Haiti deserved it.
CNN reports that Pat has blamed the recent horror in Haiti on a probably-fictional pact with the Devil that Haitians of yesteryear made in order to free themselves of French tyranny.
Even if the Devil were listed in the Yellow Pages, how does Pat justify theologically the idea that the Devil is somehow sovereign over the rise and fall of nations?
Even if the Devil was contactable and the man for the job, why would God now be punishing the Haitians for a pact of centuries ago, when God specifically denies that his judgments are capricious in this way (Ezekiel 18; Jer 31:29-30)?
Even if God did punish nations for their naughty ancestry, Pat justifies his ridiculous and revolting opinions on judgment with the verse in the Old Testament about God vomiting rebellious people from his land. How do people still fail to see that America is not God’s Holy Land? God made a special covenant with his people in Canaan in the BC years. In the New Covenant, we belong to ‘another country’, to be sure, but it’s not America!!! The ‘New Jerusalem’, the City of God, is heavenly country, and it will only be our inheritance (in the terms of Revelation) when it descends from Heaven upon the New Earth. As the New Testament says time and time again, our citizenship is in Heaven, and we are aliens and strangers in the world. It would be forgivable if this were an obscure teaching derived from theological gymnastics, but this is the absolute basics. It’s theology for kids. Yet Pat gets it disgustingly, callously wrong for an international audience. Lovely.
Finally, Pat could even stick to the much loved teachings of Jesus in the Gospels and still find himself blatantly contradicted. Luke 13:1-5 provides a case study for the connection between judgment and disaster. Two disasters are cited (one a human injustice, and another a natural disaster), and Pat’s statement comes in question form. ‘Did these people suffer such a fate because they were worse sinners?’ The answer from Jesus is no! Jesus simply says, ‘Unless you repent, you will likewise perish’. Death and disaster still exists because the world is full of sin and remains unfixed. So everyone (yes you, Pat) needs to take warning from any disaster, because it reminds us all that death is the consequence of our own sin.
The people in Haiti died because the world is broken and in unrest. They did not die because of some ancient pact with Davy Jones. Using their pain as an opportunity to show that God hates bad people (so you’d better be good!) is just cold.
Will the non-crazy Christians please stand up?
Now, maybe Pat is genuinely insane. Maybe he’s just phenomenally ignorant about the faith that he publicly represents because he’s always had rubbish ministers. Perhaps he has a vitamin deficiency. I can understand that one person can be devastatingly wrong.
What I can’t understand is that America is packed to the rafters with doctored theologians. It’s chock full of intelligent, Bible-reading folk of all levels of study. It’s a country that willingly seeks out the opinions of Christians. Yet when Christians shame the rest of us with this kind of horrible theology, the good theologians and the well-known-and-respected evangelicals are never to be seen. Where are the John Pipers, the Rick Warrens, the Bill Hybels, the Don Carsons? Does the media refuse to publish their opinions, or are they just silent when they’re supposed to be saying something?
Note: Robertson’s people have released a statement to say that he didn’t mean that the earthquake was God’s wrath (http://www.cbn.com/about/pressrelease_patrobertson_haiti.aspx). Apparently they’re just cursed. Oh.