The bad news is that not only is he viewed by one-million Americans and by more people in other countries into whose languages his blather is translated, he also seems to be among the mainstream media's favorite "Christian" spokespeople. Along with Jerry Fallwell and James Dobson, he's a straw man that skeptics, agnostics, atheists, and genuine inquirers into Christian faith can read about in their local paper, easily knock down or dismiss, and decide that Christians are every bit as legalistic, clueless, and venomous as your average Islamofascist.
Robertson likes to play the prophet. I won't bother reciting his past attempts to play this role. I will say that at least Robertson seems to understand what a prophet is from a Biblical point of view. In the Bible, a prophet is not someone who necessarily predicts the long-term future, although some of the Old Testament prophets did that. Prophets rather:
- saw themselves as messengers who
- addressed current situtations and
- pressed people to deal with those situations in order to avoid future difficulties or even punishment
Robertson shows no hesitation about being "prophetic." He opened mouth and inserted foot again this week, telling the people of a Pennsylvania town not to expect God to be there for them because they voted in a slate of school board candidates who said that, while notions of Intelligent Design could be taught in Humanities classes, they didn't want it taught as an alternative to Darwinian evolutionary theory in Science classes.
Now, we may argue about Intelligent Design. As I understand it, there are non-theistic scientists who believe in Intelligent Design, a version without a designer. Be that as it may, to me it defies common sense to observe the intricacies of the universe and conclude it all is the result of happenstance. And frankly, I take a more reverential, even literalistic view of the Scriptures, than others. I believe that there was an Adam and an Eve, for example.
But, Robertson has no Biblical warrant for telling the voters of Dover, Pennsylvania that they have voted God out of their town. "Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord of the Lord shall be saved," is a promise that God hasn't revoked, no matter what Pat Robertson says.
As I interpret that promise from a Christian perspective, it means that all who earnestly seek the God we know through Jesus Christ in their lives, has access and relationship with God.
The people of Dover may be wrong in the decision that they have made. But Robertson has no reason for telling them that they have erected a wall between themselves and God. The Bible simply doesn't support his latest foray into "prophecy."