In Depth with Gordon Robertson

In Depth with Gordon Robertson

Gordon Robertson grew up in the Christian television business. He remembers watching his father, Pat Robertson, pursue his God-given vision to spread the gospel through TV even when it seemed everything was against him. He watched his father preach on air and even witnessed healing miracles on set. But Gordon Robertson says he never truly encountered miracles for himself until he went to India. Listen to hear more about this story and more.

30 Minutes • a month ago

Episode Notes

In-Depth with

Stephen Strang

Guest: Gordon Robertson

 

Gordon Robertson grew up in the Christian television business. He remembers watching his father, Pat Robertson, pursue his God-given vision to spread the gospel through TV even when it seemed everything was against him. He watched his father preach on air and even witnessed healing miracles on set.

 

But Gordon Robertson says he never truly encountered miracles for himself until he went to India. Listen to hear more about this story and more.

 

Introduction

Stephen Strang: Hello, everyone, I'm Stephen Strang and welcome to this special edition of my podcast called In-Depth with Stephen Strang. Today I have the privilege of interviewing Gordon Robertson whom you know, of course, from The 700 Club. I had the privilege earlier of interviewing his father, Pat Robertson, and we're going to go in-depth today and hopefully talk about things that you don't always talk about. Gordon, because you're in the media, a lot of people know you. But to my knowledge, you've never written a shout-it-from-the-house-tops-kind of biography.

 

·         Read the Strang Report: Gordon Robertson: I Grew Up in CBN but Didn’t Know Miracles Until I Went to India’

 

Gordon Robertson: I did one that we released in the Philippines about the Asian Center for Missions and the whole start of that. It didn't get released in the United States, but I have done a book about sort of my history and what got me to the Philippines. The Philippine office has encouraged me to do a version called Shout it from the nepa hut. So, instead of the house top, let's do the nepa hut.

 

Stephen Strang: That's a creative title. When I interviewed your father, I asked him bout his famous father, your grandfather, Senator Robertson, who went to Congress when your dad was like two years old. So, if I did the arithmetic right, you were only two or three when your dad started in broadcasting. So, you grew up with this, didn't you?

 

Gordon Robertson: I grew up with those. I grew up with CBN. The story I like to tell about that illustrates just how hard those early years were, was that dad started broadcasting from a TV station in 1961. We didn't own a TV set until 1963. So, there was this two-year gap. If we wanted to watch what dad was doing, we had to go to the station.

 

Gordon Robertson Book

 

·         Rise Up: Stories of Remarkable Faith and Relentless Courage

 

Stephen Strang: So, your father, of course, quickly became well known, first of all in Christian circles and later the whole country. What was it like growing up with Pat Robertson as a dad?

 

Gordon Robertson: It was definitely was an adventure. I didn't understand the power of vision to drive you until I had my own. It took it’s time with me. I was age 35 when I finally got it, and then I really started to understand my father and what was it that caused him to sacrifice so much to achieve this dream, and how worth it that it was for him. Nothing else could possibly compare to pursuing that.

 

Stephen Strang: So what was it that you really learned?

 

Gordon Robertson: That God always comes through. And even when it seems to be really bleak, and you think you're in your darkest hour, no, God's getting ready to really come through. He always rewards faith. One of the earliest sermons I remember from my father is that wonderful verse that the eyes of the Lord go to and fro over the whole earth to show himself strong to those whose hearts are loyal to him. That loyal peace, Dad sums up, God always responds to. He's always looking for that. When you have that, when you believe in what he's about to do, then he's looking for you.

 

Stephen Strang: Your father was trained as a lawyer. It's no secret, but it's also not widely known. And you followed his footsteps?

 

Gordon Robertson: I followed backwards. He went to Washington Lee University undergrad and Yale Law. I went to Yale undergrad and Washington Lee Law.

 

Stephen Strang: And then you practiced law for about 10 years. I don't think your father ever practiced law, did he?

 

Gordon Robertson: He never practiced. He went into investment banking with WR Grace initially and then with a group of his friends from law school. But all of that one away when he got really dramatically convertedHe left all of that and moved us into Bedford Stuyvestant. He wanted to be a missionary to the inner city of New York and actually applied to be a missionary to Africa. A real curious turn of events, I think he was he was so sold out to God that He was willing to go to the toughest places on the planet. The head of the African mission prayed about it. And he said, Pat, I think God has something completely different for you and you need to be open to that. That's when George Lauderdale called him up and said there's a UHF station in Portsmouth, Virginia for sale. I think you need to claim this station for God. And that started CBN.

 

Stephen Strang: And how different history would have been if that man had not heard from the Lord. So, you have your own story about missions. You went to India after you had been practicing law for about 10 years.

 

Gordon Robertson: I made partner at that point. I was chairman of the real estate section of the firm. So, from a professional standpoint, you could say, I had made it. But, I didn't much like it. I didn't find it as fulfilling as I thought it would be. But it's one of those stories where you climb the ladder of success only to find out your ladder is leaning against the wrong building. It wasn't what I wanted. A lawyer friend of my father and my grandfather had come to me that year and he asked a very provocative question. I thought he was going to do some kind of case referral, or I thought it was going to be lawyer business, but no, he just wanted to talk to me. He wanted to talk to me about meHe said, do you really want it on your tombstone that you worked 2,200 billable hours a year? Is that what you want? And the answer was no, that's not what I want. I wouldn't view that as fulfilled life. It really kind of scared me because it gets you thinking about eternity. When you when you're walking out day by day … and we have these sorts of goals. Let's graduate from high school. Let's graduate from college. For me, let's go on to law school, let’s graduate from law school, let's be an associate, let's become a partner. All of these stages are mapped out for you and you just sort of hit the target. Here's the next goal, you hit the target. In all of that I wasn't really thinking. I wasn't thinking about eternity. I wasn't thinking about destiny. I wasn't thinking about legacy. That question got me thinking. And then John Jimenez from our church called me up one day and said that he had a dream about me, which I thought was unusual. I was occasionally going to church, but I wasn't following God at all. And John knew that. I had been talking with John about some of my struggles. So, he knew all of these things. And he said, I had a dream about you. You're supposed to go with me on a mission trip to India. I kinda laughed at that inside myself. I had my own Sarah moment. I couldn't bring myself to say, well, John, you're out of your mind. There's no way I'm going India. I had never been to India. My lawyer brain took over and I said, Well, OK, John, when are you going? It was Thursday afternoon, he said, and I'm going Monday morning. So, I knew that I couldn't get a visa and that period of time. There's not easy travel from the United States to India. You have to have a visa. There's no way you can get a processed visa from Thursday afternoon to be on a plane Monday morning. The Embassy is going to be closed Saturday and Sunday, and there’s no way. So, I heard myself say, OK, John, if you can get the visa, I'll go. I didn't know the fix was in. He had a visa expediting service. He had already planned it out. He was just waiting for me to say yes. When I said that, he said, great. Where can I get your passport? And that passport was delivered to the Indian Embassy first thing Friday morning. The visa expediting service, you have to pay extra for it and that visa cleared in record time. He called me the next day. I got your visa. So, now I'm stuck. I found myself on an Air India flight to India from Kennedy Airport.

 

Stephen Strang: Where did you go in India?

 

Gordon Robertson: We went pretty far. It was place called Roger Mundry. We spent the night in the New Delhi airport. Then flew to what was is now called Chinai. We then took a 12-hour train ride from Chinai to Roger Mundry and stayed in a $10 a night hotel. For me, I'm going back in time. It's not just a long geographic journey. I go back in time and I see things that I didn't know existed, in terms of everything. It wasn't just the poverty … and the poverty just hit you in the face as soon as you get off the plane. Everything just hit you in the face. You seethe train stations in India are a cross-cultural experience. Watching construction in Roger Mundry where everything is manual labor … there are no power tools at all. But the one that really changed me was seeing idolatry firsthand. It's different when you see it firsthand then when you see it in any kind of TV or movie or documentary. I saw an Indian woman, probably in her 60s, get on our knees and bow down before a stone cow and offer up incense and fragrant leaves and fruit for the stone cow. She did her offering and I was thinking, OK, this is some kind of ritual. Then after she did that, she got on her face in the dust … puts her face into the dust. The prayer of anguish that came out of that woman was just … she's not going to a ritual. She earnestly hopes this stone cow can answer a prayer. And three thoughts came to me. One is, how can you, made in the image of God, bow down to an image of a cow? I got mad. Second one was OK, you prayed to your stone cow. I'm going to pray to the living God and we will see who gets an answer. Then I heard a voice right behind my right shoulder, an audible voice, no one has ever told her. That broke meI couldn't be mad at her. I couldn't challenge her. All I could do was love her in that moment. Here she is, completely ignorant of how to find God.

 

Stephen Strang: Were you able to communicate that to her?

 

Gordon Robertson: Not in that moment. No, I didn't have the boldness at that point in my life, but it definitely stayed with me, what can we do about that ignorance? If no one has ever told her a better path, how can we do that?

 

For the rest of Stephen’s interview with Gordon Robertson, please click here.

Connect with Gordon Robertson

·         On Facebook

·         On Twitter

·         On CBN.com

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

Episode Notes

In-Depth with

Stephen Strang

Guest: Gordon Robertson

 

Gordon Robertson grew up in the Christian television business. He remembers watching his father, Pat Robertson, pursue his God-given vision to spread the gospel through TV even when it seemed everything was against him. He watched his father preach on air and even witnessed healing miracles on set.

 

But Gordon Robertson says he never truly encountered miracles for himself until he went to India. Listen to hear more about this story and more.

 

Introduction

Stephen Strang: Hello, everyone, I'm Stephen Strang and welcome to this special edition of my podcast called In-Depth with Stephen Strang. Today I have the privilege of interviewing Gordon Robertson whom you know, of course, from The 700 Club. I had the privilege earlier of interviewing his father, Pat Robertson, and we're going to go in-depth today and hopefully talk about things that you don't always talk about. Gordon, because you're in the media, a lot of people know you. But to my knowledge, you've never written a shout-it-from-the-house-tops-kind of biography.

 

·         Read the Strang Report: Gordon Robertson: I Grew Up in CBN but Didn’t Know Miracles Until I Went to India’

 

Gordon Robertson: I did one that we released in the Philippines about the Asian Center for Missions and the whole start of that. It didn't get released in the United States, but I have done a book about sort of my history and what got me to the Philippines. The Philippine office has encouraged me to do a version called Shout it from the nepa hut. So, instead of the house top, let's do the nepa hut.

 

Stephen Strang: That's a creative title. When I interviewed your father, I asked him bout his famous father, your grandfather, Senator Robertson, who went to Congress when your dad was like two years old. So, if I did the arithmetic right, you were only two or three when your dad started in broadcasting. So, you grew up with this, didn't you?

 

Gordon Robertson: I grew up with those. I grew up with CBN. The story I like to tell about that illustrates just how hard those early years were, was that dad started broadcasting from a TV station in 1961. We didn't own a TV set until 1963. So, there was this two-year gap. If we wanted to watch what dad was doing, we had to go to the station.

 

Gordon Robertson Book

 

·         Rise Up: Stories of Remarkable Faith and Relentless Courage

 

Stephen Strang: So, your father, of course, quickly became well known, first of all in Christian circles and later the whole country. What was it like growing up with Pat Robertson as a dad?

 

Gordon Robertson: It was definitely was an adventure. I didn't understand the power of vision to drive you until I had my own. It took it’s time with me. I was age 35 when I finally got it, and then I really started to understand my father and what was it that caused him to sacrifice so much to achieve this dream, and how worth it that it was for him. Nothing else could possibly compare to pursuing that.

 

Stephen Strang: So what was it that you really learned?

 

Gordon Robertson: That God always comes through. And even when it seems to be really bleak, and you think you're in your darkest hour, no, God's getting ready to really come through. He always rewards faith. One of the earliest sermons I remember from my father is that wonderful verse that the eyes of the Lord go to and fro over the whole earth to show himself strong to those whose hearts are loyal to him. That loyal peace, Dad sums up, God always responds to. He's always looking for that. When you have that, when you believe in what he's about to do, then he's looking for you.

 

Stephen Strang: Your father was trained as a lawyer. It's no secret, but it's also not widely known. And you followed his footsteps?

 

Gordon Robertson: I followed backwards. He went to Washington Lee University undergrad and Yale Law. I went to Yale undergrad and Washington Lee Law.

 

Stephen Strang: And then you practiced law for about 10 years. I don't think your father ever practiced law, did he?

 

Gordon Robertson: He never practiced. He went into investment banking with WR Grace initially and then with a group of his friends from law school. But all of that one away when he got really dramatically convertedHe left all of that and moved us into Bedford Stuyvestant. He wanted to be a missionary to the inner city of New York and actually applied to be a missionary to Africa. A real curious turn of events, I think he was he was so sold out to God that He was willing to go to the toughest places on the planet. The head of the African mission prayed about it. And he said, Pat, I think God has something completely different for you and you need to be open to that. That's when George Lauderdale called him up and said there's a UHF station in Portsmouth, Virginia for sale. I think you need to claim this station for God. And that started CBN.

 

Stephen Strang: And how different history would have been if that man had not heard from the Lord. So, you have your own story about missions. You went to India after you had been practicing law for about 10 years.

 

Gordon Robertson: I made partner at that point. I was chairman of the real estate section of the firm. So, from a professional standpoint, you could say, I had made it. But, I didn't much like it. I didn't find it as fulfilling as I thought it would be. But it's one of those stories where you climb the ladder of success only to find out your ladder is leaning against the wrong building. It wasn't what I wanted. A lawyer friend of my father and my grandfather had come to me that year and he asked a very provocative question. I thought he was going to do some kind of case referral, or I thought it was going to be lawyer business, but no, he just wanted to talk to me. He wanted to talk to me about meHe said, do you really want it on your tombstone that you worked 2,200 billable hours a year? Is that what you want? And the answer was no, that's not what I want. I wouldn't view that as fulfilled life. It really kind of scared me because it gets you thinking about eternity. When you when you're walking out day by day … and we have these sorts of goals. Let's graduate from high school. Let's graduate from college. For me, let's go on to law school, let’s graduate from law school, let's be an associate, let's become a partner. All of these stages are mapped out for you and you just sort of hit the target. Here's the next goal, you hit the target. In all of that I wasn't really thinking. I wasn't thinking about eternity. I wasn't thinking about destiny. I wasn't thinking about legacy. That question got me thinking. And then John Jimenez from our church called me up one day and said that he had a dream about me, which I thought was unusual. I was occasionally going to church, but I wasn't following God at all. And John knew that. I had been talking with John about some of my struggles. So, he knew all of these things. And he said, I had a dream about you. You're supposed to go with me on a mission trip to India. I kinda laughed at that inside myself. I had my own Sarah moment. I couldn't bring myself to say, well, John, you're out of your mind. There's no way I'm going India. I had never been to India. My lawyer brain took over and I said, Well, OK, John, when are you going? It was Thursday afternoon, he said, and I'm going Monday morning. So, I knew that I couldn't get a visa and that period of time. There's not easy travel from the United States to India. You have to have a visa. There's no way you can get a processed visa from Thursday afternoon to be on a plane Monday morning. The Embassy is going to be closed Saturday and Sunday, and there’s no way. So, I heard myself say, OK, John, if you can get the visa, I'll go. I didn't know the fix was in. He had a visa expediting service. He had already planned it out. He was just waiting for me to say yes. When I said that, he said, great. Where can I get your passport? And that passport was delivered to the Indian Embassy first thing Friday morning. The visa expediting service, you have to pay extra for it and that visa cleared in record time. He called me the next day. I got your visa. So, now I'm stuck. I found myself on an Air India flight to India from Kennedy Airport.

 

Stephen Strang: Where did you go in India?

 

Gordon Robertson: We went pretty far. It was place called Roger Mundry. We spent the night in the New Delhi airport. Then flew to what was is now called Chinai. We then took a 12-hour train ride from Chinai to Roger Mundry and stayed in a $10 a night hotel. For me, I'm going back in time. It's not just a long geographic journey. I go back in time and I see things that I didn't know existed, in terms of everything. It wasn't just the poverty … and the poverty just hit you in the face as soon as you get off the plane. Everything just hit you in the face. You seethe train stations in India are a cross-cultural experience. Watching construction in Roger Mundry where everything is manual labor … there are no power tools at all. But the one that really changed me was seeing idolatry firsthand. It's different when you see it firsthand then when you see it in any kind of TV or movie or documentary. I saw an Indian woman, probably in her 60s, get on our knees and bow down before a stone cow and offer up incense and fragrant leaves and fruit for the stone cow. She did her offering and I was thinking, OK, this is some kind of ritual. Then after she did that, she got on her face in the dust … puts her face into the dust. The prayer of anguish that came out of that woman was just … she's not going to a ritual. She earnestly hopes this stone cow can answer a prayer. And three thoughts came to me. One is, how can you, made in the image of God, bow down to an image of a cow? I got mad. Second one was OK, you prayed to your stone cow. I'm going to pray to the living God and we will see who gets an answer. Then I heard a voice right behind my right shoulder, an audible voice, no one has ever told her. That broke meI couldn't be mad at her. I couldn't challenge her. All I could do was love her in that moment. Here she is, completely ignorant of how to find God.

 

Stephen Strang: Were you able to communicate that to her?

 

Gordon Robertson: Not in that moment. No, I didn't have the boldness at that point in my life, but it definitely stayed with me, what can we do about that ignorance? If no one has ever told her a better path, how can we do that?

 

For the rest of Stephen’s interview with Gordon Robertson, please click here.

Connect with Gordon Robertson

·         On Facebook

·         On Twitter

·         On CBN.com

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

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In Depth with Gordon Robertson