Friday, November 11, 2005

Evolution Pt. 2 God will kill you?

Pat Robertson needs to just stop talking to anyone who may have a microphone or camera. Or as some might say he needs to shut his piehole.

He is one very public reason people do not take Christians seriously. According to the story, he said that "if there is a disaster in your area don't turn to God". Instead, he suggests they "call on Darwin" to save them.

Now, even if God would strike a city with disaster, I don't know that He would do it for voting out a school board that supported the Intelligent Design theory.

Robertson made headlines this summer when he called on his daily show for
the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
In October 2003,
he
suggested that the State Department be blown up with a nuclear
device.

Pat, please stop giving non-Christians a reason to think all Christians are low on the evolutionary chain.
Even if your views are correct, in some case it is better to stay quiet and to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Derrick

11 comments:

jaxmudder said...

I agree... Mr Robertson does a fine job of misrepresenting Christians worldwide. Sad that he continues to draw so much attention...needs to just dry up and blow away.

Kwame said...

Actually, Dr. White, for one, thinks Pat Robertson has said a good thing in this case if you check White's blog today, for what's worth noting.

Anyway, I have to wonder if Christian PR are truly damaged by Pat Robertson (he is just one man, after all) or whether it even matters what the man says; remember this: it is no secret that the Christian creationist community is not a monolithic one (old-earthers, young-earthers of various types, Gap Theory folks, etc.). Nevertheless, in non-Christian media we continue to see the sum of creationists presented as necessarily being one of *young-earthers,* don't we? (I do.) People are good for confusing and conflating even the simplest of things. People are also good at wresting words from their proper context and at making mountains of mole hills. So why even bother trying to shut people up?

Kwame said...

One more thing: I can't recall a single time on or off his TV show Pat Roberston has presumed to speak for all Christians. Why say that he misrepresents Christians?

Anonymous said...

I once attemted to listen to one of Pat Robinson's teachings on tape and quickly tossed it to the curb.Let's get out and win some souls for Jesus Christ! I'm not interested with "revelations" of scripture that dont bare witness with the Holy Spirit ...........wish i could remeber what the teaching was called many of you might have attempted the same one.

Derrick Bright said...

Robertson may be only one man, but he has a large microphone and when the media wants a sound bite that helps make Christians look looney, it is much better to go to the person who has a bigger audience (a recognizable face) than any schmo off the street.

It is more effective for sound bite news to say Pat Robertson said...than it is to say Steve from doen the street said...

Kwame, I think we know that the Creationist camp plays itself out in differing views; however, when the general media views someone who claims God created the world, there is 1)never enough time to make the distinctions and 2)it is easier to caracaturize (sp) a Christian into a "flat-earth looney" than someone who has reasons to support their view.

Same idea goes for your second post, Kwame, Big microphone, big audience, no need for distinctions.

To the listening to tapes from different "personalities", I think it is sometimes a tape by tape basis. I once listened to some old tape I found from Jim Bakker (or some other TV pastor like that). Now, at first glance, I probably would have taught it. Since I found it in a box I had-didn't have any others- I listened. It was really pretty solid Biblical teaching. Would I recommend a steady diet of many televangelists? No way, but taken by itself (the tape) I was blessed by the ministry teaching. Maybe I just got lucky.

Thanks for sharing,
Derrick

Kwame said...

<<Robertson may be only one man, but he has a large microphone and when the media wants a sound bite that helps make Christians look looney, it is much better to go to the person who has a bigger audience (a recognizable face) than any schmo off the street.>>

Of course, but so what? (That is, how is this a remarkable observation vis-à-vis my foregoing observation that no matter what you do or what some other Christian does people still manage constantly to find fault with what you do and manage to mischaracterize things in general?)


<<Kwame, I think we know that the Creationist camp plays itself out in differing views; however, when the general media views someone who claims God created the world, there is 1)never enough time to make the distinctions and 2)it is easier to caracaturize (sp) a Christian into a "flat-earth looney" than someone who has reasons to support their view.>>

1) I know that you know the camp is not monolithic;

2) Actually, it is not true that TV media, radio media, and especially print media don’t have enough time to say the words “some creationists,” or “conservative creationists” or something along those lines. Moreover, I would not even have raised this issue if what I had in mind was not the painting of the creationist camp with a broad linguistic stroke--this as opposed to merely using the abstract nomer “creationsts” to speak of particular creationists.

3) How does it matter that it’s easier to mischaracterize such and such people when my question was (again): does it matter if one man embarrasses those around him when no matter what any of them do they’re going to be mocked or mischaracterized?

Make up your mind right now: you are a Christian, and you will always look funny or seem strange or contemptible to others for some reason or another. (This is just as well too, for as a Christian you believe many things that prima facie look and sound STUPID; for example, take God’s punishing his innocent Son for others, an act which is perfectly believable not because of any analogy which you personally can actually produce, but because of the weight of evidence of the Scriptures and/or direct and subjective knowledge of such. Same goes for your belief that God allows some of the most horrifying acts of violence against unborn children to take place, even if it is for good, etc., etc.)

Meanwhile, your mistakes and the mistakes of others (in case you should ever be worried about such things) won’t have kept anyone from the Kingdom; God is perfectly able to save his people, and He does so.

Me thinks ye do worry too much, or at least that you are focused on the wrong things.

-Kwame, with a majuscule <K>

Derrick Bright said...

Kwame said:

Of course, but so what? (That is, how is this a remarkable observation vis-à-vis my foregoing observation that no matter what you do or what some other Christian does people still manage constantly to find fault with what you do and manage to mischaracterize things in general?)

----True, but as Greg Koukl says, we do not want to add any more offensiveness to the Gospel. Bible tells us to live our lives above reproach and I think it is important not to give nonbelievers any more excuse to turn from God than they do.

You said:
2) Actually, it is not true that TV media, radio media, and especially print media don’t have enough time to say the words “some creationists,” or “conservative creationists” or something along those lines.

----I would agree print (maybe radio) media has more time, but I would not agree that TV has time (I recommend How to watch TV News by Neil Postman).

You said:

How does it matter that it’s easier to mischaracterize such and such people when my question was (again): does it matter if one man embarrasses those around him when no matter what any of them do they’re going to be mocked or mischaracterized?

---Again, I think it is an issue of let us not give the "enemy" more ammo than he has. This thinking would seem to open up kind of an excuse.."well, since people are gonna mischaracterize, then it does not matter how I live" I'm not saying you are doing this-I think I know you better than that, but I do know others who "live like hell-hoping to get to heaven".

You said:
Make up your mind right now: you are a Christian, and you will always look funny or seem strange or contemptible to others for some reason or another.

---I can agree with that.

You said:
Meanwhile, your mistakes and the mistakes of others (in case you should ever be worried about such things) won’t have kept anyone from the Kingdom; God is perfectly able to save his people, and He does so.

Me thinks ye do worry too much, or at least that you are focused on the wrong things.

----I am thankful my mistakes and mess ups will not stand in God's ways, but I do wish to limit the mistakes and increase my success.
Thanks for sharing.
Derrick

Kwame said...

<<----True, but as Greg Koukl says, we do not want to add any more offensiveness to the Gospel. Bible tells us to live our lives above reproach and I think it is important not to give nonbelievers any more excuse to turn from God than they do.>>

Well, how far should this really be taken? I am not beyond reproach if I am a Christian father and take my kids to church where they are scared into believing that if they die in their sins, they will burn in a lake of fire forever(!!!). That is, one would think that it is true that unbelievers will be punished and will suffer well on into eternity, but of course there are those unbelievers who would find me to be a bad parent by doing this. Many unbelievers don’t like this fire, brimstone and anger kind of stuff; in fact, many believers don’t like this kind of stuff.

I guess the question really boils down to one of whether Pat’s words were really misplaced. James White probably is right: they were not misplaced. If Robertson said words which were both needless and offensive, then it follows that any preaching of the duration of eteral punishment that a TV preacher might want to do should also be off-limits. Preaching about homosexuality specifically is next, and should be shunned in favor of one’s giving the broader message about “extramarital sexual relations.” Discussions of Calvinism would also be off-limits, just in case there is some unbelieving person watching the program. Moreover, discussions of Calvinism even over the Internet would largely be off-limits due to Google’s ability to home in on various search words and due to the presence of unbelievers on the Internet.

If Robertson messed up, then absurdity is a reality, by analogy. However, it IS okay to speak of such things on TV and Internet, so Robertson did not necessarily do a bad thing in this case.

And besides that, here is one thing that bears consideration: does God in fact and in some circumstances restrain or hinder calamities that would have occurred had He not hindered them? In other words, does God direct the paths of hurricanes and direct certain air currents in certain directions when and if his people petition that people be spared from the destruction that storms can wreak? And does He do so regardless of prayer but rather because of a concern that He has for his people anyhow and in the first place? And in some instances does He do so regardless of prayer and whether certain people are righteous, but rather because they are not as evil as they could be? If you believe that the answer to any of these questions is yes (and I’m not saying that the answer to any of them is either yes or no), then why get mad because Robertson brings to our attention that the people of whatever town he had in mind might just have gotten rid of the one thing that would have kept them safe from natural disaster?

Pat Robertson errs, but it truly is not obvious that in this case he has erred. I think his Christian critics are in error though, ha ha. Let’s not be so squeamish.

Derrick Bright said...

As I ponder your words, it is very possible I could be mistaken on this issue. Perhaps he was not way out of line.

I can agree that this is better than suggesting that someone assasinate a foreign country's President.

Thanks,
Derrick

Kwame said...

<<As I ponder your words, it is very possible I could be mistaken on this issue. Perhaps he was not way out of line.>>

And that’s one reason I respect you Derrick. I mean, how many people do you know can admit so easily that they may be mistaken, and then top that off with a statement indicating the recognition of the importance of nuances and degrees such that you could speak of Pat Robertson’s possibly not being “way” out of line?

So yeah, granted it may be a bad thing to slip some unbeliever the idea that in some sense people like him have been foreordained to damnation--this right when you’re just trying some basic street/Internet/job evangelism. But at the same time, there is a place for saying shocking things in forums where unbelievers may be listening in; in fact, it may even be right to say shocking things directly to unbelievers as Christ repeatedly does especially in the book of John.

Derrick Bright said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Kwame.

Derrick