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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Did God Show Pat Robertson Who Wins in 2012?

By Rick Pearcey • January 5, 2012, 10:13 AM

Martin Gould reports at Newsmax:

The Iowa caucuses failed to produce a clear Republican winner, but former candidate Pat Robertson says God has shown him who will win the next election -- and it won't be President Barack Obama.

The 81-year-old evangelist won't say who the Almighty is picking for the White House, claiming on his 700 Club, “I'm not supposed to talk about that so I'll leave you in the dark.”

This announcement by Pat Robertson isn't just odd, it demonstrates (if reported upon accurately) a methodology of privatized spirituality that does not comport well with Biblical Christianity, which is rooted in verifiable information from a living Creator who acts and speaks in space and time.

In the Biblical data, yes, the Creator can and does communicate rationally with people made in his image. But this is done in ways that are open to consideration, discussion, and verification. You can ask questions to ensure, for example, that what you are experiencing is not just some fanciful dream, overworked imagination, or autonomous spirituality. 

Thereby are Christian truth-claims and assertions that one possesses information from the Creator able to be distinguished from various political, religious, educational, or other kinds of cults. Thereby is Jesus of Nazareth distinguishable from pretend messiahs such as Barack Obama, Karl Marx, or some guy who says "God" told him the world is ending next Tuesday at 6:35 am eastern time. Or that Joe Blow will be the next president. 

Human beings are creatures of great nobility and dignity. By virtue of having been endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable capabilities to think for ourselves and to test various truth-claims, no one is asked to "believe" or act on upon supposed "revelation" from the Creator, unless there are basic ways to test that information out in the empirical world and also to test that information for consistency with previously known verifiable content from the Creator.

Inner feelings or goose bumps in the shower or 30 hours of prayer time are nowhere in Scripture given as indicators by which one knows that God is speaking. And neither is having a TV show.

Claims of "God told me" this or that are not the end of the discussion but the beginning of the discussion. This is true in matters political, ecclesisastical, scientific, and personal.

Cheap believism, like cheap grace, is not an option.

To obtain a fuller picture of how to properly assess claims of revelation from the Creator, and of the validity and need to be able to test such claims out in the real world, you might turn to the work of thinkers such as C.S. Lewis, John Warick Montgomery, or Francis Schaeffer. Or read the histories of Moses and Joshua, not to mention the Gospels themselves. 

And given that less than two weeks ago, we celebrated one of the more dramatic events in human history, you might consider my "Christmas Spirit in Space and Time." When the Biblical God speaks and acts in human history, people are not left in the dark.