Who Are These Men of God?

“I hope we all agree that Pat Robertson is a man of God.”

This was the response of a friend of a friend in a recent Facebook posting. She was defending Mr. Robertson, who was quoted as saying:

I think, somehow, the Lord’s plan is being put in place for America and these people are not only revolting against Trump, they’re revolting against what God’s plan is for America. These other people have been trying to destroy America.

I can’t help but wonder:

  • What qualifies someone as a “man of God”?
  • What qualifies someone to make a judgment that another person is a “man of God”?
  • How can Mr. Robertson know what God’s plan is for America (or if there is a plan for that matter)?
  • What is behind the decisions of some people to demonize those who hold different political views?

I suppose these are rhetorical questions, for surely no one is capable of providing persuasive answers, at least not to a skeptic such as I. Yet I’m sure many are convinced they’re capable of providing authoritative answers. They’re basically delusional, in my opinion — in a sanctimonious way, of course.

I can’t take seriously people such as the author of the Facebook quote or, for that matter, Mr. Robertson himself. It all seems too farcical for me.

And, no, we don’t “all agree,” on this or most things. But I’m sure you already knew that. And that your Facebook statement wasn’t sincere in the first place.

Not that it matters. Our opinions and beliefs are just that. When we lose sight of that fact, we become self-righteous, judgmental jerks.

Most of us are jerks some of the time, to one degree or another. I know I am — perhaps more so than most. But that doesn’t mean we have to flaunt it and remove all doubt.

In the end, many of us do in fact have a conception of a righteous person, whether we call them men or women “of God” or simply “good” or virtuous people. But it’s obvious opinions vary on such matters. The person who’s virtuous and righteous in my mind may be an unpatriotic socialist who’s seeking to destroy America in the eyes of Mr. Robertson and his disciples. Conversely, some see holiness in Mr. Robertson where I see nationalism, materialism, militarism, and rationalization to the extreme, cloaked in religious garb and spoken with a religious lexicon, for personal gain.

Of course, we both think we’re right — no, we both know we’re right. However, concepts of rightness are silly in the arena of opinions and beliefs. About the only thing certain is none of us knows as much as we think we do, and that all of us overreach — some by a little, some by a lot.

In this case, one of us could be right, of course. But I think it’s more likely both of us are wrong.

I suggest to you, Vera, that if you’re ever tempted to engage others in debating who is godly and who isn’t, or what God’s plan is for our country, stop! First consider your motives. And then consider what you hope to accomplish. And what the engagement might do to you — what it reinforces in you.

Finally, consider how little any of us really knows.

(P.S. When Mr. Robertson referred to “these people,” I think he was referring to people like me. At least I hope he was.)

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