Monday, January 5, 2009

Pat Robertson and the 700 Club reports on the 2009 predictions by Pat Robertson (H/T Alan Colmes' Liberaland). He said socialism is coming to America, which will probably end up being a judgment call; he mentioned oil and gold going up to levels they've already reached in 2007. But this is the thing that caught my attention.

On Friday, Robertson said God told him Islam was losing its grip on Muslims repelled by the violence and bloodshed of a "religion of hate."

First of all, I ask myself about this "hearing the word of God" business. Doesn't his broadcasting these Divine Communications to the 700 Club and to the world, turn something that should be sacred into something very profane? In other words, a believing person who actually achieves communion with God in his heart through prayer and meditation would possess something of awesome value, something more fit for the written word perhaps but not to be blasted out over the air waves and the internet like this.

Secondly, there's the content of the message. It reminds me of the outrageous scandal of a couple years ago when he called for the assassination of Chavez. In this message he's calling Islam a "religion of hate." Aren't there rules against saying things like that? Common sense for one thing, would indicate that it's simply false. Furthermore, the underlying premise is also false, that Islam is so replete with "violence and bloodshed" that its adherents are being turned off. This is not the Islam that I know about.

I tend to agree with the commenters I've read in both Liberaland and the Boston Herald who ask, "Does anybody take this guy seriously?" Unfortunately I think I know the answer, so my question is, "why?"

What's your opinion?


  1. the 2009 predictions by Pat Robertson (H/T Alan Colmes' Liberaland). He said socialism is coming to America

    it figures --- the one time robertson says something i might even potentially like and agree with, it's something he's just about guaranteed to be wrong on.

    (no, boys and girls, socialism is not coming to America, more's the pity. what politician would bring it here? none of the ones likely to get power would recognize socialism if it jumped up and bit their genitals off.

    communism, now, if the U.S. right wing gets back in charge for another decade, i wouldn't rule out an old-fashioned commie uprising entirely...)

  2. About a prophetic word from God --it certainly wouldn't profane it to proclaim it. Prophecy is MEANT to be proclaimed. The medium is irrelevant. That doesn't mean that even Pat R. thinks everything he surmises is a revelation. What he claimed as a revelation (in your article) was echoed or first stated by that son of the Hamas leader --last night --on Fox News. HE SAID Islam is losing its grip on the middle-easterners who are sick of living in perpetual violence and vengefulness. Anyone with a little common sense can reason that "eye for an eye" theology is going to leave us all blind and toothless --as they all have to be frightened daily now living in Islamic nations.

    Justice is one thing, as in "eye for an eye" as a proper middle-eastern and Biblical standard in the courts --but to forgive is divine --as in a merciful court.

    ON the Fox news program, this son of a Hamas leader became a Christian, disillusioned by the cruelty and paranoia shown by Hamas members to each other in the Jewish prison where he spent 18 months. He became a Christian when someone on the street in Jerusalem invited him to a Bible study and he read the Bible for the first time and saw the words of Christ, "Love your enemy." He knew this was more powerful and sensible than the constant violence and vengefulness of his people. He has found the Christian community of love superior to his experience with Hamas.

    He said Hamas will not give up--they probably therefore have to be crushed in order to stop them. Israel gave back to them the Gaza strip and the Palestinians just moved their bombing to the new border. What should be done with a neighbor that won't stop lobbing bombs into YOUR yard--because he thinks it is rightfully his --even though you were given the legal deed? These people do not apparently respond well to peace negotions and gestures.

    It is predicted in the Bible that this conflict between Israel and the world will last until Christ returns --(It started with Abraham, patriarch of both Jews and the descendents of Ishmael.) Prophecy says we will have a one world gov't and 7 years of tribulation before the last battle in Armageddon.

    Robertson knows that satellite TV with Christian programming is making inroads into Islam. I have a link to one of those broadcasters, SAT 7, in a recent article at my blog. We know that many youth in Iran are chafing under the Sharia Law? there and longing for western ways.

    The son of the Hamas founder said the Koran is contradictory and useful for any political position Muslims wish to take. He noted that there is a verse that says anyone who changes his religion should be killed. So he lives under the threat of death --and I fear for his whole church--which is just a little informal evangelical church in California.

  3. I put absolutely no stock in anything Pat Robertson has to say and am amazed that there are those out there who do. He's little more than a charlatan to me.

    I used to watch 700 Club for the distance faith healing segments. They always cracked me up. So vague. "There's someone out there suffering from depression--You're healed! There's another person out there with a migraine headache--It's GONE!!!"

    I'm sure there were folks watching at the time who experienced immediate relief of whatever their ailment was as soon as Pat "healed" them, but I liken it to watching Romper Room as a kid. When the chick looked through her magic mirror and said "...and I see Vicki..." of course I assumed she meant me and only me!!

    On a side note: I watched Romper Room every day until she finally said my name and then stopped watching immediately thereafter once I had confirmed that a) the mirror actually worked and b) I wasn't invisible.

    I don't agree that Islam is a religion of hate anymore than I would agree that Christianity is. Crusades anyone?? Pogroms?? Hamas does not represent Islam. Hamas has its own agenda and will not stop until it is realized. Hamas' greatest weapon is that it has convinced the Palestinian people that it has their interests at heart to the extent that the Palestinians won't, don't or can't obliterate them.

    I just pray (in my own agnostic way) that the Palestinians eventually realize that Hamas is a hindrance rather than a help. Also that Israel finds a balance between rightfully defending its citizens and coming off as oppressors to the rest of the world. I've always said that Israel needs better PR. They should hire Ari Emanuel.

  4. Vicki, I know Christianity has skeletons in the closet --i.e. some bad history --and charlatans in the present. But they aren't all bad guys.

    The Word of Knowledge is a spiritual gift believed in by Pentecostals --along with the Gift of Healing. It was new to me when I first saw them practice it on tv. They believe they open their minds to God's Holy Spirit and that he helps them heal in this way, putting thoughts of specific ailments of people in their minds. I think they are sincere in this practice --and we can't prove that there aren't real people healed when they are prayed for in this manner. The practice may inspire a faith for healing in those who hear their ailment mentioned. Studies show that faith and prayer are efficacious in the healing process. Healing and knowledge are 2 of the Gifts of the Spirit mentioned in I Corinthians --but the greatest gift and the one we are to seek is the gift of love.

    Others have said we are to seek the GIver of the Gifts, the Lord, and not the gifts, per se. I imagine Pat R. would agree, though he does claim to have, being Pentecostal, various of the Pentecostal gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the New Testament. They claim and practice these gifts sincerely.

    Yes, there are charlatans, but not every minister is one --even on TV. My grandfather was a truly godly man--my husband's grandfather was as well. My own father was one of the most self-controlled, loving, unsnobbish individuals you could ever meet. My young minister is a righteous man and humble. I went to a Christian college, staffed by really good sincere Christian professors

    So, I would encourage you to test your agnosticism and find a church where there are such people--and they will at least prove to you that Christian people can be righteous and loving and thoroughly honorable. Perfect? Maybe not --but Jesus told us to strive for perfection. "Be ye perfect, as I am perfect." It's hard to find any sin to attribute to the historical JEsus. For the Son of God, it was not arrogant for Him to know He was perfect.

    Hamas members are Muslims. al qaeda is Muslim. The Taliban are muslims; the Wahabi schools calling Christians and JEwis apes and pigs are Islamic; The Somalians who stoned the 13 year old rape victim were Muslims. The terrorists who bombed on 9/11 --Muslims. The recent terrorism in Mumbai, India --Muslims. So what is it about ISLAM that inspires this violence? You say it is NOT Islam. What is it, then? What does motivate radical Islamic terrorists??? What is their common denominator? I find that they all are against ISrael.

    According to the son of the Hamas founder on Fox News last night --who converted to Christianity --the Koran inspires all the violence and can be used to justify any political position they take. If they want to preach peace, they can find it in the book; if they want to preach violence, it's in the book.

  5. I didn't realize that Pat Robertson had been released from the asylum.

  6. Once again the comments of 'barb' show her Jesus-like love for all of humankind. She is a stellar example of what the word 'christian' should imply.

  7. why would pat robertson spend any time in an asylum? that's reserved for people who actually hear voices in their heads, speak to invisible friends, and have those "friends" answer them.

    robertson's a cynical manipulator using the delusions of his flock to leverage power and influence for himself. he, like most mega-pastors, knows exactly what he's saying and has calculated every word to his own advantage. he no more talks to god than i do, he just pretends better than i (or anyone with a conscience) ever could.

  8. Barb, Christianity making inroads into Islam, perhaps, but I'll bet the numbers of our young people looking elsewhere are at least equal.

    Your mention a couple times about the Koran having conflicting teachings has been rightly said about our Bible.

    Your sympathy for Israel, to me seems anything but Christian. Children aren't dying there by the score in this very moment.

    And finally, your support of the television evangelists is the most difficult to swallow for me. I'm all for giving the benefit of the doubt, but I think most of those guys are phony, not the other way around.

  9. "According to the son of the Hamas founder on Fox News last night --who converted to Christianity --the Koran inspires all the violence and can be used to justify any political position they take. If they want to preach peace, they can find it in the book; if they want to preach violence, it's in the book."

    You're kidding me, right? You realize that the exact same thing can be said about the Bible, right? This one individual does not speak on behalf of an entire religion and the fact that he appeared on Fox News speaks for itself. And did you stop to consider that this so-called former Muslim's anti-Islamic hate speech might actually HELP Hamas by stoking the fires of hatred among people like yourself?

    And I never said all Christians are "bad guys," but you certainly seem to be implying that all Muslims are. That's prejudice, pure and simple. All Muslims are not bad guys (I can't believe I even have to type this sentence in this day and age--certainly not as a Jew typing this to a Christian).

    I certainly hope you don't honestly believe that. It's that sort of ignorance and prejudice that alienated the evangelicals from the rest of Republicans and cost the party the election this past November. Not that I'm complaining!! Keep careening off to the right as far as you like.

    And please don't proseletyze to me. It's insulting and just plain annoying.

  10. And no, Israeli children aren't dying by the score this very moment. They're dying one or a few at a time day after day after day after day, ad infinitum. It doesn't make for exciting news, so we don't see it or, if we do, we don't register it--much like coverage of the Iraq war over 5 years later. It's all just background noise.

    I, naturally, have sympathy for Israel, but I also have sympathy for the Palestinians who allow Hamas to thwart any chance they have of achieving independence. Most Israelis support Palestinian independence. Do most Palestinians--really? I'd certainly argue that Hamas does not.

  11. Your sympathy for Israel, to me seems anything but Christian

    Mike- apparently you do not understand the basic end-times scenario of a Fundamentalist/Evangelical Christian.

    You see, for them to be raptured up in the Final Days, the so-called Holy Land must be purified of all of the Infidels, aka Muslims. That is Israel's job and the Fundamentalists [John Hagee et al] fully support the cleansing of the Holy Land by Israel.

    That is why barb 'fully supports' Israel.

    Here's the funny part of this entire Rapture scenario: The Jews will be left standing at the launch site because, of course, they can't get to Heaven- being Jews and all.

    It's a laugh-a-minute when the Fundamentalists start to babble.

  12. Wew, For a second I thought Muddy was going to do a non-pejorative comment.

    For a second I thought he was going to add something thoughtful to the discussion.

  13. ...only when it comes to Fundies and right-wingers

  14. Mudly never fails to meet expectation, WB.

    I have never heard Haggee like Mudly apparently has. MR seems to know things about the Rapture that I don't know, about Muslims being eradicated from the Holy Land and the Jews being left behind -- to whom are you listening, Mudrake??? I do have tapes by Haggee that another blogger sent me, but I've not gotten into them yet. I don't know if I'll agree with his end-times views or not.

    I don't really believe in the traditional rapture teaching --that the Church will be removed before the 7 years of tribulation in the end times. When I read those passages by Christ about one being taken and one being left behind, I always thought that just referred to the fact that we have a choice to make that determines our eternal destination. When Judgement Day arrives, we will have made that choice.

    However, I'm certainly willing to go! Prophecy says that many Jews --like the rest of the world --will come to the realization that Jesus is our Savior and God in whom we are to trust. NO one wants it to be TOO LATE for anybody. Jews for Jesus is a great group of people whose headquarters we once visited. Other ministries are teaching about Christ to Muslims.

    He is the good news to those of us who believe in Him, because He, alone, rose from the dead. That's the kind of God I want. If His story is true, we aren't to keep it a secret. We ARE to proselytize.

    Vicki, I certainly haven't yet tried to save your soul --though I should --which is what it means for a Christian to proselytize. I was just explaining the word of Knowledge practice you criticized.

    No, I don't agree, Mike, that all the mega church and TV pastors are frauds, phonies, just interested in money, fame and power or whatever it is you think of them. Osteen, e.g., was a pretty straight arrow youth whose church came after him to fill in when his father died. I marvel at how he doesn't appear to even use a telaprompter --the spiritual gift of preaching. No scandals about his past or present, as far as I know. I've just known so many really good Christians in leadership (and a few stinkers) --that I am not skeptical of them all as you are.

    the Bible says we can test our leaders by their fruits --the fruits of the spirit --do they have them or not? 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control.

    If those qualities are lacking, chances are you have a fraud in the pulpit. That goodness would be defined as righteousness and morality, too. I've not heard that Pat Robertson is insincere --he has certainly built a Christian graduate school of good reputation, last I heard --for law and media, journalism. That doesn't mean his every utterance is sanctified or from God.

  15. Quite right, Vicki. Israeli children have died too. I know that. It's a terribly complicated situation, one which I don't know enough about to have a real clear opinion. A suicide bomber on a Tel Aviv bus makes for a dramatic incident. But what I find even more impressive is the Israeli soldier armed to the teeth facing off Palestinian rock-throwers. It often seems like it's a world power backed by a bigger world power fighting against a bunch of rag-tag adolescents. I know there's more to it than that. These are just some of my impressions.

  16. Barb, I've said before that to comment around here you need a thick skin and a quick wit. I guess you've got both.

    I'm afraid I am cynical about television evangelists. I can't believe you're not. Let me ask you this about judging someone by the fruit. If an amoral con-artist who sold Jesus on television actually did some good in the lives of his viewers, let's say some gullible people benefited from his preaching, even though it was insincere, would that count as good fruit and therefore make him a good preacher?

    Another question about Robertson is, what do you think about his "assassination" remarks against Chavez. I know it's ancient history, but I'm curious how you feel about that.

  17. Mike--I agree. That's exactly how it looks, which is why I say Israel needs better PR. The world expects them to suck it up and not retaliate and no level of retaliation would be viewed as acceptable as Palestine is the underdog. It's a giant, hairy mess and neither side is stink-free.

    A rock-throwing related question maybe someone knows the answer to...Considering how much dough supposedly flows into Hamas from other middle eastern nations who support them, why aren't they better armed? Where's all that dough going? What are they doing with it?

    And to Barb--Yes, the Jews will be left behind come the rapture per Christian prophecy. Those who "come to the realization that Jesus is our Savior and God in whom we are to trust" are no longer Jews by definition. They become Christians at that moment. That's just more of that good ol' Christian "convert or die" BS.

    "Jews for Jesus" is a fallacy. There are no Jews for Jesus, only former Jews who are now Christians. I got no beef with them, I just think it's disingenuous of them to call themselves Jews.

    And no, you shouldn't save my soul. That's what I mean by insulting--my soul doesn't require saving. And if it did, that's my business and it's up to me to do so.

    I actually converted to Judaism from Christianity quite a few years back. One of the biggest selling points for me was that Jews don't seek converts (they used to, but got sick of Christians killing them for it).

    If someone wants to be a Jew, Mazel Tov!!! If not, that's their business. But then again, we don't really believe in eternal damnation or that one needs to be a Jew to have a place in the next life, so there's no pressure to "save" everyone.

    I also find evangelical support of Israel disingenuous for the reasons Mud mentioned, but like most Jews, I'll take it! As far as we're concerned, their version of the "End Times" is a bunch o' hooey, so the joke's on them. They're welcome to keep pumping the dough into the Holy Land until the Second Coming and we'll keep taking it. Happy to help! ;-)

  18. Vicki- a perfectly accurate assessment. The person to whom your refer has a habit of slithering. If you have read her blog [god forbid!] you would realize that she is a dispensationalist Christian, mired in premillennialism rhetoric and thought and is dedicated to saving souls for Jesus, often through shaming.

    I have found out that there is no 'reasoning' with her; it is futile. She does not reason; she promulgates from Scripture.

    Best of luck in future 'discussions.'

  19. Vicki, you are a Jew by conversion--but the Jewish people are not just a religious group, but a family line preserved from Abraham to this day --despite immense persecution. Just becoming a Christian does not change that ancestral relationship.
    Jews for JEsus ARE still JEws by bloodline, though the Jews historically considered Jewish converts to Christ to be "dead" to them --it's the middle-eastern way. The Koran says that those who change religion should be killed.

    Is that a picture of you and your husband? Really good looking couple. I have a daughter exactly your age, very cute and petite and stylish, very talented and successful, very sweet --and no suitable suitor (in her opinion) in sight at her church or workplace and she's too busy to go looking elsewhere. Is waiting on the Lord. I'm more of an activist and always looking on her behalf! So if you know any nice bachelors from your formerly Christian life.... or any single Jews for Jesus in the midwest....everybody who knows her really likes her.

    Did you put an anonymous post on my blog this morning? It was someone following my name from another blog to my blog. Someone very fearful of my views.

    The Bible does not really teach "the Rapture." It's an interpretation by some who study prophecy. Jesus teaches that there will be a separation of those who chose to follow Him and those who did not, sheep from goats. Those who choose Christ become "the chosen" --sheep in the sheepfold. Those who respond positively to the claims of Christ are beneficiaries of His sacrifice and atonement --and the benefit is His presence in our lives through the Holy Spirit as counselor, guide, teacher, comforter, encourager --who REMINDS us of the Word so that we may live rightly and resist temptations --who empowers us to love those who don't love us back.

    The Rapture isn't the issue of greatest importance--it's eternal destiny through faith or lack of faith in Christ that matters. We know that we all die. We believe Jesus rose from the grave and promised that we, too, shall defeat death because of Him.

    I don't support Israel because of Rapture theology. I do support her because of prophecy that says the nations that bless Israel will be blessed. I support her because Israel was the Promised Land given to her by God --and the UN. I support her right to existance as a nation because God founded her as a nation. And yes, I believe that there will be a last battle there with all the world coming against Israel --and Jesus will come --not to take the church out or to defeat Israel--but to establish a 1000 year reign of peace when the evil one will be bound. It's not going to be a battle between Jews and Christians --but between the unbelieving world and the Jews (perhaps most of the world will be Islamic by then) --and the Jews will see and know in the end that Jesus Christ was/is their Messiah. And He will reign victoriously. The Bible says that "the dead in Christ will rise." I don't know if that's to an eternal Heaven --or to the earthly reign of Christ. I just take it by faith that my soul is safely eternal because I trust in Jesus as the Son of God --that's the Biblical requirement for salvation. It's not really complicated --nor does it depend on my goodness--but HIS.

    The Jewish history in the O.T. is one that evangelicals believe in as their own history as people of faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (and Ishmael.) We study it and believe that the Jews were God's chosen people to bear the light of God's law to the world -- the world around them was an awful mess since the Fall of Man --so God calls one man to be His founder of a special nation --and through this nation will come the Messiah who will be the light of the world --the light even to the Gentiles. and through Him the whole world has a chance to become "chosen people" for Eternity. "whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."

  20. Yes, Mike, Christian young people are being influenced to doubt Christianity's claims --just as Muslim youth are being influenced to question Islam. Youth always reach an age of questioning what they've been taught and wondering about the ultimate whys of existance, purpose and meaning and so on. That's why I believe in Christian colleges even more than Christian primary and high schools if one doesn't have the money for both--because college more than the lower grades asks and tries to answer the big religious questions of life --what is truth?? This is not the time to send Christian youth to study under unbelievers --especially the humanities courses. Unbelievers and liberals are every bit as evangelistic for their views as Christians. They seem to take glee in undermining students' faith and ridiculing believers. See it on the blogs.

    As for Israel, would she not be a good neighbor if Palestine was not lobbing bombs over the borders and sending in suicide bombers? Did she not concede the Gaza Strip to Palestine and evacuate her people as a peace gesture? If Hamas cares for Palestinian babies, let them stop! Hamas has a goal--the destruction of Israel. Of course, Israel is sorry for the babies who live there who will be raised to want to destroy Israel like their parents do. At least as sorry as Palestinians are for the Israeli babies they have killed with their bomb blasts. Killing babies is evil --yet Americans kill 1.6 million annually in the womb. Where is the liberal conscience on that fact???

    No one seems to be able to stop Hamas and the others who hate Israel --they intend to annihilate her and say so. Do you think Israel should let Hamas keep bombing them and sending in the suicide bombers? What SHOULD Israel do? They CAN stop Hamas --but the cost politically backfires on them.

    As for conflicting teachings in the BIble. The Bible may justify a just war for the purpose of liberating the oppressed --and some will disagree with that in light of Jesus' teaching to "love your enemy" and "forgive 70 x 7." Nevertheless, we don't think Jesus would tell us to not stop the neighborhood bully and call him to account for his crimes to others. The OT is strong on justice and accountability--the NT is strong on mercy and grace --but accountability is there also--but there is NO New Testament defense for terrorism we see today, for public stonings and beheadings, suicide bombers, and random acts of violence in public places where people are just going about their business --all in the name of some political or religious cause that could be better addressed other ways.

    The BIble clearly says not to murder. The Koran clearly says you can murder people who leave the faith. They practice murder of those who would teach another religion. They murder innocent people with whom they have no direct grievance as a bargaining tool. Jesus and the Judeo-Christian Bible do not justify such evil acts. The Koran evidently justifies murder of rape victims and adulterers, because Muslims kill such people in some of their nations. The Koran justified conversion by the sword. The New Testament does not, knowing that conversion is a matter of one's own volition.

  21. Mudrake --you say I'm premillenial. What does that mean to you?

    I also don't think I'm a dispensationalist. What does THAT mean to you?

    BTW --yes, I know that all sorts of things were done in the Old Testament history of the Jews that would not be justified by N.T. Christianity --so no one needs to go digging for those obscure warts and all of the O.T. The Christ of the Bible, the Word Incarnate, justifies no evil acts such as we see in Muslim cultures using the Koran as their justification. The 2 books and the two religions are not equally good or equally evil.

  22. Barb, You may have seen this and answered, but I repeat it becasue my attention span is sometimes not equal to your comments.

    "Another question about Robertson is, what do you think about his "assassination" remarks against Chavez. I know it's ancient history, but I'm curious how you feel about that."