I’ll admit that I used to laugh at the PTL Club and all of the antics of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker during the 1970′s and into the 1980′s. I couldn’t understand how anyone could give money for a Christian Amusement Park, water slide and all of that make-up.
I had a paper route while I was in high school and during football season the Sunday papers got out very late in the morning. I would arrive back home about 5:00 AM and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Now back then our cable only had 10-11 channels. There wasn’t a lot to watch and I would occasionally watch the PTL Club. On this morning Tammy Faye was singing a song called “We’re Blest” in which the lyrics were, “we’re blest” over and over and over. Now I had heard her sing this song about 5 times and I began to laugh. Then she offered her album “We’re Blest” for anyone who gave a donation. She said the album cover was for the children! Yeah!
Anyway I was laughing hysterically by this point and my mom came down to see what I was laughing about. We both enjoyed watching Tammy Faye sing that song over and over for another half-hour. Needless to say I wasn’t a fan of the PTL Club.
There was a guy in my high school named Buddy. Buddy got his driver’s license before anyone else and living in Tuscaloosa, AL, the party capital of all colleges. Buddy partook in the Frat parties as much as he could. He became a teenage drunk. One night Buddy was at the mall and he had way too much to drink. He drove out of McFarland Mall and hit 7 or 8 cars on the way out. He panicked and drove to Birmingham to sober up. The next day he turned himself in to the police.
Well a few months later I started hearing rumors that Buddy had found “religion.” So I befriened Buddy and invited him to Campus Life and my church. One day I asked Buddy how he became a follower of Jesus. He told me after his accident he was grounded for life. So there wasn’t much for him to do at home so he watched a lot of TV. He said he began watching this show called THE PTL CLUB. (I looked at him in bewilderment) He proceeded to tell me how he got convicted of his sins and called the number on the TV screen and he prayed to receive Christ that night!
Now I may not be happy about all of the people whose money was wasted at Heritage USA, the air conditioned dog houses and gold plated bathroom fixtures, but I know of at least one life that was changed by the PTL Club so I rejoice.
Philippians 1:15-18 says:
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
So many times the “Church Police” are out to find out all of the wrong in every church. Paul said who cares as long as Christ is preached. We have too much work to do then to worry about what everyone is preaching. As long as Christ is being preached, I rejoice.
What do you think?