« California Is Moving On from ESCR | Main | The Pro-life Two-Step »

January 13, 2010

Comments

>>"...but drawing a cause and effect requires insight into God's intentions that we have no reason to believe Robertson has."

What, then, would suffice as a reason to believe Mr. Robertson?

Another way: What would you consider sufficient cause to believe him? Or at least take him more seriously?

For me, maybe he could tell us about one of these events prior to it occurring. :)

John Hagee stated several years ago that Clinton's deviant actions, dishonesty and arrogance (and our nation's passivity towards it) as our nation's leader would result in a great financial strain for this nation citizen's in the near future. He didn't make any timeline claims, but the chickens do seem to be coming home to roost. ;)

There is some historical evidence to support Mr. Robertson's claim that I've referred to on my own blog. His language didn't seem clear to me whether he thought this was in fact God's wrath or another event in a long string of troubles that suggests God's disfavor.

As for your assertion that Jeremiah 29:23 may apply, I don't see nothing in his comments that suggests Mr. Robertson is asserting he has been granted God's authority to proclaim this a judgment (see Jeremiah 29:21).

Doh! Grammar, anoyone?

Robertson is basically out of line in any attempt to speak for God in ANY instance.
The Bible speaks for itself. Robertson's "prophetic" utterances have been so lame-brained, and have consistently not come to pass that, by following his own model, he would be stoned to death as a false prophet in any previous culture. Does anyone take him seriously anymore?

Perhaps if Robertson was predicting events ahead of time, in exact detail, there could be cause to consider his words as prophetic. (Though personally I don't believe that such prophets or prophetic words exist today).

But these after-the-fact speculations are lame, unbiblical and I agree, totally out of line. To claim that one is speaking for God is a very serious thing.

Consider Jesus' words, in response to being told about some Galilean Christians who had been killed by Pilate:

...he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

The way is to interpret these events therefore is to see them as "signs of the times"-- to understand that the time of judgment is close at hand and all must urgently repent of their sins. It is not helpful or right to make idle, unprovable speculations regarding whether those who suffer in such events are suffering due to their own sins.

I completely agree this speculation's not helpful, but worthy of the judgement of God?

I'm not so sure....

Pat is no longer relevant. Like Greg has said in the past, it is way past the time he hung up his cleats.

Alexander said: "The way is to interpret these events therefore is to see them as "signs of the times"-- to understand that the time of judgment is close at hand and all must urgently repent of their sins."

This too is speculative and somewhat groundless. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and all sorts of natural disasters have been happening for millenia. With a vastly smaller population, these events would not have been considered so destructive. They were no more a "sign of the times" then than these are now. There is also no solid evidence that these events have been increasing in number, as Last Days purveyors like to point to as further proof we're near the "End of the Age."

However, it is always wise to consider repentance an urgent matter not to be put off, no matter what our eschatological outlook, because we have no guarantee of the time of our personal "last days."

"I completely agree this speculation's not helpful, but worthy of the judgement of God?

I'm not so sure..."

Chris, if you're responding to my comment, let me clarify. I was not saying that Robertson's speculations made him liable to judgment (although they might).

What I was commenting on is that in Luke 12 Jesus was telling those listening to Him they ought to be able to interpret the times properly, in order to be able to understand the spiritual meaning of events or in relation to His ministry. Then in Luke 13: 1-5, the passage I quoted above, Jesus seems to be saying in verse 5 that a final judgment is on the way ("unless you repent you will all likewise perish") and all had better repent prior to that day. Sudden disasters, such as the events Jesus points to (and I think this would include the modern earthquake in Haiti), reveal that time is short and life precarious in this world. Jesus therefore is warning us to be ready and prepared to meet God when He returns.

"Jesus therefore is warning us to be ready and prepared to meet God when He returns."

We need to be ready to meet God when we die, not when He returns.

Jerusalem had her final judgement in 70 A.D. This is the event spoken of by Jesus in Matt. 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Note who the "you" are Jesus is referring to in the texts, and "this generation." These references are to His listeners, not to us.

"We need to be ready to meet God when we die, not when He returns."

We need to be ready to meet God at any moment is what I meant-- because He could return at any moment. And we also need to be ready to meet God when we die, since none of us knows when it will be our time to go. Like those in Haiti, we too could be taken suddenly.

Again I think Jesus was pointing out that the people killed by the tower in Siloam were no worse before God than other sinners. By making this statement and then saying "repent" He seems to be saying that all are sinners and ought not to be speculating whether people who have been in some kind of disaster are worse sinners than others or than we ourselves. Rather our focus should be on the state of our own souls before God. I think this is a principle that can be applied to us today even if Jesus' statement in Luke was only intended for His immediate listeners (which I'm not sure about at all).

Scripture speaks of the imminent return of Jesus, but of course He has not returned yet. So what are we to make of this? I'm not sure, but I know we are supposed to be "ready"-- both on account of His returning "like a thief", as well as on account of the fact that our lives here are brief and we don't know if God will allow us to live for another day.

"Rather our focus should be on the state of our own souls before God."

Absolutely. I agree.

"Scripture speaks of the imminent return of Jesus, but of course He has not returned yet."

Well, Scripture speaks of the imminent return of Jesus (ref. phrases like "it is the last hour," must shortly take place, "I am coming soon," etc.) but I believe this only make sense if these phrases really meant what they said at the time. In other words, if the readers of these original letters saw the words "it is the last hour," what were they to think? "Oh, that last hour stuff doesn't apply to us. It's thousands of years from now." Plus, it is plain from the text (Gospels) that Jesus was warning His disciples about the imminent (it really was, less than 40 years from when Jesus spoke these words) destruction (judgment) of Jerusalem. His whole "pray your flight is not on the Sabbath" warnings only make sense in the context of that event, not today.

People quote the use of "soon" in Scripture as if it means thousands of years later, but why does "soon" now mean any moment when used in the same context? It certainly didn't mean "any moment" then, by this reasoning. That is wildly hyperbolic.

The Christian Church needs a reboot of the traditional Last Days teaching we've been handed all these years. I am a Preterist (look it up on Wikipedia) and this view, which is within the pale of Orthodoxy, deserves serious consideration in light of the cognitive dissonance necessary to make the time passages of the New Testament mean something other than what they read.

Hank Hanegraaf (a friend of Greg Koukl) in recent years has spoken favorably about this view (though careful not to use the word "preterist," as there are different schools within preterism - it is not a monolithic eschatological position). It is coming around lately as a more viable view in light if the completely failed predictions of Hal Lindsay, Jack VanImpe, and other "prophecy" teachers over the past 40 years.

Good posts Alexander, thank you.

.Perry, you make an interesting point about how whatever "soon" means in the text, it has to mean the same thing then as it means now. If back then soon meant thousands of years, then there's no reason today to think the end is soon in a more immanent sense.

But what do you think about that passage in 2 Peter 3 where Peter says, "The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness." When I read that whole passage, I get the impression that Peter is saying the Lord's coming may be slow from our point of view, but not from the Lord's point of view. I get the impression Peter is writing this because some people took "soon" too seriously. If that's the case, then "soon" may not have meant soon from an ordinary mortal's point of view. If, from God's point of view, there's no difference between a day and a thousand years, then a thousand years may be "soon" from God's point of view.

Why would God speak to the prophets of Israel about natural disasters as judgment and leave us completely in the dark?

Lets pray for preacher Pat Robertson So that he can come out from such mind. We must pray for Haitian So that they over such a massive disaster.

Dr. Robertson's spokesman issued a clarification that seems to resolve the "speaking for God" issue.

The thing that troubles me is the systematic and reflexive bashing of Dr. Robertson--even in some Christian circles.

brgulker

"Why would God speak to the prophets of Israel about natural disasters as judgment and leave us completely in the dark? "

Not knowing the future is not being in the dark, not knowing God is.

Sam said: "I get the impression that Peter is saying the Lord's coming may be slow from our point of view, but not from the Lord's point of view."

This may be true, but then the Biblical dire warnings are at root false, in terms of calling the original readers to action. Why, then, didn't the Bible writers use more specific language? Instead of "this generation," Jesus could have said "that generation" or "the generation that sees these things happen," which is the common Futurist view. This, to me, is gross Scripture-twisting to make sense of "Last Days" warnings that people cannot connect to the destruction of Jerusalem.

I contend that we need a thorough reboot of what "The Lord's Coming" means. Consider also that Jesus told Caiaphas in Matt. 26:64, "ye shall see...the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven." Not us, but he...Caiaphas.

Would you guys use every day language, not all of us are I are language experts.
Does it not say in the latter days
that all these things will occur,
why try to outdo the other guy,
just believe what the bible says
and make sure that you are saved.
All I know is that one should not judge or you will be judged. Have a great day

Jack, when the Bible speaks of "latter days," to which days is it referring? That is the question. "These things" (wars, rumors of wars, etc.) the Bible refers to have happened throughout history, but they also happened specifically within the lifetimes of His disciples. Why else would Jesus warn them personally? If it was for a later generation, He could have easily said so. That was one of my points.

Many people without a sense of history tend to think the upheavals and struggles of the here and now are unique. I contend they are not, in the broad sense that natural disasters and wars seem to have been around since time began.

If certain words are unfamiliar to you, I suggest www.dictionary.com. I think our language is pretty "every day" around here but then again this forum tends to attract people who enjoy intellectual challenge.

And you have a faulty notion of what "judge not lest ye be judged" means. What STR does is judge arguments, weigh them in the balance, every day. We are not judging each other (I hope!) in this blog. We can all be brothers and sisters in Christ, agree in His salvation for us, yet wrangle points of Scripture so that we may gain deeper insight. I welcome this judgment and am thankful God gave me the ability to judge this way.

Blessings to you.

Thanks for your reply, I am only
saying what I hear on TV many times, these sayings are used when you see earthquakes, the seas roaring etc know that your redemption draws nigh. I am only writing what I remember, not the actual words, the TV preachers use this type of appeal to non believers that they may repent and be saved.
I have been saved for about 5 years and enjoy the Bible every day, but at 70 not as sharp as I used to be. I came on this site as I heard Greg on the Miracle chennel in Canada. I thought that I could use his book to try and
speak to my family and friends to
help them come to Christ, but
I think maybe I would have to sit
with a dictionary to get the gist out of the book Tatics of Faith, I do enjoy anything I can learn but when I hit a bunch of words that are unfamiliar it gets a bit frustrating, so I dont think that I will send in many more post, I do better on plant growing forums :>))) God bless Thanks Jack

The comments to this entry are closed.