In comic book terminology, that is what is called a "retcon". Who'da thought that we'd see it play out in real life (apart from pro wrestling)?
Tonight two friends were over at the Knight Casa. Let's call them Friend #1 and Friend #2. One of them had read the post earlier today and just before 8:30 p.m. he suggested "Hey let's watch that Johnny Robertson nut!"
So that's what we did for the next hour and a half. Neither one of 'em had seen it before. And both of them asked a number of times during the show "What kind of a station lets someone that evil on television?"
Tonight's What Does the Bible Say? (which would be called What Does Johnny Robertson Demand? if there were "truth in titling" laws) started off with Robertson "recapping" quickly all the action that happened in 2008. He mentioned Larry Surber's appearance. He mentioned "The Sheik". He mentioned the Nation of Islam guys (that a few days later Robertson tried to frame for painting a bomb threat on the side of the Danville Church of Christ), he mentioned quite a few other folks...
...but he dared not name me.
Oh, he referred to the "Jedi Knight", referring to when I dressed in my Jedi costume to address the Rockingham County Board of Education in July 2007 on the issue of school uniforms, but as Friend #2 was quick to point out: "Yeah but you won!" The implication almost seemed that if one is not wearing what is apparently "Church of Christ" approved attire - namely cheap polyester suits and cowboy hats - then one is not "serious" enough. But I digress...
Robertson referred to a "hate site" that was out to "destroy" him. I don't know if "hate" is the right word but at last count there are no less than four blogs that have taken it upon themselves to document Robertson and Oldfield's spite-filled jihad against decent and sincere Christians in this area. There is Answering the Church of Christ, WalkingInLove's blog, the legitimate Religious Review blog, and the one you're reading now (which is devoted to pretty much everything in existence).
And then Robertson brought up "Religious Review Multimedia" again, which as was reported earlier he claimed went all the way back to 2002. Tonight Robertson pushed it back even further, claiming that "Religious Review" had been around for ten years. Sorta like how in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four that the Party kept pushing Big Brother's exploits back more and more.
(Friend #1: "I don't think even Johnny knows what Religious Review is...")
It wasn't long afterward that Robertson made a very startling admission, and I have to wonder if he understands how big of a goof this might have been. He said that in the years since he came to this area, first operating out of Collinsville, Virginia (which is a story for another time) that he had baptized "two hundred and fifty to three hundred individuals" into his Church of Christ (which is nothing like the real Churches of Christ that most people know and admire). Then he confessed that of those 250-300, that "only" 75 were currently attending worship services! What happened to all the rest? Robertson could not have been more clear in stating his belief: that they were "unfaithful" and thus were damned to Hell.
Let's study that for a sec: if Johnny Robertson had brought, on average, about 280 people into the "Church of Christ" and only 75 were still "faithful" enough, then that is an attrition rate of 75%, give or take. If we went with the most liberal estimate, then at one point 300 people were saved and going to Heaven, but then 225 of them fell away from Robertson's cult and now there are only 75 people, more or less, that are going to Heaven today.
A caller late in the show pounced on this and got Robertson flustered about how out of all the people in the Martinsville and Henry County area, that only those 75 members of the Church of Christ were going to Heaven. At one point Robertson even compared himself to Noah and how he and his family out of millions were spared by God.
The caller kept pressing the issue. And my friends at last got to see a glimpse of the real Johnny Robertson: the ecclesiastical bully who, in the words of the caller, has to "scare people" into accepting his way or no way at all. The Johnny Robertson who has taken it upon himself to declare whether others are "faithful" enough for God.
The caller - a gentleman - told Robertson that he only took the name "Church of Christ" but that neither Robertson or his group had anything to do with the real body of Christ at all.
And the gentleman is right.
That is all that Robertson has to pin his claim of spiritual authority on: that there's a shingle outside his building in Martinsville which happens to say "Church of Christ".
Heck, any congregation of followers of Christ can call themselves "Church of Christ" and they would be right. Just as any cult could call itself "Church of Christ" but if it is not seeking after Christ in love and sharing His mercy and grace with others, then it is worthless and doesn't matter what it calls itself.
Robertson also made quite a lot of goofs tonight that we caught. He claimed that Lydia was "raised from the dead" by Peter (she wasn't, see Acts 16) and he totally mangled the Catholic perspective on the role of the pope.
(Friend #2: "He plays on emotion... he's manipulative but not very intellectual." To which I replied: "Amen to that!")
With at least four blogs now documenting his lies and misdeeds, and a few others that I know of who have taken up some activism in the past several months against the cult, it was brought up "Why isn't Robertson fighting and debating in the blogosphere?" The thoughts of my friends? That Robertson can't. When he posts on Answering the Church of Christ, Robertson becomes a very crude, uncouth and unlettered man. He writes from his mouth instead of his mind. Which if he did stop to think about matters, he would at least have enough sense to realize that what is chronicled on the Internet will last much longer than anything he does on WGSR Star 39 out of Reidsville and Martinsville.
Why won't Robertson take me on again, either here in the online realm or in a televised debate (which I did give him the opporunity for after he asked for it): "You're better than him and he knows it," Friend #1 said.
"Yeah your name was like radioactive tonight" Friend #2 chortled.
Friend #1: "I noticed that he never prayed. Don't most preachers on television do that?"
Me: "Does he really have a God to pray to?"
Friend #2: "If God is for Johnny Robertson then why doesn't God let him be on WFMY or WGHP or any other of the much better stations?"
Friend #1: "Probably because none of the other stations wants him."
Me: "Yeah, there's only one station in the area that has management that is that desperate."
I'll close this post out by making one last remark about Johnny Robertson's show tonight. At one point he got into an extended argument with a caller about miracles in the modern age. Johnny Robertson does not believe that miraculous healing takes place anymore. He completely denies that there is such a thing as the greater spiritual realm which can and does interact with our physical world.
All three of us watching his show tonight knew, without even having to tell each other, that Robertson could not be more wrong. Because each of us has seen, on our own, a miracle take place. And in some cases, many more than one miracle.
We know who we put our confidence in. And it is not in the mad babblings of a man who demands that God be very, very small.