Visionary Preachers from the 70’s & 80’s, where have they gone?

When I was saved in 1972, there were numerous big-name preachers, who wielded strong influence in and outside the Church with the Word of God. These were men of vision; who put into action their vision throughout the 70’s and 80’s.

Billy Graham was still in his heyday and holding his city-wide crusades and counseling Presidents. Multitudes were making decisions for Christ in large stadiums and countless others responding in their living rooms to Billy’s invitation for sinners to come, “Just as I am.”

Oral Roberts’ television program was popular and he was promoting healing and seed faith over television. OR University had been established and was growing. Roberts was breaking with classical Pentecostalism and to become a leader of the Charismatic Movement. He was determined to unite divine healing with the Medical Arts by establishing a hospital.

Jerry Falwell was promoting the Moral Majority and politically activating fundamentalists, who had traditionally removed themselves from politics. Republican presidential candidates were seeking the support of Falwell. Without Falwell, there may not have been a President Reagan. Falwell’s influence was to follow through his son, who was instrumental in the election of President Trump.

Robert Schuller pastored Garden Grove Community Church, which was founded in an outside drive-in theater; he was the successor to the legacy of Norman Vincent Peale. Schuller’s “Hour of Power” TV program introduced the witness of Christian celebrities to the masses.

Chuck Smith, generally known as the father of the Jesus Movement, was baptizing new believers in the Pacific Ocean. Soon Calvary Chapel Churches were being established in cities nationally and internationally. Those affected by the Jesus Movement took Christ into the streets.

Pat Robertson, Jim and Tammy Bakker and Paul and Jan Crouch were establishing Christian TV networks and hosting Christian Talk Shows and introducing Christian groups and singers on a world-wide stage. Robertson became politically influential enough to make a serious run for the presidency in 1988; he also established Regent University.

Bill Bright’s Campus Crusade for Christ was the leading voice of Christianity on college campuses. Meanwhile, Holy Hubert Lindsey’s open-air preaching at Berkeley was usually gathering larger audiences than the leftist anti-war radicals of the era. Other voices would follow Holy Hubert and confront sin on university campus and in the streets.

Kenneth Hagin from Tulsa, Ok, and his disciples were broadcasting a message of faith for healing and prosperity.

Jimmy Swaggart out of Baton Rouge, LA, at the time of his fall may have surpassed all the others on this list in national and world-wide influence. Considering his singing and piano playing and preaching abilities, he may have also been the most talented preacher of his time. Had not he fallen, he could have become was of the most influential preachers in the history of the Church.

There were other famous and popular preachers of that era, which need to be acknowledged.

My question is who and where are the preachers today with a vision, who are having the impact that these men had?

The Most Important Event in the Community

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Among the books which influenced me as a young Christian was Halley’s Bible Handbook.

Halley stated: “If all Christian people would stir themselves up to be faithful, in this one fundamental Christian duty of going to Church every Sunday, it would set forward the influence of the Church, and the Christ for whom the Church stands, more than all the rest of the things the churches are doing put together.”

Halley wrote the above in the first half of the 20th Century, when Christians still considered church attendance a duty. It seems it has become an option in the 21st Century.

What do you think? Do you consider Church attendance an obligation?

“God instituted the Church, and God appointed the First Day of the week as Church Day. All Christendom has so recognized it and has made this day a day of cessation from the ordinary activities of life,” wrote Halley.

There is nothing more important going on in your community tomorrow morning than Sunday Worship services. At God’s appointed time, turn out, en masse, to honor HIM in whose name the Church exists.

Church is Not Optional

“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches.” This the Lord’s admonition to each of the Seven Churches of Revelation.

Five of the seven churches he calls to repentance. The two that he is exclusively positive about are Sardis and Philadelphia. With the others he observes positives and negatives, except for the Church at Laodicea to which he has nothing good to say.

Usually, Christians are concentrating more on what the Spirit is saying to them as individuals instead of what he is saying to the Universal Church. Of course, in the admonition to hear what he is saying to the churches in general, he addresses particular churches. As well as telling individuals to be overcomers.

I don’t hear him saying to come out of the organized churches. He does teach in Revelation to come out of Babylon, which symbolizes the world.

The Churches are the called-out ones from the world, who then assemble in particular congregations.

What I hear from my newsfeed about the churches is usually the negative, usually from people that have come out of the churches. In reaction to all the negativity, I typically emphasize the positive and urge men to work within the church to bring about the necessary reformation.

The Lord is speaking to the angel (pastor) of each church. He is still speaking to the pastors of particular churches today.

Hopefully, Pastor has been in his study all week praying, seeking the Lord and studying his text to hear what the Spirit is saying to his church and churches in general in our time. It would be a significant hearing aid, if we all were in attendance each week to hear our pastor’s message.

The Apostle John was not afraid to say negative things about the churches. But John himself was a churchman, not a renegade. He addresses churches in The Revelation, which he is believed to have founded, except for the Church at Ephesus. As founder of these churches for which he is burdened, he earned the right to a hearing and personally knew their strengths and weaknesses, and, yes, even their sins.31143697_10156280851658917_4630883512923193344_n.jpg

Lamentations for Indiana University

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I have a love/hate relationship with academia and my Indiana alma maters IU and ISU. All my life has been spent around the university community.

My father was a professor and Chairman of the English Department at Indiana State University. I taught US History for a year at the University of Wisconsin before sinking into the depths depravity of the counter culture movement of the 60’s and early 70’s.

When I converted to Christianity in 1972, I determined to revive our colleges and universities and return them to the Christian vision of their founders.

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Yesterday, I walked around the beautiful campus of Indiana University, where I matriculated in 1960. I admired the Victorian brick buildings covered in ivy, walked through the Indiana Memorial Union, which has the appearance of a gothic cathedral and strolled along the Jordon River and over the stone bridge, which stretches over what is actually a creek.

I contemplated, “What an impressive setting to contemplate the Creator, the great ideas and books of antiquity and glorious cultures of times past and appreciate the scientific breakthroughs, which has made life in the 21st Century so easy compared to the past.”

Alas, I knew the appearance of stability was all a shallow veneer, a façade disguising the fraud and decadence which is truly Indiana Univeristy. The green ivy hides the crumbling mortar between the bricks of a university, which is crumbling at her very foundations.

The IU I love gradually and imperceptibly disappeared by the early 20th Century.

The mortal blow struck when the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction was founded at IU in 1947, right in the center of the cornfields and limestone of Indiana’s heartland.

The corrupt Kinsey Institute became the precursor for the sexual revolution of the late 60’s. Now the Institute is dedicated to promoting sexual perversions of all sorts, none of which results in reproduction. The homepage of their website shows two lesbians embracing.

Students are no longer seeking after truth, for according to their professors, there are no absolute truths and morality is relative. Consequently, they are pursuing a life devoted to self-indulgence, which always ends in self-destruction.

Great thoughts are not on their minds; their minds have become obsessed with sex, sex and more sex. The institution no longer even promotes the concept of university but diversity is the goal.

IU and other state universities have exchanged the truth of God for the lies of secularism, multi-culturalism, pluralism and a plethora of other isms covering virtually all that they can imagine, instead of the claims of the Christian religion upon which the University was founded.

The institution has fallen into the blackness of darkness. She deserves the judgment of God for her apostasy.

I still love IU for what she yet can be if we succeed in bringing a revival of religion to her and rebuild her on the sure foundation of Christianity.

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Fall of Indiana University

30742500_10156273655728917_7002706831940255744_n“In the first half of the 19th Century Indiana University was essentially a Christian Institution. The school offered morning prayer and sabbath services and it required that students take religious courses,” wrote Gayle Williams in the Indiana Magazine of History, vol. 99.

David lamented over the fall of his bosom friend, Jonathon, in battle: “How the mighty have fallen and the weapons of war have perished!”—2 Samuel 1:27.

Indiana University is my alma mater, when I consider what she is today compared to what she once was long before I matriculated there in 1960. I can only weep over her terrible fall from truth and light into the depths of depravity and darkness.

Andrew Wylie (1789-1851) served as Indiana University’s first President from 1829-1851. He was a Presbyterian minister and theologian.

President Wylie joined two other Presbyterian faculty members, Baynard Rush Hall who taught Ancient Greek and Latin, and John Hopkins Harney who taught mathematics, natural philosophy, mechanical philosophy and chemistry. Wylie also taught classes in moral philosophy, mental philosophy, rhetoric, evidences of Christianity, belles lettres, and the Constitution of the United States.

President Wylie believed in giving religion and morality their proper place in public instruction. He told the state legislature, “Let our youth be taught to fear God and keep his commandments.”

With three Presbyterian ministers, IU was accused of sectarianism by other denominational leaders. I fear in the concern not to be sectarian, the institution was slowly secularized. Until today the Christian religion has virtually no significant place at IU. Much of what is taught is anti-Christian.

Beck Chapel constructed in 1957 is in the heart of campus, initially promoted Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faiths; however, now it contains religious symbols of Islam, Buddhism, etc. Nevertheless, it is a place where Christians can find a quiet place of meditation and prayer.

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Strange Pick by God

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Samson was called by God to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Samson had a lust for wicked, heathen women. He went into a whore in the city of Gaza. Evidently, betrayed by the harlot, the authorities found out he was in the city. So, they locked the city gates and determined to kill Samson in the morning.

But, “Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.”

He carried these weighty gates for twenty miles evidently in sight of both high cities. His exploit was a symbol of Christ’s resurrection, of whom Samson was a type, who being buried in a sepulchre, and sealed and watched by soldiers, broke through the bars of death and the grave, and carried off the doors in triumph; and ascended to heaven, whereby he declared himself to be the Son of God with power. When you think about it, Samson was an extraordinary choice to be one of the premier Old Testament types of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Samson was an aggressive and militant man of faith, who hoped to inspire his people by carrying the doors of the of Gaza gate in their sight for twenty miles but they just became more fearful of the Philistines and hid themselves instead of fighting for their inheritance.

Jesus said, “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against my Church.”

Regrettably, finding men of faith to believe Jesus’ prophesy in each generation is a challenge. Christians have too much of a fortress mentality, believing themselves to be safe as long as they stay within the gates of the Church, instead of taking the offensive and bringing Christ into the Public Square as President Trump has done. The Church should be storming the gates of Hell by taking Christ to the streets, instead of allowing Satan to attack the doors of the Church.

As a result of President Trump’s apparent weakness for loose women and prostitutes in the past, the Democrats hoped they would be able to entrap and slay the Presidency of Donald Trump, whom God has raised to deliver American from the hands of the economic and cultural Marxist (Philistines). But Trump broke through their iron gates and once again has triumphant over his enemies and their many ploys.

Trump is more outspoken and speaking of his faith than many ministers. He does not allow his past sins to make him cowardly and cow tow to his enemies as too many who name the name of Christ do.

Trump, America’s Samson, will prevail against the enemies of God, who are attempting to break up the foundations of our Republic. Just as Samson prevailed in the end over the Philistines and killed more in his death than he did in his life. Trump will be avenged against his foes and bring down the house of the Democrats.

Samson was a strange pick by God, who never seemed to lose his faith in Samson to perform his calling despite his moral failures. Trump seems to also be an odd pick to MAGA by reestablishing Kingdom of God principles in our civic and economic affairs. With the help of an awakened Church supporting the President, America can still see its best days ahead. Donald J. Trump is an extraordinary choice to make America once again a bastion of Christianity and the herald of the freedom that follows Christ.

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Don’t Envy Zuckerburg

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Please tell me what I am missing. I don’t get this congressional inquisition of Mr. Zuckerberg. His company is great success story. A number of the Congressmen had a condescending attitude in questioning Mr. Z. Are these legislators envious of the success of this 33-year-old businessman?

The old-line media of newspapers and television seem sympathetic to the apparent attempt to rein in FaceBook. Is that because more people are getting their news and commentary from FB then newspapers and television? Let Mr. Z get back to work; he must be a busy man.

If anyone does not like FB, then don’t use FB. I have no complaints. Any information that you don’t want the public to know don’t put on FB. I have been able to raise money for the ministry through FB. My wife has promoted her business on FB at little or no cost. I can better keep up with family and friends through FB.

As much as I love and enjoy Diamond and Silk, if Mr. Z. does not want their brand on his network, why should be required to give them an outlet?

For 48 hours I was once put in FB jail, I am not sure why. Other than this one time, I have never been censored by FB and I regularly speak out on political, social and religious matters from a point of view which is evidently opposed to Mr. Z’s views.

I doubt if Trump would have been elected without FB; he used the social media much more effectively than that woman.

 

The Beat Goes On

tumblr_npqg80xSUo1u3hl3zo1_1280.gifAssad evidently killed his own people, “innocent” men, women, and children. I suppose by innocent is meant “non-combatants” in the Syrian Civil War.

There are atrocities going on all over the world. I am not particularly impressed when there are appeals to the suffering of children. Suffering has generally been the state of mankind throughout history, including for children.

Remember under the Clinton administration, Attorney Janet Reno, during the Waco siege, ordered the firing of his/her own people, men, women and children.

The Branch Davidians were accused of “stockpiling illegal weapons.” At least the children, if not the others, were innocent. Seventy-six men, women and children were burned alive. It was a terrible thing to watch!

As for the banning of “chemical weapons’ by “civilized nations,” during the Bush years, we heard the term new term, “weapons of mass destruction.” Domestically, there has been talk of outlawing “assault” rifles for decades. Now in London they are prohibiting knives. All of these weapons, including the hydrogen bomb, can cause terrible death and mass destruction.

Weapons are arms, whether they be guns, knives, chemicals, bombs or even missiles. Warfare and death are horrible. Alas, warfare is often necessary. “There will be wars and rumors of wars.”

Keep It Simple

A Calvinist engaged me in a long conversation concerning justification. To him the great heresy is attaching anything that resembles works to salvation. I am weary with arguing the finer points of theology, while souls are perishing. We need to keep the gospel simple.

Nor should we be afraid of works. The works that Paul objected to was not good morals or baptism but seeking salvation through the rites and rituals of Judaism. How many people when they get saved really understand the theology of the gospel or the doctrine of justification? People, who get saved, born again, converted, become Christians (however one wants to describe the experience), realize they are in need of a Savior. They are desperate for the mercy of God. We should urge sinners to throw themselves at the foot of the Cross and cry out for God’s forgiveness.

I have written a book on the theology of Jesus’ atonement; however, men are not usually saved by understanding correct theology or doctrine. In addition to forgiveness, the promise of eternal life is also an incentive for men bowing before the Cross with a confidence that Jesus conquered death in his resurrection.

Many people who testify that when they were saved, they cannot even remember what the preacher said. Some get saved merely because they see Jesus or Light radiating from the one who is preaching or witnessing. They see a ray of hope through the bewilderment and desperation which has them overcome.

Ministers can become Pharisaical in insisting that the message be presented in a certain manner and thus they remove themselves from the simplicity of the gospel. Others shy away from sharing the way of salvation because they can not expound on deep theological truths.

There is also a great depth in the gospel that Christians in their pursuit of Truth should come to appreciate but not at the expense of the simple Truth that the death and resurrection of Christ makes possible the penitent sinner’s salvation from sin and its terrible consequences. Arminians can be as guilty as Calvinists of elevating complex theology and doctrine over the simple fact that Jesus Saves.

I finally walked away from the Calvinist and his concerns to preach the law, which brings conviction of sin and God’s grace which gives us hope.

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Attend a Local Church

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The Church universal and local deserves more respect than it gets on my news feed. Most of the criticism seems to come from Christians, who operate outside and independently of any local church. With all the churches in America, I can’t help but wonder if the problem is more with the critic than the Church.

If a man cannot find a suitable church within driving distance of his home, the real problem may be that he is unwilling to support the church with his time and finances. Should not our concern be more for what we can contribute to the church than what the church has to offer to us? The more spiritual we become, the more supportive we should be to a local congregation.

Paul could be critical of the church in his letters; however, these were usually churches he founded, which gave him the apostolic authority to correct. Certainly, he did not withdraw himself in his disapproval, even though he opened himself up to less appreciation. Paul’s reproofs and exhortations were expressed in the context of a deep care and concern for the churches.

There are many who seem to think that they speak with apostolic authority without really carrying the credentials of an apostle. Often times having no experience in church leadership, they are limited to pontificating from their computers.

One problem may be that censors expect too much out of a local church, especially the pastor because he may not be preaching what the fault-finder considers is the correct Gospel.

I have spoken in hundreds of churches in my years of ministry and I am friendly with scores of pastors, often having stayed in their homes. The vast majority of them I have found to be dedicated men of God.

People have an obligation to study the Bible on their own. The pastor should not have to spoon feed his people. Jeremiah condemned certain pastors, but Jeremiah had unquestionable credentials of a prophet; whereas, many are trying to act like prophets without the prophetic anointing.

I had a lot more sympathy for the churches and their problems after I served as a pastor of a church for about 15 years. I founded the church on the principles of the moral government of God, the doctrine of holiness and encouraged a bold public witness. We had dedicated members but we also had the same problems and sins that were in the established churches, which I initially thought were not getting the job done or were as doctrinally sound as I thought that they should be.