A Reflection of Forgiveness and Understanding: A Lesson Learned from the Pat Robertson Remarks

Posted on January 30, 2010. Filed under: Bible Study, Commentary, Redemption | Tags: , , , , , |

Given the recent court decision regarding the Westboro Church’s right to disrupt funerals for soldiers, I am reminded of the following article I wrote about Pat Robertson’s comments pertaining to Haiti, and how the tiny Caribbean nation was deserving of the catastrophes that befell it in 2010.

Are remarks such as the one by Robertson and, the Westboro Group’s actions hurting the Christian Faith in the same manner that Islamic extremism is hurting the Muslim religion?

“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”

Isaiah 64:6

It is both wonderful and amazing how God speaks to each and every one of us through the circumstances of our lives to teach us and deliver us to a new understanding of His word.

Just this past week, shortly after giving an on-air interview where I discussed my journey from humble means to earthly riches to being virtually penniless and then coming back – I need a rest from just writing about the experience, never mind living it – and the amazing grace and guidance of God in my ever maturing Christian walk, my words were “tested.”

Specifically, a number of promises that were made to me were not followed through on by the individuals who made them.  The old me of course would have looked at this failure to deliver as being the epitome of irresponsibility in which the “say what you mean, and mean what you say” edict would have governed my response.  Not a lot of forgiveness in that attitude, and even less understanding.

Of course after years of operating within the realms of the corporate world, old feelings like a bad habit can resurface in the form of reactive judgment.

Fortunately and of course thankfully, God in His own immutable way opened my eyes, as the next day the Isaiah 64:6 verse literally jumped of the screen hitting me square between the eyes.  I now think that I know what it must feel like to be on the receiving end of a Max Baer punch (see Cinderella Man).

The most significant, and unavoidable truth is that no matter how far we have come in our Christian walk, or how many deeds of service we have performed in the Lord’s name, when we choose to step outside of His grace we are all the same.  Specifically, our works and opinions, our accomplishments and view of the world is distorted by our sinful nature.

Now do not get me wrong, the broken promises to which I had referred earlier do not suddenly become acceptable actions. What changes however, is the manner in which we both view and respond to these everyday occurrences of human fallibility.  A view which takes into account our own failings and shortcomings that continue to exist no matter how far along we are in our Christian journey.  In short, 2 Corinthians 12:9 (My grace is sufficient for thee) swings both ways in terms of the offender and the offended.

Besides providing me with a much needed perspective, this also gave me the insight I needed to respond to the remarks by Pat Robertson regarding the Haitian crisis.

Yes, I must admit that my initial reaction to the Robertson comment in which he had suggested that the disaster in Haiti was self-inflicted justice, was one of moderate disgust.

Known for his “holier than thou” admonishments to those in misery and crisis that they are getting their “just desserts,” the evangelical leader of The 700 Club has not always endeared himself to many.

Tantamount to kicking someone when he or she down, what is most troubling about Robertson’s proclamations (re judgments) is that they seem to indicate that he somehow knows the mind of God.  That unlike everyone else, he can find reason for certain tragedy through a spiritual connection that extends far beyond the rest of humanity.

I am not suggesting that there isn’t consequences for our actions, nor am I saying that perhaps from a factual perspective there are not issues of sin.  What I am saying is that sin in any form is not distinguishable in terms of degrees or reach.   Pat Robertson is as much a sinner as I am, and I am as much a sinner as anyone else in the world, including those that live in Haiti.

It is only through God’s grace that I am redeemed.  Therefore, and in the spirit of Matthew 7:1 which clearly states “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged,” perhaps Minister Robertson would be well advised to revisit his remarks.

In the meantime we, being held to the same standard of Christian values and edict, should offer Pat Robertson the very compassion and understanding that has been absent from his own words.

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5 Responses to “A Reflection of Forgiveness and Understanding: A Lesson Learned from the Pat Robertson Remarks”

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Yes, this is one of the hardest things for most of us to do…to no judge our brothers or sisters for being judgemental. Even the most stubborn, opinionated, finger-pointing know-it-all can change by God’s grace. Just ask some of my friends and family! Thank you John

Thank you for sharing your heartfelt thoughts Deb on a subject in which we are all on a progressive journey.

Hello? http://eternian.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/are-all-sinners-equal

I hope you take what you said back.

Thank you for your comment Daniel. I did visit your blog and read what you had posted and must admit that it seems to be all over the place without actually referring to scripture.

As you will note, I have in this instance, as I do in all posts refer to God’s Word citing Isaiah 64:6, 2 Corinthians 12:9 and Matthew 7:1. By referencing God’s Word, and prayerfully relying on the Holy Spirit’s prompting and guidance, what I write reflects a humble sincerity to share more than a desire to provide an opinion.

Following this process, I am at peace with what I have written.

I responsed to this back in Feb on FB, but probably s/h responded directly here, since I feel so stongly about this subject:

Here is some very interesting Haiti history that ties into Pat Robertson’s comments on Haiti (of which I originally only heard a clip on my favorite channel -FNC, along w/unfavorable comments until a friend on FB shared this with me.

http://tinyurl.com/ygx2lv7

Pat R has been a blessing to me for a lot of yrs & I KNEW he was taken out of context. In Ephes 6 it says we battle not against flesh and blood… There is spiritual warfare going on, as Christians, we know (should) that the enemy comes to kill, steal & destroy! … See More

When that pact was made -the Haitians MADE A BLOOD covenant with the devil! This is SERIOUS STUFF – they weren’t playing around! When they drank that blood -it was a total perversion of the spiritual significance of the blood covenant shown all thru the Bible, and finally the covenant that God made with us when His only son, Jesus shed His blood, on the cross, so we could have eternal life. When those people made that covenant, God lifted His hand of protection off of Haiti, and it’s people have lived under a generational curse since. It may have “expired” in 1991, but we know Satan is a thief, a liar and doesn’t play by the rules! They voluntarily surrendered their land to Satan in exchange for freedom of slavery from the French. They were so deceived that they became slaves to the Destroyer. God had no choice but to lift His hand.

Don’t you know that it has grieved His heart? I believe it is going to take prayer and fasting by Christians from all over, and mostly – the Haitians must RENOUNCE the curse generated by their forefathers and ask God to forgive them; heal, and bless their land – and He will! Because He is such a merciful God!

I would like to add that Operation Blessing was one of the 1st responders to this horrible catastrophe. A lot of times, we tend to look at things in the natural, but during my yrs as Christian, I’ve come to know that there is definitely a supernatural realm. We have a “saying” at ELC – “For everything thing in the natural, there is a supernatural correlation.” ♥


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