Jet-set Jesus: televangelist to donate old private jet when he gets new $54m one
Jesse Duplantis angered many when he asked for $54m for a private jet but he says his old plane will get a new home
New Orleans televangelist Jesse Duplantis says people have misunderstood his reasons for wanting to buy a fourth private jet.
The pastor angered many Americans earlier this week when he solicited donations for a $54m plane. If the Lord Jesus Christ was physically on the earth today, he wouldnt be riding a donkey, he told his followers in a video posted on his site. Hed be in an airplane flying all over the world.
Following critical headlines, Duplantis reiterated that his motives for buying a luxury Falcon 7X are entirely godly. Speaking to Good Morning America, Duplantis said he needed the plane for preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with luxurious.
Earlier media reports said the coveted Falcon 7X would be the pastors fourth private plane, but Duplantis also said there was a misnomer on that one. I said Ive had three jets, I dont have three jets. Two of those jets are now in other ministries. I only own one airplane now. The pastor also stated that he would donate his old jet once he got the new one.
Duplantis, who is worth a reported $40m, had previously assured viewers of This Week With Jesse, a vlog on his website, that the new private jet would save money as well as souls. People say cant you go with this one? gesturing at a picture of one of the private jets he already owns. Yes, but I cant go it one stop. And if I can do it one stop, I can fly it for a lot cheaper, because I have my own fuel farm. And thats whats been a blessing of the Lord.
Duplantis isnt the only televangelist to have asked his supporters to help him get 30,000ft closer to God. In 2015, megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar put out a video asking people to help him purchase a Gulfstream G650, which cost about $65m. His ministry had a private jet already, but it was getting rather old, and was no longer fit for purpose. Nor were unholy commercial airlines up to scratch. Perhaps there is a forgotten commandment only televangelists are aware of: thou must never fly coach.
Dollar, who says his monetary moniker is his real name, despite some reports that he was actually born Michael Smith, preaches the prosperity gospel. So too does Duplantis, along with a number of other high-profile American televangelists such as Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland. Osteen owns a number of million-dollar mansions and, of course, has a private jet. Copeland also has a private jet; he once described flying on a commercial flight as getting in a long tube with a bunch of demons.
The prosperity gospel is an American theological tradition, which essentially says that God is a rampant capitalist who makes true believers wealthy and blessed. (The prosperity gospel popularized the term blessed and helped turned it into a hashtag.) A 2006 Time poll found 17% of American Christians identify with the movement, while 31% believe that if you give your money to God, God will bless you with more money.
It should be said that the Bible is full of verses that would seem to dispel this view. In Luke 18, for example, Jesus says: It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. However, that was in the days before aviation. It stands to reason that the kingdom of God is far more easily accessible by jet plane.