I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12
A prominent multimillionaire tel-evangelist sent sparks through the media-world when he announced in March 2015 that he was seeking 200,000 people committed to donate US$300 or more to help achieve his church’s goal to purchase a luxury aircraft, the G650 jet.
The Senior Pastor of a USA-based church reportedly remarked that he needed the jet, carrying a price tag of $65 million, to “reach a lost and dying world for Jesus Christ”.
The prosperity preacher, himself the owner of luxury cars and multimillion dollar homes, said that the ministry’s previous plane had ran its course and that it was time to replace the aircraft with another so that the Pastors and staff could “safely and swiftly share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.
It is widely believed that a public backlash from this announcement caused the church to remove the notice from its website. However, funds for the purchase of the new jet are still being solicited.
The media frenzy served to make an already controversial issue within the Church – that of the “prosperity gospel” – particularly painful for some, given the economic difficulties that many countries are recovering from or still find themselves in.
At the level of the household, where consumers are being increasingly careful with how they spend their dollars, it seems almost inhumane to insinuate that unwillingness to give to the acquisition of a luxury jet could be the cause of persons being eternally damned! More convincing might have been the purchasing of food, water, bibles, the building of needed institutions or the training of Christian Ministers… but a jet?
I fear that with such requests by Christian public figures, the impression is given that believers who cannot boast of having many material assets, are not as useful to the work of God’s Kingdom as those who have. It creates classicism within the the Body. This should not be. Yet sadly, the Church today seems not to be learning from its past and avoiding these pitfalls of materialism and greed.
Only one gospel saves, that of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
Heavenly Father: Expose any greed within which is being disguised as a need, so that we would not cause ourselves or others to stumble in the Faith.