Why I used to believe in the prosperity gospel like Kenneth Copeland believes

"It’s difficult to get time with prosperity preachers. I would know, as I used to be one and work with one — my uncle, Benny Hinn. But this persistent reporter managed to somehow get through his security and give people a glimpse of what prosperity preachers act and talk like when not prepared to answer tough questions." - RNS

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Aaron Blumer's picture


A bit more...

1. It made us rich.

Life in the prosperity gospel is the good life. No, let me go further. It’s the great life. At least on the surface. Our houses were multimillion-dollar homes in the best ZIP codes in the country. Our annual salaries were more than some people make in a lifetime. I drove a BMW, Hummer (H2), Ferrari F430, Mercedes-Benz SL500. On a run-of-the-mill weekend, we could easily make upwards of $100,000 (take home) from offerings in our services for barely three days of work.

Once we returned home and put the video footage online or on TV, we could solicit donations from people to “support our gospel work” and make hundreds of thousands more in no time at all. It’s easy to believe something that puts money in the bank, even if you’re confirming your reservation in hell for deceiving the poor and the sick.

josh p's picture

That video was amazing! “He made that aircraft so cheap I couldn’t help but buy it!” I’m really thankful for Hinn’s nephew who is criticizing this heresy with experience coming out of it. Praying God will use this to weaken the prosperity message.

Aaron Blumer's picture


Yes, the video is ... pretty creepy.

Bert Perry's picture

I like his makeup.  He's pretty for a man of 82.  :^)

Seriously, it strikes me that while he's a great schmoozer, I have to wonder if the best way to kill off the prosperity Gospel for good is to do what Copeland refuses to do--spend significant amounts of time with other believers and listen to their felt needs.  Copeland has clued in, rightly, to the economic insecurity of Americans, and has made a bundle selling snake oil to them.  But if Christians got out there and those susceptible to Copeland's snake oil saw their believing neighbors enjoying the results of hard work, honesty, and thrift, it just might eventually get through. 

Regarding his extreme wealth, though, it's going to be hard to attack that frontally, because there are a number of heroes of the Bible who were extremely wealthy--Abraham, David, Solomon, probably Lydia, Philemon, Esther, etc..  Scripture generally doesn't directly address their wealth, or really even their use of it, at least in the context of the narratives about them.  So I'd actually suggest Guerrero makes a mistake in trying to do so--it's totally representative of our culture within evangelicalism, but Scripture doesn't condemn wealth per se.

(you might make the case that the wealth of Abraham and Solomon helped separate them from those they loved, but there's a degree of conjecture and quite frankly an amount of work in the matter that people susceptible to prosperity theology are unlikely to invest in the question, IMO)

Rather, it's the more basic question, IMO, of "if God wanted His People to be healthy, wealthy, all that, doesn't He owe the Prophets and the Apostles, not to mention Christ, a great big apology?" It's the question of "If God wanted His people to be wealthy, please explain Luke 6:20 to me.".  

But really, sad to say, I think a lot of it is like trying to argue the actual textual evidence for the New Testament with a Ruckmanite.  This kind only comes out by prayer and fasting, I think.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture


He and his tribe are not targeting the most rational people out there, to be sure.

But the biggest problem isn't actually his wealth and how he got it; it's that he declares a distorted (so, false) gospel. 

TylerR's picture


My favorite part of the interview is where Copeland says Christians are Abraham's seed according to the promise, and Abraham's promise was great wealth, thus God wants us to have great wealth ...

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Aaron Blumer's picture


Perfectly logical... until you read Romans, Galatians and Hebrews 11 (just for starters).