Friday, January 4

Quoting God

According to this article on CNN.com, Pat Robertson has made predictions about 2008 based on what he feels like God has told him. These include that oil prices will rise to $150 per barrel, there will be a recession, the value of the dollar will continue to fall, and that there will be a major stock market crash in 2009 or 2010. He also predicts an increase of violence and chaos in the world, as well as "an intensification of miracles."

I certainly am not about to say whether or not Pat Robertson heard a message from God, or what that message might have been. Certainly God can reveal the outcome of future events, and we can see evidence of that in the Bible. However, those prophecies rarely had the level of detail that Pat Robertson is reporting, and even more rarely contained a time frame during which the prophecy would come true.

I respect Pat Robertson, and he has been an important leader who has had an important impact for God in the lives of a lot of people. But I find myself asking what good this kind of prophecy does. There is no particular benefit in making these predictions to people who already follow Jesus, and there is no "if you repent, I'll spare you" component of the message from God.

Also think about how this will look to people who are not Christians. They will say that some of these predictions are things that you can guess simply by watching the evening news, such as an increase in violence and chaos in the world. Also, how does it look if any of these things don't come to pass? For example, the article points out that last year Robertson predicted that a terrorist attack, possibly involving a nuclear weapon, would occur in 2007 and would result in a mass killing in the United States. Obviously, this didn't happen, and reading the article, Robertson doesn't have a very good answer for why he was wrong. That hurts the credibility of people who say that they are followers of Jesus. It has the potential to make all of us who identify ourselves as Christ followers look ridiculous.

I'm willing to listen to alternative viewpoints on this, but I just don't see how something like Robertson's predictions advances the cause of the gospel. I don't see how it makes people more likely to come to Jesus. If what we say or do in public doesn't do that, then I think we need to think very seriously about whether we are saying and doing the right things.

2 comments:

The_BGRT said...

Here is something to think about concerning Pat Robertson and faithfully proclaiming Christ. In Philippians 1:15-18, Paul is talking that there are those that are proclaiming Christ with love and sincerity, and that there are those that are preaching Christ out of selfish ambition and deceit. To Paul, as far as I am understanding it and I am still chewing on it, it doesn't matter. Is Christ being proclaimed? If the answer is yes then it doesn't matter if the person doing it is "doing it wrong" or in terms of "how is this being faithful to the message of Christ". I thought that is something that would be could be chewed on a bit. I have my own personal opinions about Pat Robertson and his ministry, but that is not the important thing, nor a place in this comment box.

The_BGRT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.