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Saturday, January 16, 2010

The right response to Pat Robertson on Haiti

Had to break from the usual themes to address the earthquake in Haiti. This catastrophe hits close to home because my wife spent time there and we knew some good friends who were missionaries in Haiti. The scope of this disaster takes one's breath away. Christians across the board have already begun mobilizing to lend assistance to relief efforts -- as we should be. If you are a Christian, odds are great that your denomination/local church has already taken some steps to help, perhaps through direct relationships with co-workers in Haiti or through general relief efforts.

Everything I am about to say must be understood in this context. Pat Robertson recently put his foot in it again with his statement about how the catastrophe is part of a curse on Haiti due to some supposed pact with the devil that resulted in Haiti's liberation from France 200 years ago. This is ridiculous.

So, what to do about it? Ignore his worthless speculations about what Haitians are supposed to learn from this disaster and concentrate on the clear implications of the event for us, such as "do good to all men, especially those of the household of faith," "Pure religion and undefiled is this: to look after widows and orphans in their distress." In short, if you want to silence the critics of Christianity, outdo Robertson and his followers in loving the churches and people of Haiti. Robertson is thinking in Ezekielian terms: God brings a huge catastrophe, and shows everyone he is God. Jesus had a different idea for us: "by this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another." Let's get to it.

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