Sunday, November 25, 2007

Does Roberts' resignation point to a wider evangelical crisis?

On Friday, November 23, 2007, Richard Roberts, son of Oral Roberts, submitted his resignation as president of Oral Roberts University. Oral Roberts University is deeply in debt, while millions of dollars have been channeled out of university funds to support Oral Roberts' lavish lifestyle in retirement on the West Coast.

Oral Roberts continues to serve as the school's chancellor, even though he lives more than a thousand miles away. The school supports his lavish lifestyle to the tune of millions of donated dollars, apparently on the theory that Oral Roberts occasionally entertains potential donors at his palatial California estate.[1]

To me, what is really significant about the Oral Roberts University scandal is that it is being brought by evangelicals against other evangelicals. Evangelicals are beginning to violate Reagan's "11th commandment," and are taking on key figures within evangelical ministries, demanding an end to corruption and hypocrisy.

Another sign of this crisis is the investigation of six televangelists by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). This is an investigation that quite simply could not be launched by a Democrat: it would be dismissed on partisan grounds. Until quite recently, such an investigation would not have been launched by a Republican, because doing so would have jeopardized a key part of the Republican base.

Grassley's current investigation has been going on for two years. He has now requested critical financial information from six televangelists to be delivered in early December 2007. Grassley no doubt believes that there is fire beneath the smoke. It will be interesting to see what he finds.

1 comment:

B said...

Its interesting that Oral Roberts lives with and among other purveyors of fantasy: Hollywood Media Moguls.

Maybe he's "working undercover".

At least he is probably not calling prostitutes, but, who knows?