Magazine article Free Inquiry

Oral Roberts on Jim Bakker

Magazine article Free Inquiry

Oral Roberts on Jim Bakker

Article excerpt

Recently at an antique mall I picked up a copy of Jim Bakker's Survival: Unite to Love, published by New Leaf Press in 1980, several years before Jim's downfall. I bought it because I wanted to read Oral Roberts's introduction.

In light of what happened, the book bristles with laughs. Jim dedicates it "To my wife Tammy who has stood with me through the valley and mountaintop experiences.... And to all my faithful partners without whose help there would be no PTL." As we all know, Tammy has divorced Jim, and the PTL partners are still trying to get back some of the loot he stole from them.

Jim is down on greed. "Too many people," he writes, "... have made gold their god.... Our dividend is not dollars, it's souls. We are placing souls into the bank of Heaven, and that's where our dollars and cents are. That's where our profit lies--in souls. Souls, souls, souls." A touching photo on page 126 shows Jim weeping as he is "overwhelmed" by "God's goodness." More likely he is overwhelmed by the amount of gold he is putting into earthly banks.

The funniest part of the book is Oral's glowing Introduction. Here are a few gems:

What drew me to Jim Bakker goes far beyond the splendid work he is doing for God but because he is doing it under public glare two hours a day on LIVE television--warts and all. He stands up and says what he is, what he believes, what he is doing--and when he reaches heartbreak hill, he breaks down and weeps like the rest of us mortals.

Personally, I see a lot of our Master in Jim Bakker--and certainly in Tammy who stands for the Lord even when it is the toughest . …

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