Two Books That Copeland So Greatly Fears
(by Donna Vermillion)
In all of our years observing Kenneth Copeland “Ministries,” there is one thing (among many) that looks very questionable to us. Namely, when visiting their bookstores (i.e., those at KCM’s headquarters building or in Eagle Mountain International “Church”), there are certain books mysteriously absent from their shelves. Surprisingly, two such missing books were authored by ministers who have been considered friends of Kenneth Copeland.
We have discussed one of these books in great detail on another post entitled, Rev. Hagin’s Previous Rebuke of Kenneth Copeland. The book that the late Kenneth E. Hagin wrote, in which he was attempting to bring balance to the crazy “prosperity” doctrine, is entitled, The Midas Touch: A Balanced Approach to Biblical Prosperity. Of course, Kenneth Copeland enjoys (and profits from) his overboard super-hyper-mega-overflow-lucre-loving teaching, which he uses to fund his opulent lifestyle. Hagin’s book presents a direct threat to Copeland’s doctrines of greed and his religious con-artist income. So it seems that his book scared Copeland so bad that it is nowhere to be found at KCM headquarters in Newark, Texas. (According to a former KCM insider, this book DID appear there briefly, but it then mysteriously disappeared almost immediately after Hagin’s death.)
Obviously, Hagin’s book put Copeland between the proverbial rock and hard place. If he were to promote the book, it would be tantamount to admitting his need to “calm down” in his outlandish prosperity preaching. On the other hand, if he were to completely remove the book (while Hagin was alive), then he would have some serious explaining to do…should Hagin or someone else ask him why.
My point here is not to promote the late Kenneth E. Hagin’s entire ministry, because he certainly had some questionable issues in his life as well. Rather, I am saying that up until the time Hagin tried to offer some good, balanced, and sound, advice on the subject of money, he was in Copeland’s good “graces.” But since Copeland interpreted Hagin’s correction as an attempt to take away the lavish lifestyle which Copeland and his buddies so sinfully adored, Hagin became an instant threat and enemy. Copeland and his friends had worked long and hard to build up this image that “seed faith giving” into THEIR “good ground” will bring you a “harvest.” Hagin’s “The Midas Touch” was a proverbial monkey wrench to that scheme.
Of course, Copeland was also elevated quite a bit in his own ministry by Rev. Hagin. So he could not very well make an obvious break from his mentor — at least not one that would draw public attention, and cause questions. So publicly, Copeland needed to keep up the “front” that he and Hagin were still on good terms. Nevertheless, Copeland’s self-serving false teaching was dealt a serious blow by Hagin’s book. “So…um,” as Copeland may have thought, “now that Hagin has died…let’s just make it disappear from the shelves… quietly. Nobody will notice. And if someone asks about it, we can just dodge the question like we always do.”
Okay, problem solved. Hagin has died. The book is removed. Phew! That was a close one!
Now Copeland would finally be free to have Leroy Thompson on his broadcast to talk about money again (that is, from their warped perspective). He could not do that when Hagin was alive, particularly after the 1999 rebuke — which was a private meeting held by Hagin himself, to which he invited several ministers to discuss his book — because Leroy refused to show up at the meeting! (That was not a welcome response to Hagin’s invitation.) So, of course, Copeland had to “lay low” for a while since Leroy was not in Hagin’s good graces. But now that Hagin was dead, Copeland could once again get Leroy on the show to discuss “money” ad infinitum. Of course, their own implicit view (despite a few pretenses to the contrary) is that financial wealth is the principle thing in life. So they focus their “teaching” on how we are allegedly able to get more of it by “sowing our seed” into their allegedly “good ministries.” (Ironically, that method of financial enrichment seems to work best for the guys taking up the offerings and selling the products that teach that such methods for “getting prosperity.” Why do you think that it works that way?)
Did you notice “Dr.” Leroy being on the BVOV broadcast far more frequently after Hagin’s death? I did. Have you also noticed that Copeland just cannot stay off the subject of “the blessing” (which he teaches in a twisted way)? It is as if once Hagin died, Copeland not only stayed in the “ditch” that Hagin’s book had warned him to avoid, but he went even further in that direction — and even dug that “ditch” deeper than before!
Other than “The Midas Touch,” have you noticed any other books curiously missing from Copeland’s bookstore inventory? You could visit there and see. Obviously, the “Angel Flight 44” book Rich and I wrote is not there! I can’t say that I blame them for that, due to all of Copeland’s unfulfilled promises contained therein. Nevertheless, they had thousands of copies in their warehouse if they wanted to display that book out for people to purchase.
Another one that was missing from KCM’s bookstores even when it was still in print was the book Rich and I wrote for Copeland’s New York buddy, Dan Stratton, who we later discovered is an active “Skull and Bones” member (i.e., current satanic cult member… who is not repentant… and still in good-standing with that group). No, that one never made it into their bookstores either! However, it did NOT seem to have been omitted from their shelves because of Stratton’s satanic affiliations because Copeland still hangs out with the guy.
(By the way, both of those books were taken off the market years ago once Rich and I discovered the frauds that were being perpetrated by these people. So if you are curious enough to want to see a copy of either of them, then you have to get a used one from Amazon. And, no, Rich does not get any royalties off of used books, just in case either Glen Hyde or Dan Stratton read this and wonder about that.)
Of course, these books are missing, but they are not the ones to which I want to direct your attention now. No, there is another book in particular, written by a long-term good buddy of Copeland’s, which accurately describes such covetously greedy so-called “ministries” like KCM — and even warns people to stay away from them! It is the perfect book to put in the hands of people still following Kenneth Copeland “Monstrosities,” in the hope of bringing spiritual sight to the blind concerning the false “prosperity gospel” — which, as the Bible says, “is not another” (see Galatians 1:6-8). It is a wonderful book to use for the purpose of exposing false ministers whose main (if not exclusive) reason for being in the “ministry” is to fleece the flock of God and clothe themselves with their wool.
(And yes, Jesus’s words in Matthew 7:15-20 is from where the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” metaphor comes.)
No Anti-Greed Books Allowed
The controversial book to which I am referring to is called, Merchandising the Anointing: Developing Discernment for the Last Days.
Who wrote the book? Well, many of you may already know that answer. This “minister” is a favorite speaker at all the KCM “Minister’s Conferences.” And he is very proud of his inner-circle association with the “Godfather of Prosperity,” Kenneth Copeland. He does all he can to promote Kenneth Copeland and other wolf preachers who financially support his “ministry.” His name is Rick Renner.
Renner first published “Merchandising the Anointing” back in 1990. A KCM insider reported to us (which only confirmed what we already knew) that that particular book of Renner’s has never been sold there. Why? Well, here is an anti-wolf excerpt from the back of the book that might give us a clue:
How do you recognize the characteristics of a false prophet or teacher? If you come across one, do you simply shut your eyes and hope the situation will change? Do you pretend that you never saw something wrong happen? Do you deny that hesitation in your spirit and hope for the best? Do you sweep it under the carpet and pretend the event never occurred?
Interesting. The “former” Rick Renner not only implies that false prophets can be known, but that they should be exposed too. Of course, he explains from the Bible inside the book why that is the case, and instructs his readers about how to do these very things.
Now, here is an excerpt from chapter thirteen of the book, which is also entitled “Merchandising the Anointing,” under the subsection which also has the title, “Merchandising the Anointing.” (Obviously, Renner is really emphasizing in this section what this book is focused on since it is a subsection, in a chapter, in a book, all of which have the same title.) Here is what he wrote on page 196 of our copy:
The word ‘covetousness’ is from the often used Greek word pleonexia (pleo-nex-ia), and is used throughout the New Testament to denote an “insatiable greed’ or a ‘strong desire for more, more, more, and more.”
In Colossians 3:5, Paul connects this word to “idolatry,” and then lumps it together in the same category of the vilest of sins. He says, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.“
According to Paul, this “strong desire to have more, more, more, and more,” if not corrected, eventually becomes so all-consuming that he likens it to the worship of an idol. In plain language, it becomes a thing that we serve and worship.
Well said, Mr. Renner! You have perfectly described Mr. Copeland and his wolf buddies. (Unfortunately, your 1990 words also somewhat describe your current “ministry” today.)
Can you see why this book is not sold in KCM’s or EMIC’s bookstores? I can assure you that if this were a recent book of Rick Renner, he would be persona non grata at KCM overnight. That is what we call their method of pushing “undesirable” people away from themselves. They either “bless people away” semi-publicly, if they are well-known at the ministry; or they act like the person never existed and never mention them publicly again, in the hope that everyone else will forget about the person too.
Just ask Willie George how this “persona non grata” thing of the Copelands’ works.
How many of you ever noticed that “Gospel Bill” (as Willie is affectionately known by many people because of his very popular children’s show) somehow “disappeared” from attending KCM events after he publicly exposed Carlton Pearson as a Universalist heretic? Rich and I were “attending” EMIC via their live Internet stream from another state at the time. We remember how it was announced one springtime Sunday during the live stream that EMIC was no longer going to send the kids to Willie’s “Camp Dry Gulch” for the summer (although only the camp was mentioned by name). Instead, EMIC was going to start a new “Superkids Camp” based on Kellie Copeland‘s alter ego, “Commander Kellie.” The hastily organized new summer camp project timed quite perfectly with Willie’s public confrontation of Carlton Pearson from the pulpit of his own church (i.e., to warn his own church members) and the subsequent local media coverage of that fact in Tulsa, Oklahoma. So today, the only mentions of Willie George on the KCM website or BVOV magazine today are with respect to buying copies of the three cowboy DVDs that Copeland made in partnership with him. (Stated another way: Kenneth Copeland may not want to hang out with people that have enough integrity to expose a heretic publicly, but as long as those DVDs make him look like a cowboy hero, he certainly has no intention of missing out on any sales!) Likewise, as of the time of this writing, you cannot find Kenneth Copeland mentioned on Willie George’s church website, indicating that Copeland has not spoken there in many years now.
But let me get back to the “please-never-do-the-persona-non-grata-thing-to-me” guy, Rick Renner: Somewhere along the line since 1990, Rick must have started to slip into the manipulation-type Copeland-esque trap of false doctrine. One sign of this is the fact that he doesn’t seem to be very public or bold in teaching against false hyper-prosperity doctrines anymore. Of course, another obvious indication that Renner has become like Copeland in this respect is the fact that he is so well-received by Copeland.
Kenneth Copeland and Rick Renner on the BVOV television broadcast. Courtesy KCM. (Click to enlarge.)
So it is NOT surprising that, if you go and search on Renner’s website (renner.org), the book “Merchandising the Anointing” is nowhere to be found. Again, both the 1990 and 1997 editions are still available used in limited quantities on Amazon, but Rick Renner seems to have taken this remarkable book out of print completely. And why would he do that?
“Is Love Really Blind?”
The title I gave this sub-section is one taken directly from chapter six of Renner’s “Merchandising the Anointing” book, hence the quotation marks. I wanted to bring this out a bit because of the fact that Copeland is so big on teaching about “love” — although his version is NOT the agape-love of God, but his own twisted re-definition of the word.
By the way: We must watch out for the times when these guys use the fallacy of “equivocation” within their teaching. Such error in reasoning is often used intentionally in order to deceive people, and is a very common and necessary tactic used by “wolves” to keep the “sheep” from discerning the problems in their false doctrines. Copeland does this often with numerous doctrines, including his false version of “walking in love” (e.g., ignoring the fact that Jesus Christ chased fraudulent “money-changers” like him from the Temple using a whip of cords, which Copeland no-doubt considers rather “unloving” toward people like him).
So let’s compare what the “former” Rick Renner said about agape-love, in comparison with the version that Copeland has always preferred to teach. Here is an excerpt from Renner’s chapter by this name, which is actually a pretty good teaching that supports the purpose of this very website of KennethCopelandBlog.com. (Note: All the quotation marks are just as in the book, but the two bold emphases are mine.):
One notable minister recently said to me, “Rick, by teaching people to look at the fruit of our ministries, you’re putting us on the spot… Don’t you realize you’re causing people to think twice before thy receive our new revelations… Why would you teach these verses from the Bible? Don’t you realize, Rick, that this is not the way that love behaves?”
Therefore, we must come face to face with the question which he put before me: “Are we walking in love by dealing with the problem of false prophets and false teachers?” “Are we walking in love by studying these important verses from the Bible?” “Should we ignore these scriptural warnings, lest they might incriminate a leader?”
This led me to ask other questions that were related to the issue. These were questions such as: “Are we walking in love if we ignore clear-cut fruit problems in a man’s ministry and leave the Church at large open to his deception?” “Are we acting in love if we let people walk right into spiritual bondage without first warning them from God’s Word?”
“Are we acting in love if we sit by and watch friends get caught up in ridiculous spiritual behavior that will eventually burn them so badly that they may turn from God?”
“Is it the behavior of God’s love to shut your eyes, ignore obvious problems you know are there, and just hope that things will turn out all right in the end?”
Now, in that same chapter, under the subheading, “Love Says, ‘Be Careful of Danger!’,” Renner teaches us the right way to warn people of false doctrine, i.e., we are not to be silent about such things. (Again, the quotation marks — though somewhat confusing — are as they are written in the book, but the bold emphasis is mine):
Let me put it to you like this: “If you saw a child running into a busy street that had tens of cars driving past at great speeds, would it be love to let that child run right out into that street?” Of course not! You would shout as loud as you could to get that child’s attention and stop him from death.
At that precarious moment, real love would not gently whisper “please be careful.” Instead, real love would scream, holler and yell as loud as it could! Love would act fast, hard and immediately.
Bystanders who didn’t see the dangerous situation as closely as you did, may misunderstand and accuse you of being “too harsh” or “unkind” when calling out to the child. However, the bottom-line is you got the attention of the child and saved him from death.
For this same reason, Jude speaks loudly about the false prophet and false teacher issue. If he only sighs a faint whisper about his problem, no one will hear or realize the critical nature of the situation.
Therefore, he raises his voice like the voice of a commander and urges his readers to march forward to war against the heretics in the Church!
Well said, again, Rick! Really, this book has so much good stuff in it, I couldn’t possibly quote all of it’s great points in this article.
It is truly astounding how much truth came from this man’s mouth back in the early 90’s. It is such a shame that his zeal was quenched somewhere along the line, to the point that Renner now seems to be walking in the same “bad fruit” that he had so vehemently condemned (in accordance with God’s Word) years ago. The “modern” Rick Renner is rebuked by the “former” version in his own book, which most likely explains why he no longer sells it on his website. Of course, the fact that the Copelands are indirectly rebuked by Renner’s “Merchandising the Anointing” too explains why it never made its way into KCM/EMIC bookstores, nor was it promoted on the BVOV television broadcast or in their magazine.
May I…Um…Put You on Hold?
If you ever happen to wander into (or call) the bookstore at KCM or at EMIC, you can personally ask them if they have the books that I have mentioned in this article WITHIN their CURRENT inventory for you to pick up that day — and not merely that these books can be ordered. When they tell you “no, it is not in stock” you can then ask them some more questions.
And if those questions are asked via telephone, they have a habit of telling the person something like this: “I have to ask such-and-such, so can I get your name and number and call you back?” Then they “mysteriously” lose your number, and your question is NEVER answered because — in their “world” — it is like you NEVER asked the question to begin with. So much for their former “NO FEAR HERE!” motto. Maybe that is why they have not been saying that affirmation very much lately. Perhaps they should revive it by altering it. If they changed that old motto to, “There’s no fear OF GOD here,” they would at least be able to speak something from the Bible truthfully.
Of course, I could completely understand their method of handling confrontational phone calls if they were being harassed by a drunk guy or something. On the other hand, if I were there answering calls I would be more interested in preaching the REAL Gospel to someone like that than I would in merely answering the person’s questions about books. I might even hang up on the person if they were completely irrational.
Nevertheless, whenever you call a ministry and ask some very basic questions for which you should receive a clear answer, and they refuse to provide them, then something is very wrong. They might as well send you to a hide-and-dodge pre-recorded message just to make it easier on themselves: “I’m sorry but everyone who can answer that question is either in an eternal meeting, on a permanent vacation, or is dead right now. So please leave a message. We’re here for you, however… that is, for your donations. So if you would like to make a donation, press ‘1,’ and someone will gladly take your call.”
What Happened to You, Rick?
Rich and I had contact with Rick Renner at KCM Minister’s Conferences on a few occasions from about 2002 through to 2007. He was so arrogant and elitist that it was pitiful. These were usually the types of encounters after which you feel like you need hand sanitizer and a good UV-soaking to get rid of any lingering wolf germs. In fact, Rich tried to strike up friendly conversations with him a few times, but the condescending smile was a dead giveaway that his inward thoughts were not matching his outward niceties.
Nevertheless, I can see in the book that is so greatly feared by the wolf pack, “Merchandising the Anointing,” that Rick must have at one time had at least a shred of humility and fear of God operating in his life.
So, what happened to you, Rick Renner? I pray that you will call upon the Lord while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6-9). I pray that you will return to the convictions you seemed to have had before you became so closely associated with the wolf pack of modern “Charismania” (as Rich calls it).
Mr. Renner — alias “Greek Renner,” as you are affectionately called by your wolfish friends — please consider your ways. Please realize that you have followed in the footsteps of a false prophet who trained you well in covetous practices. Worse yet, Copeland is a clear example of the very type of self-serving “minister” that you formerly sought to warn others about in your book. Please remember the warnings of Scripture about what happens to those who follow false prophets and false teachers in their wicked ways:
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
(2 Peter 2:1-3, NKJV)
I am not sure why the Lord would have me all of a sudden write about Rick Renner. But right now, I am sensing a heart of compassion rising up within me — a sincere desire from the Holy Spirit for this man to come to repentance. It would be a delight to my heart if he did.