Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Pity the Planeless Pastors

I guess you've heard the latest about televangelist, Jesse Duplantis, who has requested that his supporters ante up for a $54 million dollar jet to help facilitate his worldwide ministry. Don't blame him. Apparently, Jesus told him to do it. The fact that Jesse already has three private jets is beside the point, because the new Dassault Falcon 7X combines "fighter jet technology with an elegant, whisper-quiet, executive cabin." Turns out, Jesus has really fine taste in planes.

"I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn't be riding a donkey," Jesse said with a chuckle.

As you may know, Brother Jesse preaches the prosperity gospel, confident that faithfulness leads to financial gain, that generous gifts to his ministry will results in more money for the giver. Prosperity preachers, and there are a bunch of them, rake in the bucks with little or no accountability, and live extravagant lifestyles as an example to their followers, an incentive to go after the good life of great abundance and blessing.

Even if you happen to be poor, unemployed, ill, or living on a fixed income, just give what you've got, whatever you can put your hands on, and God will multiply it right back to you, as if God is more interested in your tax bracket than your character or commitment. And, amazingly enough, lots of people listen to Jesse and his friends, and they give and give and give in the hope of a more prosperous life, while Jesse expands his fleet of aircraft.

And here am I, driving my five year old Honda and flying Southwest when I need to travel. Just a simple, planeless pastor. How embarrassing. Pity those common, ordinary pastors like me, trying to shepherd the sheep without fleecing the flock. If we just had more faith, bigger dreams, and a lot less conscience, maybe we could have made the big time, with at least a plane or two.
 
We may shake our heads at those who fall for such a scam, those who swallow such a twisted theology. How could they be so gullible, so naive? Yet, at times we may find ourselves in the picture in less obvious ways.

Whenever we choose the easy way, the path of convenience and comfort, whenever we act as if we have some special favored status with God over those unlike ourselves, whenever we presume upon God and get upset and disillusioned when the chips don't fall our way, whenever we feel entitled to the blessings we have received - we are starting down the same dangerous, disobedient road, far from the path of a humble, penniless carpenter who went about doing good.

3 comments:

DeeDee Barnes Bruns said...

Thank you, Drew, for your wisdom and your example. Jesus never wore designer clothes or red-soled shoes. I imagine him "turning over the tables" on shameless prosperity gospel preachers and crying for the hungry and homeless who are grateful for a filling meal and a warm place to lay their head.

Peace to you,
DeeDee B.

Rev. Rick Jordan said...

Extremely well said, Drew.

Lisa Shoemaker said...

So true, dear Drew! You have penned a timely message here. I hope we listen well.