As a prominent figure in the Evangelical Movement, Pat Robertson played a significant role in shaping the religious landscape of America. From founding the Christian Broadcasting Network to his involvement in politics, Robertson’s contributions to the Evangelical Movement cannot be ignored. In this article, I will take a closer look at Robertson’s life, career, and impact on the Evangelical Movement.
Introduction to Pat Robertson and the Evangelical Movement
Pat Robertson was born into a prominent political family in Virginia in 1930. He attended Yale University, where he earned a degree in history, and later went on to attend law school at the New York University School of Law. After practicing law for a brief period, Robertson felt called to ministry and enrolled in the New York Theological Seminary.
The Evangelical Movement is a diverse movement within Christianity that emphasizes the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible. Evangelicals believe in the concept of born-again salvation and often engage in evangelism and missionary work.
The Difference between Evangelical and Protestant
It is important to note that while all evangelicals are Protestants, not all Protestants are evangelicals. While the Protestant Reformation was a movement that sought to reform the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelical Movement is a more recent development that emerged in the 20th century. Evangelicals are often characterized by their emphasis on personal conversion and evangelism.
Robertson’s Early Life and Career
After completing his theological education, Robertson began his ministry as a Baptist pastor in New York. However, he soon became disillusioned with the Baptist Church and left to start his own ministry. In 1960, Robertson founded the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), which would become one of the largest Christian media networks in the world.
Through CBN, Robertson launched The 700 Club, a daily television program that featured news, interviews, and Christian-themed content. The show became incredibly popular and helped to establish Robertson as a prominent figure in the Evangelical Movement.
The Founding of the Christian Broadcasting Network
CBN would go on to become a major player in the world of Christian media. In addition to The 700 Club, the network produced a multitude of other programs, including children’s shows, music programs, and news broadcasts. The network also launched the Christian Broadcasting Network University (now Regent University), which offers degrees in theology, law, and other fields.
CBN’s success helped to establish Robertson as a leading figure in the Evangelical Movement. He became known for his ability to use media to reach a large audience and spread his message of faith.
Robertson’s Political Influence
In addition to his work in media, Robertson was also involved in politics. In 1988, he ran for president as a Republican candidate, but ultimately lost the nomination to George H.W. Bush. However, Robertson’s political ambitions did not end there.
In 1991, Robertson founded the Christian Coalition, a political organization that sought to mobilize conservative Christians to become more politically active. The organization was incredibly influential in the 1990s and helped to elect numerous conservative politicians to office.
Robertson and the Moral Majority
Robertson’s involvement in politics also put him in contact with other prominent conservative Christian leaders, including Jerry Falwell. Together, Robertson and Falwell founded the Moral Majority, an organization that sought to promote conservative Christian values in politics.
The Moral Majority was incredibly influential in the 1980s and helped to elect Ronald Reagan to the presidency. However, the organization faced criticism from some who felt that it was too closely aligned with the Republican Party.
Robertson’s Contributions to the Evangelical Movement
Despite the controversies surrounding him, Robertson’s contributions to the Evangelical Movement cannot be ignored. Through CBN and the Christian Coalition, he helped to mobilize conservative Christians and give them a voice in politics. His use of media to spread the message of faith has also been influential.
Additionally, Robertson has been a champion of Christian education. Through Regent University and other initiatives, he has sought to provide Christians with the education and training they need to become leaders in their communities.
The Legacy of Pat Robertson
Today, Robertson is 91 years old and has largely retired from public life. However, his legacy lives on. CBN and the Christian Coalition continue to be influential organizations within the Evangelical Movement.
Robertson’s impact on the Evangelical Movement cannot be overstated. Through his work in media and politics, he helped to shape the religious landscape of America. While his controversial comments may have tarnished his reputation in some circles, Robertson will always be remembered as a trailblazer who used his platform to spread the message of faith.