Jim Bakker

Jim Bakker is an American televangelist, a former

Assemblies of God minister, and a former host (with his

then-wife Tammy Faye Bakker) of The PTL (Priase the Lord) Club,

a popular evangelical Christian television program.

A sex scandal led to his resignation from the ministry.

Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud brought

about his imprisonment and divorce and effectively

ended his time in the larger public eye.

Bakker has renounced his past teachings on

prosperity theology, saying they were wrong.

In his 1996 book, I Was Wrong, he admitted that the first

time he read the Bible all the way through was in prison,

and that it made him realize he had taken certain passages

out of context – passages which he had used as “proof texts”

to back up his prosperity teachings. He wrote:

After his release for prison, Jim Bakker said this about the

prosperity doctrine:

” I’d always quoted 3 John 2 , saying, “Above all things

God wants you to prosper.” I loved that Scripture.

It looks great on a TV screen when you’re raising funds,

and I interpreted it as God wants you to be rich.

But when I got to the words of John, I said, “Now this don’t

make sense.” So I took the word ” prosper” apart in the

Greek and found out it’s made up of two words-the first word

means good or well and the second road.

It’s a progressive word, so it’s like a journey. So, here’s John

saying, basically, “Beloved, I want you to have a good

journey through life as your soul has a good journey

to heaven.” It was a greeting! Building theology on that is

like building the church on “Have a nice day.”  

I began to look up all the Scriptures used in prosperity

teaching, such as “Give and it shall be given unto you.”

When I put that Scripture back into its context, I found

Christ was teaching on forgiveness, not on money.

He was teaching us that by the same measure that we

forgive, we will be forgiven.

I had got my sermons from other people. The Bible warns

about the shepherds who get their messages from each other.

I think today the reason we have another gospel and

another Jesus being preached is because men have got

their sermons from each other and from motivational teaching.

A lot of what’s being taught today is simply motivational

teaching with a few Scriptures put to it.

Bakker, who spent five years in prison for defrauding

Heritage USA investors, says he has had a change of heart

about the prosperity gospel.

The same man who once told his PTL coworkers that

“God wants you to be rich,” now says he made a tragic


For years, I helped propagate an impostor, not a true

gospel, but another gospel,” Bakker has said in his 1996 book,

“I Was Wrong.”

“The more I studied the Bible, however, I had to admit that

the prosperity message did not line up with the tenor of

the Scripture,” he said. “My heart was crushed to think that

I led so many people astray. I was appalled that I could

have been so wrong, and I was deeply grateful that God had

not struck me dead as a false prophet” 



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