Thursday, September 14, 2006

Book reveals John Lennon regretted Jesus remark

Forty years ago John Lennon was embroiled in a controversy over his statement that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. However, as is revealed in a new book, Lennon later regretted making the comment and for a brief period in the 1970s experimented with Christianity.

In his new book The Gospel according to the Beatles, author Steve Turner tells for the first time how Lennon made contact with the television evangelist Oral Roberts in 1972 confessing his dependence on drugs and asking what Christianity could do for him. "Is it phoney?" he asked. "Can He love me? I want out of hell."

The Beatle enclosed a gift for the Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and after reminding Roberts that he'd once sung the line "money can't buy me love" said; "It's true The point is this, I want happiness. I don't want to keep on with drugs."

Roberts sent Lennon a copy of his book Miracle of Seed Faith. "I thank God that you finally regret thinking any man or group could be more popular than Jesus," he wrote in the accompanying letter. "Jesus is the only reality."

There is no record of any further correspondence between the Beatle and the evangelist although five years later he became enamoured of Pat Robertson's The 700 Club and Franco Zeffirelli's film Jesus of Nazareth. For a period of around two months he considered himself a born-again Christian and peppered his conversations with exclamations of "Praise the Lord!"


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