Does Pat Robertson speak for God?

Recently, a woman named “Andreas” visited the Web site of Pat Robertson’s The 700 Club, clicked the “Bring It On” … Continued

Recently, a woman named “Andreas” visited the Web site of Pat Robertson’s The 700 Club, clicked the “Bring It On” link and submitted a question to Pat in hopes that the Grand Evangelical Poobah would grant her a live, unscripted, rambling answer from the Almighty. Miraculously, the prayers of “Andreas” were answered last week when somebody–an intern? A producer? Jesus?–at The 700 Club plucked her inquiry from the box of unanswered questions and handed it to the show’s cohost Terry Meeuwsen to read aloud to Pat.

“Dear Pat,” read Terry, “I have a friend whose wife suffers from Alzheimer’s…”

As soon as “Andreas”–whose name I like to imagine is really Pam or Sherry–heard Terry read that first line, I suspect she turned up the volume on her TV so she could hear how God (through Pat) would answer her question.

Terry continued, “… She doesn’t even recognize him anymore… the marriage has been rough. My friend has gotten bitter at God… and now he’s started seeing another woman. He says that he should be allowed to see other people, because his wife as he knows her is gone. I’m not quite sure what to tell him.”

At first, God and Pat didn’t know what to tell him, either. The two hemmed and hawed as if their aging omnipotence was having a hard time putting their thoughts in order. Eventually, God and Pat babbled some words about how awful a disease Alzheimer’s is, and then Pat called it a “kind of death.”

Then, Pat rambled a few more seconds until he said, “I know it sounds cruel”–but of course, cruelty has hardly stopped Pat before–(but) “if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again.”

News agencies and blogs became abuzz with people sharing their hatred and contempt for God/Pat. Theologians and pastors stormed onto Twitter and Facebook to express how biblically incorrect Pat was on the topic of divorce. And medical professionals as well as spokespersons for several large Alzheimer’s associations released statements and performed interviews to showcase their disappointment in Pat, too.

And every bit of the criticism that Pat’s received is warranted because his “God advice” was careless, poorly stated, and revealed a severe lack of compassion.

However, was anybody really surprised by Pat’s answer? It’s well-known that Pat’s spiritual gift isn’t tact. I mean, this is Pat Robertson we’re talking about, the same Pat who blamed the earthquake in Haiti on some old made-up “pact” that the country made with Satan. For years, whenever Pat plays medium for the Holy Ghost, the majority of the words that come out of the man’s mouth are chock full of bad theology, run-on sentences and fragments, and proof that he probably shouldn’t speak on behalf of God without using a teleprompter. And what’s more sad is that, most of the time, Pat never apologizes or retracts his ill-formed “wisdom.”

Now,
The 700 Club did update the show’s Facebook status to let people know that Pat knows a great deal about Alzheimer’s and has lost numerous friends to the disease
. But did the show issue an apology? Of course not. Whenever one believes that he or she speaks on behalf of God, humility is rarely an option. Why? Because God and Pat can’t be wrong. For Pat to admit otherwise would be, according to his kind, unbiblical.

Most of us will forget Pat’s “advice” as soon as the next big topic comes along. But I can’t help but wonder what Andreas thinks about God and Pat’s answer to her question. After watching the segment, did she call her friend, send him a text message or leave the words “Pat says you should get divorced” on his Facebook wall?

It’s easy to forget that, at the core of this medical and theological debate there’s a wife and husband who, in very different ways, are both suffering. And too, that there’s a woman name Andreas, a friend who, hopefully with good intentions, is looking for a way to help, a way to bring hope into a very ugly situation. Considering the advice that she received, let’s pray, for the good of all involved, that she hasn’t stopped looking.

Matthew Paul Turner blogs at JesusNeedsNewPR.net

  • cthehill

    I always thought that man created God in his own image. This story tells us much more about Pat Robertson than it does about anything related to faith or ethics.

  • sharideth

    Pat Robertson does not speak for me or my faith. I refuse to waste any energy defending him or his views. Decades of arrogance speaks for itself.

  • bain_winslow

    I live in the middle of the suburban midwest and even I don’t think Andreas is a weird, unheard-of name. I’ve definitely heard it before. And in 95% of cases it is a male name. That kind of weird ignorance and insensitivity just ruined what was an otherwise good article for me, to be honest.

  • Smail

    I would enjoy sacrificing this 80 year old fruitcake to some pagan god in a volcano.

  • quiensabe

    You know, Mat, Jesus doesn’t need new PR, nor does he need you. But you should take note that sooner or later you’re going to need Him.

  • SODDI

    Pat Robertson is a PERFECT example of Christianity.

  • munozas777

    This is what happens when men become vain and believe they are infalliable… they want to ‘interpret’ God’s Word according to their own humanistic ways… God warns us about this in His Word: remain humble and don’t add or take away from His Word. Unfortunately, Pat reaches a lot of people… and spreads his opinions as if they were God’s views. GOD DOESN’T CHANGE- Societe does!

    If you (Pat or anyone else) are going to speak and teach ‘God’s Word’ – get your facts straight first… don’t speak non-sense and then hide behind ‘I am a man of God and what I say is what God says’ … when it goes completely against God’ Word!

    This is why we all should study the Word of God in humilty and seeking direction from It’s author… so we are not deceived by anyone!

  • david6

    Are you assuming that the Bible is the word of God? I’m not. I think it’s pretty insulting to God to blame Him for that collection of backward morality, ignorance of science and history and wishful thinking.

  • david6

    Why?

    I have no reason to believe anything that Christianity teaches. Nothing in Christianity is supported by evidence.

  • david6

    The very large segment that worships mammon and rejects what Jesus taught.

  • YEAL9

    After studying the “word” of god, the following update was prepared:

    The Apostles’ Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

  • AZreb

    With all these so-called religious leaders supposedly having God on speed-dial, He sure doesn’t have much time left for the rest of us.

    Those like Robertson give religion a bad name – it is no wonder so many are turning away from these organized religions with leaders who “speak for God”!

  • AZreb

    How many translations of the Bible are there? How much can we believe since it has been changed so many times?

    Man is fallible and puts a personal spin on anything and everything, including the Bible.

  • Secular1

    AZreb, I really need to let you in on a secret, we skeptics are in know of. There is no Dog.

  • Secular1

    Smail, I am with all the way sir. Where shall we take him to the big island, where we have active volcanoes. Now the next step is how do we lower him into it. I for sure do not want to push the old goat. Perhaps lower him from a chopper on a day when it is quiet.

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