Is the impotent man walking?
I have heard a friend refer to Jack Van Impe as Jack Van Impotent. What I believe he meant is complex (as usual, with this friend). First, it is clearly a reference to the story in the gospel of John, chapter 5, and/or Acts chapters 4 & 14. All deal with impotent men being healed.
Since Van Impe is a well-known international televangelist, in our way of seeing “sign language,” Van Impe represents the modern church to some extent. The church is impotent because of their false and/or milky doctrines. They produce spiritual cripples, unable to walk—in that sense, like the impotent men in the New Testament.
Of course, the word “impotent” also has the modern meaning of a one who is unable to reproduce offspring. We are talking spiritually here and therefore this also fits the modern church (despite the fact that the church is always represented as female). It is the sons of God (overcomers), who often find themselves not welcome or expelled from churches, who bring forth spiritual offspring by the grace of God.
So is the impotent man walking? Perhaps this is a baby step. From the other meaning, this is a sign that this “impotent” televangelist has some spiritual gonads, at least on this “Chrislam” issue. Of course, we take exception to many of Van Impe’s other teachings, but in particular, in the article below, we would strongly disagree with his belief that Rob Bell is a heretic. Here are some excerpts from the lengthy story on WorldNet Daily.
Van Impe ministry leaves TBN in clash over Islam
A Christian ministry’s decision to expose as “false teachers” several celebrity ministers it believes are corrupting biblical teachings has prompted a rift, with Jack Van Impe Ministries dropping plans to work in the future with Trinity Broadcasting Network, where it has broadcast for more than two decades. …
The dispute arose over the issue of advocating for “Chrislam” and other efforts that are designed to find “common ground” between Christians and Muslims. TBN declined to air one of Van Impe’s programs that contained sharp criticisms of leaders such as Rick Warren of “The Purpose
Driven Life” fame and Robert Schuller.
The dispute erupted just last week, when Van Impe’s ministry planned to air sharp criticism of Christians who say they want to “reach out” by incorporating beliefs or practices of Islam into their Christian organizations.
The program specifically mentioned [Rick] Warren and [Robert] Schuller, prompting TBN to prevent the broadcast.
“We received a call from Matt Crouch of TBN informing us that they would not run that program. … The reason he gave was that we specifically mentioned Rick Warren and Robert Schuller and that it is TBN’s policy that broadcasters are not allowed to rebuke other ministries,” Van Impe said. “This is a rather hypocritical statement in light of the fact that they have never said anything in the past when we have rebuked others such as Bishop Spong, Bishop Pike, and in the past few months Harold Camping and Rob Bell,” he continued. [Click here for the full story.]