Many who don’t understand the Christian faith look at God as sort of a “cosmic genie.” A person asks for something and “wham” they receive it. Some even within the inner circle of Christendom buy into this notion, a teaching often referred to as the “prosperity gospel.” This was put on display in an ostentatious manner recently with famous televangelist Jesse Duplantis latest “calling.”
Duplantis recently shared on an episode of This Week with Jesse his most recent “message” from God. According to the televangelist, he feels led by God to purchase a $54 million Falcon 7X jet. This impressive jet would replace his current Falcon 50 jet that he bought in 2006.
“We’re believing God for a brand-new Falcon 7X, so we can go anywhere in the world in one stop,” Duplantis said.
He further explained that a new jet will save on gas because it can go longer between fuel ups, allowing them to avoid international airport fuel.
“You know I’ve owned three different jets in my life and used them and just burning them up for the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said. “Now some people believe that preachers shouldn’t have jets. I really believe that preachers ought to go on every available voice, every available outlet, to get this Gospel preached to the world.”
Duplantis claims that God led him to ask for this jet, saying his message from God was, “Jesse, I didn’t ask you to pay for it. I asked you to believe for it.” In other words, Duplantis isn’t saying he is asking for a jet, but God told him to get the jet and believe his followers will foot the bill.
“I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the earth today he wouldn’t be riding a donkey,” he continued. “Think about that for a minute. He’d be in an airplane preaching the gospel all over the world.” His flippant view of God extends into what some would call heresy and he once went so far as to say that God was “my sugar daddy.”
To most accurately ascertain how Jesus would look at such a purchase or wealth, one can simply study the gospels in the Bible and contemplate the character of Jesus and His teachings. Jesus was born not in wealth, but in poverty. He was born in a stable, constructed as a shelter for animals, and spent His first moments resting in a manger. His father was a carpenter, a blue collared worker of today. Suffice it to say Jesus’ background and character does not yield itself to the prosperity gospel.
In the gospel of Matthew verse 6:19-24, Jesus says “Do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal…No one can serve two masters…You cannot serve both God and money.”
Paul also preached against the idea of placing wealth above everything else. In 1 Timothy 6:5, Paul says the following to Timothy “Depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, (who imagine) godliness is a means of gain.” He also said in 1 Timothy 6:6-8 that “Godliness with contentment is great gain, for we have brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”
Money alone or even prosperity isn’t evil in and of itself. However, when prosperity is tied directly to one’s faith, such as “if a person is a good Christian, they will be rich and prosperous” isn’t only wrong, it can even be harmful.
The idea of placing money at the center of one’s life goes against everything Jesus taught. Christ told us that God and His Promise of Salvation, not wealth, should guide our hearts and minds. This makes Jesse Duplantis’ stance on his new jet particularly troubling.
Sure, it could be argued that having such an item will help him win more people for Christ. However, the fact still remains that to use one’s position as a follower of Christ to gain financially is wrong.
~ 1776 Christian