Roger Marsh: Welcome to this special edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh and in today's classic program, Dr. Dobson continues his thoughtful conversation with the late Pat Robertson. As you may have heard, Pat passed away and went home to be with the Lord earlier this month on June the eighth, a few years after the original recording of this conversation. Pat Robertson was 93 years of age. Pat was a renowned religious leader, businessman, philanthropist, educator, author, and TV host. In fact, he founded and was chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, CBN. He hosted the flagship program, The 700 Club, which you may be familiar with. He's also the founder of Regent University and Operation Blessing, an international humanitarian organization.
Pat Robertson had a passion for law and founded the American Center for Law and Justice. He held his juris doctorate from Yale University Law School as well as a master of divinity from New York Theological Seminary. Pat's wife, Adelia, also known as Dede, passed away in April of 2022. Together they leave behind four grown children and many grand and great-grandchildren.
On today's program, Dr. Dobson continues his conversation with his longtime and dear friend about Pat's autobiography, a book called I Have Walked With The Living God. Let's join them right now, right here on Family Talk.
Dr. James Dobson: Pat, are you an ordained minister? I know you got a master's degree in theology.
Pat Robertson: I was ordained in the Southern Baptist Church and when I ran for president, I gave up my ordination because I thought being in politics, I wouldn't do it. And then later on I had an ordination council that sort of re-ordained me. So the answer is, yes, I'm ordained.
Dr. James Dobson: What has been your mission statement? What did you try to do? What did you want to accomplish? You weren't just building a TV show and the other things that you were into. You had a purpose, I want to hear it.
Pat Robertson: Well, I was going to be the John the Baptist and prepare the way for the coming of the Lord and that's been the statement for CBN all the years, that our goal is to prepare the nations of the world for the coming of Jesus Christ.
Dr. James Dobson: And the Lord has blessed you in that regard. What's different now than in the beginning? What's changed?
Pat Robertson: What statement is the magnitude. At this point of time, at CBN, we've got maybe a thousand employees and we broadcast in 59 languages and we're out in about a hundred countries. And according to the surveys, we see numbers of people accepting the Lord in excess of a hundred million a year. And the numbers are so staggering that I can hardly believe what's there. But it's true, we have all kinds of surveys to check on what it is. And on top of that, I didn't have a university, God said to build a school for His glory. And we started with seven professors and 77 students in a rented building. And now we have about 11,000 students and we've got eight prestigious accreditations and we teach cybersecurity and we teach higher math and we teach computer science and we have all these things.
Dr. James Dobson: You have a law school there too, don't you?
Pat Robertson: We have a distinguished law school. Our dean is the former chief judge of the North Carolina Supreme Court. On the faculty, we have three or four United States Circuit Court judges. We have one of the Supreme Court judges that's one of our adjunct faculty and it's quite a school. It's fun to see it.
Dr. James Dobson: You also have a benevolent ministry, don't you?
Pat Robertson: I was reading the Bible years and years ago in the morning, I'd have my morning devotions, and I turned to the 58th chapter of the Book of Isaiah and I started reading and it says, "Is not this the fast that I have chosen that you deal your bread to the hungry? If you see the naked, you clothe him. If you see the homeless, you'd take him into the home." And he said, "If you do that, your light is going to shine swiftly and the Lord will lead you continuously and He will be your rear guard."
And I read that and I said, "All right, Lord, if that's what you're giving me, I want to do it." So I drove into the studio where I went on the air for a morning program and I says, "Folks, we're going to start something. We're going to call it Operation Blessing. And here's what God says." And I wrote it on the blackboard. I said, "Look, He said, what we supposed to do, we're supposed to feed the hungry, we're supposed to clothe the naked, we're supposed to reach out to the dispossessed. We're supposed to set the captives free. And if we do that, here's what God says, our light's going to shine brightly and we'll be a restorer of the breach and God will guide us continuously and so forth." And I said, "This is what we're going to do." And I said, "If it's anybody in this audience, you've got some canned goods you want to give to the poor, you call us and if some of you, for example, you got a car and you want to take a person who can't drive to the dentist or to the beauty shop or whatever you call and we'll put down, you got a ride."
That's how we started, Jim. We had a three by five card with little cards with people who'd given us stuff. And since that time, we have seen maybe 300 million people in the world. We help with food and clothes and shelter and hospitals and all kinds of things like that. And we've given away maybe up to $4 billion, something like that. But it all started, the Bible said, "Don't despise the day of small beginnings." And so it was a little three by five card based on Isaiah 58.
Dr. James Dobson: Well, the Lord has truly blessed the things that you've done. Let's talk about your run for the presidency.
Pat Robertson: Yeah.
Dr. James Dobson: When you look back on that, you think about that experience, what kind of thoughts do you have?
Pat Robertson: Well, it's kind of like, I wish I hadn't done it. When I was finished, I was so exhausted. It was recovering from a very serious illness. What happened was, I didn't gain the presidency, but I mobilized the Christian people to get involved in the political process.
Dr. James Dobson: You sure did that.
Pat Robertson: Out of that came the Christian Coalition, which was a very powerful lobbying group. We took over the control of the Republican party in Texas. And I think we were responsible maybe for the election of young George Bush. But I believe that out of that one experience, I was able to show Christians that politics is not dirty. That it's something that we owe the Lord as good citizens and I believe it's had an impact.
Dr. James Dobson: Well, no, there's no doubt about that. I was in one of your meetings early on when you said you had this strong impression that the Lord was leading you to do that. He didn't promise you, you were going to win, but He did tell you to do it, didn't He?
Pat Robertson: That's exactly right. And if he told me I was going to lose, I wouldn't have done it, so I was always hoping I'd win. And I had a pretty good run. I came out, I think, I won about five states and I was third. I was running against a sitting vice president of the majority leader of the United States Senate. And then those two were ahead of me. And then I had guys like Donald Rumsfeld and Jack Kemp and the former, Pete DuPont and Al Hague, and there were some pretty tough guys, and I came out ahead of all of them. So it was a pretty good run. And the people, they were so wonderful. I just love the people of America. I met some of the most marvelous people and they were so kind. But I tell you, the press was brutal. They were just so mean and nasty. You start going for the big prize and the establishment doesn't like you, they don't want you to come in because it's their province and they guard it very, very jealously.
Dr. James Dobson: Especially if it is somebody they have anointed, if they have their plan for who they want to be president and they make every effort to see that he gets elected, and that sounds very familiar to what's going on right now. Pat, you said that that was a very difficult assignment for you. Gary Bauer also ran for presidency, and he told me that that was the toughest thing he's ever done in his life. Do you feel that way?
Pat Robertson: Without question. Really, as I say, I was literally exhausted when it was over and I had been hurt so badly. They do such bad things. Jim, one of the things in my book, I was a golden gloves boxer, a heavyweight boxer when I was in high school, and I wanted to get the editor of the Washington Post into the ring so badly and punch him in the jaw. I really wanted-
Dr. James Dobson: A little carnal nature there coming out.
Pat Robertson: Well, I had to come to a point where I would forgive him and forgive all these guys, because you cannot hold a grudge. And the nice thing that God has done for me in these later years, I can't hold a grudge against anybody. I don't care what they do to me. It's almost incapable of holding a grudge.
Dr. James Dobson: I've said we're on the edge of a cliff, and I really believe that. What are your specific greatest concerns for our country today?
Pat Robertson: My concern is the future of this great country. When you look at the world, there is no place in this and entire world where people can go to seek freedom. You've got dictators in China, you've got dictators in North Korea, you've got a dictator in Turkey. You've got these crazy people in Iran and there's no place such persecution of Christians. The United States is the only champion of liberty and freedom and has been the sending ground of missionaries. If we go off the scene, the devil will own this world. And I think the United States is so important right now for everybody.
Dr. James Dobson: You know what, I told Shirley this the other day. It really feels to me like Satan is walking the streets. I know that that happened at the start of World War II. You could just see the rise of Adolf Hitler and you can see the changes that were being made inside Germany and elsewhere in the world. And it just feels to me, I'm no prophet, but I could just see a conversation like Satan had with Job where he went out and said, "I have been walking the world." And he obviously has his own plan and his own purposes, and it sure looks to me like he's working in our system today.
Pat Robertson: There's no question he's doing it. That's the game of the communists and the others who want to destroy America. You first downplay your leaders, then you take away all authority and then there's a cry for a strong man to kind of settle things down. And the next thing you know, we've gone from freedom to dictatorship. And if America falls, there's nobody yet in the world, there is no place ... I've traveled all over the world and there's nobody even close that's strong enough to resist a major overthrow of our society.
Dr. James Dobson: What other country do people try to break into like this?
Pat Robertson: Yeah, that's right.
Dr. James Dobson: There's a reason why they come here. Pat, when you hear the term socialism, what jumps out at you?
Pat Robertson: Well, socialism, what comes out is, is a nice form of communism. And I think what we're seeing down in Nicaragua, for example, is an example with socialism, they call it socialism, but it's destruction of human value. And it's a prelude to dictatorship. They use the term, but it means we're going to run your lives and we're going to take away your property. We'll take away your guns, take away your freedom, and then we will dominate you and we will control you. That's what it means to me. Control.
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. I have a phrase that I probably borrowed from some others, but, "he who will seek power first creates chaos. And from the chaos comes tyranny."
Pat Robertson: That's exactly what's happening in our country. And they have got a game plan now that is being played out. You take away the police, you take away the guns, you take away the freedoms of people, you begin to control them, you make them do this and make them do the other. And once people begin to do that, they're at the mercy of the state and the state takes over. And so we got to stand for freedom. I stand for freedom. There's something inside of me that just cries out to be free and I think that comes from the Lord.
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah, that's in the soul of men. That concern is shared. I'm sure you're urging people to be in prayer. Christian folks really need to be on their knees. I really do believe that we've come to that point. I think it's just hanging in the balance right now. Do you see any evidence of a third great awakening?
Pat Robertson: Jim, I'm seeing it all over the world. God is moving. There are people coming to the Lord by the millions. I've been in country after country, after country, and all you have to do is just talk about the gospel. You don't have to give them a lecture in theology, just talk about Jesus died for you. I've seen Hindus, I've seen Muslims, I've seen Africans, I've seen Latin Americans, I've seen people all over the world. They respond to the message of Jesus. And in my opinion, we're not on the brink of, we're in the middle of one of the greatest moves of God in the history of mankind.
Dr. James Dobson: Is it taking place in this country?
Pat Robertson: Not like it ought to. No. That's what the problem is. Around the world it is, but the media here is so biased and they give us such a distorted view of reality. And it's horrible that this media is doing everything they can to destroy the life that we have enjoyed. I don't know why it is. They get their money from all this, but they somehow want to destroy our freedom.
Dr. James Dobson: My father was an evangelist and I grew up with that mindset and I grew up watching him pray hours upon hours for revival. And check me on this, in terms of the history of such events. Does it not usually start with prayer and then with the young? How in the world that could happen with the millennials that we have here who have not, they've turned their back on everything or they never knew it. Their parents never taught them about Jesus and about salvation. So that's got to come from somewhere. But it ought to begin right there with the young.
Pat Robertson: Jim, you ought to see the students at Regent University. They have something on Thursday night, we call the Un-chapel, and the chapel is packed with these kids on their own, on the floor, on their faces, crying out to God all around in the area.
Dr. James Dobson: That is so exciting to hear.
Pat Robertson: Oh man, it puts me to shame their love of God. They really are wonderful. God is moving among the young. It's remarkable, but I'm seeing it. I'm not despairing of this next generation. I'm seeing great things going on. So frankly, brother, I'm an optimist. The guy said I read the back of the book and I know we win, but we're on the victory side. God is in control of this world and we need to just praise Him for it.
Dr. James Dobson: Well, I'm an optimist too, but it's hard to be optimistic when you see all the things going on in our culture. It just takes my breath away. Things having nothing to do with the church, but defunding the police department, you got people dying in this streets in Chicago and other places, people die every weekend by the dozens and sometimes hundreds, and they're going to defund the police. Are we crazy? What in the world has gotten into us?
Pat Robertson: We just have to speak out against it. And I think that America isn't gone yet. So as I say, I'm an optimist. I believe God is still on the throne.
Dr. James Dobson: I love this country, don't you?
Pat Robertson: I absolutely do.
Dr. James Dobson: You know that you just look at what happened with our founding fathers, that really came out of the second great awakening and they wrote into the Constitution, not reference to the Bible, but many biblical concepts were in that statement of liberty and freedom and the Bill of Rights. And I just pray that we won't stupidly throw it all over.
Pat Robertson: Jim, we're not going to do it. I think again, when it looks like things are lost, God Almighty, we just need to call out to Him. He's going to listen to us. He hasn't given up on America yet. We can surrender it, but I don't think He's going to let us. He loves the world. And if this thing does go, you can figure the Lord's going to come back pretty soon because the world will be in such chaos, but I don't think it's going to happen quite yet.
Dr. James Dobson: Well, Pat, you've been so consistent and you've been so dedicated to the cause of Christ, and I appreciate you. I thank you for your dedication and for the many years of service and the effort that's gone into it. And I just pray that the Lord will continue to bless you. You're 90 years old and it sounds to me like you're just getting started.
Pat Robertson: Oh yeah, there's a new birth. My son just sent me a Scripture. He said they'll still be bearing fruit in old age. Thanks, God bless you, but I believe I'm hoping that this book, I Walk With a Living God, will let people know that God is so powerful and they can trust Him. So anyhow-
Dr. James Dobson: Well, this book is one that people will enjoy. It's got talk about his ministry and his life and times, and especially his brand new book, I Have Walked with the Living God. And Pat, you've been my friend for a long time and I'm going to see you forever in Heaven. And I just appreciate you. Give my regards to your family.
Pat Robertson: And to your lovely wife. God bless you both.
Dr. James Dobson: She was on your program many times too, wasn't she?
Pat Robertson: I know. She's a wonderful lady.
Dr. James Dobson: Okay, we'll talk again, my friend.
Pat Robertson: God bless you.
Roger Marsh: Well, Pat Robertson was a remarkable Christian and what a godly life he lived. That's why we have celebrated his homecoming these past couple of days here on Family Talk. And we take great comfort in knowing that Pat Robertson has stood before God and heard those words. "Well done, good and faithful servant." You've been listening to part two of Dr. James Dobson's conversation with legendary Christian broadcaster and educator, Pat Robertson. It was recorded in August of 2020. If you'd like to share parts one and two of this program with a friend or a loved one, all you have to do is visit drjamesdobson.org. And keep in mind, you can also easily share Family Talk programs from our app on your smartphone as well.
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Dr. James Dobson: How important is a father's role in the overall health and wellbeing of a son or daughter? Some years ago, a greeting card company decided to do something special for Mother's Day. They set up a table in a federal prison inviting any inmate who so desired to send a free card to his mom. The lines were so long, they had to make another trip to the factory to get more cards. Due to the success of the event, they decided to do the same thing on Father's Day. Only this time, no one came. Not one prisoner felt the need to send a card to dad, and many had no idea who their fathers even were. What a sobering illustration about the importance of a father's relationship with his children. Contrast that story with a conversation I once had with a man named Bill Houghton, who was president of a large construction firm.
Through the years he had hired and managed thousands of employees. I asked him, "When you're thinking of hiring an employee, especially a man, what do you look for?" His answer surprised me. He said, "I look primarily at the relationship between the man and his father. If he felt loved by his dad and respected his authority, he's likely to be a good employee." Then he added, "I won't hire a young man who has been in rebellion against his dad. He'll have difficulty with me too."
Fathers, never underestimate the incredible influence you have on your children, both your sons and your daughters.
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