Not that any further proof was really needed, but televangelist Pat Robertson proved once again that his Biblical exegetical skills are dangerously incompetent. After discussing the Flynn debacle with CBN political correspondent David Brody, Pat Robertson stressed the need for President Trump to clean house in the federal government. Robertson then compared the dissent to Jeremiah 27:12 and Psalm 2. In a nutshell, Pat Robertson simultaneously compared Donald Trump to wicked King Nebuchadnezzar and the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. Doubling down on his Biblical illiteracy and possible blasphemy, Pat Robertson then warned that those who are revolting against Trump are also revolting against “What God’s plan is for America.”
[Watch it here in context beginning at around the 5:00 mark]
Yes, God has a plan for America. No, revolting against Trump doesn’t mean that a person is revolting against God. But, first, I’m going to reclaim those Bible verses from Pat Robertson’s self-serving and idolatrous lips.
In Jeremiah 27, God commands the prophet to, “Make yourself straps and yoke-bars, and put them on your neck” (Jeremiah 27:2). In verse 12, which Pat Robertson referenced, Jeremiah is commanded to tell King Zedekiah of Judah to, “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people and live.”
Considering Pat Robertson’s constant gushing over his current political crush, I don’t think Robertson believes that President Trump has been sent by God as a wicked king designed to punish God’s people. I do, however, feel pretty confident in asserting that Pat Robertson has conflated America with “God’s people.” I can assert Robertson’s conflation because of his cavalier treatment of the great Messianic Psalm 2—a treatment of Psalm 2 that is beyond appalling and swerves into blasphemy, by the way.
The “Anointed” of Psalm 2:2 is Jesus. The same “Anointed” that Pat Robertson said is Donald Trump. Pat Robertson gave his new god the place that the real God reserved for Jesus. According to Robertson, and for those keeping score at home: Donald Trump = Jesus, the Oval Office = God’s throne, and America = God’s Kingdom. For the sake of space, however, I think that I can go ahead and dispense with making any arguments designed to demonstrate that Donald Trump is, in fact, not the second person of the Trinity, which means that the Oval Office is not God’s throne and America is not God’s Kingdom. I’m assuming that most people are willing to agree that Donald Trump is not Jesus Christ. Those who disagree probably read this article’s title and then skipped straight to the comment section, anyway.
That still leaves, however, Pat Robertson’s claim that those who are revolting against Trump are revolting against “What God’s plan is for America.” I am a dreaded Calvinist, and even I’m not that fatalistic.
Of course, President Donald Trump is God’s plan for America. Furthermore, we should “be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1). But that doesn’t mean that we are to sit idly by and accept every policy decision proposed and/or enacted by the governing authorities, which include President Trump.
Ordinarily, God works through means. In other words, if an individual believes that the murder of babies violates God’s ethics, they vote for politicians who are pro-life, participate in the March for Life, donate money to pro-life organizations, et al. Chalking Roe v. Wade up to God’s plan and then not doing anything because you don’t want to revolt against God’s plan is fatalism. For example, because I believe that God deigns to work through ordinary means, I wrote articles against transgender policies that violate God’s gender and sexual ethics during President Obama’s administration. Our actions have consequences, as does our inaction.
Just because God willed for Donald Trump (or Barack Obama) to be POTUS doesn’t mean that God’s people aren’t called to stand up for righteousness and justice as defined by God in the Bible. Nor does it mean that we the people ignore those times when our elected officials stray outside the rule of the law or seek to govern in ways that are unjust and/or unrighteous. For the record, I highly doubt that Pat Robertson ever invoked Jeremiah 27:2 in reference to President Obama.
In the past, whenever I would quote Romans 13:1 in reference to President Obama, people would often remind me that we don’t live in a monarchy but a constitutional republic. Yes, fine. I still contend that there are applications that extend to those who are elected. However, unlike when Nero was doing Nero things, Christians have legal recourse under the law whenever elected officials drift from ethical moorings. During President Clinton’s impeachment, I have a feeling that Pat Robertson wasn’t condemning Republicans for revolting against, “What God’s plan is for America.”
There is a difference between attempting a coup on the governing authorities and holding the governing authorities accountable. In a constitutional republic, the citizens have a responsibility to be engaged; this country’s form of government empowers its citizens to hold their elected officials accountable. For Christians to do otherwise would be shirking our responsibility before God to represent Him well in the country in which He’s sent us to be His ambassadors. Pat Robertson and anyone else who misrepresents the Bible for their own agenda are the ones revolting against God. Those who are concerned with making sure that politicians are governing justly, righteously, and within the rule of the law are the ones doing the will of God.