Kenneth Copeland: I Need A Private Plane To Do The Lord’s Work

Kenneth and Gloria Copeland (image courtesy Adringola, available under a Creative Commons-Noncommercial license)
Kenneth and Gloria Copeland (image courtesy Adringola, available under a Creative Commons-Noncommercial license)

You can pretty much take it to the bank that when televangelist Kenneth Copeland opens his mouth, idiocy is going to come out. But even by his standards, what he said on Tuesday’s edition of “The Believer’s Voice of Victory” was way, way out there. The grand poohbah of “name it and claim it” says that he needs a private plane to get to his meetings around the world. Why? Wait for it–it’s the only way he can properly fulfill the calling on his life.

Copeland was chatting with his old buddy and fellow “name it and claim it” televangelist, Jesse Duplantis, about the need to “get out of cruise control” in your life. Duplantis mentioned something that happened when he was on his way back from one of his crusades on his private plane. Watch here.

Duplantis was sitting in his seat when he said God asked him if he really liked his private plane. When Duplantis said, “Well, yes, Lord,” God replied, “So that’s it? You gonna let your faith stagnate?” Duplantis was so stunned that he unbuckled his seat belt and stood up in the plane. When his pilot asked if everything was all right, Duplantis said that he was “talking to God.” He felt God directing him to the Book of Amos.

Just then, Copeland broke in and mused that Duplantis “couldn’t have done that on an airline.” Why? Well, Copeland thinks that he, Duplantis and other major televangelists can’t get around while flying on an airline. Copeland claims that the airlines are in such a state that without his private plane, he would have to stop between 75 and 90 percent of his work. Not only that, but flying on a private plane is the only way he can really talk to God.

Copeland then went back to his days as Oral Roberts’ pilot. He recalled that his immediate supervisor told him that Roberts’ private plane was his “sanctuary,” since it protected his “anointing.”Roberts stopped flying commercial because it got to the point that it was “agitating his spirit” to have people come up to him for prayer. In this “dope-filled world,” Copeland said, it’s not possible for someone who has an “anointing” on his life to “get in a long tube with a bunch of demons.”

Duplantis agreed, saying that these situations “work on your heart.” He then ticked off his schedule for one week in December–Fort Worth on Saturday, Boston on Sunday, New Orleans on Monday, Chicago on Tuesday, Raleigh on Wednesday, New Orleans on Thursday, San Antonio on Friday, and New Orleans on Saturday. A neighbor of his who’s a Delta pilot told him in no uncertain terms that he couldn’t fly that schedule.

Watch the whole thing here. The exchange starts at around the 1:41 mark.

There may have been some truth to this. Admittedly, Duplantis’ travel schedule would be too much for even the most experienced commercial pilot. But whatever truth may have been here is lost in the sheer arrogance Copeland displayed. I’m a charismatic/Pentecostal Christian, much like Copeland. So I knew that when Copeland claimed he couldn’t really talk to God if he didn’t fly on a private plane, it was a load of hot air.

We charismatics like to say “You can’t put God in a box!” We know that God can meet us anytime and anywhere. For instance, there are times that I’m out and about, and I end up moving my lips and not letting any sound come out. My girlfriend is the same way. So riddle me this, Ken. My pastor in Charlotte flies commercial all the time. Does that mean he’s putting his calling in danger by flying on British Airways or American Airlines? If your answer is yes, are you willing to say it to his face, rather than from the comfort of your complex in Fort Worth?

Copeland almost certainly knows that God can meet you on a commercial plane just as easily as he can meet you on a private plane. Duplantis almost certainly knows this as well. They just don’t want their followers to know. At bottom, this is just another ham-handed attempt to wring people for money–one of many reasons I have nothing to do with most televangelists.

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.