Tuesday, December 15, 2009

RIP Oral Roberts

There's no question that Oral Roberts had a spontaneous remission from tuberculosis after an encounter with a travelling preacher -- it was confirmed medically -- but what followed in the next 74 years would prove to be the business of one of the most controversial figures of the last century. Roberts died today at the age of 91.

To be clear, I am very reluctant to call his remission, or any of the so-called "healings" at his crusades "miracles" because I don't believe God works like that. Too, Roberts was wrong on so many points of doctrine, and set a standard for extravagence that would be exceeded decades later by Benny Hinn; but he exploited television in its golden age and set the standard for other flamboyant televangelists to follow and for that he should be given a lot of credit. Famously, he was sought ought for religious counsel over Billy Graham -- by no less than the Catholic JFK.
May he rest in peace ... although I don't think a lot of people will forgive him for his 8 million or he dies stunt in 1987 or his continued adherence to the Word of Faith even after one of his students at his university exposed it for being not only unbiblical but also largely lifted from previously published works -- in particular his claim that "God" gave him the name "City of Faith" for his expensive and quickly defunct hospital.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live in Vancouver, and our local TV stations receive a tonne of the revenue from religious and evangelical shows.

Oral Roberts may be gone, but his 'spirit' lives on!