North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
6The Daily Tar Heel Thursday, February 26, 1987
The Daily Tar Heel Thursday, February 26, 19877
its nice to have
you home, pear,
things have been
sotense in tulsa
TENSE? YOU PONT KNOW ABOUT
THE MONEYS 60ING0R A GOOP
IT SEEMS LIKBXHANA
BUSE OF POWER FFOGOP. THERE
HAS TO BE A BBTmAYfORHlM
OVER. ORALROBERTS 'ULTIMATUM
OF HOUJ NICELY
HE COULD DO
MOM THREATENED TDKILLHIM IF
LION BY MARCH!
vf. TOR&E MONEY!
062 (Dftafi &obetts iaie a Jutute?
God, it's me, Oral.
Oral. . . .Oral Roberts. I'm returning your call. Uhmhm. But . . . . Well,
listen, God, ..... I'm really not into ultimatums, but ....
Raise what? Raise $4.5 million before March 31? Or die?
Call it hotline to the Hostage Crisis. Religious figures are taking stands.
MOM, YOU PONT REALLY
BELIEVE ORAL ROBERTS I
MIILL DIE IF HE POESNT PONT
i GET THE MONEY, PO KNOW.
I j'TZZi' YOU? MIKEY...
I DO KNOW THAT IF BOP CALL'S
ORAL HOME, THERE MILL BE
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE KICKING
THEMSELVES FOR NOT HEED"
urJNG HIS MORNING.
WE CANT STAND IEY BY,
MIKEY. THE EYES OfTHE
WORLD ARB NOW N
HI! T$ DAY
12 ON THE
FOR AN UP
In a recent "Doonesbury" series, cartoonist Garry Trudeau refered to evangelist Oral Roberts'
crusade as a "death watch"
By CHRIS CAIN
Oral Roberts, television evangelist
and taith-healer extraordinaire, has
surprised Americans many a time
But lor many-religious leaders, his
most recent claim beats them all.
II his proclamations are to be
believed, the chips are down for the
Re. Oral Roberts, and the stakes
are sky high perhaps heavenly
high. For in Oklahoma, where in the
bygone days of the Wild West
roulette wheels whirred and 5-card
stud olten ended with duelling six
shooters. Reverend Roberts may be
caught up in a deadly poker game
of his own. And he has set himself
up against what some would call a
might) p'werful adversary God.
According to Roberts, the Deity
has given him an ultimatum: Either
raise a lot of money quick or. quite
simply, die. The evangelist claims
that if. by March 31. Americans have
not sent in S4.5 million for overseas
medical missions. Ciod will strike him
Consequently, over the last few
weeks Roberts has been pleading
with the American public to do him
a good turn to save his life by
sending in donations of at least $100.
His son Richard writes in a recent
mass mailing. "Let's not let this be
my dads last BIRTHDAY!"
With this news revealed, doubtless
many eyes will be looking toward
calendar date March 31 most
especially Roberts'. Though the press
has raised many questions concern
ing the TV preacher's thoughts and
motives, they haven't uncovered
what is going on in Roberts' head.
Howevci. he may well be thinking
about the four way s this deadly game
could end. First, he may fail to reach
his goal and consequently be called
home tit lace a disappointed God.
The Rev. Jim Bakker's press secre
tary. Neil Escalin. says that such a
move, though uncomfortable for
Roberts, could well convert half of
America's atheists on the spot.
On the other hand, if Roberts
doesn't raise the money and lives, he
may see himself as the butt of a few
distasteful jokes as he tries to explain
(iod's benevolent bluff.
Assuming, however, that he does
reach his $4.5 million jackpot and
he's moving toward it at a rate of
WELCOME BACK TO DAY 32
OF 1MB ORAL ROBERTS DEATH
WATCH! MYPROPUCER JAKE
i AND I ARE STILL TALKING
t ABOUT GOD'S EXTRAORDINARY
4.5 MILLION SHAKBOOWN,
himself from the evangelist. "It's a
poor representation of the Methodist
Church." he said.
"The Methodist Church recognizes
the power of the TV medium," but
as far as TV preachers are concerned,
"every time I look at one. they're
looking for money and there's a
lot of money to be made," said Gattis.
At the heart of the Roberts debate,
according to some religious figures,
is not the amount of money he will
make, but rather the way in which
for it. "Partners" were to send in
donations of $7, $77. $777 or $7,777.
In 1980. with the hospital ncaring
completion. Roberts had another
vision, this time of a 900-foot-high
Jesus. As a result. Roberts pulled in
S5 million and completed the "Citv
of Faith" in 1981.
Jesus called" again in 1984. in
abridged form, this time for a seven
hour interview with Roberts. Jesus'
instructions were that each "prayer
partner." a TV viewer, send in $240
in order to find a cure for cancer.
Foi such u donation, the viewer
received 48 tapes of New Testament
commentary, each with a retail value
ol about $5. Along with the tapes
came 14 special blessings, including
health and financial success, accord
ing to Roberts. Roberts said Jesus
told him. "Jell them that this is the
JAKE, I THINK WHAT CONCERNS
ME MOST IS THE CLAIM THAT
GOD IS HOLDING A LIFE HOSTAGE
FOR FUND-RAISING PURPOSES,
THAT HE IS, IN EFFECT, A COM-
! MM TERRORIST.
AS ONE OBSERVER HAS
PUT IT, "NO CAUSE CAN
JUSTIFY TERRORISM. IT
TERRORISM IS HEINOUS
GOD KNOW HE
over $100,000 per day he can't
discount the possibility that God
would, well, strike him down
The rosiest scenerio of all. though,
has about $5 million rolling in and
Roberts, smiling and healthy, pro
claiming victory. Thus the Roberts'
organization would be happy (they
have lots of money to spend), the TV
audience would be happy (they have
saved a life), and America's cartoo
nists would be really happy, for they
will have something to lampoon for
a couple of months.
Not everyone is pleased with
Roberts and his fatal claim, including
many of his fellow ministers. Roberts
has been affiliated with the United
Methodist Church for years, but the
Rev. William Gattis of University
MeJhodiM X quick. i.distjapc.
he will make it. Gattis said Roberts
"has done some marvelous things"
with his evangelical earnings in the
past. "The deciding factor for me . . .
is the predicting of his death." Gattis
said. He finds the prediction unset
tling and theologically unsound. "1
donH know of any other historical
or biblical precedent for such action."
he said. "He has gone beyond his
limits with this as a way to persuade
people to donate money."
Roberts has stretched the limits of
conventional etiquette before. His
most recent pleas have been for
money for the City of Faith Medical
and Research Center, w hich he began
building in 1977. In that year, he said,
(iod came to him in the California
desert and gave him instructions of
how to build the hospital, how large
. iu'Jiuild it. and JwSw to .raise, money .
Lord speaking through you. Oral
Roberts, to them. When are you
going to obey me? When?"
Roberts is betting that his congre
gation will obey this time. If it does,
he will not only gain a few more
years, but also some much-needed
money. The New York limes
reported last year that the "City of
Faith" hospital complex was rarely
over hall lull and was draining
millions of dollars from his ministry .
In 1986 Jan Dargatz. Roberts' press
secretary, said that the hospital
wouldn't have to close but that "Plan
A isn't working and it's time to start
looking for plan B."
Could this vision be plan B?
Probably not. thinks the Rev. James
Ahrahamson ol the Chapel Hill Bible
Church. "I think he probably believes
that it is' a genuine. vision."'he' said.: ;
"Biblically speaking, the idea of (iod
speaking in dreams is legitimate, but
ordinarily it should be open to the
confirmation or refutation of the
Ahrahamson sees Roberts as a
"lone ranger' of sorts and has strong
reservations about the evangelist's
message, "(iod is not a terrorist."
Ahrahamson said. Though the min
ister admits that he and Roberts are
both fundamentalists and share
many of the same beliefs, he draws
.i line between what he sees as two
types of. fundamentalism. He calls
himsell a "classical fundamentalist."
holding "historical, doctrinal values
and beliels." He sees preachers such
as Roberts and Jerry Falwell as
"cultural fundamentalists" that are
outspoken, arrogant and anti
intellectual. Roberts does little to
inspire trust in the minister; "He's not
the kind of guy I would buy a used
car from." Ahrahamson said.
f ather By ron at St. Thomas More
Church doesn't believe Roberts'
claim either. "It's a hype thing." he
said, adding. "Theologically, this is
not the way (iod acts." Roberts'
action springs from imagery that is
not restricted solely to the Protestant
religion. Byron said. "We have the
same type ol thing with the Catholic
faith. The Blessed Mother is sup
posed to have appeared somewhere
and people flock to the sight it's
happening today in Yugoslavia."
Like Ahrahamson. Byron doesn't
view Roberts cynically: "Oral
Roberts is not venal, but deluded."
National mass media preachers
have less to say on the matter. Jerry
Falwell in Lynchburg. Virginia and
presidential hopeful Pat Robertson
had no comment on the matter.
Closer to home. Billy Graham's
ministry in Montreat did not com
ment. Jim Bakker. who runs the PTL
Club from Charlotte, said. "We are
praying that Oral Roberts has a long
and happy life."
Fscalin. who is an old associate ol
Roberts, cited a recent Gallop poll
that found a majority of Americans
feci (iod speaks to them. "Then,
when someone says they have heard
from (iod. the media is always
surprised." He said, however, that
nothing as dramatic as a death threat
has come to Bakker.
While Roberts' weekly TV
audience is down by about half since
1977. PTI 's ratings are up. Fscalin
said. The most recent vision "will
probably increase Roberts' ratings."
Escalin said. He says he can't deter
mine whether Roberts' v ision was a
hoax or not. "I don't have the answer.
Only God has the answer . . . and
Oral will ultimately have to stand
Dr Grant Wacker. who teaches
contemporary American religion at
I'NC. also thinks that Roberts is at
least sincere in his claim. "He believes
he', gotten a message. This is no
different than what he's been doing
Were it simply that Roberts needed
money, he could raise it in a less
dramatic manner, he said. "Next to
Billy Graham he's the most effective
fund-raiser this country has ever
seen." Thus, he sees the press
coverage given Roberts as unneeded.
"They are acting like sharks circling
for the kill. He is simply taking
advantage of the means of publicity
available to him . . . w hat he's doing
is very much like many advertisers.
Revlon or whoever." He cites adver
tisments that claim cigarettes cause
cancer as being much more damaging
than an Oral Roberts broadcast. But
he hastens to say . "I'm not sending
him my money."
Many, however, have already sent
their money, and Roberts is calling
the nation (through TV ads. mass
mailings and personal appearances)
to keep the contributions coming. He
is scheduled to speak to a PTL Club
banquet in Charlotte on March 7.
II. on March 31. death should
strike, it would do so on the heels
of another Roberts family tragedy,
the suicide of his son in 1982. After
that event, he called death "The
devil's last card." Now he says it is
(iod's last card as well. And accord
ing to Roberts, if America doesn't
send in a lot more money, he will
be forced to use it.
oundup oh te&gious opportunities
By JOANNE GORDON
Far from Oklahoma as it is. UNC
has plenty of religious organizations.
Among the religious organizations
on campus are those affiliated with
the University Chaplain's Associa
tion, a group of local ministry leaders
and university administrators. What
arc these organizations?
Baptist Student Union, sponsored
by the Baptist church nationwide, yet
open to non-Baptists, has about 50
to 120 students attending its regular
meetings. Rev. Robert Phillips said.
The ministry has a choir that tours
in the state, holds weekly Bible
discussions, mission projects at
Koinonai Farms outside of Plains.
Ga.. fellowship meetings, parties,
retreats, works at Chapel Hill's soup
kitchen, and sponsors missionary
students. Phillips said.
Student fellowship meetings arc
held on Thursdays at 5:45 p.m. at
the Baptist Student Center. 203
Newman Catholic Student Center,
which functions as both a church and
a student fellowship, offers "prayer
and worship, service to the commun
ity, and prov ides a place for students
to gather for social events." Pastoral
Associate Sister Mary Lynch said.
The center has serv ice and mission
ary projects including a senior
support program, soup kitchen
volunteer wock. and Yokefellow
The center, located at 218 Pitts
boro St.. holds masses at 1 1 a.m..
12:15 and 5:15 p.m. everyday and at
9 p.m. on Sundays during the school
year. On Wednesday evenings, stu
dents attend dinner and a program
featuring speakers and peer presen
tations by students in the group.
Campus Christian Fellowship,
although associated with the
Churches of Christ, is a non-
denominational group, minister
Frank Dodson said.
In addition to weekly programs
and Bible studies. Campus Christian
Fellowship sponsors service and
missionary projects, conducts
monthly activities, conferences and
prayer brunches. Locally, the
fellowship conducted last year's
Carnival for Kids for the Frank
Porter Graham after-school pro
gram. Fellowship members work
with nursing homes, provide gifts for
needy children and mentally retarded
adults, work with the pregnant
support services and support . mis
sions through offerings, according to
CCF meets Sundays at II a.m. in
the Student Union and holds a
supper and program at the Campus
House on Glenburie Street at 5:30
Episcopal Campus Ministry
(Anglican Student Fellowship) is
directly integrated into the parish of
the Chapel of the Cross. Fellowship
members participate in other local
service projects, working with the
YMCA. repairing and building
homes and volunteering at the soup
The 35-to 40-member fellowship
meets on Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. for
dinner and group discussions and for
Saturday morning breakfast at 10
In addition to the fellowship
meetings. Chapel of the Cross,
located at 304 Fast Franklin St..
holds serv ices on Sundays at 7:30.
9. 1 1 : 1 5 a.m.. student group meetings
at 5 p.m. and Eucharist at 5:15 p.m.
Communion is also held at 7:30 a.m.
Tuesday and 5:15 p.m. Thursday.
Dailv evening prayer occurs at 5:15
Hillel Foundation, a Jewish stu
dent community center on campus,
has been active for over 50 vears.
Rabbi Frank A. Fischer said.
Students participate in the Soviet
Jury Committee, a community action
program to free Jews in the Soviet
Union who want to leave and the
Isrcal Committee, a program on
Isreal education and political events.
Students also raise money for social
service in the community and Israel.
The Hillel House, located at 210
W. Cameron St.. holds Friday
services and dinners. Sunday morn
ing brunches twice a month. Tuesday
evening fellowship. Monday and
Tuesday evening Hebrew classes and
Saturday study groups.
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship,
which has 375 to 400 members, is
the largest of the 800 IVCF chapters
across the country . Its members meet
weekly in 45 dormitory and apart
ment Bible study groups.
These groups conduct outreaches.
work with the soup kitchen and in
nursing homes, and sponsor full
dorm discussions. Twenty-five
members will travel during spring
break one group to Ft. Lauderdale
to conduct beach evangelism and the
other to the inter-city Washington
community, according to director
IVCF members participate in the
Young Life summer camp at Windy
Gap in Ashcvillc. N.C. About 20
students will go overseas on mission
projects this summer in Mexico.
Ireland and Kenya.
Intcrvaristy is helping to sponsor
the Micheal W. Smith concert to be
held on March 17.
Lutheran Campus Ministry,
although affliated with the Lutheran
church, is open to students regardless
of their denomination. Pastor Larry
Hart sell said.
Ministry members participate in
retreats, gatherings with N.C. State
University and Duke, other Bible
study groups, and service projects.
THE AIR I
OTHERWISE, MERES IT GONNA
SAVE ROBERTS, NEXT THING YOU
KNOW, WE'LL BE COUGHING UP
5 MILLION FOR WOODY ALLEN, OR
W MILLION FOR JERRY GARCIA.
IT COULD JUST GET OUT
OF HAND, YOU KNOW I
MEAN, HOW MUCH DO
YOU SUPPOSE GOP COULD
GET FOR SOMEONE LIKE
ONLY HEP HAVE
KNOWS. US OVER
I A BARREL!
MINUTES LEFT IN
PAY 32 OF THE
YEAH, I THINK
Y' ALL SHOULD BE
GOPS GONNA PUT
OUT BROTHER ORAL'S
OOP'S JUSTWORKIN'A MEGA-
EVENT, TO GET HIS PEOPLE
INVOLVED IN A GOOD CAUSE !
ITS LIKE A COMBINATION OF
THE "WE ARE THE WORLD' AND
. THE " HANDS" PROJECTS.
AS IN, "HE'S GOT
THE WHOLE WORLD
MY MAN! DAY 33...
IE 1 L. 1- I
u i m
such as the community kitchen. This
vear students will participate in
Chapel Hill's first annual CROP
walk to raise money for world
hunger. And over the past five years
the Lutheran Campus Ministry has
sponsored three refugee families.
Hartsell said. "
Ministry meetings are at the
campus center on 300 East Rosemary
St. On Mondays the Lutheran Peace
Fellowship group meets to discuss
ways to promote peace making: on
Wednesdays the ministry offers a
group fellowship, communion ser
vice and a meal at 6 p.m.. and, on
Thursday evenings, the fellowship
holds a Bible study and discussion.
The Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
holds services on Sundavs at 8:30.
9:45 and II a.m.
Presbyterian C ampus Ministry has
about 45 to 50 students involved in
its programs, w eekly dinners. Sunday
Bible studies and mid-week Eucharist
services, according to Reverend
The ministry sponsors retreats,
special speakers, occasional activities
with N.C. State. UNC G and Wake
Forest groups, and service projects
with the soup kitchen. Habitat for
Humanity and the Rape Crisis
The Presbyterian Campus Minis
try holds programs at its student
center at 1 10 Henderson St..
United Christian Fellowship,
although non-denominational, is
associated with the Charismatic
churches thoughout the country,
according to Pastor Michael Evans.
The 50- to 75-member fellowship
does door-to-door witnessing and
evangelism and raises funds to help
people pav electric, heating and food
The fellowship holds services at
Chase Cafeteria in the Upendo
Lounge every Sunday, weekly Bible
studies in dormitories and commun
ity homes and informal fellowships
on Friday nights.
Wesley Foundation, sponsored by
the United Methodist church, is non
denominational and open to any
student, according to Reverend
Manuel Wormian. Students partic
ipate in weekly programs, discussion
and community sen ice projects.
This year. Foundation students
have repaired and winterized three
or four homes in the community. In
the past, the Foundation worked
with the Interfaith Council and with
the Habitat for Humanity.
Wesley Foundation sponsors com
munities in Kenya and Central
America and a mini-dorm in which
II undergraduate and graduate
indents live together in a multi-racial
Sunday services are held at the
University Methodist church on
Franklin Street at II a.m. Student
church school class meets at 9:45 p.m.
The 45-member Wesley singers
rehearse at 6 p.m. and graduate and
young professionals meet at 7:30 at
the Wcslcv Foundation on 214
,,.w ... v .. .'.
- . . it-