Ready for a horrifying 80s flashback, kids?
Jim Bakker is back. He’s the disgraced televangelist from the 80s, who once hosted the PTL (Praise The Lord) Club, and was best known for A) a sexual encounter with his then-21 year old secretary, Jessica Hahn in 1980 (she claims she was drugged and raped; he claims it was consensual), and the resulting scandal that caused him to step down in 1987, or B) the nearly 5 years in prison he served for fraud and conspiracy.
Bakker now has another show, the Jim Bakker Show.
No, I don’t know why.
Is he reformed and repentant of his past? He says he is, so maybe he is.
Anyone, no matter their past, no matter their deeds can find grace in the arms of a loving Father God. That is the whole and the hope of this great faith we have.
Jim Bakker, however, because of what he was and what he did represents one of the earliest examples of how televangelists may not always be the best example of Christianity, or godly leadership to the world.
His actions make him the mold by which other televangelists have come to be judged by through the years. It would seem that true repentance would not only require an honest, open confession of his wrong, while seeking forgiveness from not only God, but the people who were harmed by his actions.
And it would require a show of repentance, a changing of his heart to remain humble and trustworthy. The spotlight is not where he belongs. Rather, he should be seeking to do good behind the scenes, rather than taking his new act public, and possibly further harming the witness of the Body on a wide scale.
However, his latest remarks show there is very little repentance and still a lot of damaged ideological thought in his heart.
Namely, Bakker has turned to the Church of Trump, and in his recent remarks on his show, seems to promote Christians taking up arms against their fellow Americans to defend Donald Trump.
In speaking of possible impeachment of President Trump, Bakker said:
“If it happens, there will be a civil war in the United States of America. The Christians will finally come out of the shadows, because we are going to be shut up permanently if we’re not careful,” he said on “The Jim Bakker Show” in a clip highlighted by Right Wing Watch.
“God says faith without works is dead. We have to do things, God has been standing with me, and I don’t know about you, it’s time for preachers like you, you’ve been doing it, to stand up and shout out,” Bakker told a pastor on the show.
I don’t know who the guests were on the show, but watching them nodding in agreement to this crazed, ungodly suggestion is appalling.
I don’t get what Bakker’s angle is, here. Is shedding blood in protection of Trump a high order of the Body of Christ?
How did an unrepentant man like Trump, who said during his run for the presidency that he’d never asked God for forgiveness, because he’d never needed forgiveness become the new messiah, worth killing and dying for?
Trump is not the church. By his declaration of no need for God’s forgiveness, he’s not even part of the Body of Christ. He is part of the world. The hope is that with all those faith “leaders” surrounding him, something rubs off on his spirit, but so far, we’ve heard several of those leaders say it’s not happening. They’re beginning to walk away from his council on faith, with one saying there are deep ideological divides between he and Trump. Another has said that while they pray for the seed of the Word to take root in Trump’s heart, they’ve seen no evidence of it.
Yet, Jim Bakker is calling for Christians to rise up in arms to defend the idol that many in the evangelical community have made of Trump, all because they felt a little evil was better than the bigger evil of Hillary Clinton.
Evil is evil. There is no “big” or “little.”
Romans 12:21 AMP – “Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Bakker’s suggestion shows a heart steeped in the ways of this world, and not representative of faith in God.
Defending Trump is not defending the Church Body. Instead, he’s promoting division, and painting a frightening picture of Christians as wild-eyed maniacs, willing to take up arms for political purposes.
But he’s defending Christians!
No he’s not.
The Word of God has already told us to expect difficulty in a wicked world. We overcome by patience, endurance, and holding fast to our faith – not by armed conflict.
We overcome by being a light in a dark world, showing our love.
And we do not fear what the world brings, because perfect love casts out fear.
Somebody get this message to Bakker. He’s not being salt and light in the world, and it is a further blemish on the reputation of Christians that we just don’t need.