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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oral Roberts


Oral Roberts died yesterday at the age of 91 years old.

He began as an itinerant 'tent revival preacher', claiming to heal people "through the power of Jeeesssuuussss" of all sort and manner of affliction - blindness, physical infirmity, terminal illness - he even claimed to raise people from the dead. 

He was the first to link "seed ministry" with television and thus built one of the first television empires which included a hospital and a university, both with his name.

His life, his faith, did nothing, directly, to or for my life or faith.  Indeed, I have always found his style of ministry - his theology - oddly embarrassing.  You know.  The way you might be watching "America's Got Talent" and suddenly have to get something to drink in the kitchen rather than watch someone make a fool of themselves.

That doesn't mean that his life and his ministry had no positive effect.

Roberts was nobody's fool.  His faith was authentic, just very different from mine.

I suspect he is, even now, in one of those many rooms in God's heavenly mansion that Jesus told us about. 

And now, he, himself is perfect in every way, having been healed into perfection by the One who created and even yet more wonderfully restored him to perfection.

Rest well, sir.  You've earned Eternal Peace.

17 comments:

Bede said...

Thanks for this Elizabeth. It saves me from my own impulse to say, "Good riddance!"

David |Dah • veed| said...

He is also now united with his eldest son. His gay son Ronald Roberts, who committed suicide in the 80s because of the rejection that he received directly from his father and the rest of his family.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Bede: I know. But, I ask myself, Have I started a hospital or a University? Answer: No.

I don't agree with his theology - don't understand it or his life.

God does. That's good enough for me.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Dahveed, my beloved. I didn't know that. Oh, the torment - that is now over. Or, just beginning.

It's for God to decide.

susankay said...

You are kinder than I -- but it doesn't matter to O.R. -- sigh .. it matters to God about you and me. Sigh again.

Brad Evans said...

His "hospital" was a scam that closed after barely eight years, cost twice as much to run as institutions with the same number of beds.
The fact that "god has called him home" is nothing but an anticlimactic ending. Even for a preacher, he was ridiculous.

fuegoHugh said...

Great post Elizabeth, thanks so much for your wise words. I am part of a church in New Zealand (of the prayer book fame) where our Vicar is Anglican Mainstream, sometimes I ask myself why but then I realise because God calls all people to the Kingdom of Heaven. I always like to read your blog, and today for a change fully agree with your post. Look foward to reading more in 2010.
Season's greetings, God be with you from Rangiora New Zealand

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well, Brian, all I know is that God is merciful and kind - even to someone whom others consider a complete failure.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Sorry, that was for Brad.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

fuegoHugh - well, maybe you can talk with Brad about that.

Thanks for stopping by. You can leave a note even when you disagree.

Two Auntees said...

A friend says that she believes that heaven will be a lot like WalMart. No telling who you will see there.

My beliefs are not the same as Oral Roberts and like you he did make me uncomfortable but God loves him just as he loves me.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I rarely go to WalMart but if that's what heaven is like, I'm not going.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

O.R. has the most the most strange persons around here claiming him now. The Rhema lot and all that. The outer fringe in Sweden likes your nutters. But, happily, they are very few.

Doug said...

It is good to remember that, however much we may disagree with Oral Roberts, he is still a child of God. And I will take him at his word that he was doing his best to follow God's calling, however imperfectly I may feel he was doing so, as I am trying to do the same.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I don't 'get' the need to condemn the man in death. I would never in a million years agree with his theology about just about everything, but I do not doubt for one minute that God cares about the 'correctness' of his theology or doctrine. In the end, we will be judged by how we live our lives. And that judgment comes from God alone. Thanks be to God.

What's interesting to me as that some of the uber-Conservative/evangelical blogs are completely silent about his death and his ministry. Hmmmm . . .

MadPriest said...

The man conned poor people out of money by lying to them. But I hope he has gone to heaven. That way it will be easier for Jesus to tell him what an evil, little man he is and kick his ass from one end of the Kingdom to the other.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well, Jonathan, there it is, then.