Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pat Robertson's Predictions

I hate to say it, but I must. I think it's about time that people (and that includes my fellow Christians) rank Pat Robertson among those who can be called false prophets.

Why would I say such a harsh thing about someone who is elderly and has been a respected evangelical broadcaster? To begin with, Scripture says it. Not specifically about Pat, but he clearly falls under the Scriptural proscription:

When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:22).

There are other Scriptures that deal very strictly - and with condemnation - for people who claimed to be speaking a word from the Lord, only to have their so-called "revelation" prove to be false. Pat Robertson has been very adept at saying that the Lord told him this and that over the years, and Pat has made predictions based on these purported conversations he has had with God. Well, there's just one problem with that. Several of Pat's predictions have glaringly never come to pass.

The test of a true prophet of God is that he must be 100 percent accurate. In Pat's own words, he's "got a pretty good track record." I hate to break the news to the old fellow, but "pretty good" won't cut it when you claim to be speaking for God in saying certain events are going to take place. You blow it once, and the Bible is clear. No one is to listen to your prognostications again.

This sort of nonsense only serves to bring shame and derision on the body of Christ as a whole. I find it more than frustrating that many of the most prominent Christian broadcasting outlets are in the control of people like this. Yet people keep on giving them money and putting stock in what they say. Biblical illiteracy carries a heavy price.

Dan Phillips over at TeamPyro has a great post today on "impressions" from the Lord. I recommend reading it and then some. The link is below:

Team Pyro


crownring said...

Sola, I agree with you that Pat Robertson is no longer someone I particularly respect. Along with his questionable prophecies, he has made outrageous statement after statement that he's been forced to recant. I do believe his decline began when he decided to run for president some years ago. Clearly Robertson did not have the anointing for running the presidency and that mistake has cost him dearly.

However I feel the need to question the 100% accuracy rate you feel a prophet must produce in order to be considered a true prophet. By your accounts, Jonah was a false prophet because his prophecy of doom against Nineveh did not come to pass. Indeed, Jonah had a temper tantrum because the Lord showed mercy to the people of Nineveh when they repented instead of destroying the city and wiping out the population as he had Sodom and Gamorra. Daniel might also be considered false because he prophesied the 3rd rebirth of Israel hundreds of years before it happened. Never mind St. John who wrote Revelations somewhere around 2000 years ago. Pretty much nothing happened that John prophecied in Revelations happened until the 20th century. And let's not forget Jesus Himself who prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and Herod's Temple which did not come to pass until forty years after his Resurrection.

What I believe true about prophecy is that prophets prove themselvees false when the good times they predict do not come and desaster comes instead. Read the Old Testament Prophets and you will see this pattern happening again and again. I also do not believe any modern day prophets are given the entire prophetic picture as in days of old, only pieces of it so none may commit the Sin of Pride and proclaim himself God's only mouthpiece. Elijah wasn't the only known prophet of his time either, just the one out of hundreds who survived Jezebel's treachery. The outpouring of God's Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts has never stopped in spite of church people proclaiming The Book outweights our need for The Holy Spirit and the gifts He would bestow on those who need and desire them. As we know, there are many modern day Christians who have never seen The Book or else we would not be in the business of smuggling those sacred texts into countries where they are banned and/or you can be killed for owning one. You and I do not know for a fact that the day won't come when we or the children or grandchildren of our generation won't be banned from owning Bibles either. What I believe? I believe the Bible is there to verify what is true and what isn't when it comes to our faith and our walk with our Savior. Martin Luther used the Bible to confront the evil of the political Church and the entire world was turned on its ear. But Luther's courage did not come merely from believing words written in a holy text, it could only have come from the Holy Spirit Himself. Many believing men and women have been cowled into compliance by those with the authority and political power to destroy them and their families if they persisted in sharing the Gospel. Why did most of the holy men of Jerusalem not recognise Christ when it was clear He had to be the fulfillment of centuries of sacred text and prophecy, prophecy they'd studied for years without end? It wasn't because they were stupid or particularly evil men. Did the Holy Spirit speak only to Simeon and Anna when Mary And Joseph brought the infant Jesus to the Temple? Or did those other holy men think the holy texts outweighted the very Spirit of God and dismissed the Voice whispering "Your Messiah has come at last! Rejoice your redemption is here!"? It is too easy to say they weren't looking for a baby born in a barn and thus missed Him. Simeon and Anna were holy people too and the looks of a poor family bringing their first born to be redeemed with a sacrifice of doves did not deceive either of them and it's highly unlikely Anna had been given the opportunity to study those precious words herself. She knew the Savior had come because her heart was open to HIS voice. THE WORD itself says In the latter days "Your sons and daughters WILL prophesy". It doesn't say might prophesy or could prophesy, but WILL prophesy. Do I believe everyone given the gift of prophecy will be 100% correct each and every time? No, because our fallen nature prevents even those of us closest to God from hearing the Holy Spirit as clearly as we should. Moses is still counted as the greatest prophet before Christ, but even Moses made one whopper of a mistake near the end.

Randy said...

Pat says "he has a pretty good track record?" Hmmm...seems to me he is wrong more than right. However I haven't counted each and every time he said something. Better yet, Pat should remain quiet. Joel, your "rightly dividing the Word" is correct on the prophet's stance before the Lord about being one-hundred percent on target.

It's sad to me that the TV air-waves are filled with people that are doing great damage to the body of Christ.

SolaMeanie said...

The accounts you are mentioning are sort of apples and oranges. In Jonah's case, his prophecy wasn't false. The Lord Himself relented at the repentence of Ninevah. The Scripture makes that clear. The other examples you mention really don't apply, for reasons I don't have time to get into at the moment. In some of the cases, God didn't specifically set a timetable. Some of the prophecies have yet to be fulfilled, such as the oracle of Damascus in Isaiah 17, which is properly understood in an end-times scenario. Also, "prophesy" doesn't always mean foretelling the future. It also means "forth-telling" i.e. preaching. I will guarantee you that if someone prophesies in a foretelling the future event and the Lord Himself is inspiring it, it WILL happen. If it doesn't happen, the Lord wasn't in it.

Crownring, the Holy Spirit will never counter the written Word. And God Himself set the accuracy standard. You shouldn't take my remarks as some anti-charismatic screed. It's not intended as one. SOME charismatics do go overboard with the notion of continuing revelation, which is their Achilles heel. If taken to extreme, some can come to the idea that Scripture can be added to, and it cannot. When the door is opened to placing someone's "prophecies" today on an equal plane with Scripture, it's a recipe for disaster.