Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dear Pat: Two Suggestions for Pat Robertson

Dear Pat:
Here are two suggestions, offered in Christian love:
  • Shut your mouth more
  • Read your Bible more
If you would do these two things, you would cut down on the level of embarrassment you seem to regularly inflict on the cause of Jesus Christ in the world.

Most recently, you said that the earthquake in Haiti was caused by that nation's "pact with the devil." Let me be clear: I believe that people can make pacts with the devil. Evil is real. There are, I believe, consequences to heedlessness toward the will of God.

But you have a track record for "explaining" the tragedies that befall other people as indicating that they've incurred the wrath of God. Jesus' words in the Gospel of Luke should cause us to hesitate in making such rash, unfair, and, I think, heretical judgments. Go ahead, Pat, put your microphone down and open the Bible to Luke 13:1-5 right now. No Bible close at hand? OK, here's what Luke tells us:
At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”
The way I read it, Pat, Jesus is saying that the whole human race needs to repent--turn away from sin--and turn to Him for forgiveness and life. Things like earthquakes underscore the fragility of life and what a dangerous state the world is in. If someone else is victimized by an earthquake, a tornado, a flood, cancer, or some other cataclysm, it doesn't mean that they earned the tragedy; it means they, like everyone, live in a fallen and imperfect world groaning under the weight of its fallenness until, we Christians believe, it's restored at Christ's return.

No doubt there are Haitians who sin. My guess is that there might people in Virginia Beach who do, too. I know that I do. That's why I gratefully and joyfully live in daily repentance and renewal!

OK, let's review:
  • Shut your mouth more
  • Read your Bible more
Mark Daniels

Previous Adventures with Pat Robertson:
Pat Robertson is No Prophet
Bad Theology, Dumb Politics

1 comment:

Daniel Ferris said...

Here's another one:

... He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Matthew 5:43

I'm not sure what Robertson is trying to get at -- that we're supposed to avoid pacts with the devil? I think the shorthand for that sort of thing is "sin". Maybe he's saying that they deserved it for the sins of their ancestors? That doesn't jive with my understanding of God.

Thankfully, I haven't heard anyone support his view, and hopefully, it stays that way.