Pat Robertson may have set a world record for chutzpah on a recent 700 Club when he warned someone about the dangers of listening to false prophets.
This morning on The 700 Club, a viewer said her mother’s friend had recently claimed to be a “prophetess,” but her predictions were “way off.” The viewer wanted to know “how could someone who says she’s hearing from God be so wrong?”
Responding to the question, host Pat Robertson explained that this happens “all the time,” and called it “baloney” when people purport to “have a word from the Lord for you.” Robertson clarified that there are people who “really do have a prophetic word, but they are few and far between” and that you should “be careful” of false prophets and instead “let the Lord speak to you himself.”
How amusing. Robertson himself claims to talk to God all the time and he puts out an annual list of prophecies that rarely turn out to be true — and when they are, it’s because anyone would have recognized the likelihood of them happening. Media Matters offers some examples:
For example, in January of 2007, Robertson reportedly predicted that a terrorist attack on the United States would result in a “mass killing” during 2007. He told viewers that he was “not necessarily saying it’s going to be nuclear,” because “The Lord didn’t say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that.”
Explaining during his 2008 prediction episode why the attack hadn’t come to pass, the Associated Press reported that Robertson said, “all I can think is that somehow the people of God prayed and God in his mercy spared us.” That must have been it.
The AP also reported that in May of 2006, Robertson thought storms and a “tsunami” would hit the U.S. coastline, then claimed partial vindication when heavy rains hit New England…
During a March 2006 broadcast, Robertson predicted that “before the end of this year there will be another vacancy” on the Supreme Court. There wasn’t.
As part of his predictions in 2006, Robertson also said that he “heard it from the Lord” that President Bush would successfully pass Social Security reform. He didn’t.
Completely botching “predictions” from God is not a recent development for Robertson – he’s been doing this for decades.
In a May article reflecting on “Five failed end-of-the-world predictions” in light of the circus surrounding Harold Camping, The Christian Science Monitor reported that Robertson said in a 1980 broadcast of The 700 Club: “I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world.”
According to a February 15, 1988, Washington Post article (via Nexis), during an address at a church, “Robertson declared today that he has heard messages from God about his presidential campaign and that he is now sure he will be the next president”
Hey, guess what the Bible says about false prophets? It says to put them to death if they make a prophecy that doesn’t come true (Deut 18: 20-22). And it says that God will do terrible things both to them and to those who follow them (Jer 14: 14-16), including sending natural disasters. So if the wingnuts really want to believe that natural disasters are sent by God as punishment, perhaps they should consider that it might be punishment for Pat Robertson’s false prophecies.