Recently, on The 700 Club TV program, well-known founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN-TV) and host of The 700 Club, Pat Robertson, was asked a question concerning why a baby tragically died. His answer, frankly, was atrocious. And the reason? I insist that it’s because he believes in the idea of millions of years, and he just can’t give a correct answer to this issue about the meaning of death. In fact, his answer sadly gives people an opening to make a mockery of Christianity.
This story was reported on Charisma News—you can read the article and watch the video clip of Pat Robertson’s statements here.
Over the years we have written a number of items for our website about Pat Robertson and his rejection of a literal Genesis. He openly mocks people who believe God created the universe and all life in six days about 6,000 years ago. He believes in the supposed age of dinosaurs, over 65 million years ago, and so on. For instance, this is just one of the many quotes from Pat Robertson that we have recorded on our website:
Genesis was never intended as a science textbook. Genesis is the backdrop for the introduction of the Jewish race through Abraham, which was God’s agency of salvation through Jesus Christ. That’s what Genesis is all about.
Now, this comment is the very reason Pat Robertson cannot correctly answer a question about the meaning of death and why his TV answer is so atrocious.
The only way to explain death is to understand its origin and the history recorded in Genesis. The Bible explains clearly in Genesis 3 that death is the result of Adam’s sin. And because we all sin in Adam, we are under the penalty of sin—death. Actually, the first death was in the Garden of Eden when God shed blood to give Adam and Eve coats of skins (the origin of clothing, by the way) as the beginning of the sacrificial system pointing to what was to come in Christ’s sacrifice foreshadowed in Genesis 3:15. We have a booklet online that gives an answer to the death and suffering question—I encourage you to read this and download it to send to others.
What a difference it would have made if Pat Robertson had immediately gone back to Genesis 3 to explain the origin of death—and then share the gospel. He needed to explain that it’s not just that baby that died, but that everyone will die. Jesus reminds us of this in Luke:
Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:4–5)
At first, some people might be perplexed about this passage. A tower fell on people and killed 18 of them, and a question is then posited in regard to why they died. Jesus’ answer was basically to tell them to “repent.” In other words, that was their time to die, and one day the people He was talking to will die, because everyone will one day die (if the Lord does not return before then)—so make sure you are ready! Make sure your heart is right with the Lord.
All this is a reminder that death is the penalty for sin. Psalm 51 makes it clear we are sinners from conception. The Bible further reminds us in the book of Romans that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The fact that babies do die is a reminder to all of us that every member of the human race is affected by sin. This is a harsh reality, but it is a reality of the broken world we live in. But we must also remember that Christians are not to mourn death as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13–14). We have hope in the gospel and in God’s promise to restore the corrupted creation to its original state of perfection where there will be no more sin, disease, or death (Revelation 21:3–4).
Recently, the pastor of our church dealt with this very issue about what happens to babies when they die. Although the Bible doesn’t give specific teaching in regard to this question, I am linking to his sermon on this topic as I believe it is a well reasoned answer based on Scripture to help us think through this issue. You can watch this message at this link.*
I pray Pat Robertson will give up his compromise views on Genesis and believe God’s Word from the very first verse. That is the only way he is going to give consistently logical and correct answers to many of the issues of this life.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
*Notice: The content contained in the sermon linked to above is not necessarily the view of Answers in Genesis. For an explanation of where we draw the line on various topics, see the article here that explains our position.