Oral Roberts dead at 91

 MSNBC reports that Oral Roberts received his eternal promotion into the presence of the Lord, Tuesday, Dec 15, 2009.  He was 91.   As others have noted, it can hardly be argued that he was the single greatest and most influential healing – televangelist of his day.  In many respects the greatest legacy he has left behind is his founding of the Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  In the article, the quote by Jack Hayford can hardly be disputed:

If God had not, in His sovereign will, raised up the ministry of Oral Roberts, the entire charismatic movement might not have occurred.

This is true in many respects because, while many may disagree with his theology and practice, in the early days, he brought a significant amount of credibility to the faith healing and Charismatic movement, especially in the 50’s before the movement really took off in 1960. I mean if you compare him and his early ministry to that of some of the others around at that time such as William Brenham, A.A. Allen, Jack Coe, and others, Roberts had more integrity in his left pinky than these other guys did in their whole body. 

Though some of these guys were drunks, schemers, manipulators, and so on… God still managed to use them (though I tend to think A. A. Allen can hardly be blamed.  His parents gave him beer when he was a toddler and then sat around and laughed at him while he stumbled around drunk – he died of liver complications all alone in a hotel room somewhere in Los Angeles (I think)) – before we are quick to judge, consider re-reading the story of Sampson and how God still used him for his redemptive purposes despite Sampson’s faults.  We may not all agree with how many in the Charismatic movement carry out their faith life and practice, but somehow God is able to work in and through them and the movement. 

May the Lord be with the Roberts family in this time.

HT: Nick

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10 responses to “Oral Roberts dead at 91

  1. Back in the 60s and 70s my parents sent him a fair amount of money, and my younger brother went to ORU for a year. It’s been a long time since I felt anything for his ministry at all, but he and his family were “good” people, and well-deserving of our prayers.

  2. Rod,

    God uses a host of means to do a host of things, however, the two are mutually exclusive. Because someone was used doesn’t merit any praise of them but of God. Oral Roberts faithfully endorsed and enabled men like Dollar, Hinn, Copeland and others to pray on the frailty of others. “Send me your money and watch God’s favor”. Brian this has nothing to do with Charisma, there are many out there who believe, trust and put the Spirit’s work of Grace on display and they don’t ask for a dime to do it.

    We mourn the lost of any human being because such a lost is a result of sin, though we trust in a God who raises us from the dead and gives us the gift of eternal life. Mr. Roberts used his influence to get rich and take advantage of others. There are myriads of stories about people also dying, having limbs amputated and so forth trusting in his teaching not to seek medical advice.

    1 Timothy 3 and 1 Peter 5 is very clear about sorbid coveteousness and Mr. Roberts minnie me’s have only duplicated and spread this type of teaching across the globe. Taking advantage of the weak and unknowing.

  3. I have pondered this very same idea. When we idolize a man’s theology as being a God send, we then set ourselves up for disappointment in the end and then have to spend times like these walking on eggshells because of the realization that everything that appears to serve the body positively, may only be that which acts as a sifter of the wheat and tares. Let remember that the wheat and tare must grow together, but by no means are we to call the tare by any other name. I was sad by the human loss, but hope that those who followed after that life are caused to take a look within themselves at this time and rethink their philosophies.

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