BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Are Christian conservative evangelicals so desperate for attention and an apocalyptic messenger that they’re turning to a disgraced televangelist to carry their End Times message? Ever in search of an End Times scenario that might resonate with its open-eared supporters, Steve Strang, the Christian conservative evangelical founder of Charisma magazine, and the CEO of Charisma Media, is turning to Jim Bakker for a revelation. And Bakker, the discredited PTL Club (Praise the Lord) televangelist who fleeced his audience, got involved in a juicy sexual scandal, and served time in prison, is claiming that the recent WannaCry "ransomware" cyberattack is a sign that World War III has already started. The early-May attack infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries.
In a podcast interview, Bakker told Strang that the battle would not be fought with traditional weaponry; rather it will be with computers and satellites. And, it may not be a coincidence that on his Jim Bakker Show, he is hustling survivalist supplies to doomsday preppers.
On his show, Bakker made a point of claiming the "spirit of the Antichrist" was living inside of Donald Trump’s opponents.
In a piece titled, "What if Jim Bakker Is Right That the Ransomware Virus Is Part of Fulfilling End-Times Prophecy?" Strang writes that he doesn’t mind "if the secular community makes fun of it or thinks that it is just a lot of superstition," his folks know that "the spiritual realm is where things really happen. We also know that God is in control, that He has a plan and purpose, and that He revealed to the apostle John what would happen in the last days, which John wrote about in the book of Revelation."
According to Charisma News’ Bob Eschliman, "Bakker said he interviewed U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (ret.), [the controversial anti-gay, anti-Muslim retired general who currently is an executive vice president at the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council] who said the world is already involved in World War III, which won't be fought with conventional weapons but with computers and satellites." Bakker "said the general told him of one concern that North Korea was developing a satellite capable of launching an electromagnetic pulse attack that could disable the entire U.S. electrical grid."
"The church needs to wake up that there is a war," Bakker said. "I believe we're in the warfare right now. I believe Revelation 6:2 is now."
Revelation 6:2 states: "And I looked, and there before me was a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow. And a crown was given to him, and he went forth conquering that he might overcome."
In the same podcast with Strang, Bakker said that he thought President Trump’s life was in danger: "There is going to be an attempt on our president's life very soon. We need to pray for the protection of our president."
Trump’s opponents "want him killed -- they refer to him as being like Nixon," he said. "They want him impeached. If they cannot kill him with words, they will try to physically murder the president of the United States.
"They have called for it online. There have literally been thousands of people online calling for the assassination of the president of the United States ... I believe voices of sound reasoning need to speak out, 'This is wrong. What is going on?'"
Bakker added: "You'll have a computer breakdown, but you're also gonna have a bomb drop, or we may have a hundred terrorists at the same time hit our malls in all of America," he said. "Earthquakes will take place, maybe multiples, because the Bible talks about one of the signs that Jesus is coming back will be earthquakes in diverse places. ...
"Rick Joyner has always warned us that we are to watch for the extremes. When you start seeing the extremes -- the extremes in flooding, the extremes in heat, the extremes in cold -- then the extremes of everything, that is one of the signs of the final days and warnings from heaven."
In 2003, Bakker founded "a new ministry and community called Morningside outside of Branson, Missouri, with his second wife and co-host, Lori Bakker," according to People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch project.
Right Wing Watch pointed out that Bakker "created a new PTL Network, which now stands for Prophets Talking Loud," which has "focused on the ‘prepper’ movement, putting an emphasis on the sale of survival food, equipment and health products. Intertwined with his survivalist sales pitches are a series of extremely vague and often provably false doomsday prophesies."
On one of his programs, Bakker hawked $160 Creamy Potato Soup Buckets and a $3,500 "7 Years of Food" package, and promised viewers that while the world was coming apart, "You can have parties."