Jim Bakker… Imprisoned Because He Loves Me!

by | May 20, 2007 | Blessing, Persecution, Trials

When I first talked with Jim Bakker, leader of PTL, Heritage USA, and the Inspirational Network, I was the biggest skeptic. I have non-Christian friends for whom Bakker’s much-publicized moral failures were one more excuse to reject the faith. So I was convinced I wouldn’t run the interview. But his spirit floored me. He was a broken, humble, and soft-spoken man. When I asked him why God would allow someone like him to be broken, imprisoned, and bankrupt, he responded in a most surprising way:

“God allowed me to go to prison because He loves me. Those He loves He chastens. The Bible says that the trial of your faith is more precious than gold. I had been telling people that if they had problems it was because they had sin in their lives. I was teaching them how not to `become gold.’ It was God’s grace that took me to jail. In prison, a young bank robber asked me, `Why does God hate me?’ When I told him of God’s love, he wasn’t impressed. But months later he told me, ‘You’re right. I’d be dead if God hadn’t intervened in my life.’

“If I had kept on going, I would have ended up in a mental institution or at least totally burnt-out. I would not go back to the way things were for anything. God used the circumstances of losing PTL to bring me to a place of genuine brokenness, repentance, and surrender. It hurt. And the losses my family and I have endured have been many and irreplaceable. But in the light of eternity, it will be worth it all.”

Callaway, Phil. Laughing Matters. Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 2005, p. 201.


Jim Bakker… Imprisoned Because He Loves Me!