know where the money goes. We did request a accounting of all mom’s contributions, several times, which I have enclosed in this letter, but yet again no response was given. Are either of you, seeing the pattern here? God knows we all, even both of you, make mistakes in life. The difference between both of you and us is plane as day, we know wrong from right! The good hearted, and the sincere, try to make amends for their mistakes, and are most likely forgiven, on earth and in heaven. It’s never to late to start this process. I on the other hand, will never be able to forgive, nor forget. We never asked to become involved with either of you, or your false, and dangerous ministry! Unwillingly, and unfortunately our lives crossed paths with the death of my mother, I can’t change that, but I wish I could!
Kristy Beach

Sister in Christ | 01:17 pm on 4/11/2008

Well said, Brother. These prosperity pimps deceive believers and unbelievers alike. They never preach the Gospel ~~ "that Christ died for our sins, according to Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." (1 Cor 15:1-4)

It's sad that believers don't rightly study and divide the Word to see the errors. Then we could really proclaim to a lost and unsaved world what an intimate relationship with Jesus is all about.

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