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Sometimes I think the category of “righteous anger” was created to respond to people like Pat Robertson.

His latest cringe-inducing statement is that a man should divorce his wife suffering with Alzheimer’s disease and “start all over again” if he is lonely and in need of companionship. When asked about the vow “to death due us part,” Robertson responded that “if you respect that vow,” then Alzheimer’s can be viewed as “a kind of a death.”

The best counsel is usually to ignore Robertson. But when a professing Christian says such cruel and worldly things, it also presents an opportunity to reexamine gospel truth afresh. In that regard Russell Moore has provided a wonderful service for us. He rightly writes that Robertson’s statement “is more than an embarrassment. This is more than cruelty. This is a repudiation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

At the arrest of Christ, his Bride, the church, forgot who she was, and denied who he was. He didn’t divorce her. He didn’t leave.

The Bride of Christ fled his side, and went back to their old ways of life. When Jesus came to them after the resurrection, the church was about the very thing they were doing when Jesus found them in the first place: out on the boats with their nets. Jesus didn’t leave. He stood by his words, stood by his Bride, even to the Place of the Skull, and beyond.

A woman or a man with Alzheimer’s can’t do anything for you. There’s no romance, no sex, no partnership, not even companionship. That’s just the point. Because marriage is a Christ/church icon, a man loves his wife as his own flesh. He cannot sever her off from him simply because she isn’t “useful” anymore.

Pat Robertson’s cruel marriage statement is no anomaly. He and his cohorts have given us for years a prosperity gospel with more in common with an Asherah pole than a cross. They have given us a politicized Christianity that uses churches to “mobilize” voters rather than to stand prophetically outside the power structures as a witness for the gospel.

But Jesus didn’t die for a Christian Coalition; he died for a church. And the church, across the ages, isn’t significant because of her size or influence. She is weak, helpless, and spattered in blood. He is faithful to us anyway.

If our churches are to survive, we must repudiate this Canaanite mammonocracy that so often speaks for us. But, beyond that, we must train up a new generation to see the gospel embedded in fidelity, a fidelity that is cruciform.

You can keep reading the whole thing here.

To see the gospel-centered perspective in action and in contrast, listen to or read the story of Robertson McQuilkin’s commitment to his wife Muriel.


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Comments:


64 thoughts on “The Gospel-Emptying Cruelty of Pat Robertson”

  1. Jim says:

    Compare the cruelty of Roberston with the godly and faithful love of J. Roberton McQuilkin in his book “A Promised Kept–A story of unforgettable love”. He loved his wife, he loved her to the end.

    1. Justin Taylor says:

      Jim, thanks for the reminder. I meant to add that to the end of the post, and have now done so.

    2. I was just going to suggest the McQuilkin story, too. I have tried to think the best of my fellow Christian Pat, but this comment sends me over the edge: TOTALLY unBiblical advice. What if Jesus had looked at us, DEAD in our sins, and said, I have the right to leave?

  2. I keep the text of my wedding vows close at hand because sometimes it is good for my soul to read again what I have vowed.

    What I vowed included: to love, comfort, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health, forsaking all
    others, and keep myself only for her so long as we both live.

    Robertson’s comments are deplorable. Moore’s response is wise and faithful. Unfortunately, I fear that Moore’s words will never attract as much attention as Robertson’s.

    1. lilbear says:

      i can only hope that you are wrong about robertson’s words attracting more attention. fortunately, the world is all a”twitter”–or posting on facebook, and so on. those who feel strongly about this travesty are not keeping quiet, and thankfully, there are many platforms, both religious and secular, for people to make their views known. i have heard from folks today who range from evangelical christians to avowed atheists who abhor robertson’s statements. let those who are disgusted by these statements continue to make their voices heard.

  3. Robertson was a useful tool for me today as I used him as an example of special pleading to my kids in logic class.

    I hope he repents quickly, publicly, and did I mention quickly?

    I also hope he is disciplined by his church. That would go a long way to show the world that they are a real church if they would discipline their members for public sin, and that is exactly what he did; sin publicly.

  4. steve hays says:

    There’s the further irony when this comes from the lips of an 81 year old man. Robertson may become senile before he dies. How would he wish to be treated if he became feebleminded in his final years?

  5. Great response. You can almost expect the net “tone” police to come in on the attack any second now. I so appreciate Russell Moore’s willingness to call out the wolf for what it is. Should have been done decades ago.
    Canaanite Mammonocracy – I wished I could write that well. SIgh…

  6. When asked about this comment Robertson replied, “I don’t remember saying that”, to which someone noticed a gleam in his wife’s eye.

    So I jest but when your spouse is sick with such a disease, this is the time when they need you MOST. I believe Robertson will regret this greatly, but not necessarily because he believes he is wrong but because of the outpouring of objection.

  7. donsands says:

    Pat is wacky, and always has been.

    1. Patina says:

      It is more that whacky, it is cruel. I am in total agreement with Moore. As a woman who has experienced this cruelty (I am disabled and my mate of 15 years just left me) — I know all too well the pain that it inflicts. Some might say I can experience the pain because my disability does not impair my mind like Alzheimer disease — but I think that is a very lame reason for inflicting pain on another human. I believe it is felt on a soul level.

      So is Pat Robertson just whacky? I think not.

  8. Get this man off the air before he starts endorsing waterboarding kittens. SHEEEESH.

  9. John says:

    I would also like to point out the sociological implications – Robertson is saying, in effect, “let it be someone else’s responsibility.” No society can cohere long when those avowed to care for the weak abandon their duty. Robertson’s response is more than unchristian – it is selfish, dishonorable, irresponsible, and cowardly. For shame that he claims the name of Christ.

  10. Shameful! Utterly shameful for Robertson to claim to be a herald of the Gospel, then advise such unbiblical nonsense.

    The movie “Away from Her” started out an endearing story of a man who lost his wife to Alzheimer’s only to see viewers’ heartstrings pulled in sympathy toward him as he sought relationship outside his marriage covenant in the name of loneliness. See my review.

  11. I will not justify what Pat Robertson said.Ill say this to all of you who are so quick to condem the very words that Jesus spoke;Let he who has no sin be the first to cast a stone.So now thats said ask your self this question.Are You with out sin,Do you say things that others could critisize?Be wary lest your own judgement fall on your own head.Hmm.Maybe thats why our prayers are not answered and our country is in such shambles.Lets be doers of the word and not just hearers only, if you dont agree with this.Your the hypocrites.

    1. Beth says:

      Thank you Mr. Carroll! I was thinking the same thing…The hypocrisy and judgemental spirit of these “christians” turns me off more than what Pat said. And who knows that Pat might be suffering from dementia himself? ONLY GOD! Judgement Day will be a very loooong one indeed. God help us!

      1. lilbear says:

        not a biblical scholar i, so i honestly would appreciate the input of someone more learned, but isn’t there a scriptural mandate to call out the sinner and correct him, or at least to protect the innocent from being led astray? not casting stones or being judgmental, just asking … because i would like to know.

    2. Mark Dickinson says:

      This is not about stone throwing. It is about public repudiation of false teaching by a minister of the Gospel. It is fully within the scope of the Church to call-out such error (Matt. 5:31; 1 Tim. 6:3-10, 20-21).

      1. lilbear says:

        thank you, mark, for the biblical references.

    3. Nate says:

      Calling people out for calling someone out is kind of a self-defeating exercise, no?

  12. Keith says:

    Michael Carroll is it necessary to point out your stone throwing has hit you squarely on the head?

  13. Jim Clark says:

    After working in eldercare for the last 20 years, one of the most heartwarming sights to me as a husband or wife who comes in daily to spend time and help care for their loved one with Alzheimer’s. It is touching as they hold hands and talk to their spouse as if the spouse were completely cognizant of what is going on around them. Husbands who love their wives as Christ loved the church; wives who respect their husbands even if a canyon of dementia separates them.

    Alzheimer’s affects the brain. But the Word of God speaks to the heart. Share the Word of God with someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia caused by something else and watch the reaction. It is amazing.

  14. Joe West says:

    In sickness and in health, till death do us part, how simple is that.
    Michael, It’s not about casting stones, it’s about getting the truth out. I don’t know enough about Pat R. to even make a comment about him. I am fed-up with False Prophets like Harold Camping making all Christians look like idiots to the non-believer and giving them one more reason not to pay attention to the Gospel. When I see people like this I will cast stones because even tho’ I am not without sin I feel the need for people to hear the truth.

    1. Theology Samurai says:

      Speaking of Harold Camping, the next “end date” is quickly (and quietly) approaching. We’ve got about a month or so (Oct. 21), so…don’t forget to get your personal matters in order.

      *sarcasm*

  15. Donald J Robertson. (no relation) says:

    I suppose to divorce my wife who is a diabetic, since diabetes is a slow death. Find a young, healthy lady, full of energy and good health? His views are not of the Holy Spirit, to spread lies so late in his life is not good. Sometimes I wonder if he doesn’t have Alzheimer’s , has he forgotten the love and grace of Christ

    1. Joe West says:

      My wife is diabetic also and she has had several health problems and been in the hospital so I know what your saying. Although I wouldn’t consider myself a prize husband through out her illnesses the question certainly has popped into my mind. What will I do when her illness continues to decline? And, I must say, that leaving her is out of the question. It’s not even about following what the Bible says or about any unspoken moral code. It’s just about unconditional Love and I believe that’s exactly how God wants it.

  16. Barbara says:

    Pat Robertson’s statements have made me cringe more than once over the years but he is my brother in Christ and dearly loved by my Heavenly Father. Christ calls us to love one another, even while, or rather, especially when conflict arises. Instead we sound just like those who don’t know Christ. I hope Pastor Robertson makes a clear and public confession of his error. I also think that we (the Church) are way to quick, too public and way to graceless in our response to those within the Church we see as acting without love or grace. We all need the Gospel every minute of everyday.

    1. Jessica says:

      Thank you, Barbara. This is the response we, as Christians, should all have. You summed it up in “graceless in our response!” We can disagree with a brother, even abhor what he says, but when we come out with name-calling and angry conjectures we are acting like the world. Disagree with the issue, show the truth from Scripture, but remember we ALL have faults!

  17. Lily Todd says:

    Thank you so much for posting the link to the story of Robertson McQuilken and Muriel. I was thinking of them as I read your post and it was so encouraging to see them mentioned.

    I was a student at Columbia International University when he was president and I was present the day he announced to the student body that he was resigning to care for his wife. He set for us an example not only of how it should be done…but also that it could be done.

  18. Yes I agree that Pat Robertson’s judgement in the matter of divorcing a spouse with dementia is profoundly biblically wrong, but…..please be cautious in your attitude towards those who may be exhausted emotionally, physically and spirtually by caring for (or giving up to other’s care) a severely affected spouse.

    I have worked as a family doctor for 30 years and have seen the overwhelming sadness and anguish that such a situation brings. Yes, correct false teaching but remember to be ‘kind to one-another, tenderhearted and forgiving…remembering that we do not have a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities’.

  19. Russ says:

    Not that this changes things all this much, but has anyone read or heard the whole quote? The question was a person that “has a friend” whose wife is suffering from dementia. The husband has cheated on that wife and has a new “girlfriend”. The question was is it right to divorce her given (1) b/c he has cheated (2) b/c of his wife’s mental state. Pat Robertson was answering the question between cheating and staying married or divorcing given the circumstances.

    Not saying that changes how gross the answer is, but thought it wise to make sure everyone knew EXACTLY what was asked and how he answered.

    That all being said, I think John Piper has said it best. Marriage is about covenant keeping. God keeps his. We should keep ours (complete paraphrase FYI).

  20. donsands says:

    “I hope Pastor Robertson makes a clear and public confession of his error.”-Barbara

    I don’t think Pat is a pastor. He is TV kind of preacher, and TV show star. And he tried to be president, because God told him.
    He is wacky. His theology is very bad, and he said something very stupd, and so he deserves to be called out.

    It’s not whether we love him or not. As Christinas we are called to love our enemies, not only our brothers and sisters. Not to mention we are to love Christ above all.
    Love is not just trying to be nice to everybody. Love means we need to be genuine and speak from our hearts, and speak the truth. Love means we need to repent, of course, and yet we need to expose error, like this horrible error Pat has spoken.

    Have a good Lord’s Day in our Savior’s peace and joy! All for the Cross! Galatians 6:14.

  21. DLE says:

    Obviously, I can’t in good faith condone Robertson’s statement. He is clearly in error.

    But I want to bring up an issue that almost no one is discussing. And they aren’t discussing it because it requires something of us beyond some quick beatdown on a blog.

    I know people who have spouses with serious health issues. Some of those issues are of the kind that scare away people. Agonizing pain. Mental illness.

    For all the talk of the cross and a crucified life, it is not uncommon for all the self-righteous talkers to be far, far away from a fellow Christian brother or sister who is dealing with just such a situation with a spouse. That man or woman ends up dealing with their cross alone because the community of faith, the one that should be standing by them in support, seemingly has better things to do with their time than to walk out personal crucifixion beside that brother or sister.

    It continues to astonish me how we can talk about community and preach love and how much better Christianity is than any other faith, yet we leave men and women in difficult straits with a spouse to fend for themselves.

    Until you or I have had to deal with a spouse in this condition, it is better for us not to say anything about Pat Robertson, no matter how wrong he might be, because we just don’t know the agony. And in most cases, we aren’t there to help that suffering spouse, either. Leave the correction to those who DO understand.

    All the talk in the world means nothing. Showing up to help a person who has to manage kids, maintain a household, work ten hours a day, AND care for an incapacitated spouse speaks louder than words. That so few Christians are doing that is one reason why more and more people are looking outside the Church for answers when life truly gets hard.

    Plenty of people love to talk about crosses. Almost no one is willing to help someone else bear theirs.

    1. Michael says:

      DLE said “Until you or I have had to deal with a spouse in this condition, it is better for us not to say anything about Pat Robertson, no matter how wrong he might be”.

      A new twist on “thou shall not judge?”

      So even if someone is wrong, and it is very clear, and it can effect millions of people who watch it, we should say nothing?

      This is fallacious as every Sunday a preacher may preach about something he’s never actually gone through himself. Must my pastor go through adultery or homosexuality before he can say anything about it being wrong? We can argue from the authority of the Bible and need not have experienced it first.

      In addition, we have wedding vows which at one time meant something in this world. So if all we have is the Bible and someone’s wedding vows, and we’ve never been through anything hard yet, we still have the right to say “Pat, you’re wrong!”

      1. DLE says:

        No, Michael, I didn’t say that we should say nothing. We should leave that rebuke to people who who have walked the difficult road of dealing with an incapacitated spouse. We should not presume that we are best equipped to deliver the rebuke. (As I wrote above, “Leave the correction to those who DO understand.”)

        My statement is to ask you, me, and others where we have been when someone in our church is struggling to keep afloat because his/her spouse ended up in a bad way due to the vicissitudes of life. Are we helping that struggling spouse? Or are we spending all our time delivering the online smackdown to Pat Robertson, noting the speck in his eye and missing the log in ours?

        1. John says:

          Sorry, DLE, but I find your assertion groundless. Experience is not the sole or even primary requisite for speaking the truth in love.

          I appreciate your concern for our own actions as we should love those in our church who experience these kinds of things, but it is entirely irrelevant to topic at hand, which is Pat Robertson’s evil speech.

          1. DLE says:

            No, John. You are right. Experience is NOT the sole or primary prerequisite for speaking the truth in love. But it should be very, very high on the list, and stark few of us should presume to be the ones to deliver the rebuke.

            If you remember, it was the inexperienced who were the last to let their stones fall to the ground when Jesus made His pronouncement about sin and casting stones.

            The major failing of the young, restless, and reformed is their stubborn refusal to relinquish their stones and to follow in the footsteps of the older and wiser, who know better.

            1. Jesse says:

              “The major failing of the young, restless, and reformed is their stubborn refusal to relinquish their stones and to follow in the footsteps of the older and wiser, who know better.”

              I’m curious DLE. Are you experienced in walking alongside of those in that crowd to make such a statement? If not, by your own standards you may be guilty of laying down an unqualified SmackDown yourself.

              1. DLE says:

                Yes, Jesse, I am experienced in walking alongside that crowd.

          2. DLE says:

            One last thing. You said: “I appreciate your concern for our own actions as we should love those in our church who experience these kinds of things, but it is entirely irrelevant to topic at hand, which is Pat Robertson’s evil speech.”

            Actually, it is entirely relevant.

            To the man who asked Robertson the question to which he gave his terrible answer, what do you say?

            It is easy to advise one in the answer that Robertson SHOULD have given, but in the end, that answer is hollow unless it has something to back it up. And the thing to back it up is Christian people who walk their talk and aren’t so quick to give knee-jerk answers to real people’s genuine problems.

            How sad is it that this man has NOT received the support he should have from the Body of Christ. If he HAD received the support, then there would have been no silly answer from Robertson for all of us to pile on.

            Jesus said that the difference between the sheep and the goats was what they did and didn’t do. It appears no one reached out to help this man at the time of his need. If that doesn’t speak the word Ichabod against those of us who sit in our high towers and judge, I don’t know what does.

            Robertson is the easy target here. The harder one is the face staring back at us from the mirror.

            1. Laura says:

              Hi DLE. I’m really sympathetic to your plea, and I hear your exhortation. For sure. We must not be only hearers (and enforcers!) of the word and not doers.

              But. It’s just that many of us have never had the opportunity to walk alongside someone in the midst of this struggle. Are we not to call a spade a spade, so to speak, because our lives have led us to, say, journeying with women coming out of the sex industry and not into the lives of those whose spouses have Alzheimers? Besides, there is no condemnation for or abandonment those spouses even *implied* in such a rebuke. No one is telling spouses of Alzheimer’s patients to suck it up and move on. We are saying that the right answer is NOT, “Get a divorce instead of committing adultery.”

              I’ve never had the opportunity to be there for someone whose spouse had dementia. I do not think that means I can’t say that what Pat Robertson said was inexcusable and anti-Gospel. In fact, several bloggers/authors have condemned what he said and then immediately followed it with an exhortation to the church to reach out to and support people in situations like this.

              Speaking the truth isn’t contingent on action, but it must be accompanied by action.

            2. Michael says:

              DLE, you’re creating an either/or fallacy. Speaking the truth in love to Pat Robertson is a separate issue from loving the person who asked him the question. Of course the church should come alongside and help the person or family member with Alzheimers. AND the church should rebuke such unbiblical teaching that Robertson is giving, whether we have experience or not.

            3. Jared Wilson says:

              How sad is it that this man has NOT received the support he should have from the Body of Christ. If he HAD received the support, then there would have been no silly answer from Robertson for all of us to pile on.

              Dan, how in the world can you know this? You can’t.

              Equally likely is that this man had many offers of help and load-sharing, but he did not like them and removed himself from the church’s influence because they weren’t telling him what he wanted to hear — that it’s okay to divorce his wife.

              I have seen firsthand how people in difficult spots pulled away from the church body not because the body wasn’t helping but because with proximity came conviction. And then later of course these folks blamed the church for not “being there for them”, etc.

              1. DLE says:

                Jared,

                You are absolutely right. I can only speak in generalizations. I don’t know this man’s situational details. He may very well be trying to get his itching ears scratched. You and I both know those people exist.

                But on the other hand, perhaps he is not trying to get justification for sin. And that’s what I’m concerned about. And if not this man, then some other man. There are people out there with this burden who have watched their church friends drift away because of a family situation like this. It’s a slow leak, and it is really sad. I know a couple where the husband (in his mid-50s) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and has taken care of his mentally ill wife. You would think that they could always count on fellow Christians for help, but we can’t be sure of that unless people make some sort of commitment. Francis Chan has spoken very eloquently about how poorly we tend to look out for each other, even as we talk about fellowship and community.

                I talk to people weekly who have done everything they could and yet when they needed help, it wasn’t there. We have got to do better as a Church in this country to lay down our own stuff so we can help others with theirs. I can sit in the comfort of my house and criticize Pat Robertson all day and feel like I’m scoring spiritual brownie points somehow, but if I’m not helping other people in these very hard times (which will only get harder), then I’m not living up to the high calling of Christ.

  22. Sean says:

    Sounds like Pat is from the same school of thought as Newt Gingrich. Your wife gets sick, leave her!

  23. Jennifer Banse says:

    Am I the only one who is not angry over this? What Robertson said is clearly wrong, but if the law allows clemency on the basis of mental incapacity, shouldn’t Christians do the same? The man is in his 80’s, and has been degenerating for years, in my opinion. Anyone who witnessed his enthusiastic embrace of the Y2K hysteria 12 years ago could see that. I put the onus on Gordon Robertson: observe the commandment to honor your father by keeping dear, doddering old dad away from cameras & mics, thus preserving whatever dignity he has left.

  24. Jeff Baxter says:

    Thanks once again JT for posting the Truth in love. As a graduate of CIU, where Robertson McQuilken was president, I can say I saw modeled first hand his commitment to his wife till the vary end. For more, I have posted an article on my blog above. Thanks again!

  25. Teri says:

    I am so upset about this- I cannot believe that someone that “calls” himself a Christian would say it is perfectly ok to divorce a spouse if they have alzeimhers. When will Pat Robertson begin to say it is ok to divorce someone if they have incurable cancer, etc. My husband lived for a whole yr after he was diagnosed with incurable cancer, and it was hard, he was not the husband I married, but I would never think of leaving him. As a matter of fact, I came to love him even more during that yr that I took care of him. May Pat Robertson come to his sensed.

  26. Teri says:

    MICHAEL CARROLL- The bible also says that we are not confront those in the church that is doing something that God would condemn. I am the first to say that I am not perfect, but I pray that I repent quickly when I do sin. Judge not, lest we be judged does not necessarily mean we are never to expose those Christian leaders that need exposing. It saddens my heart when I have to stand up for truth, when the person claims to be a follower of Christ- but we have too

  27. Mr. James Filkins says:

    I am going to God’s word when it says hold to that which is good. Marriage vows are good and necessary. They are the frame, which all marriages should take very good care of. Mr. McQuilkin is right when he says”…To put God first means that all other responsibilities he gives are first too…”
    Unlike most women, my wife decided not to stand by her man. She said she was letting me go so that I would find myself, when she was being selfish for she found she didn’t need me, but that she needed and married someone else. I praise God that He has kept me from remarrying all these forty plus years.

  28. donsands says:

    Here’s another hero of the faith: Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield

    “B.B.Warfield married his wife Annie in 1876 and they left for honeymoon in Germany. He was also studying at Leipzig at that time. On a walking trip in the Harz mountains they were overtaken by a terrible thunderstorm. It was a shattering experience for Mrs Warfield from which she never recovered. She was more or less an invalid for the rest of her life. They had no children and Warfield cared for Annie all her days. The students would see them walking slowly together about the Seminary campus. BBW was always gentle and caring with her. He could never leave her for very long. This was one of the reasons he was rarely present at church courts or heard speaking from the floor of his presbytery. He was not outstanding in debate. His time was spent with his beloved Annie.

    But he was a champion of confessional Christianity and despised any truce bought at the price of compromise.”-Banner of Truth

    Have a terrific Lord’s Day Justin, and everyone!

  29. Brad Jones says:

    Pat Robertson is in my opinion a heretic, a false prophet, and someone who should be publicly repudiated – along with most of the emergents, and various other false teachers. Right or Left politically, to be so wrong, so often on scripture is an indication that one is not of the true gospel.

  30. SLIMJIM says:

    This is unbelievable. I’m wondering if James 3:1 means anything to Pat Robertson. Over the years his careless speech has done much harm to Christianity. I think this latest statement pushes things to the edge, to a whole new level. If the mouth reveals one’s heart, then certainly one has much to be concern for Pat.

  31. lilbear says:

    one thing that i might add to the discussion is this: so many assume that when people suffer from alzheimer’s, they don’t know those around them. the fact is, we don’t know this. they may not indicate recognition, but we do not know what goes on in their minds and hearts. i think it is similar to coma patients. for how many years was it assumed that patients in comatose states were not aware of what was going on around them, but relatively recent experience, confirmed by patients who have recovered from comas, has proven that many are very aware of people speaking to them, reading to them, praying with and for them. this could be the case with alzheimer’s patients as well. we simply don’t know. so to assume that these patients are “not really there” anymore, to me, is an attempt to play god, to assume that we know what is going on just because these patients cannot verbalize what is going on in their hearts and heads.

  32. donsands says:

    “..we do not know what goes on in their minds and hearts.”-lilbear

    That’s true. My Mom died of dementia. She was there with her smile at times, and yet she didn’t know me. It made no difference though, for this was my Mom. I loved her, and wanted to see her, even if she was incapable of knowing me. Not that I was overjoyed to be with her, because it was difficult. But, she was my Mom. And so, if this happened to my wife, then I hope my love for her would be even more so. My wife is my greatest love, only second to Christ, and my Father in heaven.

  33. Nick, Dunnville Canada says:

    Pat Robertson is clearly stark raven mad if he believes this as a christian.
    What else doesn’t he understand about Jesus and the Bible. The 700 club would do well to get rid of him. His “christian” advice is as bad as his socalled financial advice

  34. Harold Locay, M.D. says:

    The greatest story I ever heard was of a professor who retired in order to take care of his wife with Alzhimers.
    And was with her until the end. And felt that he did it not because he had to but because he got to. He felt it was a privilege and an honor. One can loose your spouses romance, companionship and other things by so many illnesses. There are many non Christians that have enough integrity to stay with their spouse no matter what. I hope that I, as a Christian , would charrish being with my with no matter what happened to her.

  35. Joe says:

    The Reformed think Pat Robertson deserves a smack down. That he “denies” the Gospel. Brother. I think he is wrong here as well, but if anyone bothers to actually listen to the 700 Club clip, they will pick up on the spirit of his advice, which calls for correction instead of shrill condemnation. Com box posters come off sounding like jerks most of the time. I see there eis an entry here on the problem of Angry Calvinists. No wonder.

  36. Paul says:

    What we as “Christian” ought to be ashamed of is not doing our homework. What exactly did Pat Robertson say? Did he say it’s okay for one spouse to leave the other over a brain disease? Is that what he said? Slate magazine, no friend of Pat Robertson, disagrees with that assessment. What is it that they see that the author of this blog does not?

  37. Timothy S says:

    I have to say that I’m not particularly offended by Pat Robertson’s statement here. Bear with me, I simply don’t give Mr. Robertson enough credit to take his statements seriously. I have to agree whole heartedly with DLE for his thoughtful and insightful statements. The church should have stepped in to support this man before he needed to call such a lunatic for advice. And I also need to back him up on his statement that delivering the righteous Online Smackdown, which seems to be the pastime of a great many Americans of all types, is not only not particularly helpful: coming from Christians I have to say it is WAY too little too late. The church should long ago have found a way to distance itself from irrational, selfish, hate mongering people like Robertson. I may have missed others, but this is the first time I have heard of Robertson being publicly rebuked by Christians themselves. Of all the things he’s said, this is what really got their ire up? C’mon. Even through accusing Haiti of making a deal with the devil, he’s remained a figurehead of American evangelicalism. If we’re really confusing the message of Jesus with statements like these, then the church needs a far more serious reality check than whether or not divorce is okay in painful circumstances.

    A few more quotes by Pat Robertson that Christians didn’t say much about:

    “The Antichrist is probably a Jew alive in Israel today.”

    On “Gays Days” at Disneyworld: “…a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It’ll bring about terrorist bombs; it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor.”

    “[T]he feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

    On apartheid in South Africa: “I think ‘one man, one vote,’ just unrestricted democracy, would not be wise. There needs to be some kind of protection for the minority which the white people represent now, a minority, and they need and have a right to demand a protection of their rights.”

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Justin Taylor, PhD


Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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