James, Kieran and Hardy, Les and Narraway, Tim (2010) Modern Pentecostal understandings of money, investment and accounting - Kenneth and Gloria Copeland's faith teaching. International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2 (4). pp. 340-371. ISSN 1757-9848
In this paper we study the major money-related doctrines of US husband-and-wife televangelist faith teachers Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. We find the unique Copeland interpretation of 'Treasures in Heaven' (Matthew 6:20) to be a complete inversion of the mainstream theological interpretation. While the mainstream interpretation is that this verse refers to future rewards available after death, the Copelands argue that it refers to rewards existing now in the heavenly places in what they refer to as the believer’s 'heavenly bank account'. The Copelands also believe in a literal 'hundredfold return' on monetary and other gifts made 'for the gospel’s sake' (Mark 10:29-30). Overall we find that the individualistic capitalistic pro-investment and stewardship position that Weber ascribes to Calvinism is emphasised in the Copelands’ teachings. However, this is balanced by warnings about the link between money and selfishness and a compassionate emphasis on the communalist principle of 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs' (Marx).
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