Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, January 06, 2006

God's Mind Readers

When there is a major global shaking tragedy or international event, like the stroke of Israel's Prime Minister, why does Pat Robertson feel the need to go to the nearest microphone to tell us what God is thinking? And does he really think we will consider him a reputable mind reader when he misinterprets the Bible? In his latest example, Pat believes God is enacting divine retribution in the form of a stroke upon 77 year old (note the age: 77) Ariel Sharon because he is, "dividing the land." Pat arrives at this conclusion by the OT minor prophet book of Joel.

It is bad enough that Pat has to turn the followers of Jesus Christ into a laughing stock; what is worse is his miscitation of the Bible in the process. I couldn't think of which passage in Joel he is referring to, so I did a quick BibleWorks search and the only one remotely mentioning the dividing of the land is Joel 3:2, which states in the NKJV:

I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of my people, my heritage Israel, whom they scattered among the nations; they have divided up my land.

The chapter goes on to pronounce woe upon the ancient nations of Tyre and Sidon and all the other states along the coasts of Philistia. Using just the simple method of context (I know that may be a difficult concept for Pat to grasp) the text plainly declares the receivers of God's judgment are those non-Jewish nations that came in to Israel and brought military destruction. There is no mention of judgment upon future Prime Ministers making Jewish settlers leave a particular area in side the modern state of Israel. Even if Pat is a dispensationalist who insists the land promises must be fulfilled, this text does not support fulfilled land promises. Robertson is sucking this out of his thumb.

He, sadly, is not the only divine prognosticator. James Dobson emphatically said the 94 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles (an earthquake I remember quite vividly) was divine judgment upon the porn industry. Despite the fact the porn industry barely felt any financial affects brought on by the earthquake, the bulk of the porn studios are not in Northridge. And don't forget Jerry Falwell, who foolishly stated the terrorist attacks of 9-11 were God's judgment on America due in part to our acceptance of homosexuality and other moral ills. Who is to say it was the means God used to rouse the United States to judge the Taliban?

It may do Pat, and other self appointed town criers for God, to recall Jeremiah 23:21:

I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.


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