Yesterday didn’t find at my coveted Barnes & Noble. The Honey-do overfloweth. Thus I spent the day haul and dumping six truck loads of discarded brush and tree trimmings to the local dump. I’m sore. Shouldn’t I have “people” for stuff like this? Alas.
In any event, a couple things did cross my otherwise occupied mind to jot down. First – Pat Robertson.
I know, he’s taken a bunch of bashing over his “take him out” comments regarding Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. On his web site, under an article “clarifying” (read: trying to suck those words as far back into his cranium as possible) his comments, he states: “In my frustration that the U.S. and the world community are ignoring this threat, I said the following: Thanks, Dale. If you look back just a few years, there was a popular coup that overthrew him; and what did the United States State Department do about it? Virtually nothing; and as a result, within about 48 hours, that coup was broken, Chavez was back in power. But we had a chance to move in. He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he’s going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent. I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don’t think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger, and this is in our sphere of influence, so we can’t let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, and we have other doctrines that we have announced, and without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another 200-billion-dollar war to get rid of one strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.
Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him.”
On the one point, I want to make it abundantly clear that we all blow it sometimes. Proverbs 10:19a has it right: “When words are many, transgression is not lacking.” Its a lesson we all need to learn.
But my problem with Pat isn’t as much with Pat as with the disconnect his statements reveal exists within the modern evangelical mind. On the one hand, we (as Pat did on a previous occasion of note) speak into the world with our smug bravado that we’ll claim to pray and turn back the winds of hurricanes (the folks in Louisiana could have REALLY used that this time Pat); and follow that up with “I spoke in frustration.” The frustration comes from a view of God that puts Him at our beckoned call for our favors, but in truth, looks to the arm of flesh (read: political activism) to handle the real big issues. Hurricanes? Pray. Dictators? Assassination. See any problem here? It is one more indication of Jesus’ words to the disciples when they woke Him to inform the omniscient God-man they were about to drown – Him included: “O you of little faith.” Faith applied to one area of life, but not the others. Faith for disasters, but not dictators. Faith for spiritual things, but not the things of everyday life. Faith for salvation from Hell, but not from corrupt political regimes.
I don’t blame Pat. This kind of thinking has been rife in the Church for many a year. He is not as much a promulgator of these un-biblical notions as much as he is a victim of modern Amerianity (The Americanized version of Christianity).
Amerianity rules and reigns in the pop-Christian culture. It makes God the defender and happy parent to American culture, the American dream and the American people – as though He established His eternal covenant with Americans. I missed that part in the Bible – so if you see it – will you send it to me please?
God is about the building of HIS Kingdom, and His Kingdom isn’t America. We are to be like Abraham looking for a city whose builder and maker is God, not political theory – no matter how baptized in Christianese and born out of Christian minds. All good and well doing. We must be grateful for such influences and the freedom we’ve enjoyed from them, but they are not the same as Christ’s kingdom. His is not “meat and drink” or even the freedom to enjoy them as we wish. His kingdom is “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.” THAT’S the kingdom we’re to be working for. And that cannot come about by any form of political or social reform whatever. It does not come by might or power – but by God’s Spirit.
When Christians are ruled by His Spirit, then His Kingdom has arrived in us. Then it can be lived through us. Until then – the rest is human checkers.