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This article examines a typical comment made by a follower of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries. It is a perfect example of the cultic nature of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, wherein anyone who disagrees with Swaggart’s strange doctrines is pronounced to be in imminent danger of doom from God’s angry hand. The person who left the comment is named Ed, and here is his comment:
Your comments about Jimmy Swaggart are very sad. While Rev. Swaggart did sin and was bound by Satan for months, he finally did realize his mistakes and re-dedicated his life to him, and his ministry has been blessed abundantly. Jimmy Swaggart was Satan’s enemy #1, but even Satan himself neglected to realize the amazing power of God’s forgiveness and restoration. Be careful when you speak against the anointed of God, just like King David of old, who was once the closest to God of any man on Earth, yet he sinned greatly, even committed murder, but came back to God on his knees after he realized what he really was in God’s eyes, Psalm chapter 53. Brother Swaggart came to that same realization and has repented, despite the lies by Don and others on this thread. My guess is that God’s hand will move against you and your families for attacking an anointed and restored man of God and his son. I would not want to be in your shoes. You should repent before it is too late.
Pastor Mark’s Response:
Ed’s comments are typical of those who follow Jimmy Swaggart. They desire to defend Swaggart’s actions and teachings while ignoring the facts, those facts being:
- Jimmy Swaggart was not “bound by Satan for months.” The devil cannot bind someone and force them to sin. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” James 1:14 tells us: “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” Thus, Jimmy Swaggart chose to follow his lust of his own free will. God had provided a way of escape and Jimmy chose not to take that path. Let’s not make it sound like it was Satan’s fault. Jimmy Swaggart’s sin is his fault and no one else’s.
- Secondly, Jimmy Swaggart’s liaisons with prostitutes did not go on “for months.” By Swaggart’s own admission, it went on for almost thirty years. In tears, Swaggart told Rev. Marvin Gorman, “I’ve been doing this for twenty-eight years. I have chased prostitutes in every city where I have conducted revivals or crusades.”
- Jimmy Swaggart was not “Satan’s enemy #1.” This sort of aggrandizement of Swaggart is common among his followers, and is brought about by Swaggart’s megalomaniacal need to continual brag that he and his ministry are the main conduit of the Gospel. Most of the salvations happening are not the result of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, which has a small footprint compared to the work of all the other Christian ministries and Christian churches in the world today. The Apostle Paul said, “I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.” (Romans 12:3)
- Then comes the threat that most Swaggarites make – that God is going to get anyone that dares to question the teachings of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries. According to Swaggarites, any Christian who dares to question Swaggart’s strange doctrines or who consider the bad fruit in his life (as Jesus told us to) then they are doomed and about to have God’s judgment fall on them. Ed writes, “Be careful when you speak against the anointed of God, just like King David of old…God’s hand will move against you and your families for attacking an anointed and restored man of God and his son. I would not want to be in your shoes. You should repent before it is too late.” This is cultic talk and Swaggart has encouraged his followers to speak this way. It is how he maintains psychological control over his followers. This is the exact opposite counsel from what the Bible instructs, which is to compare all teaching to the word of God. Even when prophets speak, the church is to judge whether it lines up with Scripture, “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. (1 Corinthians 14:29).
All those who have read my biography of Jimmy Swaggart’s life, or even spent some time on this website, know that when Jimmy Swaggart was caught with a prostitute and announced his repentance on television, I stood before my congregation and preached a sermon in which I said that if Jimmy Swaggart has repented the church must forgive him. Rather than being judgmental, as I am accused of being, I was, from the very start, eager to see Jimmy Swaggart forgiven and restored.
Most of those who follow Swaggart were not even alive when Swaggart fell into sin. I was. I was a minister in the same denomination as Jimmy Swaggart. I am well aware, more than most, of what exactly transpired. Although I said at that time (1988) that if Swaggart submitted to the marriage counseling the Assemblies of God offered, he could be restored to ministry, it must be pointed out that was before a number of things happened. These things being:
- Jimmy refused to follow the instructions of the Assemblies and refused counseling, saying that he didn’t need it because “he hears directly from God.”
- He was caught with prostitutes two more times after his public repentance on television. He was caught in in 1991 and 1995. In 1988 when Swaggart was first caught with a prostitute, he met with the Assemblies of God leadership. Mercifully they offered him two years of counseling and mentoring, requiring him to step down from ministry during this time so he could devote time to restoring his marriage and his relationship with God. Swaggart refused, defiantly going back on the air two weeks later.
- Swaggart had several meetings with the church authorities, eventually refusing their stipulations. According to accounts, he told them arrogantly that he heard directly from God and that he didn’t need or want their help. After only two months he returned to full-time ministry. Consequently, the Assemblies of God had no choice but to revoke his ordination.
Caught Again and Again
Swaggart was caught with a prostitute in 1988 and that is when he did his famous television show of repentance. But three years later, in October of 1991, Jimmy was caught again with a prostitute. This was all over the news at the time. In happened in Indio, California. Noticing a police car, Swaggart tried to stuff his porn magazines under the seat. This caused him to swerve momentarily into the wrong lane. He was stopped by police for driving on the wrong side of the road.
He had just picked up a prostitute by the name of Rosemary Garcia and he had her in the car with him. She told officers that Swaggart had solicited her for sex. But this time Jimmy didn’t cry and confess. He stood before his church and said, “God has told me it is flat none of your business.”  He continued to pastor the church. That is not repentance. Not by a long shot. Repentance is required for forgiveness.
Four years after being caught the second time, in 1995, Jimmy was caught a third time. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in a red-light district known as The Strip, Jimmy was pulled over by police under suspicion of soliciting a prostitute. The officer found pornography underneath Jimmy’s car seat. He was released in this instance, as there wasn’t sufficient evidence for a conviction.
When a public figure such as a television evangelist commits such egregious transgressions, a public statement of remorse is expected. No such repentance has ever been demonstrated for these last two escapades. This is one of the reasons that so many within the Church feel that Jimmy Swaggart has not properly dealt with his sin. He has certainly not taken the proper steps obligatory for restoration of a minister.
Presumably there were many more exploits than the several in which he was found out. In any event, “Its flat none of your business” is not repentance. Additionally, he has never expressed repentance for his defiance of the Assemblies of God and going back on his word that he had given to operate under the authority and guidelines of that denomination. Repentance is a prerequisite for forgiveness. Jesus warned that false teachers would be known by their bad fruit. Therefore it is perfectly proper for Christians to consider the decades of sexual sin in Jimmy Swaggart’s life as they examine Swaggart’s claim to be God’s appointed prophet to bring new revelations to the Church. It is also completely appropriate to compare Swaggart’s strange teachings to the Bible.
Jimmy Swaggart Ministries has the marks of a cult and all the warning signs are evident. Once a person becomes fully indoctrinated by them they are effectively brainwashed and it seems nearly impossible to reach them with reason or scripture.
D.M Canright was a minister who escaped the delusion of a cult and then spent his life exposing their false teachings. He said this:
“To criticize, expose and condemn others is not a pleasant task; but when religious teachers enthrone error, and mislead honest people, silence would be unkind and censurable.”
Swaggarites ask me, “Why don’t you just shut-up and pray for Jimmy if you think he is wrong.” I do pray for him. But I pray more for his followers and those in the future he has yet to seduce. If I can get the word out there and save some of them from being deceived by his false teaching, I will do it. No, I will not be silent, for the scripture’s command is clear:
“Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints…Hold fast the faithful word…exhort in sound doctrine and…refute those who contradict.” (Jude 1:3, Titus 1:9)
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 Ann Rowe Seaman, Swaggart: The unauthorized biography of an American evangelist, (New York, Continuum, 1999), 381