Pat Robertson has been absent from “The 700 Club” since he advised a viewer to divorce his wife who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. He just returned to the program this week, and he offers his response to the subsequent reaction to his words. The video is below, and his remarks begin at 52:41.
Russell Moore penned a scathing rebuke of Robertson’s previous remarks for Christianity Today, and even appeared on CNN to discuss Robertson’s false teaching on marriage. Now that Robertson has spoken again, Moore rightly says that Robertson’s response is inadequate. Moore writes:
To tell a man to stay with his sick wife, that to divorce her or leave her because of her illness, is, in every situation, wrong, is not some abstract point of doctrine. No one was asking Robertson to, on his feet, explain the Molinist account of providence or to answer a tricky ethical dilemma about lying to save the lives of others. This question was about the most basic sign of the gospel, the union between Christ and his church. One doesn’t even need to know any Scripture beyond John 3:16 to intuit the spirit of antichrist in the notion of abandoning a suffering spouse.
If one can’t answer a question that basic to the Christian faith, with clarity and conviction, one shouldn’t teach first-grade Sunday School, much less broadcast one’s spiritual guidance to the whole world.
Read the rest of Moore’s piece here.
At 55:13, Pat Robertson emphatically states, “Please know, I would never tell somebody to divorce their sick spouse!”
Yet that is exactly what he did.
“I know it sounds cruel but if he’s going to do something he should divorce her and start all over again,” he said, “[and] make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her.”
No way out of that one, Pat.
I believe Dr. Robertson’s comments were blatantly wrong. To be honest, it doesn’t sound like what he would have said in years past. I wonder if he is not getting too old to remain in public life giving advice. I don’t mean this disrespectfully at all. But Billy Graham set the example of knowing when to bow out of public life. I think Dr. Robertson maybe could take some cues from Billy Graham.
Denny, why does it seem that few in leadership positions in Evangelicalism ever apologize for saying something unbiblical? I don’t necessarily view Robertson as part of Evangelicalism; nevertheless, this unapologetic/unrepentant mentality stretches far and wide in high profile Christianity. We know these men are fallible; however, it’d be nice to hear them admit it occasionally.
I imagine if I had a camera on me as much as these high profile men do, that I would need to apologize to my hearers occasionally.