September 16, 2011

Social Commentary: Pat Robertson and The Alzheimer's Blunder

I very rarely do social commentary on the news but the most recent of Pat Robertson's verbal blunders has me dumbstruck. In a nutshell he stated the following:

"Divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer's disease was justified." ~Pat Robertson

"Pat, please shut-up and keep your comments to yourself. No, seriously, be quiet!" ~Andy Pierson

Robertson does NOT speak for me who is a Christian dedicated to both my God, my wife and my children. Any one that understands Alzheimer’s knows that one of the major issues of this horrible disease is that (1) People do not deteriorate in a linear manner and therefore occasionally "come back around" after having been "gone" as Pat puts it and (2) The depression these victims suffer is all but god-forsaken in its completeness. It is a depression that is often caused by the loneliness exacerbated by their memory loss. Pat needs to get his facts straight.

Our spouses are not burdens, they are the love of our lives beside and in Christ. We are to treat them as ourselves. Paul's passage in Ephesians is clear, I guess Pat forgot about this passage:

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." ~Ephesians 5:25-33

What did Solomon say about a wife in Proverbs 31?

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life...

Did Solomon say, "...all the days of her life...except if she had Alzheimers?" No, he said all the days of life! Period! No stipulations!

To leave a spouse or a loved on in this tragic condition is like amputating a broken but viable limb of our own body....why would I do that? Its bad enough that family may not be able to take care of them and need outside help from visiting nurses but to abandon them completely? Sorry folks, what Pat just advocated here is just like what the Corinthians were advocating in 1 Corinthians. They were advocating things even the non-Christian secular culture around them had enough sense not to do. The church then actually bragged about it and aired the dirty laundry of the Church. Paul wasn't only mad at the wrong doing of the individual, he also got mad at the Church itself for either doing nothing about it or not speaking out against it. We cannot let dumb statements like this be stated without rebuke or matter who they are or who they think they are. Just because Robertson has a huge media soapbox to spout stupidity from does not make him correct or biblical. Since he has made the comment public, so to the rebuke needs to be public to show the world...we deal with our own and recognize his hypocrisy (or lunacy, your pick)

Most people's marriage vows included a stipulation for taking our spouse "in sickness and in health", "through thick and thin" or some other wordage that was intended to emphasize the permanence of the sacred covenant. A covenant between a man, a woman and God in marriage. Even the secular world often includes stipulations of permanence in their vows. By saying a Christian can dump their spouse because their mind is not the way it use to be is no different than saying you are dumping them because they are not as young, virile or good-looking as they used to be. How shallow. How....secular and non-Christian. Ugh, how repulsive.

The whole point of Christianity is that it is a relationship with Jesus that asks us to serve not only Him...but others. If anyone had a right and was justified in leaving a broken person/people that had been deprived of their senses it was Jesus. He could have left humanity for they certainly had lost their senses turning their back on God and being found dead in their sin...were condemned. What do we see Jesus do instead? He did just the opposite. Instead of divorcing Himself from humanity He forever bound Himself to taking on the attribute of being human. Not only that he made himself of no accord and allowed Himself to he humiliated, crucified and killed on a cross for our sins! Only to be raised again by the power of God on the third day according to Scripture. Not only that he favored the company of sinners and tax collectors! Not only that He appeared to have a soft spot for the sick, diseased, broken, beaten, downtrodden, the orphans and the widows. Ours is a God that is a defender of the orphans and widows! We do not turn from our sick! WE TURN TO THEM!

Luke 4:40 "Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him [Jesus], and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them."

Jeremiah 49:11 “Leave your orphans behind, I will keep them alive; And let your widows trust in Me.”

Psalm 68:5 "Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation."

By dumping our spouses before they are dead because their minds have "gone" makes us worse than the sinners that we are trying to convert. It makes us worse than animals. Mr. Robertson has totally missed the whole underlying theme in Jesus' ministry, the Gospel, the purpose of Discipleship and being Christian. Foolish man.

This man barely leaves enough time between unbiblical comments for the heat to blow over before making another one that makes all evangelicals look like neanderthal cretins. I do not mind looking like a cretin, I just prefer it be for legitimate reasons such as preaching the Gospel. I can accept the criticism for doing something like that because Jesus said the persecution was going to come for doing so but to be viewed as a fool because of Pat's comments and their ability to misrepresent all Christians is intolerable and makes me indignant. His comments were incompassionate, cruel and very unbiblical.

I will say that I am glad to see many prominent church members speaking out against a comment that was beyond the pale and totally inappropriate.

Christianity is suppose to be all about love, service and at times sacrifice. What Pat said was all about selfishness and worldliness. These people we would be trying to divorce ourselves from are our wives, our husbands, our mothers and our fathers. Getting them help and assistance is one thing, throwing them away with the trash is something totally different and totally wrong.

So Pat, in love I am asking you to please gracefully cease and desist. You are not doing the Christian brethren any favors spouting off your mouth. Especially when your comments are not based in Biblical principles. Every time you speak in public anymore you are making the Faith look more and more like the Circus Sideshow or Clown Rodeo that the culture already perceives us as. Its already hard enough to get people dying in their sins to accept the Gospel. Making the entirety of Evangelical Christianity look like callous hypocritical chumps does nothing to help me spread a story that the Jews already see as a stumbling block and the Gentiles already see as foolishness.

Please let me mess up my own ministry with my own flaws and fallen nature, I do not need your help.

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