It never surprises me to find unkind comments and anger aimed at believers and other dissenters to mainstream dogma. People usually believe whatever they are raised with, and whatever they hear most often. Repetition from enough quarters sounds like well established fact to the average person.
I am most saddened, however, when I hear similar things from fellow believers. I don't usually say much about it, but in the last 24 hours, I have felt pressed to speak up.
Pat Robertson has often been a focus of late because of the attention of mainstream media. Pat has said some unpopular but true things, but is often reported lately saying unkind things I could never agree with doctrinally or any other way. [Strange that I never seem to hear him say these shocking things when I am listening.]
I understand perfectly why Robertson's reported words anger people. To be blunt, I'm not too damn happy about it myself. Our wonderful media isn't into repecting opinions not their own, and because his views are harsher than what many believers hold, we feel his comments reflect badly on our witness. Still, I am not gonna blast him for it. Some people really believe as Pat does. I imagine Pat believes what he is saying or he wouldnt bother. Irritating or not, only God is fit to judge this servant.
So, while I realize Pat is a tempting target for our anger considering the demonization believers consistently receive, because he sounds so judgmental in these quotes, I ask you to consider that is exactly what this is...a temptation to judge a brother in Christ.
Pat's show isn't blasted on every channel. He's being asked for comments. He's being watched closely for anything that can be used. They don't talk about the good things they say and do over there, just the unkind bits.
You'll note how few ministers of any sort aside from Robertson get mainstream airtime. Its like a blackout.
In this way, some in the media are both nominating Pat as spokesperson for protestant Christians and then picking apart his comments to denigrate all those they can associate with him. They never report him praying for everyone in America. They never mention all the good mission work they do over there. Its not a balanced account.
No, this is a triple-prong attack. It seeks to convince many living 'on the fence' that we are much less loving as a group than many of us actually are. This negative image promotes division within the body of Christ over one of the only visible leaders. This garbage encourages believers to play the "more liberal than thou" with one another and in front of unbelievers (who, if they believe you, wonder why they should consider Jesus if you are just like everybody else. After all if being like everyone else is what makes you better than those 'fundamentalists'...). This clever trap encourages even strong believers to judgementalism, pride, and hostility. None of this honors Christ.
If we fall for it, our walk with Christ and the very witness of our life will be impaired.
thanks for listening.