Monday, July 4, 2016

How to tell if your minister is a liar

Pat Robertson frequently inserted his Bruno Magli where his pie belongs. On one of his broadcasts, for example, he said that the massive earthquake in Haiti came about because the forebears of the people who now call it home made a pact with the devil.

It’s easy to simply brand him an idiot. After all, he got the history part wrong – He references Napoleon III, who wasn’t even born yet when Haiti came into existence in 1791. The ‘pact with the devil’ to which he refers is legend, similar to American tales of Paul Bunyan. We could easily lump him in with other idiots, such as Rush Limbaugh, who encouraged his listeners not to contribute money to Haitian relief efforts, as, according to him, 'we are already aiding Haiti with our taxes.'

But there’s a big difference between Rush Limbaugh stupidity and Pat Robertson stupidity. Why? Well, lots of people qualify as stupid, and Rush Limbaugh gets points for finding a way to turn his own into cash. More power to him.

But Robertson set himself up in the position of Christian leader. How is that any different? While it’s undoubtedly true that Robertson, like Limbaugh, was all about the Benjamins, the responsibility of presuming to teach people Christianity is a weighty one. As John Denver's 'messenger from God' character told TV preacher Paul Sorvino’s character in the movie “Oh God!” ‘If you want to make money off God go sell Earth shoes.’
Does it really make a difference whether you’re a loudmouth like Limbaugh or a loudmouth like Robertson? Yes it does. 
Jesus’ half-brother, James, a leader in the early Christian congregation, said: “We who teach shall be judged with greater strictness.” And note Jesus’ own words about the religious leaders of his day: "Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the market places, and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts; they devour the income of widows, and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation." As the apostle Paul said: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

We were warned in the bible there would be preachers like Robertson. 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15: “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness.” Note, “his ministers.” Satan has ministers. How can you tell if your minister is one of God’s ministers or one of Satan’s? 
Glad you asked.

In one illustration, Jesus compared Bible teachers to trees. He said a good tree produces good fruit, and a rotten tree produces rotten fruit. ‘By their fruit you will recognize them,’ he said. (Matthew 7:18-20) Now, before you start thinking, ‘Well, my minister gives great sermons and organizes charities, so those must be good fruits,’ read a bit further. In verses 22 and 23 of the same chapter Jesus continued, "Many in that day will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name done many mighty works?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you doers of wickedness.'” 
Clearly, simply doing good deeds isn’t the mark of a true Christian.

If your minister, like the scribes mentioned earlier, likes to walk around in clothing that makes him look special, he’s not one of Jesus’ ministers. If he expects the place of honor at get-togethers, he’s not one of Jesus’ ministers. If he likes special titles, like ‘Father’ or ‘Reverend,’ he’s not one of Jesus’ ministers. “Call no one 'Father' on earth, for One is your Father, in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9) And if he teaches things he can’t back up with a scripture, he is a liar, and he is not one of Jesus’ ministers.

Jesus called Satan the father of the lie, and he further told the religious leaders of his day, ‘You are from your father the devil.’ So, if a preacher tells a lie, he’s on the wrong team.

So: was Robertson a liar? Yes. His claim that God brought the earthquake on Haiti to punish them for something he claims their forefathers did is a lie. The Bible clearly shows that God is not responsible for catastrophes.

• James 1:13 ‘It is not possible for God to be tested by evil, and he himself puts no man to such a test.’
• Luke 13:4 “Those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem?”
• Ecclesiastes 9:11 ‘The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor riches to the intelligent; but time and chance happen to them all.’

Those scriptures prove two things. 1. Bad things happen. 2. God does not cause it. He did not bring 9/11, or Hurricane Katrina, and he did NOT punish Haiti with an earthquake. Pat Robertson was a liar. 
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
Please feel free to leave a comment.
 Bill K. Underwood is the author of several novels and one non-fiction self-help book, all available at

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