TUSTIN, Calif. — The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), a worldwide television network that for years has aired a number of controversial prosperity preachers, says that as part of its “new vision” and changes to the lineup, it will no longer air Word of Faith teacher Kenneth Copeland, whose “Believer’s Voice of Victory” broadcast had been a part of TBN for 40 years. Airing in Copeland’s stead will be Steven Furtick, a hipster megachurch preacher who reportedly lives a lavish lifestyle and often preaches man-centered sermons.
“Just like the world in which we live, TBN is constantly evolving, seeking to provide exclusive programming that is uniquely built for the challenges facing Christians in this moment,” Marketing Director Nate Daniels told reporters. “As the leading global religious broadcaster, we want to provide our viewers with compelling and dynamic preaching, teaching, news and entertainment.”
He said that “[in] pursuit of a new vision” from President Matt Crouch, the son of the late Paul and Jan Crouch, the network has been making changes over the past several years, which includes distancing from sharathons and becoming more family-friendly.
“As a part of this transition we chose to move away from telethons, upgraded to HD, expanded our streaming platforms, forged partnerships with family brands like K-LOVE, Museum of the Bible and others, and have replaced some programs with new original content from voices like Christine Caine, Mike Huckabee, Mike Rowe and more,” Daniels told the Christian Post.
Copeland advised his followers about the change via Facebook and his website this week, writing in part, “Recently, Matt let me know they believe the Lord is taking TBN in a new direction, and our daily program, ‘Believer’s Voice of Victory’ (BVOV), isn’t really a fit for their future programming. Therefore, as of Oct. 2, 2020, the BVOV broadcast will no longer air on TBN.”
As previously reported, Copeland, who teaches that God wants Christians to be rich and instructs viewers to confess away sickness, has generated controversy for a number of years, including in 2015, when he asserted on his television broadcast that he flies on a private jet to avoid being bothered by “demon” passengers.
“Oral [Roberts] used to fly airlines,” he said. “But even back then it got to the place where it was agitating his spirit — people coming up to him, he had become famous, and they wanted him to pray for them and all that. You can’t manage that today [in] this dope-filled world and get in a long tube with a bunch of demons. And it’s deadly.”
While he said that he didn’t want to fly with a “bunch of demons,” moments later, Copeland contended that he needed a private jet to help reach the lost.
“We’re in soul business here. We’ve got a dying world around us. We’ve got a dying nation around us,” he proclaimed. “We can’t even get there on the airlines.”
In 2018, it was announced that the Texas-based televangelist had purchased a Gulfstream V private jet from comedian and actor Tyler Perry, which was stated to be “debt free” because of the donations the “Elite CX Team,” a group of Copeland supporters who purpose to assist the prosperity preacher financially with his stated projects.
Earlier this year, Copeland drew mockery when he sought to take authority over the novel coronavirus, stating that it was from Satan and “demand[ing] a vaccination to come immediately.”
“You will destroy through COVID-19 no more! It is finished!” he proclaimed. “It is over and the United States of America is healed and well again, saith the mighty Spirit …”
In another video, he called for a south wind to blow and a heat to burn up the coronavirus, blowing out air himself and declaring, “I blow the wind of God on you! You are destroyed forever and you’ll never be back!”
According to reports, Furtick, who leads the 25,000-member Elevation Church near Charlotte, North Carolina, similarly lives a lavish lifestyle, dwelling in a home valued at $1.7 million, which he has defended as being “not that great of a house.” Messages include “Make Room for the New”, “Your Season to Succeed”, “Backseat DJs” and “The Power of Interpretation”.
Furtick is among those featured on the “preachersnsneakers” Instagram page, which seeks to highlight concerns about ministers who dress in expensive shoes and clothing.
A number of articles online characterize Furtick as a false teacher, with one simply stating, “The man has no deep understanding of Scripture or theology yet seeks to be in position to influence many.”
John MacArthur of Grace Community Church and The Master’s Seminary once remarked that Furtick is “unqualified” to be a pastor, to which Furtick responded by releasing a book entitled “(Un)Qualified: How God Uses Broken People to Do Big Things”.
Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness, for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”