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What was Oral Roberts's main legacy? How important a figure was he? Oral Roberts University president Mark Rutland told CT that he and Billy Graham "were the two preeminent luminaries of the 20th century."

Preeminent historian of Pentecostalism Grant ...

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Displaying 1–18 of 18 comments

Richard Magnus

November 19, 2013  1:17pm

Sadly, many of the Christians complaining about the "prosperity gospel" taught by over-the-top Pentecostals go to churches where, at least a few times a year, the leadership will exhort them to "tithe" off their gross salary and demand that the entire "tithe" go to the local church before you ever start to fund any other ministry. Some prepped congregation member will give a testimony of how they tithed and how they then got a big raise at work. This is standard fare in every church (even Catholic ones), despite its obvious contradiction of the Bible's teachings on the Law. The only thing that separates "prosperity preachers" from regular pastors is the scale of their promises, not the type of false promises they make.

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December 27, 2009  2:57pm

There will always be both sides... however, there is and never will be any proof on healing by Oral....just a fact.

doranna cooper

December 26, 2009  7:03pm

Sorry, Mike and Abigail but as Christians we still have all our warts until we get to heaven and Oral Roberts had many. Yes, the University has produced some good Christian leaders and workers but he didn't bother to clean house when Richard was speanding money recklessly. I am glad that the university has new leadership that is ethical and responsible. I also question the number of converts he supposedly led to the Lord Jesus Christ, many Christian leaders of that era spoke "evangelistically" when they reported their numbers which were to be taken "with a grain of salt". That is why Billy Graham took the path he did in accountablility and honesty but some leaders in the prosperity movement still refuse to honest, moral and ethical. Doranna Cooper

mike ross

December 23, 2009  9:01pm

It amazes me, how the term 'independant' came into being, as though it is in any way associated with the True Christian Church. The Christians of the Apostolic Era, and the Early Church Fathers, did not apparently think 'independance' was a virtue. The Early Church , followed a set Liturgy (as St Paul and Barabus...were 'called' during such Liturgy, and with prayers..), and was interdependant, as in community. Such as the Lord Supper is called the 'Communion' of the Saints, the Mysteries of the Lord, the Body and Blood of Christ GOD. How did the folk religion of the Americas become some touted world standard of Protestantism, and all her cultic , sectarian sisters..? So, now, anyone who picks up a Bible and claims a 'calling' can call themselves a 'preacher of the gospel', only, just not according to the Apostolic Faith, and Tradition of the Church. God will be the Judge.

abigail Lee

December 21, 2009  4:05pm

It amazes me how your articles attack every thing. Oral Roberts followed and loved the Lord with all his heart. Established the university, prayer tower, and lead millions to a saving faith in Messiah. He made some goofs along the way but who hasn't. You major on the negative and throw out the rest. I am so grateful that Yeshua will be my judge and not you. Oral Roberts will have an incredible crown of service to the King. Will you?

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December 19, 2009  7:22am

Oral Roberts practiced what he preached. Billy Graham did the dedication ceremony at ORU, which is a recognized university today that offers educational opportunities that Oral himself never had. As far as "Pentecostalism," he took the biblical viewpoint that it is for today, as the Apostle Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, that the Baptism in the Holy Ghost was generational: "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call." The Baptism in the Holy Ghost is a work of Jesus Christ as promised by John the Baptist (Mark 1:8) and fulfilled by Jesus after His resurrection on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and continues to this day. In fact, the prophecy in Joel that Peter referred to "this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel was explicitly for the 'last days.' Oral was much different than the 'name it, claim it bunch' the thrust being ‘seed faith.’

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doranna cooper

December 18, 2009  10:36pm

Growing up in Los Angeles and being in a church that nightly supported the Billy Graham Crusades where accountability and ethics was practiced gave us a pattern to watch and follow. Oral Roberts held a tent crusade in the 50's in Los Angeles and left owing money to many firms, some who were not Christian run; what a stumbling block Roberts was. Then when he wanted the 8 million dollars claiming God would strike him dead if it didn't come in I wasn't surprised at his actions. Some Orange Co. California churches were very proud to have Roberts attend their church but it wasn't something I would brag about because of his past and that he never apologized for his past. Even tho I believe he is in heaven doesn't mean he should be elavated to "sainthood" down here.

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Phil Johnson

December 18, 2009  12:35pm

John MacArthur has responded to this article:

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Philip Williams

December 17, 2009  7:10pm

Acts 8:14-16 ¶ When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 19:1-2 ¶ While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” ¶ They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

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December 17, 2009  3:56pm

"That's not righteous judgment." For whatever measure you deal out to others, it will be dealt to you in return.

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Jim R

December 17, 2009  3:20pm

Most influential religious leader of this era? Give me a break. He would not make a good size pimple on the Pope's nose!And, I ain't Catholic, either.

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Daniel Speck

December 17, 2009  3:15pm

Most of the destructive heresies in the evangelical community today come straight out of the Pentecostal movement. And for good reason. The basic doctrines of Pentecostalism are false. The biggest lie is that there is a subsequent baptism of the Holy Spirit after coming to a saving faith in Christ. Baptism in the Holy Spirit always occurs the instant of salvation and cannot occur at any other time. No believer can be saved and sealed, and indeed be a true Christian without the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The essential practices and doctrines for the Church are established by the Letters of Paul and cannot just be copied from what some believers experienced in Acts. Paul never, ever preached a subsequent baptism of the Holy Spirit to conversion as necessary or even possible. Oral Roberts was the populizer of Pentecostal heresies and now the profusion of scandal and greed ridden Pentecostal ministries are a testimony that these heresies produce only baby Christians, if at all.

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December 17, 2009  12:41pm

I'm reading the comments on this article and it amazes me the level of venom I am seeing. I am no big Oral Roberts fan. I too remember the give or I'll die situation. But the judgment that he was a charlatan I believe is wrong. Oral Roberts was very influential in Christendom, like it or not. He was the one that brought to the forefront that God still heals today and that the power of the Holy Spirit is for today. The reason he found such a great following is because so many mainline denominations closed the door to the power of God. That's the reason so many of our churches are viewed as being dead. I didn't always agree with Oral Roberts but I respected him as a man of God. I'll leave the judging of his authenticity to God. What gets me about the responses I've seen so far is the fact that any TV charismatic leader is a charlatan as far as most of you are concerned. That's not righteous judgment.

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December 17, 2009  9:33am

Lets not loose sight of the FACT that his faith healing tent meetings were a hoax.........Not to mention his arrogance in building his healing hospital essentailly in the middle of nowhere and thinking it would be a sucsssful venture.....And look at his son, the scandals surrounding this guy and his wife are never ending. Oral Roberts and his ilk are an American con job hiding behind the supposed banner of Christianity...........Between him, Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggert, Peter Popoff, Paul Crouch, Robert Tilton,Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes and Joyce Meyer , its a wonder that the mere mention of Christianity doesn't make most people laugh..........

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Dale Boston

December 17, 2009  9:15am

A more important religious leader? How about an author named C. S. Lewis? My thoughts about Oral Roberts will probably keep me in Purgatory much longer!

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December 16, 2009  10:40pm

I'll always remember OR for his 1987 blackmail attempt - give me money or I'll die! He would have sold tickets at the crucifixion.

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James Davis

December 16, 2009  4:40pm

Whoops, my bad. It was Grant Wacker who made the questionable quote.

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James Davis

December 16, 2009  4:39pm

I’m still finding it hard to believe Mark Rutland's comment that it would be hard to name a more important religious leader than Oral Roberts. Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II? Desmond Tutu, David Cho, the Dalai Lama? Pat Robertson, Francis Schaeffer, Menachem Schneerson? Rutland should get out more.

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