Jack Van Impe

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Jack and Rexella Van Impe
Jack and Rexella Van Impe

Jack Leo Van Impe (born June 15, 1931) is a televangelist who appears on his weekly television show Jack Van Impe Presents. Van Impe's website claims that he is known as the "Walking Bible" because of his extensive memorization of Bible verses. (He claims to use no cue-cards, nor teleprompters while on the air.)


[edit] Biography

Originally from Troy, Michigan, Van Impe was an accordion player as a child, performing duets with his missionary father across Michigan and other states. In 1948, Van Impe graduated from high school and entered Detroit Bible College, earning his diploma in 1952 and beginning his career as a preacher and evangelist as well as an extensive recording career.

Since the 1950's, Van Impe has released dozens of gospel and spoken word recordings. His first album Presenting the Van Impes features Van Impe's accordion talents as well as Rexella's organ playing. Subsequent musical recordings featured the accorgan, a type of electronic accordion.

[edit] Jack Van Impe Ministries

Jack Van Impe Presents is video-taped at the Jack Van Impe Ministries World Outreach Center, located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. His wife, Rexella, co-hosts the telecast with him. On a typical show, Rexella begins by reading a recent news headline. Van Impe then applies his memorization of Bible verses to interpret the news story.

Van Impe also interprets Bible prophecies, quoting Bible verses throughout his commentary. At the close of every program, Van Impe extends an invitation for viewers to become born again, which is promptly followed by Rexella announcing the featured fundraising item of the week (usually one of Van Impe's books or videos) and announcer Chuck Ohman asking viewers to purchase one of Van Impe's books, video tapes, or other media products.

Over the years, Van Impe has set many specific years and dates for the second coming of Jesus, but has continued to move his prediction later. Many of these dates have already passed, and he recently pointed to 2012 as a possible date for the second coming. Van Impe no longer claims to know the exact date of the Second Coming of Christ, but quotes verses which imply that humankind should know when the second coming is near. Prior to January 1, 2000, Van Impe frequently predicted widespread catastrophe resulting from the Y2K problem, which he believed was a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. His predictions, however, proved inaccurate.

In November 2005, Van Impe told viewers of his show that when reviewing television ratings and viewership of Jack Van Impe Presents, he had discovered that in markets where the show airs from midnight to 0600 local time, ratings for his own show were significantly higher than in markets where the show aired at any other time of the day; subsequently, he asked viewers for donations to buy post-midnight airtime in the 210 television markets around the U.S.

In episodes aired the last week of December 2005, Van Impe thanked viewers for their donations and announced that the last contracts had been signed that week to officially make Jack Van Impe Presents available in all 210 U.S. television markets, with over half of them showing after midnight. In episodes airing the week of June 12, 2006, Van Impe announced that the new contracts had enabled the show to double its previous viewership levels, levels that had remained relatively steady over the show's 20-year history.

In 2001, Jack Van Impe Ministries won the humorous/mock Ig Nobel Prize for astrophysics for its assertion that "black holes fulfill all the technical requirements to be the location of Hell."[1]

[edit] Theology

For much of his life, Van Impe was a fierce proponent of the fundamentalist doctrine of Biblical separation, which advocates the isolation of individuals believed to be in doctrinal error. However, beginning in late 1970s Van Impe made a marked shift towards the inclusiveness of Ecumenism and Evangelism. His outright break with the fundamental church came in 1984 with the publication of Heart Disease in Christ’s Body.

In it, he bemoans "an appalling lack of love and unity among so many of the brothers and sisters in Christ." Van Impe's remedy for this was the relaxing of the fundamentalist definition of a Christian. Specifically, he called for the acceptance as a "true Christian" of anyone who believed in

Furthermore, Van Impe sought to redefine the very concept of Biblical separation. In his new formulation, anyone who disagreed that the conditions above fully defined a "true Christian" was himself in doctrinal error and thus subject to isolation.

[edit] Personal views

On August 30, 2005, Van Impe said of Pat Robertson, "We do not need an Osama bin Laden" leading us and called for Robertson to recant his positions calling for assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez and the death of a Supreme Court Justice. [2]

Unlike many U.S.-based televangelists, Van Impe's show does not feature a "Word of Faith" or prosperity gospel, but rather an end-times philosophy heavily based on the Book of Revelation. Van Impe is often critical on his television show of his fellow television pastors who spend too much time on fundraising and not enough time on "preaching the gospel of Jesus". He also believes the European Union to be the "Restored Roman Empire", which will one day be headed by the Antichrist, which he has centered as a plot in some of his sponsored videos.

[edit] Health problems

In early 2006, Rexella reported on their TV show that Van Impe had gone into remission after being diagnosed with cancer in 2005. The specific type of cancer that he had been diagnosed with was not disclosed. On the same episode, Van Impe added that the radiation treatments that he had been undergoing as part of his fight against cancer were what had led to the bout of sepsis that he had previously disclosed in mid-2005, an illness so severe that it nearly took his life.

In an episode of Jack Van Impe Presents aired the week of June 19, 2006, Van Impe disclosed that he had undergone two total knee replacements in early 2006. He gave thanks to God for his recovery and for leading him to the "wonderful surgeon" who did the operation.

[edit] References

  1. ^ |url=http://www.improbable.com/ig/ig-pastwinners.html
  2. ^ Blumenthal, Max. "Televangelist Jack Van Impe called Robertson "an Osami bin Laden"", MediaMatters.org, 2005-08-30.

[edit] Discography

  • Presenting the Van Impes Crown Records CV-1003
  • Accorgan Artisty
  • Singing And Making Melody With The Accorgan
  • Marked For Death: Can America Survive? (1969)
  • From Nightclubs to Christ (1970)
  • The Coming War With Russia

[edit] External links