By Marsha West
When I heard that Jan Crouch died of a massive stroke, to be quite honest, I was not saddened by the news. Why? Well, for one thing Jan and her deceased husband Paul promoted the worst sort of heresy imaginable: Word of Faith. But you wouldn’t find that out by reading the Christian Post’s puff piece. Janice Crouch was a controversial figure to be sure. But inquiring minds learned nothing about that from CP. Certainly part of the reason for the controversy was the colossal pink-tinged “cotton candy” wigs, heavy make-up, and the lavish lifestyle she and husband Paul enjoyed. But there were many other reasons the Crouches were controversial. So let’s take a quick look at their history.
The couple were the founders and leaders of Trinity Broadcasting Network. TBN has been in business since 1973 and has an estimated net worth of half a billion dollars. A single Praise-A-Thon can bilk faithful viewers out of as much as $50 million tax exempt donations. The Crouches were known for their scandalous statements against anyone who dared challenge the cultic Faith teaching they were spreading on a global scale via their cable TV network. The following is excerpted from “Televangelist Paul Crouch Leaves a Dirty Legacy; Evangelical Christians Look the Other Way” by Terry Firma:
The New York Times published an exposé of the Crouches’ financial tricks last year. It tells you volumes about how the darling duo spent all that revenue from donations, TV rights, and investments.
The [couple’s] lavish perquisites, described by [estranged granddaughter and former financial officer Brittany] Koper and corroborated by interviews with two other former TBN employees, include additional, often-vacant homes in Texas and on the former Conway Twitty estate in Tennessee, corporate jets valued at $8 million and $49 million each and thousand-dollar dinners with fine wines, paid with tax-exempt funds.
[F]ormer TBN employees also said that dozens of staff members, including Ms. Koper, chauffeurs, sound engineers and others had been ordained as ministers by TBN. This, she said, allowed the network to avoid paying Social Security taxes on their salaries and made it easier to justify providing family members with rent-free houses, sometimes called “parsonages.” (Source)
The above is just a tidbit of information that can be gleaned from a Google search. But nothing like this was mentioned in CP’s report, even though the controversy still rages. Also not mentioned in the puff piece is the fact that because of TBN, Faith teaching has become one of this era’s greatest threats to authentic Christianity.
Joseph Chambers wrote a piece entitled “The Confused World of Paul and Jan Crouch” and provides the transcript of a chat Kenneth Copeland had with the Crouches where he lays out the force of faith to them. Briefly, Copeland believes faith is a tangible force. This force is released through the spoken word, thus name-it-and-claim-it. When we speak words of faith, power is discharged that will accomplish our desires. Through faith we can have health, wealth, success – anything…