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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2007
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EDITORIAL

Robertsonís claims do little to advance kingdom

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus urged his followers not to hide their lights under a bushel (Matthew 5:15), but also said to pray and do good deeds in private, before God, rather than for the admiration of men (Matthew 6:1-6).

So what is a television evangelist to do?

Perhaps Pat Robertson, host of the ď700 ClubĒ television show, should heed the sixth chapter of Matthew and spend a little more time in a closet and less time making self-promoting, outrageous claims.

Mr. Robertson, who once aspired to become the Republican Partyís presidential nominee, has again let his tongue get in the way of Godís work. In the past, he has called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, claimed credit for changing the course of hurricanes and suggested that someone should detonate a nuclear weapon at State Department headquarters. He has said that Israeli President Ariel Sharonís illness is Godís punishment for relinquishing land to the Palestinians.

More recently, Jan. 2, Mr. Robertson said God warned him of an impending terrorist strike in the United States during this calendar year.

ďThe Lord didnít say Ďnuclear,í but I do believe itíll be something like that,Ē Mr. Robertson said.

Mr. Robertson must be one of a chosen few indeed if God speaks to him in plain English. Many of us receive messages from God in the form of a tugging at our heart, by reading relevant Scripture or by circumstances that clarify which path to follow. God has blessed far fewer of us with direct, oral instruction, let alone with the ability to provide additional information that ďthe Lord didnít say.Ē

Certainly God is able to do anything, including speak directly to each of us. But one canít help but wonder about Mr. Robertsonís motivation for making such statements. Many evangelical Christians believe Mr. Robertsonís more outrageous statements are intended to attract attention to himself and portray him as an anointed spokesman for God.

Such actions do little to advance Godís kingdom.

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