Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pat Robertson Pact with the Devil Cursed Haiti

Pat Robertson's outrageous statements must rise out of a belief that God sends natural disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti to punish those caught in the disaster.  If so, he must then explain why God would do something so horrible.  This time Robertson conjures up a pact with the devil two hundred years ago as the reason God visited this calamity on Haiti.

I assume this idea of a pact is based on a ceremony that took place at the beginning of the successful Haitian revolution. Based on traditional African religious practice, a pig was sacrificed, then ultimate victory of the slaves from the French was prophesied.  This is not a pact with the devil. (A disclaimer: I do not believe in a personified evil, but do believe in evil within each of us.)  Even if such a pact existed, I doubt it would endure through generations.  The whole idea is absurd and leaves out God's saving grace.  God is supreme: the devil is not his equal.

Christ spoke of a tower that fell killing eighteen people.  He was emphatic that this had nothing to do with their sins.  In Matthew, Jesus says that God "causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."   Natural disasters are not God's will, they are part of the fabric of this universe set in motion billions of years ago. Their results may be horrific, but they are not evil.  Evil comes from man, not nature. We lump all bad things that happen to people together, but that is not God's classification system.

Why the universe we live in is one in which there is so much suffering due to natural events I do not know.  When Job confronts God on this issue God asks Job: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge"   We cannot comprehend the why of creation.  For me this is not satisfactory.  I hope across death's threshold I will understand.

I do know that natural disasters are part of our lives.  How Christians react is a test of how well we have understood Christ's command to love our neighbor and the parable of the sheep and goats, but that is not why disasters occur.

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