I am pretty sure that the host of the now controversial 700 Club would view my advice like a telemarketer calling during dinner. But I hope that Pat Robertson takes a phone call from someone who can remind him of his responsibility to the body of Christ. I know that my faith is offensive to some. When I go to some websites it seems that evangelical Christians are more than offensive. I find out that such Christians are dangerous and stupid. I object to that characterization strongly. I don’t think I’m dangerous.
One website has a series of “enemy” links with the Republican National Committee described as the “the home of all that is evil”. Pat Robertson’s 700 Club is listed there as well. Pat Robertson has stirred up the media and the bloggers again with his declaration about Dover, Pennsylvania. The television host commented on an election that dumped the entire school board. The citizens of Dover ousted the board members who had favored adding an Intelligent Design statement to the science curriculum.
“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God; you just rejected him from your city. And don’t wonder why he hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for his help because he might not be there.”
But God was willing to show compassion even on a city as overwhelmingly wicked as Sodom.
“For the sake of only ten, I won’t destroy the city.” Gen 18 The Message
I haven’t heard Dover, Pennsylvania mentioned in the same vein as Sodom and Gomorrah. How about the prophet Jonah? He wanted judgement on Ninevah and ran away instead of taking the message of repentance and redemption to a city he wanted judged. Jonah was ticked off that his personal revenge might be thwarted. Not much has changed has it?
I knew you were sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered, rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of punishment into a program of forgiveness! Jonah 4 The Message
So here is my unsought advice to Mr. Robertson. Get out of the prophet business. In the Old Testament the prophets had a high standard.
“But any prophet who fakes it, who claims to speak in my name something I haven’t commanded him to say, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die.” Deut 18
Now that is a strong deterrent to shooting from the hip. You could not follow up a false prophecy from the Lord with a big smile and a proclamation of “just kidding”! The writer continues in Deuteronomy.
You may be wondering among yourselves, “How can we tell the difference, whether it was GOD who spoke or not?” Here’s how: If what the prophet spoke in GOD’s name doesn’t happen, then obviously GOD wasn’t behind it; the prophet made it up. Forget about him.
Here is my problem Pat. You have become the face of my faith. I don’t think you meant to. I certainly hope you did not mean to have that happen. When I try to use my meager skills to point people to Jesus your name comes up. What about that Pat Robertson guy? Do you believe the things that he says? Do you think God is punishing gays and sinners and Orlando and Dover, Pennsylvania?
Pat, I don’t have a big agenda. I want to introduce people to Jesus. I don’t much care if Intelligent Design is on the cirriculum in Dover because that won’t help a person in my hometown find the real purpose of their lives. Deciding whether Orlando will be besieged because of Gay Days at Disney doesn’t help me model the saving grace of the Lord Jesus to a person who is desperate for hope.
Unfortunately you and other high profile “spokesmen” have become the face of Christianity. I want the face of Christianity to be Jesus. I live in the secular world that you decry. I am trying to make a difference. If I may be honest as a brother in faith…you aren’t helping. The cynical response that I get is something along these lines.
“So you’re a Christian, huh? You one of those abortion clinic protesting, gay hating, sexually repressing, judgmental, censoring bigots?”
NO, I AM NOT!
I am a seeker of truth. I have come to the considered decision that Jesus Christ is the best path to truth. Certainly we have to be good citizens and vote according to our beliefs. But what we really need is the courage to live a life different and attractive enough to be light in an increasingly dark world.
I don’t dislike you Pat. I just would advise you to humble yourself before the Lord.
Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD. 2 Chron NIV
Come to think of it Pat I believe I will be at that altar humbling myself. Hope to see you there.