But, because I was so offended, I went to the 700 club's website, and found a spot where they allow you to email Pat if you are seeking advice. So, I (a la Nathan) sent an email. I told him that I was guilt ridden over being judgmental. I asked what I should do if I said things that misrepresented Christ.
Today, I received an email in response. (I will include at the bottom of the post for anyone who wants to make sure I'm not taking things out of context.) In the email, Pat said:
"[...] All of us have times when we are offended by something. Sometimes we are right to be offended by someone's behavior, while other times we are not. [...] A good principle when someone sins against you is to go to that person privately, and let them know that you were offended. [...] If he or she repents, or if you find that you misunderstood him, then you have helped to mend that relationship. [...] If the person does not repent, then in some cases it may be helpful to take two or three spiritually mature Christians along with you to seek reconciliation. [...] Once you have followed through the complete process for attempting reconciliation with someone, if he or she still does not repent, then you are free to treat him or her as an unbeliever. [...]"So, I emailed back saying that I was offended by what Pat Robertson said. According to this email, he's supposed to repent. If he doesn't, then I guess I'm supposed to get more people to ask him to repent. If he still doesn't, then (according to Pat) we can regard him as an unbeliever. So...
If you were offended by Pat Robertson's remarks, would you join me in emailing him? If enough Christians confront him about what he said, maybe he'll repent. If he doesn't, then I guess we can all regard him as an unbeliever. That's not my point of view mind you, it's his.
You can email Pat here: http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/BringItOn/askpat.aspx
And if you do, remind him of what he said. Tell him that if a fails to repent after being confronted, that person should be regarded as an unbeliever. Let's see if we can't get him to apologize for using his words to hurt the wounded, and for giving the world one more reason to hate Christians.
As promised, here's the full email. (Feel free to skip this if you want.)
"God bless you with His richest blessings today!
Forgiveness is a grace from God that we all need day by day. It is also a grace that we need to extend to others when they do something to offend us. All of us have times when we are offended by something. Sometimes we are right to be offended by someone's behavior, while other times we are not. Either way, God puts great emphasis on Christians resolving their conflicts with others, especially with other Christians. And we certainly need to let go of any bitterness, negative feelings, or grudge towards other people.
Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35). When we love each other with Christian love, we will always want to resolve conflict in order to reconcile our relationships, instead of harboring a grudge against a brother or sister. We will want to remove any division between us, and bring healing to our relationships.
In Matthew 18:15-22 Jesus explained to His followers what to do when another Christian sinned against them. Today, individual churches may have different policies for handling offenses. You should check with your church leadership about this if someone in your church sins against you.
A good principle when someone sins against you is to go to that person privately, and let them know that you were offended (in some cases, it would not be wise to go to the person). You do not need to tell anyone else about the offense, (unless they are clearly at risk). You should go with a humble and loving attitude to the one who has offended you. Your desire is to win your brother or sister back, not to win an argument. Do not accuse the offender of wrong unless the offense was clearly sinful. If he or she repents, or if you find that you misunderstood him, then you have helped to mend that relationship. Once forgiveness has been extended, then do not bring up the offense again to anyone.
If the person does not repent, then in some cases it may be helpful to take two or three spiritually mature Christians along with you to seek reconciliation. However, keep in mind the policy of your organization for resolving disputes, whether you are in a church or a workplace.
Once you have followed through the complete process for attempting reconciliation with someone, if he or she still does not repent, then you are free to treat him or her as an unbeliever. In other words, you are not obligated to maintain Christian fellowship with that individual. You are not required in any way to extend trust to that person. On the other hand, you should not bear malice towards him or contemplate revenge (Romans 12:17-21). Release any anger you have and let the Lord heal you and set you free of the pain that anger can bring.
Forgiveness is crucial for the healing of relationships. It is also very important for our own health in a number of ways. Spiritually, we must forgive if we want God to forgive us. Jesus said, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men of their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins" (Matthew 6:14-15). Because we do not want anything to adversely affect our relationship with God, we should be quick to extend forgiveness to those who offend us.
When we forgive, we are positioning ourselves to enjoy the peace and joy Jesus came to give. We also experience more positive thinking patterns when we purpose to forgive. And, there are wonderful physical benefits when we decide to forgive. We become more relaxed, stress is reduced and we may even feel lighter and more energetic. All in all, forgiveness is good for us spiritually, emotionally and physically.
We encourage you to follow the way of forgiveness, and seek healing for any damaged relationships. As God has forgiven you, forgive others. The Lord bless you with peace and joy as you extend the grace of forgiveness to others."