Oral Roberts, the entrepreneurial evangelist known to millions by catchphrases such as "Expect a miracle," and by the Oklahoma university bearing his name, died Tuesday at age 91.
During a Nashville rally in 1958, Oral Roberts places his hands on the head of Deborah Davidson, 4, and prayed that God would heal her of leukemia. (FILE / THE TENNESSEAN)
He led the way in 1954 using television as the new medium for hope, faith and healing and took praying/preying to new financial levels only previously dreamed of.
Others soon followed from Jim and Tammy Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart on up to today's favorite zionist spokesperson John Hagee and the prince of prosperity Joel Osteen among a host of other money mangers for the Lord.
You've probably known a few of the 'marks.' The little old ladies who would send in their last few dollars, hoping this was the way of the word and that they may be saved from whatever they thought they should be saved from.
Now days whole networks and mega-churches are the rule, taking in billions of dollars since Oral led the way.
The idea of a lavish lifestyle has never been lost on these guys and gals of God's talk. I suppose they think they deserve it for all of the 'work' they do.
Many years ago someone told me that the word believe came from the root word 'belie' meaning to be deceived. It's one of the few things I've always remembered.
We won't debate whether there is a 'heaven' waiting for Oral and those that he inspired to follow in his steps. I'll only say that another famous huckster once said in a moment of honesty ... "There's a sucker born every minute."