Hagee's Prosperity Gospel and Jews
wilkyjr printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 02:28:16 PM EST
San Antonio TV preacher John Hagee is an ex- college football player with two earned PHDs.  The physique of a football player is long gone as well as the early marriage and divorce.  Hagee, whose church teaches men to throw up their demons in a brown paper bag, started out with 25 members.  In 2 years the church had a 1,600 seat auditorium.  In 1987 Southern Baptist and fellow Texan W.A. Criswell surprised many in the country when he led an anointing service for Hagee in the dedication of  the new church.  Criswell's blessing on John was peculiar being Hagee is a pentecostal.  The connection with pastors like Criswell can be explained by secular political movements.  Hagee is chummy with Texas Governor Perry on a personal level.  He was close to candidate John McCain until people began to read up on some of Hagee's theories.  Hagee believes we ought to strike Iran now with nuclear weapons and blames the Rothschild families in Europe for world problems.

[Editors note: As indicated in his John Hagee Ministries bio and on bookjackets of his recent books, Hagee has three honorary doctorates, not earned doctorates. The three honorary degrees are from Oral Roberts University, Netanya Academic College in Israel, and Canada Christian College.]

On July 27, 2009 the U.S. Pastor's Conference, Houston version, met in a northwest suburb of the Texas city.  Meeting in an Assembly of God church, there were several hundred in attendance. The featured speaker was John Hagee who was to speak on support for Israel. The Houston Area Pastor's Conference is noted for suing Barry Lynn of Americans United for suppressing their religious freedom. Joined at the hip to the HAPC is Christians United for Israel, CUFI for short. The leader of the area CUFI greeted pastors at the door and handed them David Brog's book, STANDING WITH ISRAEL. John Hagee started CUFI and is its director. The board of the organization lists Gary Bauer and Jonathan Falwell.

     The leader of the Houston area CUFI did not have many kind things to say about Jimmy Carter who he accused of holding to "replacement theology".  I mentioned Jack Van Impe and the leader greatly admired Jack.  When I raised the issue of Jack's holding to anti-Semitic theories about Jewish organizations who ran the world he didn't seem to mind.  He could excuse this apparently as easily as he did statements by his founder that Hitler was used of God to cause the Holocaust. The book he handed out by David Brog had some interesting views on the Holocaust.  rorg, who used to be an aid to Senator Arlen Specter, wrote that Christians caused the extermination of Jews in Europe. That was because they were adhering to "replacement theology".  This theology is the view that Christians have replaced Israel as God's chosen people.

     Hagee got into hot water once with Jerry Falwell over this topic claiming that Jews still had the covenant along with Christians. The two made up and Jon preached at one of Falwell's university graduations.

     Hagee was introduced and walked on surrounded by body guards.  It was announced he would explain to us how that George W. Bush undermined Israel.  Hagee told the crowd he had several death threats for supporting Israel.  He felt at home here since his father was once pastor of the First Assembly in Houston.  John then proceeded to tell us that the U.S. media does a hatchet job on Israel.

     He introduced a new version of the prosperity gospel.  Authors have written that Hagee is part of the prosperity gospel group of preachers.  The leader told us that he preached 12 years for free on TV.  This blessing as well as others came from supporting Israel.  He told us God's favor will come upon those who bless Israel.  He boasted that God used him to give over $50,000,000 to the nation.  He stated that God will bless you if you back Israel.

     The CUFI wants to come to churches and solicit funds for their work.  How the idea of church budgets giving to a secular nation where reportedly Christian work is officially discouraged, will be interesting.

     Brog, who is not a Christian, wrote that the influence of Hagee and others has caused "replacement theology" to vanish in the American church.  This new official and orthodox view towards Israel will cause the church to support it.  The HAPC, which is seeking to be a part of a national movement, is on board and it will be pushing churches to take direct action with the government and apparently national affairs.

Excuse a typo or 2, in a rush to get back from the meeting.  Interesting that CUFI has a leader in every major city now. Wonder who pays for this?  Up close Hagee is personal, comical and a good communicator.  The audience appeared to be caught up in the movement.

by wilkyjr on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 03:30:16 PM EST
Having just received a phone call from someone complaining about my inviting Jimmy Carter to speak at a meeting in Oklahoma, I found this post very interesting.

The woman was certain that neither Carter nor I could be Christians because we did not walk lock-step with Israel's policy on settlements in the West Bank.

by Mainstream Baptist on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 03:39:48 PM EST

I wrote the following back in May 2008:

"Two days ago I discovered that, according to John Hagee's own written words in Hagee's "Prophecy Study Bible", members of John Hagee's Christians United For Israel routinely sing, at their "Night To Honor Israel" events, a joyful-sounding song which, in scriptural terms, refers to Israel's coming, expected invasion and devastation."

I titled my story "John Hagee's Church Sings For The Invasion and Devastation of Israel"


by Bruce Wilson on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 04:43:58 PM EST

It's probably worth linking the Rolling Stone article written by Matt Tabbi after he infiltrated Hagee's church for a few week:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/20278737/jesus_made_me _puke/print

It provides an insight into the type of supporters and enablers Hagee attracts.

I used to watch Hagee on TV when I first came to Texas--not because I was drawn to him in anyway, but simply because I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I've said this before, but you have to be some sort of self-righteous masochist to want to sit through his haranguing sermons week in and week out.  You'd be hard pressed to find a more unpleasant character preaching from the pulpit somewhere in America today.

by tacitus on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 04:30:11 PM EST

I guess I should have added that the thing that really stuns me every time someone like Hagee makes it on to the national stage, is how anyone can treat their views with anything but derision.  As Tabbi's article proves, even a cursory look at their beliefs concerning Israel, the End Times, heck, even the rest of Christianity, will tell anyone that these people are not playing with a full deck, and yet the power brokers in Washington will roll out the red carpet and nod seriously when listening to their bizarre and outrageous theories and policies.

Yes, I fully comprehend it's all to do with keeping the money flowing in, but that just ups the level of cynicism that the politicians are engaging in.


by tacitus on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 04:37:23 PM EST

...mainstream media included.

But Hagee's no anomaly. He's in a global movement.


by Bruce Wilson on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 04:46:11 PM EST

Quite frankly there is too much talking about this clown Hagee, and it only tends to make him feel important, which he isn't. He's just another huckster using religion to sell his snake oil. I strongly suggest that we do to John Hagee what Barry Goldwater recommended doing to Jerry Falwell, being: "all good Christians and non-Christians should give John Hagee a good swift and hard kick in his ass." Where or where did he come from? He must have gotten his Phds by majoring in "Sand Box."

by Bonatti on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 02:51:43 AM EST
John Hagee would be all-too-happy to be ignored.

He would simply continue with his political organizing program which, operating through CUFI, works to convince American Jews that right wing Christian evangelicals are Israel's best friends and political allies. in the process, Hagee is slowly peeling off what has historically been an important Democratic Party constituency.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 11:44:51 AM EST

Hagee's PHDs come from reputable schools and are not mail order like Rick Scarborough's.  The front of Borg's book is endorsed by Ted Haggard, the fallen Colorado mega pastor and Jay Sekulow, a converted Jew who is the legal point man to argue against separation of church and state.
     Many will sluff off this movement much like they did with David Barton's.  When the locomative hit them head on they did not know who was driving it.  It was Barton.  How many movements, theologies etc have a point man hired in every major city in the nation to promote it?  Hagee does. These men are seeking to get into every church they can.  They certainly connected with the most powerful minister's group in Houston.

by wilkyjr on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 08:48:29 AM EST
One of the things we seek to do on this site, it to figure out what is important and what is not, and your pointing out the development of Hagee's organizational infrastructure and his ongoing political clout, the scandals of the McCain campaign not withstanding.

by Frederick Clarkson on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 11:16:15 AM EST

Hagee has an honorary doctorate from Oral Robert University, awarded in 1989.  He served on the board of ORU for many years.  Hagee also has an honorary doctorate from Netanya  Academic College in Israel, awarded in 2005.   Hagee funded the John and Diana Hagee Christian-Jewish Dialogue Chair  at that college.

To my knowledge Hagee does not have an earned doctorate and numerous Hagee bios list only the  two honorary degrees listed above.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 12:30:18 PM EST

I just checked in my files for the letter that Hagee sent to the Alabama legislature in 2006 when they were debating the Bible Literacy Project curriculum.  The National Council on Biblical Curriculum in Public Schools (NCBCPS) had posted Hagee's letter which appears to no longer be available online, but I saved a copy.  Hagee introduces himself in the letter as holding three doctorates from Oral Roberts University, Canadian Christian College, and Netanya University in Israel.  He never mentions that all three are honorary degrees.

The honorary degrees from ORU and Netanya College are listed in my comment above. Canada Christian's president is Charles McVety, head of CUFI- Canada.  Hagee's dishonesty knows no bounds.  He frequently refers to himself as Dr. John Hagee, including the covers of many of his books.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 01:49:35 PM EST

To be honest I was taken back when I read on wikipedia that Jon 2 doctorates, I believe it was from North Texas U. and Trinity University in S.A.  I asked the Houston head of the CUFI about the 2 PHDs and he assured me they were correct.  I mentioned this to a pastor friend who is doing a study refuting Hagee's view on Jews.  He told me he doubted Hagee had any PHD.  Would like to know

by wilkyjr on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 02:58:34 PM EST
Giving an honorary degree is a big thing, and I would think that it would be in the news somewhere.  Usually an honorary degree is awarded during commencement, and it would be a major point of the ceremony.  They also are required to keep records of people who are awarded degrees and thus if Hagee got one from an accredited institution, it should be in their records (and I would bet that those records are public and easily checked, but you'd probably have to contact their registrar's office).

I tried to see if ORU was accredited for a doctoral program, but a quick search did not show that.  They are accredited for several BA programs and a MA program in Business Administration, but beyond that I couldn't tell.  They say they have two doctoral programs, one involving law and one involving religion (which I THINK is outside the scope of the real accreditation process), but I couldn't tell what they involved.  I don't like even going to their website- it leaves me feeling dirty and like I'd investigated one of those Diploma Mills (but ORU IS accredited, much to my disgust).

My gut reaction is that if any of those organizations have awarded him an honorary doctorate, unless the program it's in is clearly questionable and accredited by one of those ersatz self-accrediting agencies that the dominionists are so fond of, he has the right to call himself "Dr. Hagee" (when you're awarded an honorary doctorate, you're given the right to the honors and privileges associated with that degree, including the title).  This is, of course, distasteful, but something we'd have to live with.

by ArchaeoBob on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 12:27:38 AM EST

There are numerous biographies of Hagee online and in print that list his honorary degrees from ORU and Netanya.  The letter to the Alabama legislature is dated March 12, 2006, and listed those two schools plus Canada Christian.  If Hagee had earned doctorate level degrees from some other schools, certainly he would have listed them instead of claiming degrees from those three places.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 07:18:18 AM EST

As I do with those I find important to the movement to turn us into a corporate theocracy. Even though he still talkes about the 'end times' which isn't what I know of the Dominionist way of converting the world through the gun and market place. He definitely is a Christian Zionist in the Messianic Jew to be converted way. Honorary degrees can be confusing. Are they given to someone who has done the work that they think is equivalent to earning it at that college? Or is is just to hold prestige for said college or a mixture there of?

by Nightgaunt on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 07:56:24 PM EST
The general rule of thumb is that a person has to have contributed sufficiently to society (or more common- to the discipline in which the degree is awarded) that the person is deserving of the honor.  I've seen a couple of honorary doctorates given out- for people who because of their situation were unable to continue with their education, but at the same time made really significant contributions in their field.

It's not lightly done.  You're giving the recipient the same honor as if they'd gone through the classes, done the research, and made a contribution (the dissertation is based upon research that contributes to knowledge in the field).  They have the same rights as someone who earned it the "normal way" - including the right to use the honorific "Doctor" if it's a PhD.

by ArchaeoBob on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 08:50:51 PM EST

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