Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson predicted global violence and chaos in 2008, along with economic recession in the United States, in annual prognostications broadcast on Wednesday’s “700 Club” television program.
In what has become an annual tradition, the one-time presidential candidate explained an apparent error in what he thought he heard God telling him in a prayer retreat at the end of 2006.
“Last year I felt God was saying there was going to be some kind of terrorist attack that might involve a nuclear weapon,” Robertson said. “That hasn’t happened, didn’t happen in 2007.”
“All I can think is that somehow the people of God prayed, and God in his mercy spared us,” Robertson said.
But Robertson, who once agreed on television with the late Jerry Falwell that the 9/11 attacks were God’s judgment on America’s sin, indicated he isn’t sure the nation is yet off the hook.
“I think some of those things that have been stored up are going to happen, but it’s just a question of when,” he said. “And it didn’t happen, obviously, in 2007. We had terrible fires. We had awful floods in the Northwest. We had some other disasters in the Heartland, but we didn’t have a terrorist attack. And for that I’m very grateful. So did I miss it? Possibly. On the other hand, did God avert it? Possibly. But whatever, it didn’t happen. So I think we can all rejoice in that.”
This year’s prophecy brought more doom and gloom.
“The Lord was saying there’s going to be violence and chaos in the world,” Robertson said of his most recent prayer retreat. “This is not going to be a peaceful year.”
“And lo and behold, we had hardly finished the prayer meeting when the screens were filled with violence in Kenya,” he said. “There’s violence in Pakistan. We’ve just begun to see what’s going to happen. The nations are going to be convulsed with violence. This is not going to be a fun year in terms of political activity. There will be violence all over the world.”
Economically, “I think is we’re going to have a recession here in America, if we are not already in it,” he said. He predicted the price of gold will hit $1,000, oil will increase to $150 a barrel and the dollar will continue to fall. “That will not necessarily be a good thing for our economy,” he said.
“I also believe the Lord was saying by 2009, maybe 2010, there’s going to be a major stock market crash, and not just a little blip like we’ve had, but a major crash,” he said. “And we’ll have time to kind of run for the lifeboat. It’s not there yet, but it will be coming down the road.”
On the upside, Robertson predicted that evangelism will intensify, as hard times force people to seek spiritual answers. In particular he sees “a great move of God in China and India.”
“What I’m praying about is China,” he said. “I’m asking for 250 million in China. We haven’t had that breakthrough yet, but I think we’re going to get it. God’s going to give us China, and China will be the largest Christian nation on the face of the earth. They’re going to come to Jesus.”
Robertson’s interests in China are more than spiritual. He has media holdings there, and in 2006 said the U.S. should seek economic partnership with China, breaking ranks with other evangelicals who oppose dealing with China unless the nation improves its record on human rights.
Robertson said he didn’t “have any revelation” about U.S. future in Iraq. “I had a deep unease about this Iraq war from the very beginning,” he said, “that just in my spirit I knew, and the Lord told me, it would be a disaster. Well it has been a disaster.”
But Robertson said he received a clear word about Israel. “The Lord shared with me, and I believe I heard the Lord, that the leadership of Israel is in a fog, that their minds are in a fog,” he said. “And they don’t see the danger, the danger that is coming to them. And it’s as plain as the nose on your face to see what a tragedy it would be if you turned the West Bank over to terrorists and give half of Jerusalem to these people. It’s going to be an unbelievably bloody mess.”
“Just like now in the Gaza Strip, factions of the Palestinians are fighting one another,” he said. “They have mismanaged. There’s been corruption. There has been all kind of veniality. There has been persecution of minorities. You say, ‘How can these people be partners in peace?’ And yet the Bush administration, as one more example of folly in foreign policy, is pushing with all its effort to make this thing happen, like it’s going to be some sort of a trophy. Well they’re moving toward self-destruction, and those of us who love Israel are very concerned. I am one of them.”
Concerning his own ministry, Robertson said: “I think in this year to come, more than anything, that what God’s emphasis for CBN needs to be is helping the poor and the downtrodden. There are people in this world that are just crying out to God for help, and the Lord basically was saying to me if you take care of them, then you’re taking care of me. And if you minister to them you are ministering to me. And if you look after them I am going to look after you.”
Robertson also implied God told him who will be elected president in 2008.
“He told me some things about the election, but I’m not going to say, because some old man on ’60 Minutes’ would make fun of me, so I’m not going to tell you who the winner’s going to be,” he said.
But he may have hinted that it won’t be Hillary Clinton, the only woman who is running. “We will not name the name of the gentleman who will be doing that,” he said in a joking rejoinder to a question tossed in by “700 Club” co-host Terry Meeuwsen.
It also didn’t appear the nod would be going to Republican Rudy Giuliani, whom Robertson has endorsed. “I’ll just keep that to myself and look with horror at what may be happening,” he quipped.
In 2004 Robertson predicted President Bush would win a second term in a “blowout.” Bush defeated John Kerry 51 percent to 48 percent and carried the electoral vote by a single state.
In 2005 Robertson forecast “triumph” in Bush’s second term. Since Election Day 2004, the president’s approval ratings slipped to an all-time low, and Republicans lost control of Congress in mid-term elections in 2006.
Robertson has been wrong before. He said Russia would invade Israel in 1982, that there would be a worldwide economic collapse in 1985 and that U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller would be elected president in 1996.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.
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Bob Allen was the managing editor at EthicsDaily.com from 2003-2009, writing more than 1,500 news stories during his tenure. He is currently the news editor at Baptist News Global.