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Televangelist with 3 planes wants followers to pay $54m for another private jet

By News Express on 30/05/2018

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•Falcon 7X, a private jet
•Falcon 7X, a private jet

If Jesus were to descend from heaven and physically set foot on 21st-century Earth, prosperity gospel televangelist Jesse Duplantis told his followers, the Redeemer would probably take a pass on riding on the back of a donkey: “He’d be on an airplane preaching the gospel all over the world.”

And Duplantis thinks the Light of the World wouldn’t exactly settle for 30 inches of legroom or getting patted down by TSA.

Why would He choose anything less than the Falcon 7X, a private jet that nears the sound barrier but also has noise-limiting acoustic technology, a Bluetooth-enabled entertainment centre and an optional in-flight shower?

Duplantis, saying he needs about $54 million to help him efficiently spread the gospel to as many people as possible, has asked the Lord — and hundreds of thousands of hopefully deep-pocketed followers across the world — for just such a plane.

He is the latest aircraft-seeking preacher to draw raised eyebrows and outright condemnation from critics who say asking for a multimillion-dollar luxury jet is not exactly what Jesus meant when he said “store up for yourself treasures in heaven.”

But this is not the first time Duplantis has been enmeshed in the preacher private plane debate. The Falcon 7X would be his ministry’s fourth jet — all paid for with cash drummed up from followers.

And before anyone asks, he already has an answer for nonbelievers and critics who want to know why, exactly, his ministry requires a luxury jet that would make his fleet the same size as Donald Trump’s.

“We believe in God for a brand new Falcon 7X so we can go anywhere in the world, one stop,” he told people on “This Week With Jesse,” a regular video broadcast on his website. The video on May 21 carefully mixed the gospel with a few insights into the economics of international aviation.

“Now people say … can’t you go with this one?” he said, pointing to a picture of the plane he uses. “Yes, but I can’t 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 that’s what’s been a blessing of the Lord.”

Duplantis didn’t immediately return calls from The Washington Post seeking comment.

In the video, Duplantis didn’t specify which ministry-furthering missions the plane would be used for, although he has indicated in the past that he has an extensive travel schedule.

Duplantis is the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries, which includes a weekly television program that reaches 106 million U.S. households, according to his Amazon author biography. In 1997, he and his wife founded Covenant Church in Destrehan, La., just outside New Orleans.

“It is his mission to reach every soul of the 7 billion people that now inhabit the earth, making sure that each one has an opportunity to know the real Jesus — approachable, personable, compassionate, and full of joy the way that he knows Jesus,” the biography says.

He preaches the prosperity gospel, which says God shows favour by rewarding the faithful with earthly riches. Giving money to pastors and their ministries, leaders say, is a sort of investment.

And prosperity gospel preachers have encouraged their flocks to invest heavily in aviation.

In 2015, televangelist Creflo Dollar was widely mocked for starting “Project G650,” a means of getting a state-of-the-art Gulfstream G650 plane of his own, financed by his 200,000 followers. According to The Post’s Abby Ohlheiser, Dollar said he “needs one of the most luxurious private jets made today in order to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The campaign was widely ridiculed online, and Dollar never made it to the waiting list, which consisted mostly of billionaires. (Washington post)

Source News Express

Posted 30/05/2018 11:36:17 AM

 

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