VAN IMPE ACCUSED OF BIAS

A television station in Jack Van Impe’s home state of Michigan has canceled his half-hour show after receiving a handful of complaints from viewers. WZZM, Channel 13, the ABC network affiliate in Grand Rapids, pulled the program in March amid protests about the religious content of Jack Van Impe Presents.

“I don’t want them shoving that rhetoric down my throat on TV. The overall tone was very biased against Jews and people of any other religion,” Molly Shotwell, a Catholic from Grand Rapids told The Grand Rapids Press. John Lang, executive director of Van Impe’s ministry, disputed Shotwell’s charge. “Our intention is never to disparage any individual or faith,” he said.

Janet Mason, president and general manager of the station, said that the weekly program’s quasi-news format was objectionable. “I have a problem running a show that calls itself a newscast when it’s not. I don’t want our viewers to confuse this program with our WZZM news broadcast,” Mason said.

Van Impe says that he is not a televangelist. “I’m a TV analyst. I analyze the news,” he said. Van Impe and his wife, Rexella, give their interpretation how past and present world events fulfill Bible prophecy from a TV-news-style set.

During the past few years, Van Impe and his ministry have become widely ecumenical and has openly patronized Roman Catholicism. Van Impe has said, “I have read the entire new catechism, 2800 points. And I know what they believe and we misrepresent them so often. I was one of those bigots who used to do it. And the Spirit spoke to me.”

Van Impe has even lauded Pope John Paul II, saying he and the pontiff both were adhering to the Bible for doctrine. Van Impe told a Trinity Broadcasting Network audience: “In all the Pope’s writings—I’ve never seen anyone who does it like I do it—he has hundreds and hundreds of Bible verses. If I dare to say there are less [sic] than seven to ten thousand Bible verses in the new catechism, backing everything they say, I wouldn’t be exaggerating. And he makes a statement and backs it with the Word of God. And I say, ‘Hey, I found someone who’s following the same method.’”

Van Impe told TBN viewers that “under the title of tradition, all the bishops of the [Catholic] church have always believed that the final pope would be a defector.” He then noted that this last pope is imminent. “The prophecy of Saint Malachi, going back almost 1,100 years, indicated that ... when he got to Pope John Paul there would only be two more. And a bishop wrote and said, ‘There are only places for two more pictures at the Vatican. Now then this false pope would come,’” he said.

Van Impe, 66, is no stranger to making unreliable statements. On one tape, he told viewers that the Apocrypha was made up of books written during New Testament times but not accepted into the canon (they were actually written earlier than the New Testament period). He also has said that ministers who express concern about the Promise Keepers movement are “sick.”

—MKG

 

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