A Tale of Two Robertsons
This is a story of two men who preach a message.
One of them, in the trenchant words of Russel Moore, really does “repudiate the Gospel”. According to Webster’s, to repudiate is to “reject as having no authority or binding force.” Spurgeon said, “The very substance of the Gospel is Jesus Christ, Himself—His Person, His work, His glorious offices.”
One, a prosperity preacher named Pat, declares to be dead a spouse who is weakened by illness, a wife who speaks hurtful things and is difficult to be around. He says one can’t be faulted for wanting companionship–if you’re not blessed by the relationship, end it.
Another Robertson, surnamed McQuilken, resigned the presidency of a prestigious Christian college to care for his wife who was diagnosed with Alzheimers. It was startlingly counterculteral, because as one doctor who works with the dying said, “Almost all women stand by their men; very few men stand by their women.” And he stood by her for 25 years, and he observed,
Love is said to evaporate if the relationship is not mutual, if it’s not physical, if the other person doesn’t communicate, or if one party doesn’t carry his or her share of the load. When I hear the litany of essentials for a happy marriage, I count off what my beloved can no longer contribute, and I contemplate how truly mysterious love is.
Which Robertson says the work of Christ has no binding authority on him? Which one adorns the doctrines of Christ? Which Robertson really has really believed in the grace of God which has appeared, bringing salvation, that trains us to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions ” (Titus 2:11) It is not legalism to be faithful to a vow, it is not the law that teaches us to renounce worldliness, it is love and grace!
Which Robertson really exalts Christ here, who really reveals Christ to His people and makes Him great in their thoughts? And who preaches a Prosperity gospel that has more in common with an Asherah pole than a cross? That was Russel Moore’s astute observation of Pat Robertson’s teaching.
Somewhere out there right now, a man is wiping the drool from an 85 year-old woman who flinches because she think he’s a stranger. No television cameras are around. No politicians are seeking a meeting with them.
But the gospel is there. Jesus is there.
So which Robertson preaches Christ? Who repudiates Him? There are those who will ask, ‘And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:40)
There will be an awful sorting of sheep from goats at the end of time.
It seems that Jesus considers that when we ignore the needs of the weakest, we have rejected His authority– and we have repudiated the Gospel. Some will be on his right and some on the left. Some will depart from him, forever.