Archive for Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Evangelist Oral Roberts dies in Calif. at age 91

December 16, 2009

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— Oral Roberts, who helped pioneer TV evangelism in the 1950s and used the power of the new medium — and his message of God’s healing power — to build a multimillion-dollar ministry and a university in Tulsa, Okla., that bears his name, died Tuesday. He was 91.

Roberts died of complications from pneumonia in Newport Beach, Calif., according to his spokesman, A. Larry Ross. The evangelist was hospitalized after a fall on Saturday.

Roberts rose from humble tent revivals to become one of the nation’s most famous and influential preachers. Along with Billy Graham, he pioneered religious TV, and he played a major role in bringing American Pentecostalism into the mainstream.

He also laid the foundation for the “prosperity gospel,” the doctrine that has come to dominate televangelism. It holds that God rewards the faithful with material success. Its critics say it is used by preachers to enrich themselves at the expense of their followers.

“In conservative Protestant culture, he’s second only to Billy Graham,” said Grant Wacker, a professor at Duke University’s divinity school. “Jerry Falwell is important, too, but I think in the long run we’ll see that Oral Roberts had more impact.”

Comments

Corey Williams 5 years, 7 months ago

From Time magazine:

"So far, 1987 has been a checkered and chastening year for the Rev. Oral Roberts, 69. Last January the Tulsa-based TV evangelist announced that if he did not receive $8 million from donors by March 31, God would "call me home." The money was raised, but Roberts' dramatic ultimatum provoked widespread derision. He drew additional gibes by declaring that his wife Evelyn had come to his rescue when the devil visited his bedroom and tried to strangle him. Then, in May, Roberts mailed 1 million packets of "healing" water to followers, advising them to use it to "anoint your billfold" to solve money problems and "anoint your body" to allay physical ills."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,964970,00.html

Corey Williams 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm not really poking fun at Oral, just those who decided to enrich his own personal coffers.

As a hustler, I admire him. Who else could say that god was going to kill him if he didn't get $8 million, and then pull it off?

anon1958 5 years, 7 months ago

Regardless of his good intentions, faith healers do far more harm to the health of their followers than good. It is not unfair to judge someone who claims that God spoke to them and said "raise 8 million dollars by a certain date or I will kill you" as either completely delusional or at a bald faced liar.

I dont doubt that Roberts believed that God said that to him and often wondered why Roberts didnt just ask God to give him the 8 million Himself. If the US treasury can literally make as many dollars as it wants you would think that this would be a small task for the creator of the universe,

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 7 months ago

i honestly thought he was already dead.

well i pray that he is about to RIP. he was a hard working fellow, that's for sure.

anon1958 5 years, 7 months ago

In the letter, Roberts told his partners, "I felt an overwhelming holy presence all around me. When I opened my eyes, there He stood...some 900 feet tall, looking at me; His eyes...Oh! His eyes! He stood a full 300 feet taller than the 600 foot tall City of Faith."

"There I was face to face with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God," Roberts continued.

"I have only seen Jesus once before, but here I was face to face with the King of Kings. He stared at me without saying a word; Oh! I will never forget those eyes! And then he reached down, put His hands under the City of Faith, lifted it, and said to me, 'See how easy it is for me to lift it! Roberts said.

ROFLMAO.......... You dont need to be a left wing godless atheist to conclude that Oral Roberts was either mad as a hatter or was growing some really superb weed in his basement.

I think there is a giant walking talking cross in the Apocalypse of Peter, one of the non-canonical apocalypse manuscripts from the Nag Hammadi (sp?) library. I can easily envision Oral Roberts pulling out a copy of one those books, lighting up and chilling out with Jesus. You have to admit my scenario is more believable than his.

Corey Williams 5 years, 7 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says… "How do you he wouldn't have Corey, had he not raised the $8 million? He may have been distraught and absent-mindedly pulled out in front of a semi."

He said that god would kill him if he didn't raise the money? What kind of god would kill a person if they didn't meet that kind of devotion? And remember how it came down to the wire, with only a check for $1.3 million from a Florida dog track owner sparing his god's wrath?

"s/b: There was/is a whole lot more televangelist who operate under dubious means that Oral Roberts I don't believe did."

There are others out there who do worse, and so that makes Oral alright? Stalin killed more people than Hitler, does that make Hitler alright? Why do you hate America?

JustNoticed 5 years, 7 months ago

" s/b: There was/is a whole lot more televangelist who operate under dubious means that Oral Roberts I don't believe did. "

No, no, no. There is no rescuing this sentence. Please throw it away and start over.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

"No, no, no. There is no rescuing this sentence. Please throw it away and start over."

To the contrary. Tom has never made so much sense.

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