Why So Much Traction Regarding Pat Robertson’s Views on Genesis?

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Recently, I posted a comment on Facebook, and AiG wrote a related web article about statements televangelist Pat Robertson recently made against the young earth position on the 700 Club TV program.

Here is the video clip with Pat Robertson’s comments.

You can read our response on the AiG website.

In my Facebook post, I responded to Pat Robertson with the following comments:

Not only do we have to work hard not to let our kids be led astray by the anti-God teaching of the secularists, we have to work hard not to let them be led astray by compromising church leaders like Pat Robertson. This excerpt was posted on YouTube by a group that is a project of People For the American Way. Pat Robertson gives more fodder to the secularists. We don’t need enemies from without the church when we have such destructive teaching within the church.
Well, our response to Pat Robertson went viral on the internet. Both Christian and secular media reported on what Robertson said and mentioned our responses. Numerous atheist bloggers posted about this, and new posts continue to be made.

Why did this incident receive so much traction? After all, this is not the first time Pat Robertson has attacked the biblical, young earth, six-literal-day position on Genesis. For instance, back in 2003 I wrote the following about Pat Robertson:

Imagine you are on a TV quiz program. What would be your answer to this question?
What famous person made this statement? “Now creation science … is really pretty bogus. … I think there’s a lot of hocus pocus in that stuff.”
You might think of a leading evolutionary scientist, but you would be wrong.

So imagine the TV host giving you another chance and offering you the following hint:

This well-known person also said, concerning what he called “creation science,” “Some of that stuff just doesn’t meet the smell test.”
You might now be thinking of some leading secular humanist. Wrong also.

Imagine if you were then given one final chance.

This famous person is a Christian leader who also scoffs at those who believe the Earth was created in six literal days. He is the president and chancellor of what is described on the Web as “America’s premier Christian graduate school”—Regent University.
Yes, you would be right if you answered Pat Robertson.

AiG received a number of letters and e-mails from people dismayed and shocked by Pat Robertson‘s comments on a couple of “700 Club” TV programs about those who believe in the six literal days of Creation. I certainly wasn’t surprised by these statements. You see, I visited Regent University a number of years ago and discovered that a number of its professors were teaching theistic evolution. And over the years we’ve had contact with a number of students who have confirmed this (although there may be some literal Genesis professors at Regent).

Because Pat Robertson has made some very public statements (to literally millions of people) about this, I felt we should answer them. In particular, let’s examine a couple of statements that he has included in a form letter he has been sending to those who have inquired about his TV comments.

Pat Robertson: “According to the Holy Bible, the creation of life was accomplished in ascending order from the more simple creatures to man himself.”

Our answer: First, not even a single-celled organism can be described as “simple.” This idea of an ascending order is consistent with the traditional Darwinian idea of molecules-to-man—and of course fits with a theistic evolution position.

In fact, the whole order of creation in Genesis contradicts old-Earth teaching at over 20 points. For example, the Bible says fruit trees were made before fish— the “millions of years” view puts fish before fruit trees.

Pat Robertson: “The Bible records that this was accomplished in ‘six days.’ I stated that a solar day was different from an Earth day; a galactic day is different from a solar day; and a universal day is different from a galactic day.”

Our answer: Such statements are, quite frankly, “gobbledy-gook,” and have nothing to do with the real meaning of the word “day” in Genesis. The Bible was written, of course, in a language. Therefore we must go to the words in that language, look at the context and, on the basis of the rules of grammar for that language, work out what it means.

The word “day” in Hebrew, when used with a number or with the word “evening” or “morning”—just as in Genesis chapter one—means an ordinary day. After all, Christians don’t read the New Testament and say about the Resurrection: “A physical resurrection is different from a spiritual one is different from a resuscitation one—therefore we don’t know what sort of resurrection it was!”

No! We read the words in context according to the type of language, and then we can dogmatically state that Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, according to the Scriptures. Besides which, as soon as you allow for millions of years of Earth’s history, then death, diseases (like cancer), suffering, and pain, etc., existed before sin—which destroys the foundation of the Gospel.

Pat Robertson: “In short, a ‘day’ does not have to be 24 Earth hours. The Bible itself says, ‘One day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day.’”

Our answer: This is one of the most common, but inconsistent and error-laden applications of Scripture (in this case 2 Peter 3:8) that I hear in Christian circles. This phrase from the New Testament has nothing whatsoever to do with defining a Hebrew word in Genesis.

Not only this, but people who use this verse to question the meaning of the word “day” apply this only to Genesis 1. But the word “day” is used over 2,000 times in the Old Testament—why don’t they apply it to all the times it’s used? Maybe Jonah was in the great “whale” for 3,000 years, not three days!

Sadly, the views of Pat Robertson are also held by many Christian leaders in America today. While these same leaders have a heart for fighting America’s culture war, Christians are losing the battle. The problem is that the culture war is being lost because biblical authority has been lost. And this has happened because the majority of Christian leaders have rejected the literal history in Genesis in order to compromise with millions of years and evolutionary ideas. Until Christian leaders get back to accepting God’s clear Word beginning in Genesis, and thus reestablishing Biblical authority, Christians will not be able to fight the culture war at a foundational level—where the real battle is largely being won by the secular humanists.

With Pat Roberston’s more-recent comments about Genesis, some Christians have commented on my Facebook page. Some have attempted to excuse his comments because, they say, Roberston is getting old! However, nine years ago, as you can see from the above quotes, he was even more mocking of the literal six-day, young earth position.

So why did his recent statements get so much traction on the internet?

I believe one of the reasons is because the age of the earth and universe happened to be a headline news item due to the question asked of Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida recently about the earth’s age. As I have said many times, when it comes to the origins issue, evolution is only a symptom of something deeper—the “disease” is really millions of years. Without millions of years, secularists can’t propose their anti-God evolutionary ideas.

Also, secularists know that if someone believes in or even allows for a young earth (consistent with the Bible’s account of history), such a person is more likely to believe in a biblical morality (e.g., accept marriage as being for a man and woman, not man and man, and that abortion would be wrong because it is the killing of a child in its mother’s womb).

Many atheists loved what Pat Robertson said for another reason. They know that when someone associated with the church compromises on Genesis, this compromise helps lead people to reject the Bible as a whole. One secularist posted the following on my Facebook page:

At least Robertson admits that fact beats fiction. Maybe he will soon realize that the rest of the Bible is fiction too.
And that’s the point of course. Secularists will tell Christian leaders they need to believe in evolution and millions of years—and then they tell them that the next step is to give up the Bible entirely!

However, we were thrilled to receive a lot of positive feedback, like the following:

Just want to say a big “thanks” to AiG for countering Bro. Robertson—whom I have loved—but who I knew was mixed up on some things. Hopefully he will read your feedback and be humbled enough to concede. But you are so right here, and thank you for being bold to speak out. We must speak out. Thanks for reprinting that “compromise” letter also. Disturbing that it seems the seminaries are actually preparing its graduates to know how to deceive churches about what they believe in order to get hired!!! Wow!!! Put that up against Martin Luther.

Thank you for the sound responses you have provided, as an example to us in how to respond. It’s not an enviable position, but we must. Thank you for leading the way in this fight for Truth and the Authority of God’s Word. May God Bless AiG and all of you!

People also expressed appreciation for warning them that institutions like Regent University (which was founded by Pat Robertson and where he is currently the chancellor) have professors that teach evolution/millions of years to generations of students—thus undermining biblical authority (for which they will have to answer to the Lord one day).

The age of the earth is an important issue. It is not a salvation issue or test of orthodoxy as such—but it is an authority issue. When Christians compromise millions of years with God’s Word, they are undermining the authority of the Word—and that is a dangerous thing indeed!

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,


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