An Open Response to Comments on “What would Pat Robertson have Done with my Father.”

First, thank you to all of you who responded to my post “What would Pat Robertson have Done with my Father.”  

To date there were over 467 comments on the post.  I had no idea that this issue would touch such a cord in the hearts of so many people.  I also had no idea how many people are living with the heartbreak of family and friends facing Alzheimer’s disease.

Because I am unable to respond individually to the hundreds of comments I received, I will address them here.  This will be my last post concerning Pat Robertson’s comments.

1. To those of you who have watched a loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and to some of you who courageously shared that you have been diagnosed with one of these diseases:  Your honesty and courage inspires us all.  My prayers are with you.  Thank you for blessing us by sharing your story and helping us realize we are not alone.

2. To those who suggested that I had misunderstood Mr Robertson’s statement: I must respectfully disagree.  I read and re-read the entire transcript as it was sent by CBN in response to a letter written by Mark Robinson.  The letter, the transcript and CBN’s response can be found here….. OntarioPC    My readers can judge for themselves what Mr Robertson actually said.

3.  To those who suggested that my post was an attack on Pat Robertson:  I promise that was not my intention.  Considering what my dad had gone through, what the scriptures say about divorce and the solemn nature of  “till death do we part,” I was compelled to respond to Mr Robertson’s statement.  A public statement such as this invites a public response. I responded with our family’s story.

4.  To those who suggested that I had been influenced by the media:  I am sure the news media covered this, but I never saw it.  My response was based on the transcript of the show and CBN’s response to Mark Robinson’s letter.   I never intended to jump on any bandwagon.  I didn’t even know there was a bandwagon.

5.  To those who expressed sorrow and/or anger in response to Pat Robertson’s statement:  For the most part these were not enemies of Pat Robertson or CBN.  In fact, many of the responders were people who had been blessed over the years by CBN’s ministry.  I certainly understand your frustration and would ask that you pray that the valid aspects of CBN ministry will continue to touch lives.

6. To those who questioned Pat Robertson’s Salvation or wished him ill will:  I would ask that you reconsider that position for the same two reasons that caused you disagreed with his statement in the first place.

  • Pat’s is a believer in Christ and his place in the Kingdom was assured on the Cross and sealed by the Holy spirit.  He is loved by the Father. He will be in heaven. He is my brother.  I am free to disagree with him but not to condemn him. If Mr Robertson has lost his salvation because of his errors of judgement or theology, then my sins and errors certainly condemn me as well.  Thank God, such is not the case!
  • Pat Robertson deserves the same compassion we insist that he give those we sought to defend.  

Thank you for all your comments and I am grateful for the support shown toward those who cannot speak for themselves. With a only couple of exceptions the comments were thoughtful and without vitriol.  Yesterday I received a very gracious comment from a friend of Mr Robertson that I would like to share with you. In the face of the what I believe is justified critique of Mr Robertson’s statement, only one thing balances the scales and gives us all hope……. that thing is GRACE!

Pat Robertson’s friend Malcolm gave me permission to reprint his comment.  May the spirit of grace evidenced here be present even in the midst our strongest disagreements.

    When Pat Robertson stands before the Lord, God will say, “Pat, you said a lot of things right, and you said a few things wrong; you sometimes let the pondering of your mind escape through your lips before you had it worked out with me in prayer. This embarrassed those closest to you, and it angered a great many of your enemies.
But also let me say this to you: Thank you for giving your life to me as a young man. Thank you for heeding my call to walk away from what could have been a lucrative career in Law to enter the ministry and start a tiny little television studio in Tidewater Virginia when everybody thought you were crazy. Thank you for pioneering a Christian TV channel that was the first of its kind, and that I was able to bless and project it around the world in many different nations. And thank you, Pat, that because of your visionary spirit and heart of obedience, the 700 Club has been a tool in my hands to bring hundreds of thousands of people into My kingdom. Pat, I also want to thank you that you allowed me to birth Operation Blessing through you and your wonderful staff of sincere and committed people. Together with our supporters, we have given spiritual and natural aid to tens of thousands of devastated people worldwide.
So Pat, other than those few times you really stuck your foot in your mouth, I am happy to say you did most things well. You have been a good and faithful servant who stands or falls before Me alone, and before no other. Enter now, my son, into the joy of the Lord.”

I can only add… “Say those things for me too, Lord.  For me too!”

Today is Alzheimer’s day.  Please pray for a cure and for comfort to all who face this horrible disease.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Roger W. Mateer

    Thank you for this response. You brought to life a fear that a lot of people have when they are in a marriage that has an evil demon living with them. Whether that demon be memory disorders, terminal illness, chronic pain etc..

    That fear is, “Will my spouse still love me even when the demon rears it’s ugly head?” or will the demon make me a different person that is incapable of showing the love I have for my spouse.

    As far as wishing Pat any ill will. I believe that as humans the “hate” response was a “knee jerk” response because we couldn’t believe that he said what he did. I, for one, wish no ill will to Pat. I wish that I could explain to him exactly how his statement hurt a lot of people and then explain what life with dementia is really like and how we can, and, do still love our spouse and God. I wish I could find the words to tell him what a blessing it is to have God trust me so much that he gave me the job of enlightening people to the JOY of the funnier side of dementia.

    • http://www.kendavis.com ken

      Roger,

      You are facing all of this with such grace and humor. I am proud to be your friend.

      Ken

  • Tina

    You are an honorable man, Mr. Davis. Thank you for being so respectful, for both sides of this issue.

    • http://www.kendavis.com ken

      Thank you Tina

  • https://findinggodsfingerprints.wordpress.com Erica McNeal

    Awesome response my friend! Love your grace-filled heart on a topic that touches so close to home. I think you made both your dad and your Father very proud!

  • http://www.RejoiceStudios.com Danny and Shem Hayashi Lin

    “Well said, good and faithful servant.”

    • tracy

      I am so touched by your response. I was also touched by your original blog, but this show humility and grace- beautiful examples of our Savior!

      Be blessed today!

  • chely palmgren

    i can do no better than the people who have commented before me. All i will add is God bless Mr.Davis & All persons experiencing this mjost heart breaking condition either as patient,care giver or familly.

  • Bill

    For anyone to even suggest that they have a remote idea what God will say to someone reaks of arrogance and delusion. People should quit trying to assume and guess what a holy all knowing God would say and they should just remain silent because it exposes their self righteousness.

    • http://www.kendavis.com ken

      Bill,

      I didn’t sense that at all in Malcolm’s response. I also had subsequent conversations with him that indicated he is a gentle and humble who loves the Lord.

      Ken

  • http://www.sclife.org Holly Gatling

    My family suffered with my father’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s for nine years. We kept him home for five years and he was institutionalized and well cared for four years before his death on March 5, 1989. Nothing about his brain disease made him any less my father or my mother’s husband. He was not “kind of dead.” He was fully alive with a debilitating illness, but he never forgot the words I love you. The horror of what Pat Robertson says is it endangers the lives of all those with brain disease, TBI, and virtually any disability. If someone is kind of dead, shouldn’t he be kind of buried or kind of creamated or kind of disposed of in some fashion? Or euthanized to assure that “kind of dead” becomes a done deal? It is not my place to question Pat Robertson’s salvation, but I can question his religious beliefs. He has cross the line into apostacy.

    • http://www.kendavis.com ken

      Holly,
      I loved the thinking in your comment and especially enjoyed reading the last several sentences. Thank you so much for your contribution to this topic. Come back again.
      ‘Ken

  • Evelyn Noweder

    I LOVE this post!!! Thank you so much!! I was one of those who replied, and after seeing an actual clip of the incident, I was saddened by his response to the question. Nevertheless, I agree with your post here. I think many of us have been asked questions at times and have given answers that we would later regret deeply. But again, I really appreciate your posts on this discussion. Thanks!!!

  • Jesse Tysu (Fl)

    Mr. Ken, you were very courageous making this second letter. It took alot of faith to come out and say all of this. I am grateful for men like you who uphold the Truth and Mercy of God honestly and without fear. Thanks so much! :)

  • KimAnn

    Grace grace wonderful grace.

  • Margety

    Thank you, Ken Davis, for both articles. I appreciate your sweet spirit and agree with both.
    I posted the first one on my FB wall because of the view of older people that seems to be in many. God bless you as you continue this ministry. Thank you, too for bringing laughter to so many!

  • Lesa

    Ken – You lead by example once again. I saw nothing but grace and honesty in everything you said. My prayers are with all those who struggle with this horrible disease. My grandmother had alzheimers, and my mother has the onset of dementia due to a stroke. What I find most compelling about this walk I am on with her is that she is more vulnerable now than ever and clearly in need of love and faithfulness from her family. God is using this in my life to make me more like Him.

    Blessings to you and Diane.

    Lesa

  • http://caring.com Tracey

    Very gracious and genuinely sincere response.

  • http://livingandthriving.wordpress.com Stephanie

    Thank you for both these posts.
    My grandmother currently suffers from some form of dementia and my family took care of her for 2 years before we finally had to put her in a nursing home where she is now being cared for by loving professionals. Before that, my grandfather took care of her, at the expense of his own health (he passed away a few days after we brought her home with us). Those two years were exhausting, physically and mentally, and it was heartbreaking to see her become so feeble in body and mind (and to be honest, downright exasperating at times). Nonetheless, we did our very best to be gracious and loving and show her the same kind of compassion as Jesus. We don’t get to see her very often now because her nursing home is a couple hours away, but we go now and then so she knows she’s still remembered and loved, even if she doesn’t always quite remember who we are.
    Thank you for sharing your truly Christian response to this kind of situation, and thank you for doing so with compassion and grace. God bless you. :)

  • Virginia Harris

    We are a family who is struggling with Alzheimers. Family History on my husbands side. He had to retire from the ministry and what one of the most heart breaking things is to see him want to still be able to preach and not able to find most books in his Bible, He is so gentle (so far) and so accepting this as God’s will for his life. I struggle with that as I see him decline. He will be taken care of at home as long as I am able. He is 81 years and was in the ministry for 50 some years.

  • Pete Knickerbocker

    That is a great response from Ken Davis. Thanks for sharing that. My grandfather and my father both went that way but what a joy it was to care for them, knowing that they cared for me before I knoew who they were.

    Blessed by the Love of God,

    Pete

  • Gail Rennetty

    Ken, thank you so much for your response to what was said. My mom had Alzheimer’s for about 10 years before she died. At first it advanced slowly. Then she fell & broke her hip. After the surgery for that the Alzheimer’s took her mind much more rapidly. I am disabled myself & was on crutches at the time. I took care of her the best I could as she had always taken care of me. After she broke her hip, she never walked again & I had to place her in residential care. I made sure a family member visited her daily to check on her & I myself went 3 times a week. God blessed me in that my mother still remembered me until 2 weeks before she died in 2006. I was the last one she remembered. Robertson needs to rethink what he said. He is so, so wrong. They are still the same person, just locked up in there somewhere. I, too, know about the blank staring for hours at a time. It’s a horrible disease.

  • Lanette Currie

    My mother died in 2001 with Alzheimer’s Disease. Having not known us for the past few years, a few days before going home, she knew us. Even though she was unable to verbalize her thoughts, she managed to clearly communicate her feelings to us. So very thankful I didn’t “divorce” my mother. I wouldn’t have missed that goodbye for anything.

    Mr. Davis, thanks for your ministry and for the laughter.

  • Linda Branham

    Pat Robertson has become a welcome friend into my livingroom over the years, like a few other TV evangelists. He has had a vision + ministry for the lost + encourages the believer. The same week he made this oddball comment, he made another just as bizarre or wrong. He is a deeply thoughtful person with an enormous memory + knowledge of scripture + vast experiences, but occasionally he interjects his personal feelings into answering e-mails sent in by viewers. And if he provides great answers for the questions 360 days out of the year – and bizarre or wrong answers the other 5-6 – which will the general media report? Don’t be so naive! Pat could have come up with scripture on which to base a comment and should have. Where the problem lies is in the unbeliever hearing this message from him and wondering what’s up with this? He might have chosen verses like these — Malachi 13-15 You fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don’t get what you want from God. Do you know why? Simple. Because God was there as a witness when you spoke your marriage vows to your young bride, and now you’ve broken those vows, broken the faith-bond with your vowed companion, your covenant wife. God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that’s what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you.

  • linda trammel

    My mother suffered from this horrible disease ( I can’t spell it) for eight years so I am very aware of how you lose the loved one before they actually pass away. Nonetheless, you still love them and need them (even though they don’t maybe know it) and hold on to them as if they were still that same person of long ago. NO divorcing here!
    It really confirms to me that Pat Robertson has done his share of “gaffs” through the years and I personally think he should leave the air waves and let someone with some discernment take over. What is that saying or maybe it is a scripture that says it is what you do in the end of your life that counts, not just the beginning. Pat Robertson, to me, wants to hang on for dear life on his 700 Club for the pride of it. Now that is my opinion and I confess I feel very strong about it.
    Sometimes it is just time to step down. His comment hurt a lot of people and he should be ashamed and no recanting by him will undo it.
    God, of course, can and will forgive him if he asks, but I wonder if Pat asked him to.

    • K

      wow, lighten up on the guy. I am glad you are not on God’s board of directors on judgement day.
      Mr. Robertson was merely giving the man advice who had already made a decision to leave his wife and commit adultery. He would of been judged if he said dump the woman and deal with it.
      First, Alzheimer’s affects people differently depending on age (rate of decline) and cannot actually be diagnoses until an autopsy is performed. As for Dementia, there are different kinds and different areas of the brain affected. People with Alzheimer are unaware of their decline and Dementia patients are aware of their decline.

      Considering this, and the information given to Mr. Robertson, he was clearly addressing the mans relationship concerns.

      The 700 club and Pat Robertson have been a blessing to many, and honestly there should be more non-retired strong christian men like him !!