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Why the televangelist who claims there’s no flu is dead-wrong

(Kenneth Copeland/YouTube)





Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:


TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, we’re in the midst of flu season. Every year in the United States, approximately 36,000 people die from the flu and 200,000 people are hospitalized.

The Washington Post recently ran an article in which Texas televangelist, Gloria Copeland, said there’s nothing to worry about. In fact, Gloria Copeland said she doesn’t believe there’s such a thing as a flu season. “We’ve got a duck season, a deer season, but we don’t have a flu season,” she said in a video, “and don’t receive it when somebody threatens you with it. Everyone gets the flu.”

As I just cited, 36,000 people pass away each year in the United States. Obviously, it’s something that we have to take very seriously and yet we have an individual who says trying to take precaution would be foolish.

DR. REEDER: We’re going to take very seriously what this “televangelist,” Gloria Copeland — married to another televangelist, Kenneth Copeland — has said: the reason those people died was not because they should have died from the flu, but because they received the flu by not receiving the healing that Jesus has secured for them and promised for them.

This is where I want to tell our listeners, “Theology matters. Doctrine matters.” Sound lives come from sound doctrines, which are taught with sound words from a sound and appropriate understanding of God’s Word that fits in the context of God’s Word and is faithful to the true content of God’s Word.


Now, Ms. Copeland comes from a strain of theology that leads to something called the “Prosperity Gospel,” but even more precisely, it’s called the “Word of Faith Movement.” This is the notion that looks at the atonement of Jesus as having secured all that you have in life for your health and for your prosperity in life. The “By His stripes you are healed” is a declaration that Jesus has secured your healing and the only reason that you were sick is because you have not believed it and received it, what Jesus has for you.

Her view is there is no flu season. That’s just a fabricated thing that’s out there that actually doesn’t have to be out there if you don’t receive it. She is labeling those who warn about a flu season as threatening people. They’re not threatening people — they are warning people of a threat. There’s something really true called a flu virus that you can catch and it does kill people and the people that died did not die simply because they did not believe in Jesus enough.


One of my first encounters in this was my very first pastorate, a young man who was dying of cancer in his 20s. The pastor was in his room, talking to him and telling him, “The only reason you have this cancer is because you have not believed what Jesus has secured for you and you haven’t received it by faith so, if you’ll just believe it and receive it, then you’ll be walking out of here without this cancer.”

Well, the fact is, first of all, I bodily removed him from the room and explained to him, “Let me tell you what you’re saying. No. 1, your doctrinal position: basically, if people believe enough, they should never die — that’s what you’re telling me — but the Bible says, “It is appointed unto men once to die.” Secondly, you’re telling this young man that his sickness is because he has not trusted in the power and grace of God, yet Jesus declares to us that there is a sickness that God brings into the lives of his people for the glory of God and to advance the cause of the kingdom.

The sickness and death of Lazarus, he purposefully allowed and would not intervene in order to make a statement that needed to be made and he wanted to make concerning the supremacy over Christ in all matters, including sin, death and Hell in the grave, but it was there for a purpose.

In other words, everybody’s not sick simply because they didn’t believe enough. And that guy said to me, “Do you believe in the Word of faith?” and I said, “As soon as you can show me somebody that’s 250 years old, I’ll start believing.” In other words, why should you ever die if you believe enough?

Here’s a young man who’s about to face eternity, trusting in Jesus Christ having died on the cross to forgive him of all of our sins, and you’re telling him he doesn’t even have enough faith to get over cancer, much less Hell, itself, through Jesus Christ. Not only is it terrible theology, not only does it contradict God’s Word, it is a perversion of the atoning work of Christ.


Does the atoning work of Christ secure for me a physical healing? Yes, it’s called the resurrected body. That’s when I get my perfect healing. Does God, from time to time, providentially, through means — such as medicine — or beyond means — i.e. a miracle — intervene so that people do get better from sicknesses? Yes.

However, does that mean that the only people that die are people that don’t believe Jesus enough and the only people that get sick are people that are receiving sickness instead of receiving what Jesus has and believing what Jesus has, which is that they don’t need to be sick if they believe enough? Well, that is just an absolute abomination — it’s anti-Biblical, it is anti-doctrine, stands directly in the face of all that Jesus did and taught us.

What’s in the atonement is the assurance that Jesus forgives us of all of our sins and, in Christ because of His atoning death, you get a new record where your sins are erased and Christ’s righteousness is imputed to you. You get a new heart, where you’re born again. The old heart has been taken away and you’ve been given a new heart. You get a new life where you can grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, dealing with the physical infirmities of life — sometimes through healing, sometimes through means, sometimes directly, but all the time victoriously as neither sickness, nor death, nor anything can separate us from the love of God in Christ.

My sickness and my death is not a statement that I’m not trusting Christ enough — it is a fallen world in which I trust Christ to bring me through it to His victory. And then, finally, that you get a new body for a new heavens and a new earth. That new body is not here — it will come when I leave here. Jesus comes back and the body is raised and is united to us so that we will be with the Lord forever in a new home, in a new heavens and a new earth.


TOM LAMPRECHT:  Which, Harry, I look forward to and, indeed, the apostle Paul said, “For me to die is gain.”

DR. REEDER: Exactly. He did not see death as the evidence he did not receive what Jesus had for him. He saw death as the step that he will go through the valley of the shadow of death because Christ is with Him and has defeated death and, therefore, will bring him to glory and that He will, ultimately, raise this corrupted body into an incorruptible new body fashioned like the resurrected body of Jesus Christ.

This particular teaching, I believe that’s not simply an error — that is an abomination. It is that which is destructive in the lives of people. It offers a false hope. Sickness and adversity and difficulties are not the evidences that you don’t believe enough — they are the occasions to mature your faith in Christ on your way to glory.

One day, you will have a new body and a new heavens and a new earth which will be your new home in which, in that day, there will be no sickness, no mourning, no crying, no effects of sin because there will be no sin. Sin, death, Hell, the grave, and Satan will have been cast into the lake of fire and we will dwell with the Lord forever.

Now that’s sound doctrine that leads to a sound life that you can walk in the victory of Christ and I am convinced that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ, neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, famine, nakedness, sword or sickness. No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors, not by their absence, but through Him who loves us and brings us through them, and to them and above them as we fix our eyes on Jesus.


TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, we’re out of time for today. On Friday’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to a story which is rather interesting. It is a story of statistics. Now, for some, they’ll be encouraged and others might discouraged.

DR. REEDER: Yeah, the statistics of what about church size and what does that tell us? What about church age and what does that tell us? And, through that, how should we view statistics and what story do they actually tell?

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

12 hours ago

Gov. Ivey appoints interim finance chief — ‘Thorough search’ underway for permanent appointee

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday named longtime state employee Kelly Butler as acting Director of the Alabama Department of Finance to replace outgoing Director Clinton Carter, who resigned this summer to become the Chief Financial Officer for the University of North Carolina System.

According to a press release by the governor’s office, Butler began his career with the Alabama Department of Revenue more than thirty years ago and has since worked for the Legislative Fiscal Office and the Alabama Department of Finance as Assistant State Budget Officer, State Budget Officer and, most recently, Assistant Finance Director for Fiscal Operations.

Now, a “thorough search” is underway for a permanent Finance Director.

Outgoing State Treasurer Young Boozer has emerged as the clear favorite for the appointment, as he leaves office in January due to being term-limited. Former Congressman Jo Bonner, who recently left his role as Vice Chancellor for Economic Development at the University of Alabama System, is also on the shortlist. Another possibility that has been floating around is state Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville).

Until then, the state is in experienced hands with Butler.


His duties as Assistant Finance Director included overseeing the State Comptroller’s Office, the State Purchasing Division, the State Debt Management Division, and the State Business Systems Division.

“Kelly Butler has more than two decades of experience working with the state’s budgets and more than three decades experience as a fiscal analyst,” Ivey said in a statement. “I know he will do an excellent job leading the Alabama Department of Finance during this interim period.

The governor added, “I appreciate him stepping up as acting director and his commitment to my administration.”

In addition to handling his new job responsibilities, Butler will continue to work on crafting the Ivey administration’s budget proposals leading up to the 2019 Legislative Session. He accepted the new role with graciousness and thanked the employees that work with him for making the department run smoothly.

“I am honored that governor Ivey has asked me to lead the Department of Finance,” Butler announced in a statement. “The department has many talented employees who work hard to provide excellent services to other state agencies and to the people of Alabama. I look forward to working with them to continue those excellent services.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

13 hours ago

Alabama’s state climatologist John Christy rebuts claims of recent fires, heat waves being caused by human activity in in-depth interview

There is one particular word that Dr. John Christy turns to frequently for describing climate science: murky.

It’s a point of view foundational to his own research, and a message underpinning each of his twenty appearances before various congressional committees.

“It’s encouraging because they wouldn’t invite you back unless your message was compelling and not only compelling, but accurate,” Christy, Alabama’s state climatologist, told Yellowhammer News in an interview.

Christy, whose day job involves doing research and teaching as the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), has gained notoriety over the years for dissenting from mainstream climate scientists and policymakers who argue that climate change is anthropogenic, or man-made, and that something must be done to stop it.


A “working-stiff” scientist

Dissent has gained for Christy the characterization as a “climate change skeptic” or “denier,” as critics refer to him, but he himself rejects those terms.

“I’m a working-stiff atmospheric scientist,” he said, “as opposed to those who support modeling efforts, those who use data sets that other people create and analyze them, but they don’t build them themselves.”

According to Christy, the result of fewer “working-stiff” scientists contributing to the prevailing climate debate is more frequent misuses of data.

“They’re not aware of what goes into it,” Christy said, referring to the data.

“Here we have a science that’s so dominated by personalities that claim the science is settled, yet when you walk up to them and say prove it, they can’t,” he said.

Christy spoke at length about what can be proven and what cannot in his self-described “murky” field, referring often to principles of the scientific method.

“You cannot prove extra greenhouse gases have done anything to the weather,” he said, responding to claims made by many scientists that more greenhouse gases have caused extreme weather patterns to intensify.

“We do not have an experiment that we can repeat and do,” he said.

Christy outlined another problem with attempts to implicate greenhouse gases: a failure to account for things countering trapping effects.

“We know that the extra greenhouse gases should warm the planet,” he said. “The weak part of that theory though is that when you add more greenhouse gases that trap heat, things happen that let it escape as well, and so not as much is trapped as climate models show.”

Economics of climate policy

Though his scientific arguments are primary, Christy also frequently discusses in interviews and testimonies the economic consequences of proposed climate change mitigation policy via carbon reduction.

“Every single person uses energy, carbon energy, and relies on carbon-based energy,” Christy said. “None of our medical advances, none of our technological advances, none of our progress would have happened in the last hundred years without energy derived from carbon.”

Christy contrasts that reality within the modern, developed world with the world he saw working as a missionary teacher in impoverished Africa during the 1970s.

“The energy source was wood chopped from the forest, the energy transmission system was the backs of women and girls hauling wood an average of three miles each day, the energy use system was burning the wood in an open fire indoors for heat and light,” Christy told members of the House Committee on Energy in 2006.

Broad availability to affordable energy enriches countries, Christy said, praising carbon.

“It is not evil. It is the stuff of life. It is plant food,” he said.

What about the fires and heat waves?

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, fires were burning in fifteen states as of Tuesday, August 14.

Alaska reported seventeen fires, Arizona reported eleven, both Oregon and Colorado reported ten, and California reported nine.

Much of the news media’s discussion about these fires over the past few weeks has established a correlation between the many fires and anthropogenic climate change, a correlation that Dr. Christy rejects.

Christy argues that exacerbating fires out west, particularly in California, results from human mismanagement. Such states have enacted strict management practices that disallow low-level fires from burning, he said.

“If you don’t let the low-intensity fires burn, that fuel builds up year after year,” Christy said. “Now once a fire gets going and it gets going enough, it has so much fuel that we can’t put it out.”

“In that sense, you could say that fires today are more intense, but it’s because of human management practices, not because mother nature has done something,” Christy said.

Data from the Fire Center indicates that the number of wildfires have been decreasing since the 1970s overall, though acreage burned has increased significantly.

As for the heat, Christy said there’s nothing abnormal going on in the United States.

“Heat waves have always happened,” he said. “Our most serious heatwaves were in the 1930’s. We have not matched those at all.”

Christy continued, “It is only a perception that is being built by the media that these are dramatic worst-ever heat wave kind of things but when we look at the numbers, and all science is numbers, we find that there were periods that were hotter, hotter for longer periods in the past, so it’s very hard to say that this was influenced by human effects when you go back before there could have been human effects and there’s the same or worse kind of events.”

Though Christy didn’t deny that the last three years have been the hottest ever recorded globally, he doesn’t concede that the changes are attributable to anything other than climate’s usual and historical erraticism.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

13 hours ago

Alabama state Rep. Standridge on ‘In God We Trust’ legislation: ‘It’s a simple message, but I believe it’s a powerful message’

Alabama state Rep. David Standridge (R-Hayden) was interviewed Tuesday on “Fox and Friends First,” where he discussed the state’s new law that allows “In God We Trust” to be displayed in public buildings.

Standridge, who sponsored the legislation in the state legislature, explained that the idea came in part out of recent debate about school safety. He said he views displaying the national motto as a way to bring added comfort to students, teachers and staff while they are at school.

Along the way, Standridge was shocked by the number of people who were afraid to touch the subject, due to what he views as a modern-day culture of hypersensitivity and “political correctness.”

Media outlets like and the Associated Press reported that legal challenges are “expected,” but, like Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Standridge does not see an issue with simply displaying the national motto – which he points out was passed by Congress and is featured on American currency.

“It’s a simple message, but I believe it’s a powerful message,” Standridge said on “Fox and Friends First.”


Standridge’s wife, Danna, is a former teacher at Hayden High School in Blount County, which is being viewed as the guinea pig county for the new law.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

14 hours ago

The media, including some in Alabama, continue endorsing aggressive action by liberals that will lead to violence

During the rise of the Tea Party, the American media pretended the group was violent and was going to get people hurt. There are multiple instances where the media disingenuously tied violent acts that were unrelated to the group or others on the American right; the facts didn’t matter.

Now, liberals are in the street punching reporters, cutting audio cables, yelling at people while they eat, showing up and screaming at town halls and throwing items at U.S. Senators like Doug Jones over Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, while shouting, “You can kiss my ass if you vote yes. You can kiss my ass if you vote yes. You can kiss my ass.”

If the woman who committed this act were Republican, we would know every single thing about her and she would have been fired from her job.

But because she is fighting the liberal’s fight, the Alabama Political Reporter’s Josh Moon praised this ridiculousness:


This comes on the heels of CNN’s Chris Cuomo endorsing violence by Antifa in a “fight between good and evil”:

The violence is going to get worse. It is being fueled by bad people for bad reasons. The cowards in the media will make excuses for these people, and they will tell those who might be considering action that they are morally right. It implies doing nothing is complicit, and that it is more important than ever that Americans resist — even if that means violence.

It is easy to see that Josh Moon and Chris Cuomo aren’t going to get out in the street and start throwing hands, but rather, they will praise violent acts from behind their keyboards and from their televisions studios as they benefit from the carnage.

15 hours ago

WATCH: University of Alabama Police Department completes lip sync battle featuring ‘Sweet Home Alabama’

Monday, The University of Alabama posted a video of their campus police department participating in a lip sync battle against Clemson University.

UAPD chose “Sweet Home Alabama” as their song and, afterward, challenged all other SEC schools to join in on the competition.

Watch the full video here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn