On the Passing of Jan Crouch

The Christian Post reported this morning the news that Trinity Broadcasting Network’s (TBN) co-founder Jan Crouch passed away this morning after suffering a massive stroke.

For those unaware, Crouch established TBN with her late husband Paul Crouch in 1973 and it quickly became one of the leading “Christian” television networks. Let the reader understand: TBN espouses the heretical doctrine of Word of Faith theology, most commonly known as the Prosperity Gospel, or the Health and Wealth Gospel. TBN has lead the way in spreading this false gospel across the globe, and the Crouch family has allowed these false teachers to pontificate this message in order to acquire a vast wealthand solidify their kingdom upon this earth.

It was a peculiar feeling I had when I read of Crouch’s illness yesterday and her passing this morning. When her husband died a few years ago I had the same feeling. Part of me desires to celebrate because she is no longer able to spread a false gospel message, although her empire still exists. We are told both not to rejoice over the death of the wicked since God does not (Ezek 33:11; cf. Pros 24:17–18)[1] but there also seems to be time when one should rejoice (Prov 11:10; cf. Rev 18:20), although perhaps this is more linked with wicked rulers who oppress those who dwell in their Kingdom.

Nevertheless, it seems that the proper response is both to be thankful that her false teaching is complete, but I believe it should be outweighed more with grieving over the loss of her soul. Jan Crouch has met the One who she profited from for over 40 years, and we as Christians know that her message was a false gospel. I have prayed she would hear the true Gospel preached and come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, not the jesus of the prosperity movement. I grieve that, from what it seems, she never repented of this heretical movement and now she is held accountable for her actions.

It is also interesting to see how other Word of Faith teachers are reacting to this. A simple Twitter search reveals that many lament her death, but therein is the hypocrisy of this movement. It seems that is plausible for a major player in this movement to be sick and instantly (rightly so) prayers are offered for their health. However, the message of the Prosperity Movement does not allow for sickness for their followers; rather, they would be accused by these teachers of lacking the faith in God for the healing. Should not the leaders of this movement also be held accountable to the same standards? Those in control answer in the negative. This is simply one key flaw in this movement: even the leaders are not immune from sickness, disease, and death.

I mourn the passing of Jan Crouch, but I am hopeful that perhaps this will enact an awakening in this movement; namely, that those who follow will see the inconsistency of their message, repent, and believe in the true Jesus of the Scripture. May God give them eyes to see and ears to hear.

[1] Yet there are verses that say God does have pleasure in destroying the wicked. See Ezek 5:13; Prov 1:25–26; Rev 18:20; Deut 28:63. See the helpful article by John Piper http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/is-god-glad-osama-bin-ladens-dead.