- (Photo: www.juanitabynum.com via The Christian Post)
Pentecostal televangelist and self-professed prophetess Juanita Bynum has sparked curiosity among some Internet users and the Christian community for several comments on the minister's Facebook page where she appears to type "in tongues."
In a series of posts published on Aug. 17, on one of Bynum's many Facebook pages, the minister typed messages where it was believed by commenters and critics that the she was praying in tongues.
In the first message time stamped 3:57 p.m., it appeared that Juanita Bynum II, the account holder for the Facebook page, started praying for Zachery Tims, the Florida megachurch minister who was found dead in a New York City hotel room on Aug. 12:
GOD WE PRAY FOR THE DESTINY CHURCH FAMILY....WE PRAY FOR THE STRENGTH OF PASTOR RIVA TIMS....MIGHTY GOD...GIVE US STRENGTH.....WE ARE THE BODY THAT FEELS THIS PAIN.....WE ALL FEEL IT.....COVER THE MINDS OF HIS CHILDREN...GRAB THEM UP IN YOUR ARMS LORD JESUS......BE A COMFORT TO THEM.....YOU ARE THE MANY BREASTED ONE....
The prayer continued in a second post with the same time stamp:
YOU ARE THE ROCK AND THE SHIELD AND THE ANCHOR.......WARD OFF ALL THE VULCHERS...WHO WILL COME FOR GREEDY GAIN AND NOT BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE HURTING IN THAT CHURCH......SEND THEM HELP FATHER...SEND THEM SPIRITUAL HELP THAT WOULD HELP TO HEAL THEM AND RESTORE THEIR LEGS IN YOU GOD!!!!!
In the third post, published about a minute later, the "tongues" text started to appear:
GIRD THEM UP IN THE SPIRIT...GIVE THEM A MIND TO PRAY LIKE NEVER BEFORE....WE CALL ON YOU JESUS....YOU ARE OUR HELP AND OUR HOPE!!!!!!!!NDHDIUBGUGTRUCGNRTUGTIGRTIGRGBNRDRGNGGJNRIC YOU ARE OUR HELP AND OUR HOPE....RFSCNGUGHURGVHKTGHDKUNHSTNSVHGN YOU GOD......YOU ARE OUR HELP AND OUR HOPE!!!!!! OUR HOPE IS IN YOU FATHER......OUR STRENGTH FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS IS IN YOU FATHER......HELP US NOW......LORD WE DONT ASK FOR HELP FOR JUST THEM....THIS IS US....THIS IS A PART OF OUR OWN BODY.....
Several prayer posts with intelligible spellings continued to appear and visitors to Bynum's Facebook page began questioning the text.
Bynum's prayer posts soon caught the attention of the media, with one reporter at a spirituality and faith website speculating that the minister was communicating "in tongues."
On one prayer post, visitor Cindy McCraw commented, expressing her agreement.
"I believe it's tongues (holy spirit). It's called praying in the Spirit," McCraw wrote.
Another visitor to the page expressed disbelief.
"Are you typing tongues? Or are my eyes playing tricks on me," questioned Damita Stargell.
Since the prayer posts have appeared, visitors have been debating whether it was possible for a Christian to write or type in tongues, since the Bible only depicts those inspired by the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues.
"I'm not sure about typing in tongues, guys...keep praying though, but let's not type in tongues...that's not even biblical," wrote Jeremiah Givens, adding the hashtag "#allInLove" at the end of his comment.
Other visitors to Bynum's Facebook page were calling for the inexplicable text to be translated, and for the Pentecostal minister to address the speculation that she was typing in tongues.
"God did not tell her to type in tongues...I think every sane/spiritual person knows this to be true... an explanation/interpretation should really be made in order for the confusion and ruckus to cease," wrote Kischa Loree Pena .
Pena continued, "Dr. Bynum...I think you should defend yourself. If the spirit fell so hard that you lost control of your typing, just say so. Too many people are being led astray and fed false teaching/doctrine in a time when a pure and sincere relationship with our heavenly Father is necessary...and I am saddened by these posts."
The Christian Post called the Dr. Juanita Bnyum Ministries Tuesday and asked for a comment regarding the controversial prayer posts. A message was taken but CP was informed by a receptionist that it was unclear if anyone intended to return the call.
Bynum's prayer posts have attracted more than 2,000 "likes" and hundreds of supporting comments.
On the Dr. Juanita Bynum Ministries website, the minister is described as an "International Empowerment Lecturer, Recording Artist, Author, Conference Host and Entrepreneur."
Bynum, whose ministry is based in Atlanta, Ga., gained the attention of the mainstream media in 2007 when her then-husband, Thomas Weeks III, pleaded guilty to physically assaulting her in a hotel parking lot.
A screen capture of one of Bynum's prayer posts is shown below: