John MacArthur on the Death of Oral Roberts
…Oral Roberts’ influence is not something Bible-believing Christians should celebrate. Virtually every abberant idea the Pentecostal and charismatic movements spawned after 1950 can be traced in one way or another to Oral Roberts’ influence…
One thing all the obituaries agree on is that Oral Roberts paved the way for all the charismatic televangelists and faith-healers who dominate religious television today. He did more than anyone in the early Pentecostal movement to influence mainstream evangelicalism. He parlayed his television ministry into a vast empire that has left a deep mark on the church worldwide. In many places today, including some of the world’s most illiterate and poverty-stricken regions, Oral Roberts’ Seed-Faith concept is actually better known than the doctrine of justification by faith. The message of prosperity is now the message multitudes think of when they hear the word “gospel.” Countless confused people worldwide think of the gospel as a message about earthly, temporal, and material riches rather than the infinitely greater blessings of forgiveness from sin and the eternal blessing of the believer’s spiritual union with Christ.
All of those are reasons to lament rather than celebrate Oral Roberts’ fame and influence. My prayer is that future generations will see the folly of those doctrines, renounce and turn away from them, and cling tightly to the sure word of God and the glorious, eternal promises of the true gospel.
You can read all of MacArthur’s thoughts over at The Shepherd’s Fellowship Blog.