This is Peter Popoff. He is the president of “People United for Christ”, a faith healing ministry that travels around the U.S. hosting large healing revivals. He claims that God speaks to him at these meetings, the reason why he is able to ask if “There is someone with leg pain in the audience?” etc. He was pretty popular in the 80’s until it was discovered that his wife was reading the various ailments of audience members attending his revivals through an ear piece.
His ministry went bankrupt shortly thereafter. It looks as though he is back at it again. He offers a variety of things, such as debt cancellations, abundance of money, healings – all provided by his laying hands on them. This might lead you to ask, “Well, what about those of us who can’t be there?” He has you covered. He offers [freely] miracle manna, miracle spring water, and Dead Sea salt (to name a few) in order to aid in reaching those ends. All you have to do is call his ministry to receive whichever is available.
I must admit, that I called in to this ministry a few months ago! I was received by a recording of Peter Popoff asking me some questions – name, address, and biggest prayer request. A few days later, I received an overstuffed envelope. It had strict instructions as to how to use the water (anoint hands and feet for prosperity, etc.), as well as the pinky-sized packet of spring water. It also included certain vague predictions. I was also told in this letter that God told Peter I was to give exactly $19 to his ministry. So, I had to follow the instructions of this water, then mail him back the empty packet of water, as well as another application/form and the $19. Of course, as I glanced at this application/form it not only had a check box for the $19, but another checkbox for “Other” amount. Surprising. If God told him that I was to give no more or less that $19, would we really want to give anything else?
Anyhow, I never sent it in. And I received another letter telling me of the urgency of getting back to him and receiving Dead Sea salt. I almost did because I would just want to see what exactly it is that he is sending people. Anyhow, today I received a Christmas card from him and his family.
The corruption behind all of this is [or at least SHOULD be] blindly obvious. I don’t believe that what he is doing is any different than those in times past and present parading, for instance, the skull of John the Baptist, breast milk of Mary, extremities of saints, and/or the bodies of dead nuns. Those who followed were looking for something tangible to believe in. An invisible God wasn’t enough. Faith didn’t do. They needed to touch, to feel it… to put it in their control. And so, they may have claimed to believe in God, but felt that such relics would add a bit more power. That somehow since these relics belonged to “really” holy people, they must intrinsically hold the power of God. They are like those who followed Jesus so often for the gifts and blessings, at the expense of completely turning away Christ. Christ knew who they were.
What Peter Popoff is doing is no different than those aforementioned. He craftily leads those who walk by sight and not by faith giving them water and “manna” to trust in. Christ is rendered insufficient, bound methodically as a genie to the desires of men. When the relics and miracles go, so will those frothing at the mouth for more. Mr. Popoff, what exactly does Christ have to do with my receiving power from the coupling of my obedience and the relics I am given by you?