We live in an age of prophets. Christian prophets. We are, in fact, rolling in them and almost all are out there predicting apocolyptic doom and gloom and often raking in a tidy profit doing it. Some take a risk by making very specific prophecies, like California’s Harold Camping who made headlines earlier this year when he predicted “the Rapture” would take place on May 21, 2011. Others play it safe by predicting the end of the world is coming soon but without saying exactly when and croaking ominously about the “signs and portents” they see in every natural disaster or social meme they disapprove of. Still more play it even safer yet by claiming that some vague forecast of doom was a prediction of a specific tragedy… after the fact.
It’s in this last category that televangelist and former Assemblies of God minister Jim Bakker falls. You may remember Jim as the co-host (along with his wife, the late Tammy Faye Bakker) of the evangelical Christian TV program The PTL Club. If you remember that much about him, perhaps you also remember the lurid sex scandal that led to his resignation from his ministry; not to mention a subsequent indictment for 24 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy (all of which he was found guilty of) that led to the cancellation of The PTL Club and him serving time in federal prison. Jerry Falwell, who succeeded Bakker as the head of the PTL Ministry, called him a liar, an embezzler, a sexual deviant, and “the greatest scab and cancer on the face of Christianity in 2,000 years of church history.”
Funny thing about these disasters; the prophet Jim Bakker failed to foresee any of them.
But hey, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Right?
Since 2003, Bakker has been broadcasting The Jim Bakker Show daily on Dish, DirecTV and the CTN Cable Network. And on his August 12 show, he claimed “I saw 9/11 in 1999 before New Year’s Eve… I said there’s going to be terrorism; there’s going to be a bombing in New York and Washington DC. I said it would be at a high defense location in DC…” He goes on to describe his “vision” of the tragedy in amazing detail… or at least it would be amazing if we weren’t hearing about it only now. He finishes up by saying that the attacks were probably God’s judgment on America because God “let his hand down of protection for those planes to come in to hit those buildings.”
Bakker wasn’t alone in making that 9/11 claim on his program either. With him was the prophet Cindy Jacobs, who also claimed to have predicted the 9/11 attacks. Now Cindy Jacobs is usually more of a “signs and portents” kind of prophet. Around the beginning of this year, she made headlines when she claimed that some mysterious mass bird deaths in Arkansas were a warning of God’s judgement against America for the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays in the military. It’s nice to know that Cindy’s branching out into the ex post facto prophecy business too.
You can see both Jim Bakker and Cindy Jacobs make their claims in the video in the left column. You can see another video of Cindy Jacobs making the claim (on the same program) that her prophecies stopped two coups in Africa here.
(Thanks and a tip of the Hatlo hat to Right Wing Watch for the links).
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