Pat Robertson has – once again – inserted his Bruno Magli where his pie belongs. In the YouTube video, shown below, you’ll hear him saying basically that the people of Haiti brought their problems on themselves because their forebears made a pact with the devil.
It’s easy to simply brand him an idiot. After all, he got the history part wrong – Napoleon III wasn’t 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 last week 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 has set himself up in the position of Christian leader. How is that any different? He’s still using his stupidity to prey on the ignorance of others, just like Limbaugh. However, while it’s undoubtedly true that Robertson is all about the Benjamins, the responsibility of presuming to teach people Christianity is a weighty one. As John Denver (as George Burn’s messenger) 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 teachers in his day 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.
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.’
Bad things happen. As noted previously, 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 is a liar. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.