The 700 Club regularly features a segment where Pat Robertson and his co-host read prayer request letters they have received and then pray for their authors and call out visions of God healing certain ailments (or shelling out a cool million). All viewers have to do is “claim” their particular healing and their maladies will be gone. During today’s broadcast, a viewer named Clark asked Robertson to defend the practice, which is common among Word-Faith preachers and faith healers:
I watched your son [Gordon] and a woman on TV telling people that God was healing a certain condition that people in the audience were suffering from. Then they discussed cases where viewers had written in to say that they had been healed, thus apparently proving that they have the ability to get God to heal people during the show. Is that power only available to them during the show? If not, are they spending every waking moment healing people? If not, that is just plain wrong.
Robertson tried to laugh off the question and explained that when the 700 Club hosts are praying together they receive a “Word of knowledge” and “the Lord just shows us what he is doing at some point of time, not what we are doing, it is his do.”
He insisted that he is not a healer: “I do not believe in a resident gift to heal” — just in “gifts of healing.”
Then, the televangelist likened the whole shtick to Santa Claus passing out gifts.
“It’s plural ‘gifts of healing.’” Robertson said. “It’s like Santa Claus. He has a pack on his back and he has gifts and he’s passing these gifts out but they come from God.”
“The word of knowledge says we are merely reciting what God himself is doing, okay?”
This isn’t the first time Robertson has defended the practice. Last year, Robertson said that failed healings are not the result of the pastors (like Robertson) who conduct them but due to a lack of faith among people asking for a healing.