Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti and the Bible

It happens after every natural disaster: "Why does God let these things happen?" some people say. And some reply, "These people are cursed by God and deserve to die." Cue hatred.

It happened in Haiti. As you know, a recent earthquake there killed upwards of 100,000 Haitians. The true number killed will never be known. Earthquakes bury their own dead. Evangelist and founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network Pat Robertson responded by saying that the Haitians had made a "pact with the devil," and thus, implicitly, deserved whatever they got.

Voodoo is, unfortunately, fairly prevalent in Haiti. However, by percentage, Haiti is overwhelmingly Christian. I'm not saying that the bare statistics prove that Haiti is a righteous country, but I don't believe, as Robertson does, that Haiti did something especially bad to warrant this act of God. Were Satan-worshippers prevalent in pre-Katrina New Orleans? Of course not! Were they in pre-Earthquake 'Frisco? Again, no. Thus, Robertson's theory that only extreme, devil-worshipping sin merits this sort of catastrophe is disproved.

As a Calvinist, I believe that every unredeemed person deserves death. I'm not going to apologize for that. The fact that many people, including Christians, believe that they are entitled to 80 years of comfort is rather discomfiting. As Job would say, "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away."

But Haiti is no worse than New Orleans or Indonesia when it comes to sin. The fact that many people fail to realize is that every second of life is a blessing from God. What's more, this is not an obligation for God. He chooses to bless his creations, and he chooses not to. The Christians who died in Haiti will rise up with the saints on the Last Day and be rewarded. The unbelievers who died in Haiti will likewise meet their just punishment, the same as we. True, life is bleak for those left behind on this island, but that's where affluent Western Christians come in: HELP HAITI! Christ did not command us to help the Christian poor, or the white poor. He commanded us to help the poor.

But don't believe me. Believe the Bible.

"Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

--Luke 13:1-5


Your mom said...

Thank you, Mose, for your thoughtful commentary. I just don't understand Robertson's line of thinking. If you can call it that.

lizz said...

Great post Moses. Thanks for reminding my of the power and infinity of God's love and the way ours should reflect that.

Susan said...

Mos, I agree with every word you wrote. Just because someone is cursed doesn't mean it is the result of some terrible sin. That thinking is the same mistake Job's friends made. Like Job, we will probably never know why God chose to act this way. All we can do is remember that He is soveriegn. He knows what He is doing. "There is no event, however base and vile, however grand and good, that is not within the management of the dread Supreme." ~Charles Spurgeon
That having been said, good post.

sweetggirl said...

I really like your post. Althouuuggghhh, if I may add, New Orleans is/was full of so much sin. Mardi gras is probably the epitome of the sin in that city. But, I agree with you that the sin of Haiti is no greater than the sin of America, thus we dare not try to get the splinter out of the Haitians eyes when we have logs in our own. And we def have our judgement coming.