Don's Con at Lancaster

A friend showed me some advertising from an evangelistic campaign held at Lancaster, my home town, in the early 1970s. The event was led by famous American TV evangelist, Don Stewart. Stewart was a lively, engaging and controversial character, and still creates videos of himself all these decades later. Questionable fundraising practices and the gainful employment of Green Prosperity Prayer Handkerchiefs called into doubt either his sincerity, or the gospel he preached, or both. Even the literature pictured, though wonderfully dated in its lighting, style and font, would have alerted sound evangelicals to his mission’s dubious worth:

'New life; new anointing; new victory…Come with a need - leave with a miracle.'

The absence of any mention of sin, repentance, the cross, or the Saviour Jesus Christ, should have proved troubling to the genuine Christian’s spirit. I suspect Stewart was coming to Lancaster with his own need - and departed with miraculously bulging pockets.

Beware of fake gospels, preaching cheap grace and easy cures. Beware of chirpy preachers promising blessings on this and victories over that. It is Jesus Christ you need and His blood-stained cross; anything less is a sticking plaster covering an open wound. And that permanent headquarters, that centre of his Euopean operations, pictured above? It closed.