Not Exactly The Best Re-Start for Richard Roberts


As I said in my last post, I wish Richard Roberts the best. But for him to ever succeed in a media driven culture, he must learn more about the power of perception. Today’s headlines in the Tulsa World were that God told him to resign. Perhaps, but for him to say that in a public forum where he knew the news media would be, is reputation suicide. Does God speak to people today? Absolutely. But do you just blurt that out to the national media? Not unless
you want to perceived as a nut. And this is how it gets reported in the wider media. Plus, would God have told him to resign if these allegations had not surfaced? From a media or PR perspective, a statement like this doesn’t help his case, it only hurts it from every conceivable angle.

If the church is going to make an impact today, we have to understand the power of perception and realize that how we are perceived is as important as who we are.  Pastors and ministry leaders, are you listening? Now more than ever Richard needs to let people know he’s not what this lawsuit suggests. In the same way, every pastor or ministry leader in America needs to remember that their message is being filtered through media and/or personal perceptions. Jesus understood how his message was being received, and we can do no less…

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Mark Deckard

    God spoke to me and told me…

     For the Roberts dynasty this phrase has been reduced to a bad habit that needs to be broken. Every thing they want to sell to people is wrapped in this holy refrain. It's nothing more than a dysfunctional extension of a pitifully transparent megalomania.

    God told Richard to resign. As if Richard and God are in total control of this whole thing together and it's just a matter of time before he is back in the saddle. To portray his resignation as an edict from God continues to put him above all human accountability. He answers only to God and he's just letting us all know that no man told him what to do.

     His claim that God spoke to Him and told him of a supernatural victory that would bless the university if he stepped aside is like the rooster taking credit for the sunrise. He is so desperate to show that he is tuned in to God ahead of everyone else yet he has no idea how ridiculous he looks trying to prophesy the future after it has already happened. Sorry Richard, but if you were as cognicent of Gods voice as you want us all to believe, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

  • Phil

    I received this from a reader tonight:


    My favorite part of Richard's story in the World: "Roberts told the students that God spoke to him Thursday and told him to step down. Roberts said he initially resisted the instructions, but God told him that if he would resign, the school would be blessed ''supernaturally.'"

    So ORU has Richard to thank for the $70 million???

    He really is just too arrogant or ignorant to get it. But, “God told me” was always the trump card out there, so I guess we should have expected it. Hopefully the new leader will be someone who has not lived so insulated from reality. The sooner we can put RR behind us the better, although the attorney for the plaintiffs is not defused by any of Richards antics.

  • matt bell

    "who we are isn't nearly as important as how we're perceived."

    So by this logic Ted Haggard was doing just fine. 

  • Bart

    Perception is reality in the public forum and I believe that is the context used here.  That is the context of the board after all.

    I can't believe any reasonable person would imagine that attributing their decision to resign in the midst of the issues surrounding ORU to direct communication from God and an inferrance that it was done to secure God's Blessing ($70 million dollars worth perhaps?) is a statement that should be made publically or that it would be seen by most people as anything other than a rationalization to set aside the disgrace associated with the objective facts of the situation.

    It is just irresponsible.

  • Phil

    Nope.  My comment has to do with the media and how people receive our message.  (Ever heard of "context" when reading?)  Integrity is integrity.  But it doesn't matter if you're a great and anointed man of God if people think you're a no-talent hack.  They won't listen to your message, and you've failed.  If more Christian leaders understood that perception matters, we'd make a far greater impact in the culture.

  • Matt G

    I initially "twiched" a bit when I read that line from Phil as well.  But my reaction didn't match yours, Matt.  I understand the context in which Phil made the comment. That said, I still don't agree with the statement.  

    I think the proper phrase is "How we are perceived is as important as who we are." If we place "perception" on higher ground than reality, we still end up with a lack of integrity and a host of problems.  
    The two should be approached with equal consideration.  Only then do you have honesty, transparency and an audience willing to listen and consider your point of view.