Fear mongering has always been an industry. Many people have made personal fortunes scaring others, and the church is not immune to this sort of thing; in fact, it is full of them. I’m talking about the people who constantly sell negativity and catastrophe, all the while preying on people’s emotions for the sole purpose of taking their money and giving them nothing valuable in return. In this case, we look no further than to Jim Bakker.
I need to make this very clear that in no way am I denigrating nor attacking Jim Bakker, the man as I am more addressing Jim Bakker the preacher and his teaching. The word says in 2 Peter 2:3 ” And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” So what’s wrong with Jim Bakker and his push in selling Tribulation food? It’s based on fear.
Fear is a very powerful spirit, it’s one of the most often used spirits by Satan against both the saved and unsaved. When fear roots itself in the spirit of man, what occurs then is the person’s actions are not guided by logical thinking, or in the case of a born again believer, by the Spirit of God, but their actions are made based on a spirit of fear. For the believer, God has not ever, to this day, given the body of Christ a spirit of fear, 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Yet because of fear and words laced with the same, believers equally become caught up in the rush of decision making, leaving out the direction of the Holy Spirit and substituting it with decisions made by the flesh, under the leading of the spirit of fear. This is not just wrong, it’s sin, because we are a new creature in Christ and because of our newness of being, we are guided (or should be) by the Holy Spirit, not by flesh. Yet, there are some who capitalize on this as a means to make money and this is where we will focus on Mr. Bakker.
Jim Bakker’s whole position when he comes speaking about the end times is where will the believer get food when the world is faced with the greatest trial known to man. It equally must be understood that Bakker does not hold to the teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture event, he has made it known that he is post-tribulation. That is to say, he (Bakker) believes that the church will go through the entire 7 year period where famine, wars, the mark of the beast will be subject to the Christian, and while that is his theological position and his right to it, where he errors in his actions is when he uses the future events as a means to an economic end. What I’m trying to say is, he’s making money (and a lot of it) off the hope that he will scare enough people into purchasing food to wait out this terrible time of Jacobs trouble. The problem is not so much is Jim right in his theological position, that’s not even the issue, the issue at hand is, is Jim Bakker right in his using a future situation to make a profit off of the people? The answer is no! He is not.
The truth is this, it all comes down to in whom will you trust? Will you trust a man whose only a man for your needs to be met? Or will you trust God? Think about it, what if someone is not financially able to buy 25 year life food? What about them? Where is their hope? Are we now dividing the line between the haves and the have not simply based on economic class? In other words, are the only ones who will “survive” some apocalyptic event in the future will be those who had the money to buy tribulation food? What does that say about God then? Is he not able to provide for his people in a time of hardship? The answer is yes! God will and shall provide for his people, regardless of what comes.
That’s the problem Jim Bakker is rejecting, complete reliance on God, but rather a dependence on self. That is the problem with the modern church today, too much dependence on self and not on God. When we get sick, we turn to the doctor, when we have a financial problem, we run to the bank, when we have marital problems we turn to counselors, and when we have spiritual problems we seek out the popular preacher. But never do we seek God and his ability to solve our problems – that’s the real problem.
Jim Bakker is manipulating people by and thru fear, not out of concern, if he was truly, genuinely, concerned for the people, he would not be seeking to profit from their fear, actually, he would instead be directing them to the cross, teaching them that faith in what Christ did on the cross will satisfy every need people have, not subjecting them to fear and propaganda that they need to buy their security, but trust God. This is the sign of someone whose heart has been influenced by the spirit of the world and by greed, nothing more.
Let me reassure the believer who might be concerned by the times we are living in and what they may be seeing in the world around them, God will always provide for his people – always. Did God not take care of his people in the wilderness? Did God not provide for the multitude when Christ blessed the 5 loaves and 2 fishes and yet the great multitude was fed? Did God not part the red sea, saving the nation of Israel from destruction? Did God not provide a coin in the mouth of a fish for Peter to pay the tax? Did God not provide the perfect sacrifice for the world, which was Christ, to save man from sin? If he is able to do these things, how much more will he do for them who believe?
We must walk by faith, not by sight (fleshly ways, i.e., human knowledge, education, human wisdom) trusting Christ every day for our substance. Now, Bakker’s argument would be that it is irresponsible for the believer not to prepare, but did not Christ say in Luke 9:3-4 “And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.”
The fact is, we must trust God in these last days, not be swayed or enticed by words laced with fear, but in the knowledge that Jesus Christ has done all he has done – on the cross- to save us, keep us and provide for us through his Holy Spirit. If we begin to trust in our own abilities, our own power, our own means, then what we are really saying is God cannot truly provide for his people and we need to do something or add something to the promise of God to help us when we need him, or if we need him. God will not nor cannot honor such lack of faith, and that is exactly what it is – a lack of faith. Without faith, it is impossible then to please God.
Jim Bakker is simply deceiving the body of Christ by another means to generate finances, that’s all it is, and the sad fact is, many a believer is falling for it. But God sends a voice of reason to the sheep that says, “Trust in me, don’t trust in man, or your own ways, but trust in me.” Yet many will not listen to that voice because it’s easy to trust in self, it’s harder to trust in God, because many in the church have become conditioned to provide for themselves, trust in themselves and not walk by faith. Walking by faith is one of the most hardest things to do, yet it’s the only measure by which God will honor and bless – pure, simple faith. Jim Bakker is not offering you faith, he’s not offering you security in Christ, he’s offering you another way, another hope and another plan which has nothing to do with Christ, but in self. From this run, and run far away and run to the cross.