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Because I Said So

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2010 at 8:52 am

How many times have these words been uttered by a parent to a child?

Before I was a parent myself, I vowed never to dismiss any question and to explain carefully and thoroughly everything I expected my children to do. I promised I would never resort to the famous “because I said so” that was the answer I received so many times as a child when I questioned “why?”

I did not want to be the parent who would not acknowledge my child. One day, after explaining something to my child several times with the repeated reply, “But why”, I declared with absolute exasperation, “Because I said so.” My daughter looked at me, with complete trust and understanding and said, “Oh, okay.”

I do not even remember what that question was or why I just stopped trying to explain, but I remember that moment of clarity. Children do not need adult explanations for everything that happens. Children need to trust their parents and understand reason is not always theirs to know. That illuminating moment as a parent has stood out to me not only as a parenting issue, but also as a Christian. It is the core of my faith for the most difficult questions I have.

When religious leaders such as Pat Robertson attempt to explain the earthquake disaster in Haiti as part of a pact with Satan, he insults all of Christianity. The self-importance he spews to attempt to explain natural disasters in the framework of God’s will is horrifying. Like a know it all, petulant brat with all the answers, he forgets the words of Jesus, “Truly I say to you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” (Mark 10:15).

By attempting to mystify the laws of nature under the umbrella of God’s will, Robertson denies what we know about physics and arrogantly assumes that man controls nature via actions rather than accept nature and man as side by side pieces of creation. Earthquakes happen on a daily basis as tectonic plates shift beneath the oceans. In the past 30 days, there have been 388 earthquakes worldwide over a magnitude of four. Does God only control the ones that result in human loss?

The indicator of true faith is the ability to accept that which cannot be explained or proven. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus calls us to be children of God. As 1 John 3:1 reminds us, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

I accept humbly that I will not understand everything and in many ways, it is truly liberating. To believe that, yes, there is an answer, but just one I do not need to know, at least not today, eases my mind. It affords me the freedom to focus on that which I do understand and embrace. I am to love my neighbor.

To walk in humility with trust is not an easy walk. I have questions daily and when I see what I perceive as unfair or unjust, I wonder “Why, why, why?” However, like my own child, just a few years ago, when God says, “Because I said so”, I find comfort, not frustration, in my faith.

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  1. Okay girls, you have got me worked up so much that I am going to respond in a way that is rare for me. Yes, I do not agree with what Pat said nor do I agree that he should make his opinion on this public…with that said:

    Last time I checked we are living in a free country and he can say what he wants to say…so can you. Does that mean we should exercise that right? There is a saying that the church is the only group who kill its wounded. Here is a great example of that. Whether you like it or not, Pat Robertson is your and my brother in Christ. He is also where is he because God put him there. The word says, “Touch not my annointed”. To call this man a petulant brat is absolutely not appropriate. You have no right to do this. How many people do you imagine he has brought to the Lord…how many people has his organization helped through Operation Blessing? How many people have graduated from Regent University to go into fields of endeavor to continue to spread the Gospel? All because he made a decision to obey the Lord. My, my isn’t it interesting how we forget the words of Christ unless they can help us make our point.

    It would be SO much better if the energy exercised on this blog were used to do something positive. Well, you say, I feel my own self-importance…it is my job to let the world know what an idiot this man is…WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? Who is worse here?

    If you feel you MUST DO SOMETHING about it…just can’t leave it alone, then how about the novel idea of bringing it to the Lord in prayer? Cara, you know me pretty well. I am literally shaking as I write this. You must grow to understand how the Lord intends for us to use our words, our influence. They are to be used for good, for edifying the body, for encouragement. We are to think on pure things. We are NOT to use our words to tear down, bring division. The Lord makes it clear that he hates it when we bring discord among the brethren and the one responsible for that has a high price to pay.

    The world screams “tolerance”…what about the church? Leave the man alone…oh you say, how can I? He has paid his dues…believe me, you have no idea. Leave between him and the Lord. Get busy about your Father’s work. There is little time before the Lord returns and we have SO much work to do. Let’s concentrate on our own business. What if all you said and thought over the last year was exposed…what would people be saying about you?

    • Thank you Barbara, but this is Kim’s opinion, not Cara’s. I don’t want her admonished for my expression of dismay at Pat Robertson’s words. I do stand by my disappointment at what he said.

      As to what I am thinking, I am thinking that a Christian should not act in a way that judges others. To suggest that Haiti’s horrific disaster is a result of God punishing Haiti is truly arrogant. It upsets me and I stand by my opinion. Of course I am praying for Haiti and also for Mr. Robertson. But please know that this post is not Cara’s words or thoughts, just Kim’s.

      I also must wonder how many more people such comments turn away from the Lord.

  2. Kim, thank you for responding to my reply. I do agree with you and all that you have stated…maybe you misunderstood (I say this with respect, not sarcasm) my point. It is what we do with our opinions, emotions and feelings that is important. Remember when the Lord stood before His accusers and was silent. There is much wisdom in choosing silence when the world is screaming judgement. It gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to do His work…

    • Thank you Barbara, and your point IS well taken. I do see that I need to set my emotional reaction aside in order to really express myself effectively. It was outside the spirit of the Eagle’s Wings’ forum of polite discussion.

      Part of the learning curve of moderating a forum that invites ALL views to participate is to understand how certain language WILL divide, not help us listen to each other.

      To clarify, I intended to draw the analogy of a child arguing with a parent after the parent said “because I said so” to insisting on being able to explain God. There indeed is a time to stop talking. I think this is my time, but I do thank you for helping me understand a better way to express my message.

  3. Barbara,

    First things first.
    You are right, Pat is free to say what he wants to. Robertson is free to speak for all Christians. Robertson is even free to declare himself one of the anointed ones.

    He’s also free to deal with the consequences of his spew.
    So are you.

    Let me be clear, Pat Robertson AIN’T my brother; we don’t have the same father or mother. I’m sure he’d be the first to tell you that. My mom would kill me if I said something as psychotic as Robertson does during EVERY period of media frenzied suffering (pagans and gays for 11 Sep 01, abortionists for Katrina, God even warned him of the 2004 tsunami).

    Before you go high order and embarrass yourself (again) by determining my ‘right’ to say any of this (in this ‘free country’ you referenced previously) remember; “Touch not my annointed.” God put me here too.

    I’ve gotta agree with you, though. It’s not appropriate to call Pat a ‘petulant brat’. “Terminally confused, hateful, self centered, frustrated, moron drunk on his own bathwater” is far more accurate. More concisely, ‘part of the problem’.

    Exactly what is it that Robertson accomplishes by declaring an devastated, impoverished, vastly Roman Catholic country has made a pact with the devil ? Is this some sort of play to convince his followers that ‘God’ is control, so all is well ? Who’s actually in control of THAT operation ?

    If the sum of Robertson’s efforts have been to bring those to the Lord only those who’d blithely accept his clumsy efforts to substitute his beliefs and actions for God’s, has Robertson truly brought anyone to the Lord ? Or is it that Robertson has brought them, and their tuition dollars and donations to himself. The distinction is important.

    How do you come to the conclusion that Robertson is obeying God as opposed to obeying his ego, his publicist, and/ or his accountant ? Do tell.

    We go round and round on what is ‘God’s will’, lots of differing opinions from that. Everything from ‘being good to each other’ to parking jumbo jets in skyscrapers. It would appear that all one need to do in your book is to declare him/herself ‘anointed’…… and then have enough money to tell everyone else of this declaration. That ranks a bit higher than murder because ‘God made you do it’, but not much.

    Recommend YOU send the following to good ‘ole Pat, it’s exactly what he needs to hear:

    “I am literally shaking as I write this. You must grow to understand how the Lord intends for us to use our words, our influence. They are to be used for good, for edifying the body, for encouragement. We are to think on pure things. We are NOT to use our words to tear down, bring division. The Lord makes it clear that he hates it when we bring discord among the brethren and the one responsible for that has a high price to pay.”

    Tolerance of the Church or tolerance of intolerance? It looks as if you confuse the Church with the hate and pain it was created to combat. It would appear that you favor the health and welfare of ‘the Church’ over those it was created to save. That, also, is called ‘the problem’.

    What are these ‘dues’ you refer to, and how could they possibly make it okay to be an idiot ?

    “There is little time before the Lord returns and we have SO much work to do. Let’s concentrate on our own business.”

    What ? You do realize you are eating yourself here ? Which is it, get to work, or shrink in on ourselves to concentrate on our own business ?

    “What if all you said and thought over the last year was exposed…what would people be saying about you?”

    Because, in your world, THAT’S of ultimate importance. Right and wrong…forget about all that values stuff; one need only LOOK the role.
    Just ask Pat.

  4. Kim – There is nothing wrong with stating your opinion strongly. Thank God for freedom of speech. I read through your statement and the comments and I can see all sides, but still hold firmly to your right to express yourself in your own forum. There’s always a problem when people speak “under the banner of God.” That’s why I belong to no organized religion. When people start speaking for God or even speaking for me, there’s a problem. But we always have a choice where we align ourselves.

    Some people feel they need to take a strong stand AGAINST something – the “just say No” mentality. In child development studies, we learned that negative sanctioning works most effectively – for gaining control of a desired behavior. We make a huge assumption when we say, “but we’re all adults here.”

    Pat Robertson said a stupid thing. It’s like saying AIDS babies deserve their affliction because God’s wrath produced the HIV virus.

  5. Two weeks ago, Christianity was the party for Tiger, as he could seek forgiveness. Thanks Brit, adulterers are welcome, now we know.
    This week, God is wrathful, and if you cross the line, he will crush you violently. Thanks Pat, I assume adulterers are still ok (you did endorse Rudy Guiliani) and that you are ok with pre-marital sex too (you kid was born 10 weeks after you were married).
    I have lost clarity on right and wrong, salvation and damnation.
    God please understand, I don’t take your compensated endorsements too seriously anymore.

  6. […] was reading a friend’s blog this morning (Because I Said So) and she was giving Robertson the gears over a comment he made regarding the Haiti Crisis. […]

    • Thanks, Kim. I think I can safely say we agree on this topic as we do on many issues.
      I’m currently watching George Stroumboulopoulos (“The Hour” on CBC) and he’s now saying there could be as many as 50,000 dead and countless injured. The hospitals are jammed and haven’t the facilities to handle the casualties.
      What is needed is assistance.
      What is not needed is idiotic comment from a over-bloated, self indulgent prat.
      Well written, Kim.

  7. I have to ask why. Why anyone with enough intelligence to tie their own shoes can believe the complete nonsense that comes out of Pat Robertson’s mouth?

    Rachel Maddow said, “Behold Pat Robertson, the unintended consequence of the first amendment.”

  8. Forrest,
    You, Aldra, and Rachel are on the same ( right) page.
    ‘Tis simply cathartic to find someone dumb enough to believe/support Robertson to unload on. Can’t say it accomplishes much, but I sure feel better.

  9. Robi, Forest, Kenny–y’all made me laugh so hard, I nearly cried.

    I see a lot of what Barbara is doing within the Christian faith, particularly among women. I think part of it is socialization–we lovely gals are taught to soothe, be peacemakers and (quite honestly) cater to the egos of men. I’m not surprised at the shaking and being upset—Kim did something that women, particularly those raised in more conservative environments, are taught never to do: Question men in positions of (real or perceived) power.

    I get a little freaked out when we decide that it is not acceptable to name the adversary. Pat Robertson is an opportunistic moron who preys upon and exploits the poorly educated and those with underdeveloped intellects (e.g., folks who lack the skills to think critically about an issue). He provides safe (albeit completely freaking insane), simple answers to complex problems, thus providing comfort to folks who are simply unable to comprehend the complexity of issues.

    It’s important for us to call out the adversary, name the offense, shine a light on it and demand justice. Personally, I choose to ignore Pat, because he’s an idiot and those he appeals to lack the intellect to comprehend that obvious fact (yes, I know that sounds like an ad hominem attack, but honestly? It’s just sadly true), so there’s no point in trying to educate them.

    However, I do think it’s important for the rest of us to hear the adversary named and men in positions of power questioned. Christians who are not burdened by the inability to comprehend complex subjects, non-Christians who see dipsh!ts like Pat and think he represents all of us, Haitians who hear his words and feel wounded by them, etc., all need to know that there are kind, thinking souls in the religious community who will not lay down in the face of hate.

  10. Here’s a gem from Rev. Jim Wallis–a prominent religious leader who does far more good than Pat Robertson ever has, yet doesn’t seem to get as much press. Hmmm, I wonder why that is?

    “As Katrina revealed in New Orleans, this earthquake will once again unmask the unbelievable poverty that exists in countries like Haiti. Nearly 80 percent of Haiti’s population lives in abject poverty. I pray that this is not simply another tragic event we see on TV as we channel surf, but I hope it reminds us of our brothers and sisters around the world and down the street, who suffer not only from tragic events — but who suffer every day.

    I also want to say a word about God and evil. Pat Robertson said that Haiti’s earthquake was caused because of the country’s “pact with the devil.” I don’t even know what he means, nor do I care. But I want to say this: My God does not cause evil. God is not a vengeful and retributive being, waiting to strike us down; instead, God is in the very midst of this tragedy, suffering with those who are suffering. When evil strikes, it’s easy to ask, where is God? The answer is simple: God is suffering with those who are suffering.”

  11. Well-written, Kim. I found myself agreeing with you completely.

    I have taken note of the religious leaders who were among the first on the scene in Haiti offering their help. I noted that Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse was on the scene. I don’t recall seeing Pat Robertson of the 700 Club down there in Haiti amidst all that human suffering. I’m not trying to pile on Pat Robertson because for all I know he has contributed generously to the rescue and relief effort. It was just that I noticed that Franklin Graham and his organization went to offer to help where they could.

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