Oral Roberts dies

Oral Roberts Dies At Age 91. I grew up in Oklahoma, about an hour from Tulsa, and I remember as a child watching his healing services on TV, things like this:

Even then I was both weirded out and fascinated. Still am, though in a Flannery O’Connor kind of way. What are we to make of this?

Here is what I think: First, the little boy showed no expression of surprise or wonder or joy at being able to walk again, which makes me skeptical of the miracle. But the people watching DID. I think for Christians who have no sacraments, something has to rush in, some kind of alternative intersection of the supernatural into the natural. Miracles, divine interventions, mystical experiences, God speaking directly, etc. They are pale substitutes, though, for the true incursion of supernatural power into the world, namely, the Word and Sacraments.

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  • http://www.examiner.com/x-27802-Televangelism--Pop-Christianity-Examiner Bob Hunter

    The boy didn’t seem too excited about walking on his own again. Time and time again, when purported miracles like this took place investigators would find the “healed” back in their wheelchairs, crutches, or back on their medicine, or – in some cases – dead because they quit their medications.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-27802-Televangelism--Pop-Christianity-Examiner Bob Hunter

    The boy didn’t seem too excited about walking on his own again. Time and time again, when purported miracles like this took place investigators would find the “healed” back in their wheelchairs, crutches, or back on their medicine, or – in some cases – dead because they quit their medications.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    A wolf in sheep’s clothing. May God have mercy on his soul.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    A wolf in sheep’s clothing. May God have mercy on his soul.

  • Kirk

    I’m with Rev. Paul. That man is in large part responsible for Word of Faith which has lead thousands astray through it’s theology that “health and wealth” is God’s desire for his people. Through his “ministry,” he managed to separate naive followers from millions of their dollars through inferences of his impending death should a certain sum not be raised. I’d like to think the man was simply misguided, but how he appropriated the donations of his flock makes that difficult for me to believe.

  • Kirk

    I’m with Rev. Paul. That man is in large part responsible for Word of Faith which has lead thousands astray through it’s theology that “health and wealth” is God’s desire for his people. Through his “ministry,” he managed to separate naive followers from millions of their dollars through inferences of his impending death should a certain sum not be raised. I’d like to think the man was simply misguided, but how he appropriated the donations of his flock makes that difficult for me to believe.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    My own impression, as one who dabbled in the Pentecostal world for some years, is that he was sincerely deluded. I knew a pastor who had once heard Roberts say, “I have majored in minors.” Alas that he never explored that truth more deeply.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    My own impression, as one who dabbled in the Pentecostal world for some years, is that he was sincerely deluded. I knew a pastor who had once heard Roberts say, “I have majored in minors.” Alas that he never explored that truth more deeply.

  • James

    Movements around these kind things have come with flaws and fakers (just like any other movement). Therefore brothers, I implore you: *be exegetical*. Draw your arguments for or against these things up from the biblical text, and not merely from the men and women involved. For if that were the way to substantiate something as true or false, we’d have warrant to discredit the whole Christian movement packed full of flawed men & women. If healings are for today, we should ask the text.

  • James

    Movements around these kind things have come with flaws and fakers (just like any other movement). Therefore brothers, I implore you: *be exegetical*. Draw your arguments for or against these things up from the biblical text, and not merely from the men and women involved. For if that were the way to substantiate something as true or false, we’d have warrant to discredit the whole Christian movement packed full of flawed men & women. If healings are for today, we should ask the text.

  • Patrick Kyle

    The scripture have something to say about those who say the Lord said this or that when He did not. They also speak of those who would exploit us with visions they made up in their own minds. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the guy was a false prophet.

  • Patrick Kyle

    The scripture have something to say about those who say the Lord said this or that when He did not. They also speak of those who would exploit us with visions they made up in their own minds. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the guy was a false prophet.

  • DonS

    I certainly don’t have an issue with a Christian praying for physical healing. Or the leadership of a church laying hands on a sick or injured congregant and praying for their health. This is a biblical thing. But, when one makes a public spectacle of this type of thing, not merely praying for God’s will to be done, but presuming they know what His will is, and putting Him on the spot, so to speak, that is a grievous sin. Suffering is our lot in this life. It is promised to us. Our good health is a blessing, not an entitlement.

  • DonS

    I certainly don’t have an issue with a Christian praying for physical healing. Or the leadership of a church laying hands on a sick or injured congregant and praying for their health. This is a biblical thing. But, when one makes a public spectacle of this type of thing, not merely praying for God’s will to be done, but presuming they know what His will is, and putting Him on the spot, so to speak, that is a grievous sin. Suffering is our lot in this life. It is promised to us. Our good health is a blessing, not an entitlement.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    I too, pray that the Lord has mercy on O. Roberts.

    He does not deserve to go to Heaven, that’s for sure.

    But then, neither do I.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    I too, pray that the Lord has mercy on O. Roberts.

    He does not deserve to go to Heaven, that’s for sure.

    But then, neither do I.

  • James

    Patrick @6

    Brother, I believe you misread what my statement was directed towards. Dr. Veith had offered that signs and wonders of healing to be counterfeits which fill the rightful place of Word & Sacrament when Word & Sacrament are absent (See his last paragraph). That may be true for some ppl and Oral Roberts may have been a false teacher, but that doesn’t mean signs & wonders are devilish phenomenon nor the adulterous fabrications of Christians malnourished in the absence of Word & Sacrament. I would ask: why, given the risks, are we more likely to disbelieve than we are hopeful to believe? Why is our knee-jerk reaction to kick AGAINST these things rather than hope for them in humility. That MIGHT just be why we don’t believe in these things, not b/c we’ve given adequate examination of the biblical arguments (a ministry of the Word).

    However, the burden of proof is on the asserter. Brother, tell us: why DON’T wonders of healing exist? How is does presence of a false teacher deny the presence of a true miracle?

  • James

    Patrick @6

    Brother, I believe you misread what my statement was directed towards. Dr. Veith had offered that signs and wonders of healing to be counterfeits which fill the rightful place of Word & Sacrament when Word & Sacrament are absent (See his last paragraph). That may be true for some ppl and Oral Roberts may have been a false teacher, but that doesn’t mean signs & wonders are devilish phenomenon nor the adulterous fabrications of Christians malnourished in the absence of Word & Sacrament. I would ask: why, given the risks, are we more likely to disbelieve than we are hopeful to believe? Why is our knee-jerk reaction to kick AGAINST these things rather than hope for them in humility. That MIGHT just be why we don’t believe in these things, not b/c we’ve given adequate examination of the biblical arguments (a ministry of the Word).

    However, the burden of proof is on the asserter. Brother, tell us: why DON’T wonders of healing exist? How is does presence of a false teacher deny the presence of a true miracle?

  • Don

    “They are pale substitutes, though, for the true incursion of supernatural power into the world, namely, the Word and Sacraments.”

    Amen Brother.

  • Don

    “They are pale substitutes, though, for the true incursion of supernatural power into the world, namely, the Word and Sacraments.”

    Amen Brother.

  • Mike

    I’ve always wondered why healers never attempt to “cure” amputees. Jesus presumably reattached Malchus’ ear. Why don’t we pray for God to restore amputees’ limbs? If God can cure cancer, why can’t He make a leg grow back? If a healer could make an amputee’s leg grow back right there in front of God and the world, that would surely speak mightily to the power of God being wrought in the life of that healer.

  • Mike

    I’ve always wondered why healers never attempt to “cure” amputees. Jesus presumably reattached Malchus’ ear. Why don’t we pray for God to restore amputees’ limbs? If God can cure cancer, why can’t He make a leg grow back? If a healer could make an amputee’s leg grow back right there in front of God and the world, that would surely speak mightily to the power of God being wrought in the life of that healer.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    James @ 9

    Miracles like that no doubt do happen. My Pastor and many of my friends who are Pastors have seen plenty of what is termed ‘miraculous’ and we don’t have any scriptural reason to doubt that stuff still can happen today. I think what Dr. Veith is saying is that we ignore and devalue certain types of the supernatural (ie. the sacraments ) and are concerned with more spectacular manifestations of God’s work.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    James @ 9

    Miracles like that no doubt do happen. My Pastor and many of my friends who are Pastors have seen plenty of what is termed ‘miraculous’ and we don’t have any scriptural reason to doubt that stuff still can happen today. I think what Dr. Veith is saying is that we ignore and devalue certain types of the supernatural (ie. the sacraments ) and are concerned with more spectacular manifestations of God’s work.