Oral Roberts And His Claims

Donald P. Ames
York, Nebraska

Frequently I have sat and watched Oral Roberts on TV or listened to him over the radio. His program was new to me, and quite different. With a couple of questions in mind, I wrote him asking him for some of his tracts. The material contained in those tracts actually astonished me. I was rather surprised at the extent men would go to try to obtain popularity. After looking them over, I decided the material contained in them needed to be set before the public that all might be acquainted with the claims of these "faith healers." In this article, I have quoted only from Oral Roberts' tracts which he wrote himself, so, we will let him judge himself.

"Expect a Miracle"

As we turn to his tract with the heading "Expect a Miracle," we note where he says, "Friends, you must expect a miracle if you want it to take place." What's that again --You MUST expect a miracle? That's odd. For one who claims to have the same power as Christ and the apostles, it's extremely odd that he would say "you MUST expect a miracle if you want it to take place." Of what difference does it make whether or not the individual expects a miracle? Do you mean to say that God's power is limited? I have never noticed where Christ or the apostles made such a claim. In fact, as we go to the pages of the New Testament, we find cases just exactly the opposite. As we turn to the case of Lazarus, we find that it was totally impossible for him to believe. Why? Martha said, "Lord, by this time the body decayeth; for he hath been dead four days." (John 11 :39) How could she expect a miracle? Next, taking the case in Acts 20, where Paul had preached till midnight, a young man had fallen asleep and fell from the window of the third floor. He was "taken up dead." (v. 9) Once again we ask, how was it possible for him to "expect a miracle"? He too was dead. Two dead men - how could anyone claim that they expected any miracle? Yet, Oral Roberts tells us that we must expect it "if you want it to take place."

"A Point of Contact"

As we turn to his tract, "The Faith That Heals," we find that there is still more than just expecting a miracle. In fact, it looks as if he is a master at setting up obstacles. We read, "When you come to God, you must set the time, you must have expectancy in your heart, and you must be expecting to turn your faith loose, because healing is not magic. Healing is by faith in God." Wait!! How did all this get in there? I thought you just had to expect a miracle.

It is quite easy now to see what he is up to. He says, "Healing is by faith in God." As we have already noted, two dead men were raised, so that removes that claim entirely, but let's note something else. In John 20:30-31, we read, "Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye mav believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name." Now Oral tells us that these signs only occur by "faith in God." One says so that ye will believe, and the other says because you do believe. Which do you believe?

Backing up a few lines in the same tract, we find, "You cannot let your mind wander and become full of doubt and conflict. You have to come with your mind made up, believing that God has this power, that God loves you more than anybody in the whole world loves you, and all you have to do is to get a point of contact." A point of contact? But I thought all there was to it was just to expect a miracle. What is this point of contact? Backing up a few more lines, we learn "That point of contact was, 'Speak the word, Lord, and my servant shall be healed. Speak the word -- just speak. When you do that, I'll turn my faith loose." That's odd, but my Bible doesn't read that way. Let's look at the case Roberts is trying to put into practice here. It is located in Matt. 8:5-13. And the verse? In my Bible, verse 8 reads as follows, "And the centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed." I can't see anywhere that anything is said about turning "my faith loose." Do you ?

At least, we now have his entire picture. First you must expect to be healed, then if he fails, you just didn't really expect to be healed. Then, if that excuse doesn't work, you simply don't believe. In spite of the fact Christ said in Matt. 17 :20 - that the disciples failed in an attempt to cast out a demon because THEY lacked the faith - Oral Roberts still uses this claim of lack of faith as an escape for his failure. Or, perhaps you didn't have the correct point of contact -- or didn't turn your faith loose. God just couldn't heal you because you wouldn't cooperate with him so He could get the job done.

But why does Oral Roberts insist on this point? As we note (still in "The Faith That Heals"), "A point of contact is important because it helps you set the time for your healing. And if you don't set the time, YOU PROBABLY WILL NOT GET HEALED." (Caps mine - D.P.A.) Here, again, we find the entire case summarized in one sentence, only this time he does it for you. If you aren't in the proper frame of mind - if you haven't "set the time" - you probably won't get healed. As we have already noted, he very definitely made it a point that you had to believe it above anything, and now he says if you don't, you can't be healed. It is all very simple. It is a fact known by most people that these "faith healers" are all fakes playing solely on the emotions. Once they can get you to believe in yourself and that you can do anything, the rest is easy. The problem is to get you to first believe you have a chance to get well. From there they play on the emotions till you convince yourself you are well and can go ahead from there by yourself. If they fail to get you to this point, or if there is some reason you can't cure yourself by mental persuasion, then they have a full string of excuses to get out of that spot. His claim of healing ability is ABSOLUTELY FALSE, and cannot be sustained.

The Best Saved Until Last

Yes, like the ruler who commented at the wedding at Cana, that the best wine had been saved till last, so I have reserved the best claim till last. This is indeed the boldest claim made by Oral Roberts, and is no doubt the boldest he'll ever make. It needs to be given as wide as circulation as possible. In fact, I arn fully convinced that once this tract and quote start any real circulating, that people are bound to pull away from following Oral Roberts.

What is this claim made so recklessly by Oral Roberts? The claim is that he is THE SON OF GOD. That's right, and it's a point capable of producing the downfall of Roberts. But do I have any proof of his wild accusation. Could I be guilty of misrepresentation? Well, I'll let you decide for yourself. In his tract, "God Is A Good God," the story of his life, he relates that as a child he suffered from TB and didn't have any use for religion or God till his mother told him that it was just the Devil trying to get revenge against God.

This really thrilled me, but Mama wasn't through. "Oral, before you were born, God spoke to me and said that the child I had in my womb WAS HIS (emp. mine - D.P.A.), and that I was to be careful with you. And that isn't all. There is a prophecy on your life that God gave your father. The Lord told him that someday you would be a preacher and would hold the largest meetings of your day. Both of us have heard the Lord speak concerning your life. We know that the devil knows of these prophecies and he is trying to destroy you. That is his way of getting back at God.

I have quoted the entire quote here so that there can be no accusations that I have just lifted a quote and misapplied it. The fact stands out so obviously that it needs no comment. In fact, he is guilty of saying that God is a liar. God said in Matt. 17:5, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." Now, Oral Roberts says he is also the son of God. He does not claim to be Jesus, so I guess God has two sons now. Only thing wrong is that in my Bible, I can only find

record of one. I guess I'm going to have to write Oral Roberts and ask him for his translation of the Bible. I guess that all the scholars who translated the King James and American Standard versions just didn't have the divine guidance Oral seems to have.

To answer an argument that might be made on the above quote in advance, some may claim that this passage does not mean that Oral Roberts is literally the "son of God," but rather that he is in the same sense that any follower of Christ is. (Gal. 3:26) But there is one big question in the way of this lame attempt: Do we have to have a special revelation from God to tell us that if we are all his children anyway?


In conclusion, we have noted just a few of Oral Roberts' many wild claims, and from his own mouth, not from someone opposed to him and just trying to destroy him by any method they can. Yes, Oral Roberts has defeated himself, as is so true with the teaching of error. Let us always "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (I Thess. 5:21) for "the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32).

Truth Magazine II:2, pp. 4-5, 12
November 1957