Posts Tagged ‘Richard Roberts’

I once heard a pastor, whom I greatly admire, say something that made the “Great Commission” make all the sense in the world:

“The number one reason for Atheism in this country is the actions of most people who call themselves Christians.”

Amen! And evidently, a recent survey noted by USA Today suggests that to not only be prolific, but also prognostication.

A new survey of U.S. adults who don’t go to church, even on holidays, finds 72% say “God, a higher or supreme being, actually exists.” But just as many (72%) also say the church is “full of hypocrites.” Indeed, 44% agree with the statement “Christians get on my nerves.”

prayer-2You know, I should write this in ALL CAPS (and in bold) so you could hear my voice reverberating on these walls as I shout and yawp about the need for the whole Church to wake up, stand up and man (or woman) up!

And for the rest of us, we just need to pray like life depended on it! And it does.

There is no greater pool of humanity where the rotten apples spoil the proverbial bunch than Christianity, which is why the zealots, the realists, the devoted and the public need to be the best witnesses possible…

…and the televised, the cults, the sects, the fake, the rich and famous and the uh, “prosperous” need to realize the error of their ways.

Why? This is all your fault!

Huh?!

What does it say that “more than one in five” Americans would rather not go to church and humanistically believe in God than act like some of the fools and charlatans seen on a religious TV broadcast near you?! Don’t get me wrong, I thank God for Christian television – its premise, not what it’s become.

What it needs to be is a beacon of hope, the salt of the earth, a light in the darkness, a city set on a hill. It’s not.

Why? Consider the string of stories seen on TV that best represent God to the common person, the average believer:

Jim Jones, Robert Tilton, Warren Jeffs, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Pat Robertson, Earl Paulk, Paula White, Todd Bentley, Carlton Pearson, David Koresh, Oral & Richard Roberts, Michael Guglielmucci, Mike Murdoch, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, and on… and on… and on… and on… and on.

There’s a lot of faith in that dank room, a lot of influence and notoriety, and a lot of serious issues! However, these are some of the collective misfits folk call to memory when asked, “Who represents the Body of Christ?”

wwjd-for-realRight, wrong or indifferent: it’s always the vocal minority, the swarthy tail that wags the dog all day long. And they are it. To that end, it’s the mission of the real Christians, the living epistles to change those unfortunate and misguided perceptions.

It’s a dubious task, but if you’re up to it, our work could pay big dividends for the persecuted, the passionate and the pronounced in a world of people who really can’t stand us. Sure, we are nice people and folk in the workplace like us, they really like us.

But they watch us like hawks waiting for us to plummet in a whirlwind of sin that would take out a small village in Indonesia. And they would applaud all the while chalking up our names to the growing list of noteworthy evangelists and “other prominent folk who call themselves religious” all in the name to say, “I told you so.”

In other words, their actions aren’t doing us any favors. God is faithful but some of those who pass themselves off as “his people” are not so much.

God blesses us with money and sustenance, but those folk are chock full of greed. God gives us grace, but those nitwits with false humility ball that gift up and hurl it back into our faces. And what we have been attempting to tell the throngs quoted in this pathetic survey: God’s son is the way, the truth and the life but regretfully no one is coming to the Father because of “them.”

Most of the unchurched (86%) say they believe they can have a “good relationship with God without belonging to a church.” And 79% say “Christianity today is more about organized religion than loving God and loving people.”

Pastors and parishioners alike, if you don’t read a forsaken, plotted word I type, please read this: there is a distinct and incontrovertible reason why churches tend to be emptier these days… it’s the nasty church folk running all the good, unsaved folk out the door in the name of “being spiritual.”

Ever hear the adage, “You can be so spiritually minded that you are no earthly good”?

Yeah, neither have the people who have caused the 72 percent exodus of potential believers. Get real, Church. We have a job to do. You up to it? If so, see you in the trenches. Trust me, there will be plenty of room!

Peace.

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The Bible tells us “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15 KJV).

Fast forward 6,000 years and I presume that means feeling like we haven’t the time to do anything because we are too preoccupied taking up overtime. You know like running to Starbucks, going to a bible group or even taking 15 minutes to pray.

Huzzah! Fear no more. That whole “I feel you” thinking has got your back because God now has an 800 number. Well, kinda.

Dutch artist Johan van der Dong has set up a local telephone number in the Netherlands, where he urges people to leave messages for God on his answering machine. “Like praying, leaving a voicemail message is a way to organize your thoughts,” he said. “It’s a perfect combination for some contemplation.”

Yeah. Even He has one - a great iAm phone.

Yeah. Even He has one - a great iAm phone.

Well, that’s mighty narcissitic of him, isn’t it?

Call God… at his answering machine?!

What, did Robert Tilton decide to create another ministry fleecing the sheep? Oral and Richard Roberts come out of their sabbatical and witness protection to find another small business venture? Did Thomas Weeks come up with a kitschy new idea for a program on TBN?

You know, ratings and all.

Good thing there is Vonage and cell plans with unlimited long distance. Can you imagine the charges for calling heaven?! And then, what happens if his son answers the phone? What would you say, “Um, hey! Is your Daddy home? I’m hungover and I need to promise him… again… that I’ll never do this if he makes this vicious headache go away.”

“SURE,” the bellowing voice says. “DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADYYYYYYYY!!!

So, here’s the REAL (no kidding) phone number:

Callers dialing 06-4424-4901 (or +316-4424-4901 if calling from outside the Netherlands) for the message, “Hi, you are speaking to God. I’m not in right now so leave a message after the beep.”

A while back, the board at Oral Roberts University got together, booted out Richard Roberts and his cougar wife and brought in a pro to correct the ills brought against it.

What the entry to the prayer tower used to say

What the entry to the prayer tower used to say

Looks like Dr. Mark Rutland is bringing the shine back to Oral Roberts University, as noted in the Tulsa World.

The long tradition of prayer at Oral Roberts University will enter a new era Saturday with the rededication of the prayer room in the prayer tower at the center of campus.

It should be rededicated, and resanitized. Isn’t that where Oral Roberts isolated himself until God brought in $8 million? And who knows, maybe that’s where Richard hid all the college’s cash… and Lindsay hid the co-eds she texted during study hall.

But now, the hallowed and infamous prayer tower has been renovated and reinvigorated:

“We wanted to create a sacred space on the ORU campus,” said Clarence V. Boyd, Jr., dean of student development – campus ministries, “a quiet place where people can go to seek the Lord on an individual basis.”

I have plenty o’friends who attend ORU, and survived the Richard Roberts regime of slime.

I’m thrilled to say Mark Rutland is already making a difference. And bringing this school back to the basics – and back to its roots – is one giant step in the right direction.

What the famed prayer sculpture could look like now

What the famed prayer sculpture could look like now

Oral Roberts University has been going through the ringer lately. You know, having a president with a case of self-entitlement the size of this hair gel account and him bringing along a wife who has a hankering for cute co-eds and some text messaging will do that for a college. OMG!

Now, the lineage is gone (as is the endowment… allegedly), the frisky woman and her hot flashes have vanished, the debt is still an anchor around its academic neck and no leadership in sight… until now.

So, did they learn from their lesson, find a real academic and leave the TBN crowd behind? According to this story from the Tulsa World, um, kinda.

A pastor and missionary who turned a small Christian college into a recognized liberal arts university was named Wednesday as the candidate for president of Oral Roberts University... Mark Rutland is the author of 13 books and has a 30-minute syndicated daily radio program, “Herald of Joy.” He has also founded ministries in Ghana and Thailand.

So, we have a radio preacher here with a sterling reputation for hooking up megachurches to not pay its taxes?! Hrm.

ORU revealed in 2007 it was $55 million in debt, but a fundraising campaign has cut that amount to about $16 million.  A 2006 article in the Tampa Tribune referred to Rutland as a “turnaround man” based on his success in saving a megachurch in Florida that was $15 million in debt.

Multiply that kerfuffle by four and you have the trouble brewing at the Oral Roberts University. Rutland is an educator, but has been a missionary all his life. Trust me, this is a field to sow some seeds of accountability, deliverance, redemption and trust. Those are his lost children and the angst of public perception will be his persecution.

“I believe that the first thing that needs to happen is, at the wider constituencies at Oral Roberts, trust has to be restored,” he said. “The kind of balanced and thoughtful leadership has to happen there that can restore the goodwill of their constituencies and restore the confidence of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the world.”

Well, he’s off to a great start. He agrees with me. Good times and keep your eyes peeled, Wall Watchers.

The creed of the ORU Human Resources handbook?

The creed of the ORU Human Resources handbook?

Well, well. Looks like HiScrivener is flowing in the spirit of prophecy. Last we saw on the Wall about Oral Roberts University, namesakes were no longer in fashion as Richard Roberts got the peace sign.

And good thing too, because from what I can glean in this story from the Tulsa World, he took a piece of the payroll with him as at least 100 employees from the plagued school have become statistics and canned.

“These are tough economic times for us all,” Interim President Ralph Fagin said in a news release. “Like any business , a university cannot spend more revenue that in collects. We have a responsibility to the ORU family to be good stewards of our resources. You can’t spend more than you’re taking in,” continued Fagin. “This is the last choice you want to make because we have such great employees.”

Thanks, Ralph. The problem with that sentiment is these tough economic times aren’t about some endowment your sticky-fingered president swindled. This is about those 100 people kicked out on the street after the holidays.

Fortunate for your conscience, the dearly departed are probably T.A.s, janitors and other nameless faces around that campus, but to those that know them, they are people who deserve a heckuva lot better than the six-figure sendoff their former boss just received.

Now, for the record, ORU doesn’t blow. Just the son of the institution for which it is named. And now, so does this decision.