Tuesday, August 30, 2005


SINCE WHEN? This is my "official" response on bikehiker blog; I want there to be no doubt about my thoughts on this. While Pat Robertson has apologized for calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on his internationally broadcast "700 Club" TV show last week (at least if you call excusing his comments as "ad lib" an apology), let us be clear: this kind of talk is completely unchristian. Since when does any Christian find the audacity to call for anyone to be killed in the face of a core Commandment that says "you shall not kill?" It is anti-Christian.

WHY THE HESITATION? Robertson's comments, and his apparent surprise at the public outcry and official condemnation (even by his very close friends in the Bush Administration), demonstrate how far away from authentic Biblical faith Robertson and his ilk really are. And the reticence of evangelical leaders to immediately condemn Robertson's comments is very disturbing. Do they think there is plausibility in this? Do they, for a moment, hesitate to judge and reprimand Robertson? Who are they serving? To whom are they listening? Only Jim Wallis of Sojourners (from the information I've seen and read) immediately and completely condemned the action.

REPENT, NOT APOLOGIZE. And while it may suffice for a Christian to apologize to a shocked and offended international public for glibly suggesting that American operatives "take out" a leader of a nation, in Biblical community it is clear that apology is not what is called for. When we in the church recognize something as a transgression of a known law of God, we call for repentance. Whether or not Pat Robinson "owes" any apology to the world, to Hugo Chavez, to President Bush, or to the church may be a matter for debate; but it is clear from the Bible that if his heart is to be right with God, repentance is the opportunity. If only public policy or human impressions were at stake, apology may suffice; but the desire to kill--or to have someone killed--is a deeply moral matter and one which places one's soul in jeopardy. The only way out, according to the Bible, is via repentance.

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