There have been a number of times I have simply wanted to say, “Pat, just SHUT UP.” Pat Robertson’s ability to stick his foot in his mouth is legendary, of course. Being on the air daily surely increases your chances of foot-in-mouth disease, and I honestly do try to keep that in mind when evaluating his commentary. But I guess we have become so accustomed to him saying something that could best be described as “ill timed” that when the media throws out another one, we just automatically assume he’s “blown it again.”
But this time—I agree with him. Of course, I don’t agree with the false imputation to him of a prediction of disaster befalling Dover, Pennsylvania—if he was, in fact, intimating that, he would be in error. But I think the media–and a number of Christians–have missed the point. In case you’ve been living in a lead mine for the past 18 hours or so, here’s the story. All eight school board members who had favored allowing freedom in the public education system (a heresy right there–the public education system is a dogmatic institution where ‘freedom’ is strictly defined as ‘that which promotes our world view over against Christianity’) to present “intelligent design” as an alternative to the Central Dogma of the NEA, evolutionary theory, were removed by the citizens of Dover. Kicked out. Who wants freedom when it comes to evolution? It’s a fact, you know—don’t let all those unanswered questions get in the way! Shout down debate and discussion and dissent–without evolution we can’t have our naturalistic materialism, so, kick the rebels out! And so they did.
Well, Pat Robertson commented on his program yesterday:
I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God. You just rejected him from your city…And don’t wonder why He hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city…God is tolerant and loving, but we can’t keep sticking our finger in his eye forever…If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them.
Now, I am no fan of Pat Robertson, but I do believe we all have a duty to let a man define his own context, and as I read this (and I’ve heard the comment replayed a number of times already), his point was this: Dover doesn’t want to have a Creator mentioned in their schools. Dover doesn’t want to acknowledge God as Creator and Maker and King, therefore, should disaster strike (flood, earthquake, plague, whatever), it would be hypocrisy in its highest form to go running to the church saying, “Oh God, have mercy! Bless us! Help us!” I do not see a prediction of disaster in his words, and as I said, if there is such a prediction, I would reject it outright.
But, all of the clatter and chatter and noise aside…is he right? I think he is. Was he saying Dover only a few days ago rejected God’s right to rule and reign as Creator? Of course not. But their action in clearly seeking to silence even the discussion of the overwhelming scientific, philosophical and historical evidence for the existence of a Creator was a decisive action, was it not? I think his point was simple: if you will not allow God to rule and reign as Creator in every day life in your culture, why do you think you can turn to Him when His wrath comes upon you (if Robertson would even view disasters as a manifestation of wrath–I do not know his views on the topic). How often did God speak through the prophets along these lines, pointing to Israel’s hypocrisy in this very matter? Those who reject God’s Kingship have no right to seek His aid in times of distress. Of course, no one ever has such a right–it is only by grace that God ever answers the prayers of sinful men and women, but that is just the point: those who do not even recognize the sinfulness of their actions (and do not be confused: denying God’s creatorship is not a morally neutral action: it is sinful for the pot to say “There is no Potter!”) are not going to be seeking God’s grace in repentance from their sinfulness. Instead, just as we saw post 9/11, we have people who audaciously seek God’s favor and blessing simply because this is America and America deserves it! To seek God’s blessing despite one’s hatred of His Kingship, hatred of His truth, is the ultimate insult, the height of the hubris of the hardened heart.
So don’t let the media twist this one out of shape: as poorly as ol’ Pat may put things, this time he touched on the truth: what happened in Dover, and in many other places (look at California!) on election day was a continued manifestation of the hatred of the natural man for the God he knows is there, but is intent upon denying and suppressing. Western culture continues to flail away at the foundations upon which it was built, and to this observer, anyway, there seems precious little left upon which to stand. Pat Robertson was right: those who will not acknowledge God as the Creator in the days of blessing have no right to complain when His wrath comes upon them.