New Faces Needed

Kenneth Copeland lives in a $6.3 million dollar mansion. When he flies, he does so in one of a fleet of 5 multi-million dollar private jets. According to beliefnet.com, his net worth is $760 million (https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/8-richest-pastors-in-america.aspx). He is also one of the most visible faces of a religion that purportedly follows a man who famously spent his life among and as one of the poor. For the past several days, the internet has been having a field day with a widely circulated video showing Copeland being interviewed by Lisa Guerrero, a reporter for news magazine Inside Edition (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LtF34MrsfI). In the video, Copeland is not only incapable of forming a complete sentence, or of making the least bit of sense, he looks like a Hollywood casting agent’s dream candidate for the role of Demon in a low-budget thriller.

Why does the church put up with these guys? Small wonder young people are avoiding the church when its most public figures are loons like Copeland, television slick-talkers like Benny Hinn, and bigoted fanatics like the Westboro Baptist Church protesters. How can anyone take Christianity seriously when prominent Evangelical pastors tout Trump as if he were the natural successor to Jesus Christ?

Ever since Ronald Reagan threw open the doors of government to his religious fundamentalist buddies, the face of Christianity has been not Jesus teaching the Beatitudes on the mount (Mt 5:3-11), but a parade of well-dressed and undeniably charismatic superstar preachers. It’s time for churches to speak up, and stop letting these greedy bigmouths control the dialogue. We need some new faces, and we need them fast.