There was much to observe from last night's What Does the Bible Say? on WGSR. For openers, Robertson validated something that I noted about him last week: that he not only insists upon baptism for the wrong reasons and damns those who don't subscribe to his belief, but that Robertson also think he controls baptism! It came when a woman called and asked to be baptized and Robertson expressed great hesitancy about it because Robertson suggested that the woman didn't "understand" why she wanted baptism. He claimed to take her phone number so that he could call her later, so that she wouldn't "die in" her sins... because Robertson demands that salvation is in the water and not in the Blood.
Kinda makes you wonder if Robertson and his cult actually worship H20, as much as they talk about it more than they ever talk about Jesus Christ.
Other things from last night's show, in no particular order...
- Robertson once again condemned dancing as sin, without any scriptural basis for it (other than a bizarre use of the story about John the Baptist and Herod).But it was Robertson's long tirade against Jonathan Falwell and comedian Steve Harvey that raised my eyebrows the most, and convinced me anew that for all his boasting, Johnny Robertson does NOT understand the Bible at all.
- Robertson likened himself to John the Baptist and Malcolm X (?!?!?).
- Robertson continued to vent his unwholesome jealousy and hatred toward Martinsville-based television station BTW.
Robertson ran a clip of Harvey on some Christian talk show, talking about his born-again experience. And Steve Harvey was very up-front about his shortcomings in life, like being a divorced man. Some of the things he discussed in the clip elicited hearty laughter from the audience.
The gist of what Steve Harvey and Jonathan Falwell were saying is that God accepts us just as we are. But that's not good enough for Johnny Robertson. During last night's show Robertson declared and insisted many times that we can't "come as we are" before Christ. We have to be "good enough" for God before He can accept us, Robertson said.
Because I have read the New Testament, and if there's one thing that it says more than anything else it is that we can't merit salvation by any work we attempt on our own behalf. That the only thing that saves us is the finished work of Christ on the cross. And that to try to "add on" to that work - as Robertson and his cult insist - is to not have salvation at all!
So Mr. Robertson, God doesn't want us to come just as we are?
"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.A somewhat bizarre tale rife with hyperbole... but typical of Jesus and nobody before or since has ever mastered such metanoia-inducing metaphor.
"Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'
"But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
"Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.
"Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
"For many are invited, but few are chosen."
Most of the parable is easy enough to understand. Then we get to the king's second invitation: he dispatches his servants to invite everybody that they can find, "both good and bad", to come and enjoy the wedding banquet.
How much more clearer than this must it be: that God does accept us wherever we are or however we are?
But then we arrive at the part about the guest who was "not wearing wedding clothes" and the king assails him for his lack of proper garment. And were Johnny Robertson or some of his followers to feign earnest discussion of this passage, they would no doubt interpret that it means we must be rightly "clothed" of our own accord in order to approach God. And they would not possibly be more spectacularly wrong in such insistence!
Because it was the custom in those days, in that part of the world, that the wealthy would not only provide food at a wedding banquet but also special clothes - usually some kind of robe - to each of his guests to wear for the occasion. Such attire masked social status or personal standing. At the banquet for the king's son, all were equal regardless of earthly position.
And then there is that one "guest" who just had to be different. We aren't told if beyond the palace walls he were rich or poor. I tend to believe that he was of considerable wealth and affluence. Why do I think that? Because a poorer person in those days would no doubt be thrilled to receive some new clothes for free and from the king... just for attending a banquet!
But not this one guy. He came alright. But he thought that he was too good than to accept the king's favor. That was for people who were "beneath" him. He trusted in his own righteousness to justify his presence at the banquet. This "guest" thought that he could get away with his own works and reject the complete and unconditional grace of the king. All he had to do was accept it "just as" he was.
No wonder the king became so furious! He had provided a sumptuous feast and wonderful new clothes for every guest, so that his son's wedding would be celebrated. This alleged "guest" tried to steal the spotlight by showing himself off.
Now, who does that sound like?
No doubt that many of you are expecting me to automatically ascribe Johnny Robertson as being like this miscreant wedding guest. But honestly, this could be anyone. And each of us would be cast out from the sight of the King for trusting in our own efforts more than trusting in His grace and provenance. It just happens that for sake of this discussion, Johnny Robertson and his followers clothe themselves with the name "Church of Christ" and boast that this alone will get them into Heaven to the exclusion of all others.
To the credit of the guest in the parable, at least he apparently didn't try to throw anyone else out of the party because he might have sneered at them.
Johnny Robertson can't even claim that much for himself.