Friday, September 16, 2011

Responses to Alzheimer’s and marriage, and two Robertsons


PatRobertson... from one (deluded) Robertson ...

We have become accustomed to weird, and sometimes other-worldly, responses from Pat Robertson. This time he counselled a man to divorce his wife with Alzheimer’s in order to marry another woman, “because,” Pat Robertson said, the dementia-riddled wife was “not there” anymore and could no longer provide him with companionship! How opposite to the gospel of Christ and the symbolism of marriage in Christ as the husband and the church as His wife!

... to another (loving) Robertson ...

Robertson_McQuilkinOn the other hand we find Robertson McQuilkin, a college and seminary president, torn between two commitments when his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and his response to this “trial” of love and care.

Part of his story goes like this:

“She is such a delight to me. I don't have to care for her, I get to. One blessing is the way she is teaching me so much—about love, for example, God's love. She picks flowers outside—anyone's—and fills the house with them.

“Lately she has begun to pick them inside, too. Someone had given us a beautiful Easter lily, two stems with four or five lilies on each, and more to come. One day I came into the kitchen and there on the window sill over the sink was a vase with a stem of lilies in it. I've learned to ‘go with the flow’ and not correct irrational behavior. She means no harm and does not understand what should be done, nor would she remember a rebuke. Nevertheless, I did the irrational—I told her how disappointed I was, how the lilies would soon die, the buds would never bloom, and please do not break off the other stem.

“The next day our youngest son, soon to leave for India came from Houston for his next-to-last visit. I told Kent of my rebuke of his mother and how bad I felt about it. As we sat on the porch swing, savoring each moment together, his mother came to the door with a gift of love for me: she carefully laid the other stem of lilies on the table with a gentle smile and turned back into the house. I said simply, ‘Thank you.’ Kent said, ‘You're doing better, Dad!’”

You may continue reading his story at ChristianityToday. Also watch the video below on Robertson McQuilkin’s story.

... and a much, much Moore commentary on Pat Robertson’s deluded counsel ...

Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote a very thought-provoking commentary on Pat Robertson’s deluded counsel in this regard:

“Few Christians take Robertson all that seriously anymore. Most roll their eyes, and shake their heads when he makes another outlandish comment (for instance, defending China’s brutal one-child abortion policy to identifying God’s judgment on specific actions in the September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, or the Haiti earthquake). This is serious, though, because it points to an issue that is much bigger than Robertson.

“Marriage, the Scripture tells us, is an icon of something deeper, more ancient, more mysterious. The marriage union is a sign, the Apostle Paul announces, of the mystery of Christ and his church (Eph. 5). The husband, then, is to love his wife ‘as Christ loved the church’ (Eph. 5:25). This love is defined not as the hormonal surge of romance but as a self-sacrificial crucifixion of self. The husband pictures Christ when he loves his wife by giving himself up for her.

“At the arrest of Christ, his Bride, the church, forgot who she was, and denied who he was. He didn’t divorce her. He didn’t leave.”

You can read Russell Moore’s article at his website.

HT: Justin Taylor

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