D. James Kennedy says that heaven is a great place, but he's spent the past month struggling not to go there. All things considered, he'd just as soon spend some more time on earth:
Update on Dr. Kennedy’s HealthAlthough Kennedy has vigorously condemned many aspects of contemporary life and denounces modern science for its godless materialism, I've never heard him say that pacemakers are a tool of the devil. It's probably okay that he consented to take advantage of the latest medical devices, although no doubt many evolutionists were involved in their creation (and perhaps even in the surgery that preserved Kennedy's life).
Wednesday, January 24
From Brian E. Fisher, Executive Vice President,
Coral Ridge Ministries
As of Wednesday, January 24, Dr. Kennedy remains hospitalized. Please continue to pray for him and his family.
As has been reported earlier, Dr. Kennedy suffered heart arrhythmia leading to cardiac arrest on Thursday, December 28. He was given CPR and admitted to the hospital. On Wednesday, January 3 he underwent a procedure to implant a pacemaker/defibrillator.
We are so thankful for your prayers and encouragement! Please continue to intercede on Dr. Kennedy’s behalf. We are very grateful for your emails, cards, well-wishes, and prayers. You are a continual source of joy to the Coral Ridge Ministries family.
—Brian E. Fisher, Executive Vice President
Coral Ridge Ministries
Why didn't Kennedy refuse all treatment and sprint toward the bright light? Brian Fisher has reported in his television updates on his boss's condition that Kennedy “would like nothing better” than to return to his ministry. Since Kennedy ostensibly believes that eternal bliss awaits him on the other side, his dedication to his ministry is extraordinary. (Or does he hesitate just a little on the brink, wondering if there's really anything there?)
Unlike Robert H. Schuller, whose son smoothly moved into the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral during Schuller's illness, Kennedy has no heir apparent. His has been the only face that Coral Ridge Ministries shows to the public. When life or health runs out for D. James Kennedy, who will step into his shoes? What will happen to the organization built around Kennedy's cult of personality? We can only wonder.
Their plans are certainly big. We know this from fundraising pleas that run on The Coral Ridge Hour, some including plugs recorded by Kennedy before his illness. Coral Ridge is amassing funds to extend its reach “in ways yet undreamed of” (a telling quote from an early Coral Ridge videotape). The plan calls for some 300,000 radio and television broadcasts to become available by means of an on-line media-on-demand library. As described in the Coral Ridge pitch, their media archives include sermons, lectures, and training sessions, the legacy of 30 years of broadcasting. Kennedy's operation plans to expand its digital presence and become a primary resource for home-school curricula (no godless evolution, I'm sure) and evangelism training (often indistinguishable from political lobbying seminars). Speaking of political lobbying:
Kennedy will be either absent or a reduced presence at this year's big event: Reclaiming America for Christ 2007, a conference meeting in Fort Lauderdale on the weekend of March 2. Although Kennedy's name is sprinkled throughout the conference schedule, his current infirmity probably means more podium time for the other speakers, including such notable extremists as pseudo-Christian Ann Coulter and anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly (who really ought to be at home taking care of her family). As an experienced platform performer, I'm sure that Coulter will manage not to snigger during the solemn prayers that open each session. No doubt she'll sign many books and push plenty of product.
There's a link on the Coral Ridge Ministries website for people who want to send Kennedy a get-well message, but I probably won't take advantage of it. I do not wish D. James Kennedy ill, but I do wish him failure. May he recover his health and live quietly and comfortably in his beloved Florida. And may all his schemes to conquer America for Christ come to rack and ruin.