It Has to Stop

I want to be very careful about what I say and share here. I don’t want to offend or hurt people’s feelings, nor do I want anyone to think I am belittling a fellow believer. I just know it’s time for us to speak up. We are being embarrassed by the actions of one among us. I believe it’s time for him to quietly pass off the scene before he does any more damage.

I’ve met the man. I’ve been on his program. I want to show no disrespect, but I would want someone to do this for me if I were in his position. Apparently when you are the boss, no one can speak into your life.

I’m referring to Pat Robertson of the 700 Club. Pat has a chased a number of tangents in his day and made wild and even preposterous claims, like chasing a hurricane away (I’m sure the folks who got nailed by that storm really appreciated his prayers).

Pat has become dangerous to himself, to his ministry, and to the cause of Christ. Why? Because he doesn’t think before he speaks. He answers questions on air, and they come out the wrong way—often interpreted as arrogant, mean-spirited, and un-Christlike.

Case in point: the most recent blunder to be picked up by major media was his comment on what should happen to a woman who won’t respect her husband. On the broadcast, according to Huff Post Religion, he answered a question from a viewer named Michael (not me!) about how to repair his marriage to a woman who “has no respect for me as the head of the house.”

Robertson’s answers could have been:
– Seek biblical counseling
– Begin a season of prayer and fasting, asking God to heal your marriage
– Repent of any attitude or actions that have caused your wife to lose respect for you
– Rent Fireproof (Sorry, that was a shameless plug for a movie by Sherwood Pictures with my daughter Erin Bethea as the female lead!)
– Read The Love Dare (Another shameless plug for my staff members, Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick, who wrote the book…and thousands of marriages have been restored as a result.)

But that’s not what he did. Robertson opened his mouth and inserted his foot: “Well, you could become a Muslim and you could beat her.” He didn’t stop there! “I don’t think we condone wife-beating these days, but something has got to be done to make her.”

I’m hoping we can’t conclude by his statement that Pat Robertson beats his wife. His response even seems to imply force if necessary. Hardly the response of a Christian. He called the woman a “rebellious child” who doesn’t want to “submit to any authority.” Of course, he’s only getting one side of the story and has no clue if the caller is being factual. According to the report, he even suggested the husband “move to Saudi Arabia” where beating women would be permissible. This response is shameful, embarrassing, un-Christlike, and pitiful.

Pat has lost the right to be respected. This isn’t his first blunder or first time to jump the Scriptural ship. He recently rejected the idea of adopting babies from overseas and implied there was something wrong with them. Again, a heartless, callous response from a man who is living in some kind of isolation tent.

From my perspective, he has to go NOW! Every day he is on the air, he makes the rest of us look like heartless morons. He is losing it or has already lost it. Age or lack of being in touch with the real world has caused him to lose his ability to influence for good.

Someone needs to have a talk with him. Someone needs to shoot him straight. He may be the boss, he may write the checks, but surely his family or his board has the courage to stand up to him. If not, he shouldn’t get our support. His bad is starting to outweigh his good. This isn’t one random slip up. This is an increasingly frequent occurrence of embarrassing behavior.

I know how hard this will be. I’ve had to confront people who were starting to lose their capacity to lead and tell them it was time to step aside. I lost a friend over it. But what matters most is the Kingdom. If we don’t, all people will remember is the constant stumbles toward the finish line. We should finish well, not finish apologizing for not being at our best. We should finish with a “Well done!” not a “He said WHAT?!”

I’m grateful for men I know who have stepped aside when their time of traveling was done. While still effective, they know their limitations. Time catches up with all of us. We would be wise to follow the example of men like Warren Wiersbe and Billy Graham who have stepped out of the limelight gracefully and been very selective in what they say and who they say it to. We could learn a lot from men like that.

Unfortunately, men like Pat Robertson don’t seem to know when it’s time to ride off into the sunset. I pray that when the day comes for me to pass the baton, I won’t have to be told by anyone else. I pray God will give me the wisdom and discernment to know when my days of public ministry are over. I don’t want to be a worthless worker in a world of work. Nor do I want to be a stumbling block to a generation still in the battle.

11 thoughts on “It Has to Stop

  1. PROV 13:17 “A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful ambassador brings health”

    I am not new to Pat Robertson’s controversial comments. From his jaw dropping comments on women,to Islam, to his comparison of American Liberals to Nazis. From his insensitive remarks about the citizens of Orlando who were facing a catastrophic hurricane to his take on Haiti. At first i thought he wanted to generate publicity and an inherent ‘cool’ factor by appearing radical,edgy and humorous. I think his comments are divisive, disruptive and a poor representation of a man who has been holding steadfastly to the doctrines of Christ.
    Pat Robertson has probably forgotten that as an ambassador for Christ, he must have wisdom, be skilled in diplomacy and have knowledge in dealing with the world. He has to communicate in an attractive manner. In conversation, he has to display gentleness and respect like a true Christian. Besides humility and hospitality, he has to speak circumspectly, carefully considering the consequences of what he says, extremely careful not to injure the feelings of others. As consuls of the Kingdom of God, we need to keep our pet opinions to ourselves. On that sad note, i wonder what they teach at Pat Robertson’s Regent University???
    Thank you Pastor Catt for your brave stand and honest opinion. As ambassadors of Christ, we ought to bring health, refreshment and comfort to the people with whom we come into contact.
    God bless you Pastor Catt.

    From Africa,
    Langat Kibet,
    Nairobi,Kenya(East Africa)

  2. Pastor Catt,
    I agree with you that the BOD of The 700 Club should approach Mr. Robertson with a Matthew 18 heart. If he repents, then a brother is gained. If he does not, then he should be removed. I have never been a watcher of this show saved for a couple of times because I know that Robertson is one of the original name it/claim it preachers so I doubt that he will repent. I would also call on the National Religious Broadcasters network to remove his show from their broadcast line up. The 700 Club may be a major source of revenue for NRB, but a some point false teachers need to be removed.

  3. Respect is earned. Not here, not now, not ever by him. This is the man who launched his ministry with the comment, “God doesn’t hear the prayers of Jews.”

  4. I agree 100% with you on this, just not sure this is a real good time to go public considering the muslim world is on fire. I also know thats more reason to be more sensitive in what we speak publicly since innocent people are dying. I can’t remember the verse, but remember reading somewhere in the Bible that if we have a problem with someone in the church not doing right that we are to confront them one on one? In this case maybe if a group of Pastor’s were to approach him. I just have serious concern at this time for his(Pat’s) safety and even the safety of the churches if this gets more attention and the media got a hold of this. It’s no secret that the muslim world watches our liberal media very closely, and they love more excuses. God Bless you and your church for being courageous.

  5. I worked at CBN for a couple of years. The first day of work, you are set up in a room to fill out paperwork and review a couple of videos. Additionally we are told that we are never to comment to reporters if Pat makes a gaffee, in that there are people who are trained to handle and limit damage from his all too frequent remarks.

    I will say that while I was there, I thought CBN was a great place to work and they are doing a lot of good in their efforts to be a good neighbor (Luck 10:25-37) and to promote the word of God.

  6. Very well stated, but I would say that you are far too kind. Robertson is a false prophet with known ties to murderous African dictators — and he very possibly committed fraud with his “ministry’s” money in busted gold mining efforts. He is anti-Semitic, hates homosexuals, and loves to blame the victims of natural disasters. The Bible warns about wolves in sheeps’ clothing such as him, and it unfortunate that Robertson has so many followers that blindly accept everything he says and send him their money without question. He also did recently make a public comment that marijuana should be legal — quite inflammatory to the Christian right, but probably the only comment he would ever make that I personally would agree with.

  7. Amen…every time he says something ‘astounding’ like that, my 92 year old (unsaved) father calls me to tell me what ‘my man’ said
    (he views P.Robertson like the pope, that he is speaking for ‘all of us’

    i get a phone call each time something like this is said

    i agree, who can reach a board member to take some action??
    here’s a list from their website:
    CBN’s Board of Directors

    Charles F. Fay
    Michael D. Little
    William L. McConkey
    David Pentecost
    A.E. Robertson
    M.G. Robertson
    Gordon P. Robertson
    Thomas M. Saltsgiver
    Benny Yount

  8. I can totally agree with both the content and heart of your post. I had been a 700 club member and seen blessings from being a part of this group, however, Pat R. has appeared to circle the wagons and made it more of a Pat R show than about glorifying Christ. He did at one time make great points and elevated issues of importance while lending wisdom with grace. This past decade has not been a pleasant one for the legacy he leaves behind. He has seemingly just lost touch as can someone of his age. It is unfortunate that those closest to him aren’t bold enough or in whatever way capable of communicating this effectively while letting him know the great impact God has had through his life. We have seen good and great men of God lose respect such as Oral Roberts towards the end of their life because they didn’t pass the torch for whatever reason. I do hope and pray he gets the message.

  9. Thank you for speaking up and speaking out so that people know that this is not what we believe. Other men have been quite harmful at the end of their lives (some of Martin Luther’s writings come to mind) and I think your point is a hard one but well taken. As a writer myself, this is a post that I’ll consider for the rest of my own life and one that I take seriously. Then again, there were men like Caleb and Moses who were used till the end. I don’t know that it is always right that people HAVE to step out. I teach bell to bell in my classroom and it is my own prayer that I will live for Christ from breath to breath. Sadly, however, off thinking is off thinking — just because someone calls himself a Christian doesn’t mean he’s Christ-like. I also think that because Robertson spoke PUBLICLY that men (and women) of God must speakout PUBLICLY so that people can know that this is not what lines up with God’s word.

  10. Wow. agreed. I know that those who claim themselves teachers of God’s Word and will are judged more harshly. Just remember that no matter what happens here on earth, he will have to face God himself and give an account.

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