When the God of the Bible said "Judge Not" Pat Robertson apparently didn't get the memo. When Jesus was asked whether a sick man was suffering because of his own sin, or someone else's sin, Jesus responded neither. Then there's that passage about all the earth and the fullness therein belonging to God. And who can forget Jesus' emphasis on excoriating the religious establishment of his day?
Despite these well-known bible passages, Pat Robertson persists in speaking as though he has just heard from God that Ariel Sharon is suffering because he dared divide the land that belongs to God -Israel.
The biblical explanation (law & prophets) of why Jews were selected as God's chosen people, makes clear their role was for a time and a purpose -to precede the eventual spreading of God's rule, and his revelation, to all lands and all people - that Gentiles were always intended to be 'grafted in' to the spiritual knowledge that Jews were custodians of. God would not be reduced to a territorial god, like the gods of the "heathen." I think Hugh Martin's 19th-century exposition of the Book of Jonah has some interesting insights in this regard. So PR's views contradict PR's Book.
A word on illness and God's punishment: Robertson's (and others) teachings on sickness and healing are enormously damaging. The extreme of this is represented by Benny Hinn, who gives people the impression that their healing is in their own hands -it can be activated by faith. So imagine how a child in a wheelchair must feel if she/he isn't healed despite all their prayers? They'll be led to believe it's their fault. And they may not stop to think there's a reason people like Hinn and Robertson never set out to enter a hospital and heal all those inside. Thank goodness for sensible Christians like Joni Eareckson Tada. They balance out the conscience-less counterfeit miracle peddlers.
It boggles the mind that PR and others like him, feel compelled to tell their followers what to think not just about religion, but also politics, history, anti-oxidants, the stock market, the media, you name it. They apparently have little to no faith in their followers' ability to think critically for themselves -an assessment which appears to be well-founded and is worth million of dollars. Personally, it reminds me of an Annie Lenox song: (I've altered the words)
Some of them want to lie to you
Some of them want to be lied to.
A match made in manipulation heaven. [It was evangelical writer and intellectual Francis Schaeffer who repeatedly warned of modern man as the great manipulator and the "escape from reason" en masse. ]
I might also point out, that if PR were being honest and forthright, he would have said on that broadcast that Sharon is going to hell anyway (which is what he believes). So what's the point of saying he's being punished now? (If PR said this in relation to Jews, and said it often though, he probably wouldn't get all those awards from Jewish organizations).
PR's website descibes him as Renaissance man, a statesman, businessman, etc. But another Abraham Kuyper or a Daniel or a C.S. Lewis he's not. PR is given to flights of fancy, not strenuous study, graciousness and deep humility. He believes all those fuzzy, ethereal blips on his cranial synapses are God's messages. One can only describe as pathetic (or disturbing) his televised imaginative mental wanderings in prayer as he claims this and that (any and everything that enters his noggin) is a message from God such-and-such is being healed for so-and-so. This is a low-level sensate experience and is therefore a cousin of hedonism. (ha).
Unfortunately, it's just another reminder of the abysmal state of the evangelical church in America, (when compared with biblical values, mind you) which can be statistically and rationally proven. (For starters check out Barna Research to get readings on the misplaced priorities and almost complete biblical illiteracy of American evangelicals. ) I can get plenty of evangelical theologians to back me up on that. In fact it was a seminary professor who used that word "abysmal."
Also: what do you get when you have millions of people completely dedicated to they know not what? What do you get when you have millions (Christians, Jews, Muslims) earnestly holding competing views on the Apocalypse and Armageddon -millions who are willing to take action, whether that action be political or violent? Millions who strive to affect foreign policy based on those views?
Read: Just Another Businessman and for comic relief, God Calls on Pat Robertson to Kill Pat Robertson
Posted by Sherrie Gossett at 7:54 PM