Oral Roberts

I just learned that Oral Roberts had passed away at the age of 91.

I never watched him. I have one of his books on tape, but I haven’t listened to it yet. Garner Ted Armstrong liked to ridicule him as a false prophet, and many made fun of Oral’s claim that God would call him home if he didn’t raise $8 million. (Wikipedia says that he raised $9 million.) I wouldn’t give him money, since televangelists live pretty extravagant lifestyles. But I still have a warm spot in my heart for him. At DePauw, I took a class on healing in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and I read a book for that class that likened Oral Roberts to a tribal shaman: a compassionate figure who is a conduit for healing. The book also discussed people who were healed as a result of Oral’s ministry. And I read in the AP article on Oral’s death that Oral became a preacher because he was healed of tuberculosis and a speech impediment at age 17.

Who’s to say that people weren’t healed as a result of Oral Roberts’ ministry? Jesus healed people according to their faith. If Oral encouraged people to have that and to look on the bright side of life, then he made quite an accomplishment!

Oral also founded Oral Roberts University, which is respected even by some liberal professors I know. One professor there, Brad Young, teaches Jewish studies and highlights the importance of considering Jesus in light of his Jewish background.

RIP, Oral Roberts.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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