Wow, seriously? You're standing up for Pat Robertson? You are very welcome to him. (Remember, this is the fellow who by the rules of his own religion can be written off as a false prophet.)
Of course you can knock every single person that preaches. From the Pope to Christ; to Billy Graham to St. Augustine. But I'd like to hear your rebuff on Robertson.
Um, okay... just go back a few pages in this thread to see why I would say Robertson is a false prophet. I really don't think there is any more to be said.
You'll have to point out something. I read a bunch of stuff, including the Halloween page, and don't see anything to argue about. I come out of a Roman Catholic upbringing, and now am more infused into evangelical Christianity. There is nothing there I wouldn't argue about as a Roman Catholic or an Evangelical. So point out something specific.
Of course you know that your use of the term false prophet is misappropriated. A prophet can never be wrong on even the simpliest declaration, ever. Even one seemingly insignificant postulation shown to be wrong will erase one from any recognition of prophet. A prophet must ALWAYS be 100% correct.
Spong said it best, and I shall repost for your reading pleasure:
Pat Robertson has said so many silly and ridiculous things that I wonder why anyone would pay much attention to him on any subject.
He warned Orlando, Florida, that God would send a hurricane to destroy them when Orlando's decision makers added "sexual orientation" to that city's civil rights ordinance making it illegal for an employer to discriminate against a person because of race, ethnicity, gender, creed or "sexual orientation." He suggested that Hollywood would be the victim of an earthquake because that is where Ellen Degeneres works. With Jerry Falwell he agreed that the 9/11 disaster was brought upon this nation as God's judgment for harboring "feminists, abortionists, homosexuals and the American Civil Liberties Union." He suggested that the CIA should assassinate the duly elected President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. He has said that the feminist movement is about those women who want to "leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft and become lesbians." The tirade of absurdities goes on and on.
This country treasures the precious gift of free speech and Pat Robertson can obviously say any foolish and ignorant thing he wishes. When he pretends to speak in the name of God, however, I think his fellow believers have a right, indeed a necessity, to speak a word of judgment on his behavior since his words slander the Christian definition of God as Love, given to us first by the author of the First Epistle of John, and even more important, lived out by Jesus, who called us even to love our enemies.
I want to make only two points about this issue. First, I wonder who, other than Pat himself, designated Pat Robertson to be God's spokesperson? How dare Pat assume that the God revealed in the Jesus I serve is filled with all of Pat's peculiar prejudices. Why does he not understand that God is God and Pat Robertson is not? Why does he not see that when he tells the world with an unashamed certainty what God thinks and what God will do, he is only revealing what he thinks and what he would do if he had God's power? Pat needs to understand that he is acting out the very meaning of idolatry. He has confused God with himself.
Second, someone needs to inform Pat Robertson that the idea of God sitting on a throne above the clouds manipulating the weather in order to punish sinners is so primitive and so naïve that it is staggering to the educated imagination. It is bad enough that his mind cannot embrace the thought of Charles Darwin from the 19th century, but Pat has yet to embrace the thought of Copernicus from the 16th century or Galileo from the 17th century.
No educated person today believes that the earth is the center of the universe and that God lives above the sky, playing with low-pressure systems and planning revenge on those who are not believers in Intelligent Design. Indeed why would anyone be drawn to the demonic deity who emerges in Pat's thinking and teaching?
It is surely not a God of Love who punishes New Orleans' poorest citizens with a hurricane that New Orleans' wealthiest citizens could and did manage to escape at least with their lives, because they had cars. Did God kill the poor in New Orleans in order to send a message to New Orleans's prostitutes and those who create its raucous nightlife? Is that a rational concept? Did God cause two tectonic plates to collide under the Indian Ocean because there were some 350,000 evil people, with fully one-third of them children, whom God desired to kill in a tsunami wave? Is that how God communicates divine displeasure? Is that a God worthy of worship? Were the 3000 who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11 or the 2100 members of our Armed Forces who have thus far died in Iraq during this war somehow worthy of this ultimate punishment either because of their own evil or because God sacrificed them to send a message to someone else?
Those ideas are so ludicrous as to be laughable, except for the fact that for anyone to suggest such incredible things is still painfully hurtful to those who are the victims of both natural and human disasters to say nothing of their surviving loved ones. I, as a Christian, am embarrassed by the public face that Pat Robertson puts on the religious tradition to which my life is dedicated.
I have known the Robertson family for a long time. His father was the Democratic Senator in my state of Virginia from 1946, when he was first appointed to succeed Senator Carter Glass who had died in office. He was re-elected by the people of Virginia in 1948, 1954, and 1960. In the Democratic Primary in 1966 he was defeated in a very close vote by my first cousin William Belser Spong, Jr., who went on to fill that seat in the United States Senate.
Pat is a 1955 graduate of the Law School at Yale University and received a Master in Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary in 1959. He cannot possibly be as dumb as he sounds in his wild and thoughtless utterances. If ignorance is not his excuse, then one has to wonder what motivates him. In academic theological circles he is treated as a buffoon. No one takes his thoughts seriously. It is a pity that some people do actually believe the things he says, but they are far fewer than he imagines. It is an even greater pity that the news media think that his continued utterances are worthy of any public attention at all.
Always surprised at christians who spew forth so much judgmentalism and scorn at people like Pat Robertson. (I'm not a follower.) But if the primary aspect of Christ and the N.T. message is love, how do we reconcile Spong's post here with this primacy of love. Focus on God and loving service to others, and get on with life.
Spong is NOT a Christian.
Christians believe in the finished work of Christ, especially and foremost is the resurrection. Spong says it didn't happen! Spong denies the virgin birth. He said it wasn't so. Spong denies the fundamental things that make up Christianity.
How does one even begin to listen to someone who denies Christ in all the important elements?
So Pat Robertson gets a little edgy on his predictions. And sometimes moreso. But Pat Robertson doesn't deny the resurrection. He doesn't deny the virgin birth. He doesn't deny Christ's redemptive powers. He doesn't deny Christ and who he is.
Eric, we reconcile it because Spong is standing up for the Jesus he worships, and refusing to have his faith (Christianity) tainted with hateful words like Robertsons: "How dare Pat assume that the God revealed in the Jesus I serve is filled with all of Pat's peculiar prejudices. Why does he not understand that God is God and Pat Robertson is not? Why does he not see that when he tells the world with an unashamed certainty what God thinks and what God will do, he is only revealing what he thinks and what he would do if he had God's power? Pat needs to understand that he is acting out the very meaning of idolatry. He has confused God with himself."
I respect it, and I would do the same thing if anyone insulted my God with such rhetoric. It's much the same as standing up for anything you believe in passionately, whether abortion, child abuse, etc. Well, this is God abuse, and it can't be permitted to go undefended. People like Robertson are killing real Christianity in the minds of multitudes and it can't be allowed to continue. Why do you think that Christianity (in many ways) is laughed at, scorned, or not taken seriously by so many? Because of people like Robertson, and the things he says.
As you can see, Phil Knox's post was totally ignored by Doug Spaulding,
Doug Spaulding just can't stand the truth.
Doug, I appreciate your post. But I think you have a "begging the question" fallacy going here. You say Spong is defending the true christianity, but that is the question here. Spong's version of Christianity is certainly not the orthodox Christianity that has prevailed for centuries; and so the burden of proof is on him to show why HIS is the true christianity and the traditional orthodox view is not. Just calling names is not enough. Claiming modernity is not enough. Attacking Pat Robertson is not enough, either, as Robertson represents a very narrow slice of the breadth of Christian faith. So there's nothing wrong with Spong teaching or defending his version of Christ, but the method used in the above quote, of attacking Pat Robertson, is not really propounding his view in a very Christian (or intelligent) way. Just my view. Does Spong speak for a school of thought. Yes. Does he have the right to defend his view? Yes. As do the more orthodox among us.
By the way, as both a philosopher and a Christian, I really don't care why the godless (or arrogant, or smug, or whatever you want to call them) say what they say about Christianity. I care what the New Testament says. I recognize the critical role of interpretation, I understand how the gospel must be relevant, I get that there are many views of exactly what methodology of interpretation is valid (literalism, a broad reading of text, a focus on underlying mythology, etc.); but it really doesn't matter to me what others say about Christianity, if they themselves seem ignorant or biased in their views.
Christianity exists or doesn't exist, according to scripture, on one single event:
If Jesus Christ did not come back from the grave in 3 days in a glorified body, Christianity is a farce!
Scripture calls it, in the modern usage, a farce, and says we who thus believe (if there was no resurrection) are a most sorry lot of people that ever lived.
Spong says there was NO resurrection.What he is saying, in essence, is there is NO Christianity.
A good reason to make up his own.
The passage in scripture that is referred to above, pertaining to the importance of Christ's resurrection, is: 1st Corinthians 15, verses 12-19.
Also let me add that Bishop Spong denies any notion of original sin.
He also thinks scripture is out-of-step in terms of sexuality. He believes a person should be able to experiment in terms of sexuality.
This man has corrupted scripture to his own benefit. Again, shame on Doug Spaulding for his support of a man who is completely all about himself and his mental state without the Holy Spirit is nothing short of a disaster.
Ignored? How do you know that I did not read Phil's post? You do not. And I did. Her post asked no questions of me. Must I now personally reply to every post within a thread in which I'm active?
And as a lover of the truth, I'll kindly thank you to never again accuse me of not being able to stand the truth.
And I appreciate your thoughful response, as usual.
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