If you want to get a feel for what is going on in the pro-Trump wing of charismatic Christianity, check out Steve Strang‘s recent appearance on the Jim Bakker Show. Strang, the editor of Charisma magazine, has a new book out titled God and Cancel Culture (foreword by Mike Lindell).
Some of you remember Jim Bakker from the 1980s. His secretary Jessica Hahn accused him of drugging and raping her. Bakker paid Hahn $279,000 from the coffers of his PTL ministries to stay quiet. Jerry Falwell, who eventually took over Bakker’s PTL ministries, called him “the greatest scab and cancer on the face of Christianity in 2,000 years of church history.” In 1989, a Charlotte, NC jury found him guilty of eight counts of mail fraud, fifteen counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy for his fundraising activities. He was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison at a facility in Rochester, Minnesota. His sentence was reduced to eight years in 1992 after a U.S. Court of Appeals court decided that the Charlotte judge who originally sentenced him had shown religious bias in the sentencing. Bakker was eventually paroled in 1994 after serving about five years of his sentence. When he got out of prison he still owed $6 million to the IRS. Believe it or not, Bakker’s parole attorney was Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz told the judge that he “would guarantee that Mr. Bakker would never again engage in the blend of religion and commerce that led to his conviction.”
Bakker returned to televangelism in 2003 with The Jim Bakker Show .The show is filmed before a studio audience in Branson, Missouri. Since then Bakker has been:
- Selling survival food buckets.
- Telling people that if they don’t vote for Donald Trump they are not saved.
- Talking history with David Barton.
- Claiming that the real reason he went to prison was because he was going to endorse Pat Robertson for president.
- Calling for a civil war if Trump gets impeached
- Hawking Trump-King Cyrus prayer coins.
- Warning his critics that God’s wrath will soon be upon them of they continue to make fun of him.
According to Strang, in the 1980s Bakker was an early example of cancel culture. (Apparently Jerry Falwell was in the cancel culture business in the 1980s). Watch him defend Bakker:
In this interview Strang also says that the Antichrist may have placed a chip in the COVID-19 vaccine, liberals are at work in the creation of a one-world government, the Left “cancelled” Donald Trump, and Democrats leading us to Nazism and communism. in 2009, Charisma claimed to have a circulation of 275,000. It is the flagship publication of the Independent Network Charismatic movement.