Gordon Robertson: Carrying on Our Fathers’ Legacies of Faith
Host Yael Eckstein welcomes to the podcast Gordon Robertson, President and CEO of The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), and a long-time friend and supporter of Israel and her people. As the next generation leading organizations founded by their fathers (the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and CBN), Yael and Gordon share their experiences of stepping into the shoes and carrying on the legacies of faith of their fathers – Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, of blessed memory, and Pat Robertson, respectively. Gordon also shares his own faith journey on the podcast and how learning more about Judaism profoundly impacted him. Listen to this inspirational discussion today!
Forty years ago, when a young Orthodox rabbi began knocking on the doors of evangelical Christians to build support for his start-up organization, known then as the Holyland Fellowship of Christians and Jews and now as the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Pat Robertson was the first to offer his support to Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. As the founder of his own organization, The Christian Broadcasting Network, Pat understood all too well the struggles and challenges of forging a new path.
Fast-forward to 2019, when Yael Eckstein was wondering how she was going to fill the enormous shoes left behind by her father’s unexpected and untimely death. Gordon Robertson, now President and CEO of CBN, was the first to step forward and offer Yael his support, inviting her to appear on his program as The Fellowship’s new president and CEO.
As The Fellowship celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year, Yael and Gordon share their faith journeys that led them to positions of leadership. Gordon remembered, “It was difficult trying to fill my father’s shoes. You know, I’m a nine-and-a-half shoe size. He’s a size 13! So big shoes to fill. Someone told me then, “Don’t try to do that. Just be you. Don’t try to be something else you’re not. Be you, and that will be good.”
The path to filling his father’s shoes, however, was not without its twists and turns. As Gordon recalled, “I was the black sheep son of Pat Robertson. I know it was prayed over me when I was young, maybe 6 or 7, that at one point in time, I would be sitting in [his] chair, and I said, ‘no, I don’t want that.’”
For the first ten years of his career, Gordon practiced law. Then, as he recalls, it took a supernatural intervention, but “God got my attention in my mid-thirties, and I came back. I left the law practice in order to sit in the very chair I was told I was going to sit in. It just proves that God has got a sense of humor!”
One of the most profound impacts on his faith was learning about Judaism. The Hebrew Scriptures gave him a fresh understanding of his Christian faith. Gordon follows the daily Torah readings that have guided the Jewish people and that now help him in his personal walk with God. “When God wants to communicate to all mankind, he uses the Jewish secretary. So let’s go and find those words. Let’s find that wisdom, and let’s walk in that way,” Gordon told Yael.