It’s sad, but true. But,
he’s in very good company. For instance, my 4-year-old neighbor predicted
that if she kissed a raindrop she’d become a fairy princess. Clearly, she’s
no prophet, either.
There have been many self-proclaimed prophets in our history.
In the year 960 A.D.,
Thuringia, confidently announced that the world would only exist for
thirty-two more days. John Toledo, in 1179, predicted the demise of the
world based on the alignment of the planets.
The Flagallents, who would viciously beat themselves in bloody repentance, announced that the end of the world could be delayed no longer in 1349; in 1603, Govan Domenico Campanella, prophesized the Earth would collide with the sun.
Christopher Columbus, of
bold New World fame, configured that the world was created in 5343 B.C.,
that 7,000 years hence would be 1658. Therefore, he forewarned the end was
Pentecostal Reverend John
Mason had a vision of Christ in 1694, which prompted his revelation that the
Second Coming of Christ would take place on the Pentecost of that year, in
his rectory in
1736 brought a British theologian who predicted a flood likened to
Noah’s…and the band played on.
There is no shortage of God-fearing men and women who commune with God and as such, are privy to His private utterances.
The founder of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, said a meeting of the Mormon religious leaders was called because God had commanded it. At that same meeting, in February 1835, Smith also proclaimed that Jesus would return within fifty-six years.
The Watchtower Society has
been quite prolific in their predictions for Armageddon: 1914,
1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, and 1994, were some of their dates.
Their current portent is 6,000 years after the creation of Eve. The
question; however, remains, when was that?
Today’s preachers rarely
dabble in such folly. Nay, their assertions are harangues intended to incite
and divide. Their pulpit is used to bully and harass. The notion of love and
brotherhood are far removed from their public pronunciations.
Lest you think I categorize
all men and women of God as such, let me please proclaim that is not so. I
am writing of those few whose congregation’s are in the multitudes. The tele-evangelist’s
who demonstrate miracles on television with a wave of their hand or a touch
on the head - to those who proclaim to do God’s work as they don their
six-thousand dollar Armani suits, board their private jets, and flaunt their
superiority while they sit upon their golden-gilded chairs in front of the
cameras of their church-owned television stations.
The Pat Robertson’s, the Jerry Falwell’s, The Benny Hinn’s, and who can forget past evangelist’s Jimmy Swaggart, and Jimmy and Tammy Faye Bakker.
They preach to their
minions’ half-truths, falsities, and destructive examples that inflate egos,
separate people of differing beliefs and life-styles, and they do so with a
high and mighty commanding declaration that their mutterings are the truths
that their congregation was heretofore denied.
Rev. Falwell said, "I really believe that the
pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the
lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the
ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize
America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen,'"
before a 700-Club television audience, was he acting pastoral? Was he
walking in the shadow of Christ? Or was he preaching separatism, bigotry,
and filling his congregation with hatred?
In an earlier preaching, the good reverend told his flock that the cause of
9/11 was “the throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The
abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be
prayer before his television congregants, he reinforced his position by
proclaiming that the ills of our country are a direct result of “taking the
Bible away from schools” and “forbidding little children from praying”.
1980, to a throng at a Jesus rally, Pat Robertson shouted, “We have enough
votes to run the country. And when the people say, ‘We've had enough,’ we
are going to take over.” In a fund-raising letter to his constituency, Rev.
Robertson wrote, “We at the Christian Coalition are raising an army who
cares. We are training people to be effective -- to be elected to school
boards, to city councils, to state legislatures, and to key positions in
political parties.... By the end of this decade, if we work and give and
organize and train, The Christian Coalition will be the most powerful
political organization in
Today, as we find ourselves shaking our heads and our hearts are beating an
unfamiliar rhythm over the demise of the separation of church and state, we
should remember, we were warned. As far back as 1993, Rev. Robertson, said,
is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It
is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore.”
Robertson from his on-high pulpit has preached on every important topic
facing our country and our citizens; his opinions on the Supreme Court and
the court system in general borders on lawlessness and irresponsibility. He
has instructed his followers, “Why should you and I be bound because of the
ineptitude, if you will, or the skill of one or more defense lawyers, or the
plaintiffs in any particular lawsuit?”
of course, the Lord spake upon his Holiness, the good Reverend Robertson
telling him, “George Bush will win in a walk”, referring to our upcoming
presidential election. What a man he must be for God Almighty to speak unto
him – and to him alone.
Regarding our Constitution, Rev. Robertson said to his television ministry, “…[it] is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. And that's what's been happening.”
This man of God, this
preacher of the Word, has told his followers, “You say you're supposed to be
nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this,
that, and the other thing. Nonsense.” In 1986, he told New York Magazine,
“…The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be,
and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation.”
In another fund-raising
letter dated 1992, the reverend wrote, “The feminist agenda is not about
equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political
movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children,
practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”
He told his viewing
audience that Planned Parenthood, “...is teaching kids to fornicate,
teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality,
lesbianism -- everything that the Bible condemns.”
In his Christian love he
instructed that we need to stop giving money to welfare mothers. He said,
“…if they'll stop paying them, they'll stop having babies. It's that simple.
It's not heartless, it's not cruel, it's an intelligent use of money.” In
that same tone of compassion, he made this comparison: “Many of those people
involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals --
the two things seem to go together.”
His exclusive right of non-cult distinction leaves out any non-Christian: “…A cult is any group that has a form of godliness, but does not recognize Jesus Christ as the unique son of God.... One test of a cult is that it often does not strictly teach that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God who Himself is God manifested in the flesh....”
The Reverend Jerry Falwell fares no better. On a myriad of topics his intolerance and bigotry are glaring:
“If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being.”
“I hope I live to see the
day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public
schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be
running them. What a happy day that will be!”
“AIDS is not just God's
punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that
“The idea that religion and
politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running
their own country.”
“There is no separation of
church and state. Modern U.S. Supreme Courts have raped the Constitution and
raped the Christian faith and raped the churches by misinterpreting what the
Founders had in mind in the First Amendment to the Constitution.”
My favorite, if one can
justly refer to anything Jerry Falwell says, as a favorite, was a remark he
said on Crossfire in 1997, “Grown men should not be having sex with
prostitutes unless they are married to them.”
And, probably one of his
most despicable remarks was, “AIDS is the wrath of a just God against
homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the
The undeniable king of
prophesy; however, is Benny Hinn. He’s the preacher and healer that's on
television in the wee hours of the night. If you’re a troubled sleeper,
you’ve seen him. On
“The Lord also tells me to
tell you in the mid-90's, about '94, '95, no later than that; God will
destroy the homosexual community of
His second foretelling was,
“The Spirit tells me Fidel Castro will die in the '90s.” He elucidates that
it will be a very horrible death!
Benny Hinn’s proclamations
are so extravagant, so unbelievable, yet hordes of followers assemble to
hear him in churches, stadiums, and fields in lands all over the world.
According to Hinn, he has been in the presence of the Archangel Michael and
he has seen the dead raised; sickness, he says, comes from individuals
attacking preachers; and he’s been covered in gold dust as a result of his
Lastly, Hinn claims he “is
messiah’ walking on earth.”
These are not my words. I
haven’t edited one single syllable. The proclamations should speak for
themselves. If these are true, God-fearing men, leaders of men, women, and
children, and their word is taken as gospel, then our fears are not fearful
enough. For in these words of these supposedly good men, righteous men,
freedom-loving men, are the words of hate, and slander, and disgust - vile,
depraved, and immoral rantings reminiscent of words spoken as truth not so
very long ago in lands not so far away.
With a million Jerry Falwell television crusaders in over 168 markets, Trinity Network nearing a million viewers, Adventist Communication Network (ACN), the fastest growing network with eight-million church members, and TBN, CBN – in contributions alone, The Worldwide Church of God rakes in $75-million in contributions, Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association, $60-million, Pat Robertson’s 700 Club on CBN, $58-million, Jerry Falwell’s Old Time Gospel Hour, $48-million – and calculate a growth of no less than 25% a year, there’s no denying there is big money in TV evangelism.
Pray tell, is it prophesy, as in portending the future, or is it profit, as in lining one’s pocket? The truth rests in the biblical defining of prophesy. . .
TogetherForeverChanging.org, an organization devoted to educating,
stimulating, and igniting personal responsibility particularly with regards
to our diminishing civil liberties. She is also an award-winning
writer/producer and host of upcoming television program, The Norma Sherry
Show. She can be contacted at:
firstname.lastname@example.org. This article first appeared in
Other Articles by Norma Sherry