With more free time since losing his Fox News show, Glenn Beck is looking to reinvent himself as an arena minister in the style of Jerry Falwell and John Hagee, the GlobalPost has reported.
From Beck’s recent Restoring Courage event in Israel, Zev Chafets, a Judeo-Christian author and Rush Limbaugh biographer, said Beck is looking to change his image from that of a talking head to something more like a preacher.
"I think this is positive for Beck, because I think he wants to be the head of this parade when Hagee dies,” Chafets told the GlobalPost. “He's the prominent figure out there right now. He is reinventing himself as a religious leader, not a media figure. He is placing himself at a very advantageous spot. And at the same time, he is doing something very good for Israel."
The event, which received mixed reactions in Israel, which had many prominent religious figures in participation, including Mr. Hagee, showed Beck living up to that assessment as he walked up and down the stage with a handless microphone while quoting the Bible and urging people to stand with God.
Beck’s style of “preaching” was characteristic of his personality on his now-defunct Fox News program. Switching from playful jokes to desperate rants with sporadic tears every now and then, Beck had all the hallmarks of an arena preacher who knows how to keep a TV audience, in the age of short attention spans, interested.
“Moses has been hounding me,” Beck joked on the first day of the four-day event, before asking the crowd to read Deuteronomy.
“I urge you to read Deuteronomy. Please. Study it. Know it. See the miracle of Israel. See with great humility, see all what God has done for us,” he said before picking up a Bible to hold as he talked through the rest of his opening speech.
The event, which drew only a few hundred people but included fans from as far as Texas, has caused some to praise Beck as a leader while others called him a con-man.
A poster named Fedupalready on TheBlaze.com said, “God has indeed chosen a good man, to help enlighten the world, and, Glenn, you’ve done an excellent job, in carrying out his task.”
However, Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater, who chairs an interfaith group, wrote in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal that Beck’s event is “nothing more than a media driven, money-making, self-serving, end-of-times messianic-lunacy circus show.”