VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — During the Tuesday broadcast of “The 700 Club,” televangelist Pat Robertson told viewers that young earth teaching is “nonsense” and “embarrassing,” and that Christians shouldn’t “limit” God to 6,000 years. Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis has since commented on the matter, calling upon Robertson to “repent of compromise” that “undermines the authority” of what God has stated in His word.
Robertson was answering a question during the Q & A segment of his broadcast, as a woman sought to understand teaching that she had heard in church.
“I learned in church that the time of creation was 6,000 years ago. How does that work, compared to science saying dinosaurs are thousands or millions of years old?” the woman, named Sheila, asked.
Robertson responded by advising that he has added a course in cosmology to the science curriculum at Regent University’s School of Divinity because he wants to counter young earth teaching.
He pointed to 17th Anglican Bishop James Ussher, who used both biblical and non-biblical historical sources to chronicle and calculate that Adam was created by God at approximately 4004 B.C., thus dating the earth to be 6,000 years old.
“Well, the truth is the dinosaurs were extinct maybe … about 50 billion years ago, and this planet has been [around] much longer than that,” Robertson asserted. “And there was a course that they were trying to hustle around called creation science that was just nonsense, and it was so embarrassing, so we wanted to make sure we told the truth.”
“You know, this universe that we live in is about 14 billion years old and there’s no question about it,” Robertson claimed. “And we have tremendous geological records and all the rest of it. And that 6,000-year stuff just doesn’t compute. But we, as Christians, we need to know the truth.”
In describing the vastness of the universe, which He attributed to the hand of God, he then told viewers with a chuckle, “Let’s give God the credit for what He did and not try to limit Him to 6,000 years.”
Co-cost Wendy Griffith also laughed, stating, “I’m glad you cleared that up.”
However, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis was not amused by Robertson’s remarks and called him to repentance on social media.
“It’s not those of us who take God at His word who are ’embarrassing’ — it’s the other way around!” he wrote on Friday. “Those like Pat Robertson who adopt man’s pagan religion, which includes elements like evolutionary geology based on naturalism (atheism), and add that to God’s word are destructive to the church. This compromise undermines the authority of the infallible word.”
Ham said that buying into the world’s Godless teaching is “a major reason why there’s been (and continues to be) an exodus from the church of the younger generations.”
“They’ve been taught to doubt and not believe God’s word, beginning in Genesis,” he lamented. “Pat, repent of compromise.”
As previously reported, this is not the first time that Robertson has condemned young earth teaching nor that Ham has provided rebuttal against the claims of the longtime television host. In 2014, Robertson said that Christians shouldn’t “make a joke of themselves” over the age of the earth.
“So, there was a Big Bang. So? That doesn’t mean it came spontaneously. Nobody knows what caused the Big Bang, but I say God did it,” Robertson asserted, outlining that he doesn’t believe in atheistic evolution, but rather a “progressive evolution under His control.”
“You can’t just totally deny the geological formations that are out there — the rock formations and all the things all over the world, especially the bones,” he contended. “And we have found a Tyrannosaurus Rex out there in Oregon or some place — I mean, a full skeleton — and that layer was laid down about 65 million years ago.”
In 2012, Robertson responded to a viewer who was afraid that her husband and teenage sons might leave the faith, including because of questions they had surrounding the existence of dinosaurs.
“[I]f you fight revealed science, you’re going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was,” Robertson remarked.
“Such leaders – including Pat Robertson – have a lot to answer to the Lord for one day,” Ham said at that time. “Such leaders are guilty of putting stumbling blocks in the way of kids and adults in regards to believing God’s word and the gospel.”
“Oh, that God would convict and open the eyes of Christian leaders and Christian college and seminary professors, so many of whom are as uninformed and deceived as Pat Robertson,” he also mourned in 2014. “God have mercy.”
Robertson likewise generated outrage in 2011 when he counseled that a man who was having an affair should divorce his wife with Alzheimer’s disease and “start all over again” because the condition is “a kind of death.” In 2013, he stated that while he questions those who identify as transgender, he doesn’t see “any sin associated with” obtaining a sex-change operation.