This morning Red told me about Pat Robertson’s comments regarding the people of Haiti making a pact with the devil; and that being the cause of the earthquake that they are currently suffering from. I haven’t seen the actual video, but I have read an article para-phrasing his comments and scanned some other comments about the whole matter, including Rivendell and VO.
I think I need to make some points to put my own comments in context:
- I make no bones about being an evangelical Christian. Some times I’m probably not up front enough about it, but that is due to my own failings, and no one else. Further, evangelical = evangelize = try to bring others into the faith. With that, I believe that there are different ways to do this, both loud and soft, but ultimately, my faith also believes that I can’t do the conversion. That part belongs to the Holy Spirit, which is all part of that trinity thing. So my role is to try to live a Christian life, not be shy about my faith, and recognize that there are some undisputed truths in the Bible for which we cannot back down = some things are just plain wrong because God says so.
- Within the next few days, the Missions Committee of my church will most likely put out a call for financial help/donations. Following past practice, the money will go to the Mennonite Central Committee, which is a highly effective aid organization with the ability to get that money and qualified people, along with volunteers, into Haiti to help. Our family will donate what we can. Some other people in our church might actually sign on as one of those volunteers. We do this because God says so, and it’s right to help people in need.
- I also believe that God blesses people and He can withhold his blessing from people. When the latter happens, bad things can follow. I base this on my interpretation of scripture, and it doesn’t appear to be way out there.
- I’ve never been to Haiti, and I’ve never studied Voodoo. I used to think stuff like that was just kind of silly superstition, but I’ve come to now believe that certain religious practices have their roots in worshipping demons, and that demons exist. I believe in the concept of evil. I also believe that there have been times when evil infiltrated the church.
So…let’s talk about Pat. I’ve never been a big fan. It has more to do with the television/religion/money thing; but I also wrestle with that as a personal bias. As the world becomes more flat and inter-connected, it could be that Pat was just ahead of his time. Theologically, I also find him a bit over the top some times; and as people of faith get older, they have a tendency to see things more “black and white.”
Now I don’t know about the whole pact with the devil thing. It’s possible that something was said or somebody did something that led ol’ Pat to reach this conclusion, but my take is that voodoo is more a cultural thing than a national policy. It’s possible that God is allowing punishment, but usually when that has occured in the Bible, He has a prophet warn them, and usually it’s been an old testament thing. I have trouble getting my head around Pat as a prophet.
Now to his credit, his organization is also raising money and aid for Haiti, and he did speak of compassion and help. Unfortunately, that part of his message is being well overshadowed by his “judgemental” statements. Chances are, the money raised through Christian relief associations will be more than any US federal aid; but all that will be remembered will be Pat Robertson saying that the Haiti earthquake and subsequent suffering happened because they made a pact with the devil. That certainly won’t help the people of Haiti; at least not right now.
Maybe the 700 Club has some sort of data mining software or a team running search engines; so here is my message to him: Take a step back and focus on how the effect of your words has on your ability to carry out God’s 2nd greatest commandment (Liviticus 19:18). You have done the people of Haiti a dis-service.