Let’s stone Pat Robertson

So Pat Robertson’s at it again – this time, apparently he asked God to show him some cool tricks and was given a secret revelation of the future:

The televangelist revealed on Tuesday that he had spent the nearly a week in prayer, asking God to “show me something.”

“I think He showed me the next president, but I’m not supposed to talk about that,” Robertson explained. “So I’ll leave you in the dark — probably just as well — I think I’ll know who it will be.”

That’s great, Pat. Too bad you’re not meant to tell us who the next president will be – we’ll never know how right you were. Just like I’ve been sworn to silence by the pink unicorn who lives under my stairs and has predicted the results of the next lottery draw – I’m not allowed to tell you until it’s happened.

Seems rather strange to to tell me that something’s going to happen, and that I have to keep it secret until it’s happened, but the unicorn works in mysterious ways. Just like God – after all, it seems he can let on about some things:

Robertson recalled that since his CBN ministry began in 1960, there had been several wars and a presidential assassination.

“He is saying you will have worse stress than before. So I’m saying, ‘God, let me give you some suggestions and you tell me if any of them is right, pick one,’” Robertson explained. “I said, ‘Is it an EMP blast? No that isn’t it. Is it a cosmic or solar or radiation blast? No. Is it Mayan galaxy alignment? No. Is it Iranian or North Korean nuclear threat? No. Is it an earthquake or a volcano? No. Is it a massive power failure? No.’”

“What is it? It’s an economic collapse,” the conservative leader finally disclosed. “And God said, ‘This is not my judgment, they are bringing it upon themselves.’”

So God’s prepared to be more open about this, at least. Just a shame it’s so vague and unhelpful – an economic collapse? Really? And no scale or time period attached to that? Wow, it’s not like economics is a cycle of expansion and contraction by its very nature. Even so, it would have been useful if God had got round to telling us about 5 years ago. My unicorn did, but I had to keep that secret, as well – they’re capricious creatures. But he did let me tell you that in the future, the stock market’s going to go up, then down, then up, then down. You heard it here first.

Of course, Pat does have one advantage over me – he has a holy book to give his claims a shred of credibility. The pink unicorn couldn’t get a publisher. And naturally, that holy book has some things to say about prophecy:

The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”

You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.

Now, there’s no Biblical precedent to my knowledge for God revealing the future to someone and forbidding them to tell anyone else, but I may be wrong, and God works in mysterious ways. But Pat claims to be delivering a message direct from God, and the only way of verifying that claim is the one piece of information he has to keep secret.

Obviously, we wouldn’t want to go against God’s wishes and force the secret out of him, so how about this – he seals his prediction, to be held in a vault until January. After the election, the prediction can be opened and read to see what he said. If he got it right, we all sit up and take notice. If not, we stone him to death as a false prophet. Sound fair?

Actually, maybe that’s wrong. Maybe Robertson and his followers would take the fairly typical and justifiable view that the Old Testament doesn’t apply any more… or maybe not. From his 700 club:

In several places in the Old Testament homosexuality is specifically dealt with: “No man or woman is to have sexual relations with another man or woman; God hates that. It is detestable” (Leviticus 18:22)

“If a man has sexual relations with another man, they have both done a disgusting thing, and both shall be put to death”(Leviticus 20:13)

Two points, two flats and a packet of gravel for me, please.


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About Recovering Agnostic

I'm Christian by upbringing, agnostic by belief, cynical by temperament, broadly scientific in approach, and looking for answers. My main interest at the moment is in turning my current disengaged shrug into at least a working hypothesis.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Tesco, Pride and Christian Voice « Recovering Agnostic - January 13, 2012
  2. How prophecy works « Recovering Agnostic - October 19, 2012

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