Robertson's Pain

August 16, 2006

Pat Robertson, who traveled to Israel last week to pray for an Israeli victory, is upset that a cease-fire has been reached. He declared: "We were with child. We writhed in pain, but we gave birth to wind. In other words ... nothing came out of this at all. We writhed in pain, but nothing was born from it. ... Israel went in, but what have they done? Is the word of Isaiah true? — ‘We writhed in pain but we gave birth to wind’—I’m afraid so."

Peace has come and yet Robertson is upset. Should not Christians be rejoicing in peace? Consider the Reuters report that during the month-long conflict, 157 Israelis have tragically been killed and nearly 1,500 have been wounded. Also, during that time about 1,100 Lebanese have been killed and more than 3,700 have been wounded. Most of those killed by Israeli forces were innocent civilians. Additionally, about 300,000 Israelis fled their homes, as did more than 900,000 Lebanese.

Yet, all of these deaths and lives uprooted apparently is not enough for Robertson. He wants more! And how does he support such a seemingly un-Christian denouncement of peace? He takes Scripture out of context (should that really be a surprise?).

The passage in Isaiah that Robertson refers to is like many others in the Bible. The prophets often use the pain of childbirth to represent the sorrow of war. But Robertson uses it to talk about the end of a war. I can attest to this issue no better than Robertson, but I suspect that women who have given birth would compare the act more to that of war than peace.

Robertson may be pained by the cease-fire, but innocent people in Israel and Lebanon who lost friends and loved ones in the conflict are glad to see it. What pains them is not that Robertson's hopes for the end of the world have been put on hold, but that their lives have been wreaked by death and destruction.

It is time for Christians to pray for peace, and specifically that this cease-fire will last. Additionally, it is time for Christians like Robertson to quit twisting the Bible to justify their pro-death and pro-war theology.