Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is Pat Robertson a Prophet?

This was written by my friend and mentor Pastor Walt Roberts to his congregational network.  He is the pastor of Crossroads Church in Stateline, PA.

Is Pat Robertson a prophet?


POINT OF FULL DISCLOSURE:  I am NOT a Pat Robertson fan.  I used to be, but somewhere in the 80's he lost me.

In case you haven't heard, Pat Robertson attributed the devastating earthquake in Haiti to an alleged "pact with the Devil" made in the 19th century by the Haitian people.  He has been roundly criticized for his comments.  To be fair, the following points ought to be made:

1. Robertson made his comments in the midst of an appeal for aid to the earthquake victims,

2. Robertson has made irresponsible, incendiary comments in the past (often associated with "natural" disasters), and

3. Robertson's larger point is worthy of discussion.  If, in fact, it can be demonstrated that the Haitians had some kind of deal with the Devil, is it really unreasonable to expect that this might not turn out too well?

HOWEVER, here is why Pat Robertson is probably wrong:

1. Robertson's assertion is unfounded and undocumented.  He simply "says so."  Also, he contrasts Haiti with the neighboring Dominican Republic as an example of a "prosperous" nation.  This is simply wrong, as anyone who has been to the Dominican can confirm.  Thus Robertson's whole story is suspect, since he apparently has a few easily-verifiable facts wrong.

2. "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matthew 5:45)  Simply put, stuff happens; sometimes bad stuff.  It's a part of the corruption of creation caused by sin.  (Romans 8:18-22) 

3. Jesus refers to a natural disaster and how the people so affected are no better or worse than his followers.  (Luke 13:3-5)

4. When we see something bad has happened, it gives us an opportunity to do something good that will result in God's glory.  (John 9:1-3)

Robertson's comments are probably wrong; they are definitely untimely and in poor taste.  Regardless, as is typically the case, Americans are responding with swift generosity.  It should be pointed out that this is very likely due to the "Christian values" that are embedded in American culture.  My point is simply this:  Pat Robertson may have said something stupid (yeah, I'll admit, I've done that too), but Christianity is still great and Jesus is still the Ultimate Hope!

Be blessed!

Pastor Walt


Kate said...

Additionally, he's just plain historically wrong. Robertson casually throws out this pact happened "under Napoleon the third or something."

Actually, it was the first Napoleon, the one EVERYONE has heard of.

I agree with your above statements. I just wanted to add one more reason why Robertson's comments should be held suspect.

Phyro said...

He is a fool, for thinking he can know your lords plans. Man is the ultimate hope, not any religion.

Anonymous said...

You are a jackass. A pact with the devil? Really? Could be right? A mother's child is crushed to death right in front of her eyes, and no one comes to comfort her? What sin has she committed that she should be punished for? You are just as blind and misguided as Pat Robertson, you sad, sad excuse for a spiritual leader.

Pastor Brian B Van Dyke said...

Not sure what this comment is supposed to mean. I have personally donated to the relief effort showing that I do care for those who are down trodden and suffering, and I do not believe that Haiti was punished for a pact with the devil or sin its people may have committed.

I don't personally believe, nor does Pastor Walt, that God punishes people this way for sin. Scripture does say that all have sinned and all deserve to die because of their sin. There is not one person who has not sinned. All of us deserve punishment. Our punishment for sin is spiritual death in hell which occurs after physical death if we have not turned our lives over to Christ.

There are no perfect people. If God punishes people the way Pat Robertson says, instead of the way scripture says, we would all deserve punishment like he supposes Haiti received. All of us should be dieing as a result of natural disaster. The fact is, God loves his creation and has offered a way out of the punishment for sin. He sent his son Jesus Christ who took the world's sin upon his shoulders and paid the price of death. Scripture says the wages of sin is death, but death could not hold him. He conquered death when he rose from the grave showing us that he has the power over sin and death. If you want to escape spiritual death that leads to hell you need to put your trust in Jesus Christ and turn your life over to him.

All natural disaster natural disaster. Bad things happen as a result of living in a fallen world. Nature runs it's course and sometimes it has negative affects on mankind. It is the same for people who make bad choices. Those bad choices will sometimes negatively affect the lives of others.

Again, I am not quite sure what you thought was being said. No one agrees with Pat Robertson here and neither of us think that God uses natural calamity to punish people anymore. Since the coming of Jesus Christ punishment has been reserved for the day of judgment. There is no human who can claim the right of God to judge others, that is to say whether they are going to heaven or hell for sure. Only God has that privilege for he is the only perfect being.

Instead of making assumptions, you know what assuming does, ask for clarification.

God bless.

Pastor Brian B Van Dyke said...

I might have got a little over zealous. I guess I shouldn't have said that Pastor Walt felt the same way I do. I have not talked to him specifically about this subject. I personally feel that God does not punish his way any more. I acknowledge that he did before the advent of Jesus Christ. I do believe that people will suffer for punishment for sin in their life time as the result of the natural consequences sin produces. Even if they don't they will after this life if they have not given their life to Christ. I personally believe that the ultimate punishment of sin is now reserved for judgement day because everyone is given the opportunity to escape that punishment through Jesus Christ.