Title: Modern Pentecostal understandings of money, investment and accounting – Kenneth and Gloria Copeland's faith teaching

Authors: Kieran James, Les Hardy, Tim Narraway

Addresses: Faculty of Business, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba Qld. 4350, Australia. ' Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University at Gippsland, Northways Road, Churchill, Victoria 3842, Australia. ' New Life Church, 48 Vestey Street, P.O. Box 435 Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia

Abstract: 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).

Keywords: Christian theology; Gloria Copeland; Kenneth Copeland; faith teaching; Kenneth E. Hagin Sr.; Hillsong Church; hundredfold return; Pentecostalism; sacred-secular divide; treasures in heaven; televangelists; USA; United States; money; investment; accounting.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2010.036176

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2010 Vol.2 No.4, pp.340 - 371

Published online: 27 Oct 2010 *

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