Jim Bakker Off to the Holy Land with Joseph Farah and Jonathan Cahn

WND “reports“:

Surprise Guest Joins Cahn-Farah Israel Tour

Jim and Lori Bakker are not coming as celebrities or guest speakers, but as spiritual pilgrims. Jim Bakker hasn’t been to Israel in decades, and Lori Bakker has never been there.

They got the idea to come when Cahn, author of “The Harbinger” and the inspiration behind “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” made a guest appearance on the Bakkers’ daily TV show.

“Jim Bakker is one of the giants and pioneers of Christian television,” said Cahn. “He helped found TBN and PTL and worked with Pat Robertson in the early years of ‘The 700 Club.’ He sat with world leaders and presidents in the White House. And yet the most powerful part of his story is what happened after being humbled under God’s hand, a humbling from which he emerged a changed man, a man of profound humility, compassion and grace – and with even more zeal for the Lord.”

[Joseph] Farah said the Bakkers recognize something he has seen himself as someone who has traveled to Israel frequently over the last 35 years – “there’s no better way to see Israel than with Jonathan Cahn.”

The “report”, of course, is really just an advert – the url shows that the article has been adapted from an earlier version, originally entitled – in bad taste – “Hamas Rockets Boon to Israel Tour”.

Joseph Farah is the editor of WND, which serves up a daily mix of anti-Obama conspiracy theories and fringe religious speculations; Cahn, meanwhile, is the author of a best-selling book – as modelled here by John Boehner – which links the events of 9/11 to God’s judgement and the last days. Cahn’s book is published by Stephen Strang’s Charisma empire, although WND has charge of a tie-in DVD.

Cahn’s rise from obscurity to evangelical super-stardom has been rapid, helped in large part by the Bakkers. Jim Bakker, in turn, owes his own revival to some extent to Rick Joyner, who now controls the remnants of Bakker’s PTL empire. Given that Bakker regularly claims to receive special messages from God about future events, “profound humility” is not the most obvious attribute.

As with the previous Cahn-Farah tour, the event, organised by Coral Tours, appears to be devotional: the emphasis is on the Biblical past rather than Farah and Cahn’s apocalyptic obsessions. The itinerary includes:

a special service at Calvary/Golgotha and the Empty Garden Tomb.

This does not mean the Holy Sepulchre, but rather the alternative site supposedly “discovered” by General Gordon in the nineteenth century. The Garden Tomb is today very popular with many evangelicals: unlike the Holy Sepulchre, the site is not overlaid with religious iconography, structures, and hubbub; and although it can’t be taken seriously as Jesus’ tomb, for believers it nevertheless has some force as historical evidence for the Resurrection.

There is, though, a distant buzz from a nearby bus station, which will prove poignant for Bakker. As the Jerusalem Post reminded us in 2008:

 In 1987 US TV evangelist Jim Bakker’s affair with a 19-year-old church secretary led to the unraveling of his ambitious Court of the Guard project, a serene meditation and prayer garden outside Damascus Gate. Plans – for which Bakker bilked millions from his naive followers – called for the construction of an east Jerusalem Central Bus Station on Rehov Hanevi’im. The dilapidated, and still in use, Jordanian-era depot is situated next to the Garden Tomb. 

One Response

  1. If Bakker had been humbled he should have kept a lid on televangelism. If he truly felt a call to ministry and was actually humbled rather than just humiliated, there are many small struggling congregations hecould have served. He could have done clinical education and become a chaplain at an old peoples’ home. He could have labored in obscurity as a lay member of a small church. Instead, he chose to go back on the air crying for dollars and selling some ridiculous survival backpacks.

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