Why I Support Jim Bakker

Jim I first want to thank you for sharing the supernatural photos from heritage USA, the last time I was there at Morningside talking about On the Path of the Immortals. Even though I am S. Baptist, (and I know they gave you a hard time in the media.) I am sure you know at least some of them genuinely wanted to protect the church from a percieved scandal. Before, I was a believer, I used to use Jim Bakker as a reason Christians were all hypocrites. But I had never read the Bible and I honestly didn’t want too. So I was worse than a hypocrite anyhow.  Then I met real Christians, not legalists, the kind of people who confessed their own sin and they told me unexpected things like  “If you’re not a hypocrite, your standards are probably far too low. Why not visit our church we always have room for another one!” Although we strive not to judge others hypocritically, we are all hypocrites according to scripture:

For what I am doing I do not understand, because what I want to do, this I do not practice, but what I hate, this I do.(Romans 7:15)

That very same Paul taught the purpose of the law was to gain knowledge of sin, no one other than Jesus was able to keep it perfectly.

For by the works of the law no person will be declared righteous before him, for through the law comes knowledge of sin.: (Romans 3:20)

Paul also taught:

“The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. For there is no distinction,(Romans 3:22)

James was a little more harsh:

“Come now, you rich people, weep and cry aloud over the miseries that are coming upon you! Your wealth has rotted, and your clothing has become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have become corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you, and it will consume your flesh like fire. You have stored up treasure in the last days.(James 5:1–3)

I am convinced Bakker is a redeemed Christian with good intentions who was misled by the prosperity gospel popular in AOG churches during the PTL era. He has now confessed it was wrong. It takes a humbled man to make such an admission, that’s character, that impressed me.

It was my Mom’s church Providence Baptist that led me to Christ, when I was hopeless and suicidal. So I continue to go there. After some struggles, I earned a Masters in Theological studies from Liberty Baptist Seminary because it’s the only accredited school that holds to biblical inerrancy, traditional marriage, creation, and the traditional Gospel that offers most of the curriculum online.   (They taught me to research and write)
I graduated from Liberty but I do not approve of cessionationism, Falwell’s cult of personality, nor  of the way he treated Jim Bakker in the 1980s. Today I believe a small group just wanted to take Bakker’s ministry for themselves, the critics in the church’s motives were not Godly either but just as greedy and more mean spirited. Not that Bakker’s motives were always good, but, frankly, I understand and empathize with Bakker more than the self-righteousness Falwell exhibited – who accepted a lot of money from cultist Sun Myung Moon and was, frankly, a pompous ass himself at times, but, in his defense, Falwell was a an accomplished evangelist and spokesperson for morality.  He’s with the Lord now, so God bless him.

Most people are unaware that the majority Bakkers jail sentence we repealed for lack of evidence. It was trumped up. (At the same time Wachovia bank was laundering Pablo Escobar’s cocaine profits but the NC attorney General was more interested in crucifying Jim Bakker in the media.) So, today, I consider Bakker a Christian  hero for having the courage to “die to self,” admit past mistakes, and ride out an unjust sentence, much like Joseph in Egypt, and, upon release, proclaiming that he’s a new creation in Christ, while preaching against the prosperity Gospel (he used to advocate).

It takes a genuine Christian to admit he was mistaken and humble himself as Bakker did. Bakker truly seem genuine. Instead preaching to itching ears Bakker is now preaching impending judgment on America– the the ongoing apostasy and imminent appearance of antichrist (2 Thes 2:3) and pre-wrath rapture and tribulation judgements. It’s not what most folks like to hear… It takes a genuine anointing from the Spirit of God. No one likes to hear it and tend to shoot messenger.

 In context of the NT era. We Americans (including the unsophisticated folks living in the trailer park down the street)  are “the rich in this present age” –that’s right you are wealthy by biblical standards —that is, the rich being referred to in this convicting and scary passage:

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be proud and not to put their hope in the uncertainty of riches, but in God, who provides us all things richly for enjoyment,(1 Titus 6:17)

By world standards the average american is quite “rich in this present age. In Pope Francis’ homeland, Argentina, a salary of $30,000 American a year, literally less than what most school teachers make, ranks a worker one of the top 15.3% wealthiest folks in the country. In contrast, in Elzalvador, literally an American fast food job salary can put one under the top 1% richest in the country, (see source) So we Americns, as the rich of this age, have a stewardship and responsibility, to be humble and trust God, not the idol of wealth.
Jim Bakker, in your down moments please recall that VERY FEW preachers from any denomination are willing to call people out for greed and using God like “the tooth fairy .” My wife said it best, “If Christianity is not about forgiveness, then what it is it about?” The church needs more Jim Bakkers and fewer Rick Warrens and Joel Osteens.

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About Cris Putnam
Logos Apologia is the ministry of Cris D. Putnam. The mission of Logos Apologia is to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory and to bring that life-changing truth to everybody who wants to know.

Comments

  1. Joy says:

    Totally agree Cris. I remember the PTL issues. I won’t ever forget seeing Jim B give his testimony of prison and being humbled before The Lord. He was and is a truly repentant brother in Christ and is using his talents to get important info to God’s people in these last days. Was blessed to find out about The Immortals on his program!

  2. Johnnee Kieslich says:

    Thank you Cris for being willing to carefully articulate what you did here. I was resistant to watch Jim Bakker when entreated by my mother to do so several years ago. However, when I watched him deliver those messages I could tell he was a changed man with a message for the church and world for the end times from The Lord Himself. I know you “call it like you see it” as they say and it means alot coming from you! I have also enjoyed you and Tom Horn and others on his show. Thank you for your public acknowledgment of Pastor Bakker and in affirming our new life in Christ! You are an encouragement to us all as Pastor Jim is. Respectfully submitted and glad to see one brother honor another in the faith. Praise The Lord for His goodness and mercy!

  3. William says:

    Just goes to prove that an almighty God can use testimonies like his, a broken man, (afterall…aren’t we all?) to further His message to a corrupt and dying world Thanks for posting this.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      We are all corrupt and dying and we should all be more cognizant of it. This is the human condition:
      “What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”(Ro 3:9–18) — we all start at different levels due to upbringing, poverty, wealth,education, so the grumpy mean guy, who grew up abused, may have denied himself more to please God than the nice generous wealthy guy. That’s why judging the outside is so misguided and condemned by Jesus.

  4. Ian Francis says:

    Jim Bakker is bringing forth the fruits of genuine repentance. We all grieve with him over the demise of PTL and Heritage Village. We do not rejoice in another Brother’s downfall, but we call out sin and then press in for redemption. Isn’t that what it is all about? Any discerning Christian would know that Jim was not an out-and-out charlatan from the get-go, i.e. a Peter Popoff or a Robert Tildon. Quite to the contrary, Bakker started out on the right footing. I marvel at what he was inspired to accomplish. But sadly the old nature took over, sin crept in, and that is when we are most vulnerable to deception. Now praise God he is renewed and restored, so much so that even the PTL logo is in his keep again!

    I praise God that not only has he repented of past sins, but he is actively leading sheep away from the dangerous doctrines that resulted in such destruction in his past history. Other major evangelists have from time to time in fickle fashion professed to have a change of heart in Word/Faith error; but the one I am thinking of is an opportunist and not sincere, since he goes back and forth with it, and does not actively lead wayward sheep back to the narrow way. Jim Bakker does preach against the extreme message that God wants all his people to be rich (by US standards). Though I feel he falls short in not realizing nor actively speak out against other prongs of the heretical Word/Faith theology, i.e. the prong of extreme teaching on positive confession (particularly in relation in healing) and the “little gods” prong.

    It is my prayer that as he becomes increasingly prophetic he will also speak out against these other aspects of heretical of “Word of Faith” theology. It is not his style to name names, but I wish and pray he would at least speak out more about these aspects.

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