During a class in Davidson, the professor had us present a book to the class from a pre-approved list. Unfortuantely, I was the dummy who did not look into the book, but selected mine merely by title. So when no one else was lobbying to do “Forgiven: The Rise and Fall of Jim Bakker and the PTL Ministry” I thought I was golden. Who wouldn’t want to present on that: Television, money, glammor, scams and scandals…what wouldn’t be more interesting.
A week before the presentation, I finally dragged myself over the library to get the book. That is when I discovered why no one else wanted it: it was 632 pages written by the Charlotte Observer reporter who broke the scandal, more facts than photos.
However, that started my interest in the Bakker family not to mention the Charlotte connection. And I have contended that the Haggard situation will cause a similar effect in Colorado Springs, as Bakker’s disgrace caused in Charlotte and the Carolinas. The fall of a charismatic leader, whether a national icon, or a particular church’s elevated leader, has strangely become something I find fascinating. Seeing how on the one hand it can force people to reconsider what it means to be “church,” while on the other hand it can disillusion people’s belief.
So, it will be interesting to follow Jay Bakker’s new show and podcast. When I first heard about his church in Atlanta–which meets at Masquerade–I was fascinated how he would do. Because he, of all Busters (generational term for Xs and Ys), is the epitome of someone who was “burned” by the church. Seeing how he is connecting with people is encouraging. I imagine getting past the lip ring and tattooes will be difficult for most people, but his ministry approach is pretty amazing, and his message will touch people with grace of Christ.
I recommend listening to “Jay Preaches” if you got less than minute.