Where did Pat blame God for the Haiti earthquake?
First off — I would honestly prefer that you contribute to the recovery efforts in Haiti than waste your time reading my blog. So here are several ways you can do that.
1) White’s Ferry Road Relief Ministries
2) Hope For Haiti’s Children
3) World Vision — if you go by my friend JA Turner’s blog you can match funds with his daughter who spent her allowance this week to help protect one of the three girls the Turners help.
4) Christian Relief Fund
Now, on with the show. Never in all my imaginings did I picture myself defending Pat Robertson, ever! His reads on so many events have been AWFUL! He and Hal Lindsey and others said that Hurricane Katrina was judgment from God on the US for abortion and the sinful ways of New Orleans (even though the majority of people cursed by Katrina were the poorest of the poor, the anahuim(ah-na-weem’) of our country). They had similar statements about the tsunami and the sex-slave trade in Southeast Asia.
No doubt many of these statements are prepared in advance, used to garner attention and financial support (some of which even goes to the sufferers! How’s that for irony?). But since the terrible devastation in Haiti, Pat Robertson has been in the center of a firestorm of condemnation for the following statement. Here’s the transcript if you’re like me and would rather read than watch video:
‘Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it,’ he said on CBN’s The 700 Club. ‘They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘we will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘okay it’s a deal.’
‘But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It is cut down the middle; on the one side is Haiti on the other is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same islands. [sic] They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God and out of this tragedy I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now we are helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable.”
Here are my quick thoughts on the matter:
#1 – Pat Robertson should stop speaking during tragedies, period, unless he is going to make pleas for prayer and donations and sacrificial service. Stop doing theology, Pat. You’re AWFUL at it.
#2 – BUT, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and again. Robertson NEVER said, “God used this earthquake to punish Haiti for alleged dealings with the devil.” He never said “God did it.” He said Haiti is laboring under a curse, and he did it in a story-telling sort of way that is appealing to his audience, but still unnerves me. I don’t like putting words in the devil’s mouth. I don’t like suggesting that I’ve got a copy of the devil’s day-planner.
#3 – BUT, the language of blessing and cursing is found throughout Christian Scripture, and nowhere does it suggest that God is the sole source of either. People bless other people all the time! Why? Because in the Judeo-Christian worldview, there are other entities at work in the spiritual world, whose mission in life is to foster chaos and evil and death in order to make the Creator look bad. One of my favorite stories in Scripture is the story of Balaam, who was paid by a king to curse Israel but couldn’t, because Israel was under the blessing and protection of God. So what did he do? He rounded up some pagan women to seduce the children of Israel into bringing a curse upon themselves.
PLEASE do not leave this blog hearing me say that God is cursing (or judging) Haiti. I do not believe God curses anyone. Period. Zip. And judgment is being stored up for that Day. But ladies and gentlemen, Kaiser Soze was right: The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist. Don’t be fooled again. (bold content added later)
Let me close with an extended quote from Patrick Mead (from September 2008) on the opposite of cursing — blessing, a practice every Christian needs to enter into more often. Take this chance to bless the people of Haiti with your words, your prayers, your money, and your actions.
So — blessings matter and we have the power to offer them in the Name of Jesus. When I say “God bless you” I am not speaking euphemistically. I believe that something happens in the heavenlies when we pray to our Father and ask Him to pour out a blessing on a person, place, or situation. The problem is, many people who agree with me love this power so much they major in it rather than in humble service to Jesus. I might be judging here — and if so, I humbly beg forgiveness from all of you and from God — but it often seems that people get their eyes off Jesus when they find something else cool, dramatic, or wonderful in scripture. You have Christians who can only talk about the Holy Spirit, or speaking in tongues, or abortion, or politics, or pacifism, or social justice, or Revelation… you get the idea.
We need to keep our eyes on Jesus. We also need to see people, things, and situations through his eyes. There is nothing wrong with, say, laying your hands on your TV and thanking God that you have that resource, specifically give ownership of it to God, and then promise not to view anything on it that would offend Him. I have done similar things with my guitars — asking God to take ownership of them and pledging that I wouldn’t use them in a way that hurt Him (by singing songs that were offensive to Him or by spending so much time with them I forgot His love of people, or by denying their use to others who needed them). When you see someone in need, ask them, “What can Jesus and I do for you?”
Go ahead and bless all in your path, but keep your eyes on Jesus.