In one of the wildest interviews in recent history, a televangelist worth almost a billion dollars repeatedly snapped at an “Inside Edition” reporter for asking questions about his lifestyle.
To be fair, reporter Lisa Guerrero caught televangelist Kenneth Copeland completely off guard, in that the interview wasn’t a scheduled affair — it was an impromptu one spurred by her running up to him as he was getting ready to step into a vehicle.
Watch the full interview below:
Guerrero started the interview by asking the televangelist about remarks he’d made three years ago. He’d reportedly stated at the time that he prefers riding in private jets versus flying commercial because flying commercial is like being in “a long tube with a bunch of demons.”
Copeland didn’t appreciate this line of questioning.
“No, listen to me!” he replied. “Not the people. The main reason is because of the need … if I flew commercial, I’d have to spot 65 percent of what I’m doing. That’s the main reason.”
Guerrero wasn’t convinced.
“Isn’t it true that you want to fly commercial so that you can fly in luxury?” she calmly asked. “How much did you pay for Tyler Perry’s Gulfstream jet, for example?”
“Well, for example, that’s really none of your business!” Copeland snapped.
Unaffected by the televangelist’s sudden bout of anger, Guerrero continued gently prodding him, asking, “Isn’t it the business of your donors?”
Copeland replied by saying that he’d been caught off guard, reiterating how much his wife loves “Inside Edition” and asking the Lord to help him.
Again Copeland remained completely calm and unaffected as she ignored the televangelist’s behavior and moved on to her next question.
After televangelist Kenneth Copeland got followers to buy him a Gulfstream V he asked for another $19MM for “needed” upgrades. pic.twitter.com/HRnAPGBzWu
— TJP (@favoritesch_tjp) September 4, 2018
“A lot of people think it’s unbecoming for a preacher to live a life of luxury and fly around in a private jet. What’s your response to that?” she asked.
“It takes a lot of money to do what we do,” Copeland replied. “We have brought over 122 million people to the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me give you another example. Last May, I was scheduled for Lagos, Nigeria. That was a long ways. I had a week off, and I was scheduled for Peru. And I prayed about it, and I thought I’m not missing that dedication in Jerusalem.”
“Without the airplane that we have, that I bought from Tyler Perry … he made that airplane so cheap for me that I couldn’t help but buy it,” he continued, slowly veering off topic again.
When Guerrero tried to draw his attention back to the topic at hand, he flapped his hand in her face and exclaimed, “Give me a chance here, Inside Edition!”
He also complimented Guerrero’s eyes.
Whereas a “reporter” with CNN or NBC would have likely cried “SEXISM” at that moment in time, Guerrero brushed the compliment off like an actual professional.
She acted with the same professional demeanor when, after she again pressed Copeland about his “demons” comment — this time by asking whether he really believes the human beings who fly commercial are demons — he lost his temper and yelled at her.
“No, I do not, and don’t you ever say I did!” he roared in fury as he wagged his finger in her face. “We wrestle not with flesh and blood but principalities and power.”
Again Guerrero kept her cool.
“Can you explain what you meant by that term then? Just explain, because it’s really simple. You said you didn’t want to get in a tube with a bunch of demons. Do you think people who fly commercial are demons?” she asked.
“If you give me a chance to talk, sweetheart, I’ll explain this to you,” Copeland replied. “But it’s a biblical thing, it’s a spiritual thing. It doesn’t have anything to do with people. I love people. Jesus loves people. But people get pushed in alcohol.”
“Do you think that’s a good place for a preacher to be and prepare to go preach to a lot of people when somebody in there is dragging some woman down the aisle? It made me so mad to see that on television. I wanted to punch the guy out myself. I can’t be doing that while I’m getting ready to preach.”
“So you just don’t like to be around the sinful people or the hurtful people?” Guerrero replied.
“It’s not the people, baby,” Copeland said before going on to deliver another spiel about how “back during the days” televangelists such as him had no other option but to travel commercial.
He also described how he used to be a pilot himself to convey the point that he doesn’t have any issues with commercial flights. This is true:
— Kenneth Copeland (@CopelandNetwork) June 22, 2017
In response to another one of the “Inside Edition” reporter’s questions, the televangelist also outlined the number of planes he owns and noted that other ministries are allowed to use them as well.
The reporter replied by asking him about his wealth.
“I’m a very wealthy man,” Copeland admitted.
And there’s nothing wrong with that, though Guerrero tried to suggest that him being a pastor who owns nice homes, cars and clothes is somehow wrong because his ministry collects donations.
“My wealth doesn’t come from offerings alone. … And I have a lot of natural gas on our property. Didn’t know that, did you know, baby?” he said.
As her final question, Guerrero then asked Copeland what his response is to critics who say that someone who preaches the words of God shouldn’t be living a life of luxury.
“It’s a misunderstanding of the Bible that … if you go into the Old Covenant, do you think the Jewish people believe you should be broke?” he replied.
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