Following is an AP article from the 2nd day of January 2007. Today, one year later, the prophetic words of Pat Robertson have been found wanting. I say it’s time to hold our leaders accountable when they purport to have “heard from God”. Robertson slightly hedged his bets by saying, “Sometimes I miss”.
Yeah like the Tsumani that was supposed to slam the U.S. coastline in ’06, or Bush’s success in revamping of the Social Security system in ’05. Not a sterling track record. God doesn’t make mistakes! Listen, I don’t have a problem with Robertson’s attempt to be attentive to the voice of God but this kind of public display seems to have exposed potentially ulterior motives.
Robertson clearly stood a 50/50 chance of getting this right given the current Middle East climate—but why does he continue to subject the Church to embarrassment? Do we not pay a serious credibility price for this kind of thing? And what’s the deal with intermediaries? I thought we shed that top-down stuff back in the 1500’s.
And if this is not enough, many of these leaders continue to add insult to injury as they whiff over and again with their eschatological prognostications? Yet we continue to purchase their books while lining their pockets. My hope is that many in the Church will begin to stop the insanity by cutting the free flow of funds to organizations & individuals who persist in this kind of irresponsible behavior.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – In what has become an annual tradition of prognostications, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson predicted Tuesday that a terrorist attack on the United States would result in “mass killing” late in 2007.
“I’m not necessarily saying it’s going to be nuclear,” he said during his news-and-talk television show “The 700 Club” on the Christian Broadcasting Network. “The Lord didn’t say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that.”
Robertson said God told him during a recent prayer retreat that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September.
Robertson said God also told him that the U.S. only feigns friendship with Israel and that U.S. policies are pushing Israel toward “national suicide.”
Robertson suggested in January 2006 that God punished then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a stroke for ceding Israeli-controlled land to the Palestinians.
The broadcaster predicted in January 2004 that President Bush would easily win re-election. Bush won 51 percent of the vote that fall, beating Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. He also predicted Bush’s victory for a second term in 2005.
“I have a relatively good track record,” he said. “Sometimes I miss.”
In May, Robertson said God told him that storms and possibly a tsunami were to crash into America’s coastline in 2006. Even though the U.S. was not hit with a tsunami, Robertson on Tuesday cited last spring’s heavy rains and flooding in New England as partly fulfilling the prediction.
As I read these “prognostications”, I find them not substantially different than what is offered in psychic’s booths at local county fairs. “This will be a tough year for you” or “I foresee an event of great sadness in your future” or “something will surprise you this year”. Way to go out on a limb, Pat. More than the intentional vagueries (and the ever-present escape clauses) I am left wondering WHAT IS THE POINT? Why even make these predictions? How does it serve the Kingdom? How do they advance the Gospel? All that seems to be a accomplished is offering the enemy more fodder to mock believers. I am reminded of these words from the Psalms: Psalm 44:13-14(NIV)
You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us. You have made us a byword among the nations;the peoples shake their heads at us.
I won’t even go into what standard ought to be applied to those who act as prophets of God! (I believe the Bible requires 100% accuracy, no?)
Thanks for the blog, Chuck.
Great comments Paul. “WHAT IS THE POINT?” Unfortunately it’s a rather common phenomenon and not incidental to the fact that when these “prophetic utterances” are made public, $$$ pours into the associated ministry. I can’t look into the seat of a man’s motivations (and I don’t presume to here), but I don’t think it’s coincidental that we oftentimes find a significant money trail along the path that might motivate one to call attention to himself and/or his ministry.
Thanks for chiming in, Paul! “Many will come to the knowledge of the truth this year”. How’s that for utilizing my soothsaying gift!