1.15.2010

Pat, STOP IT!


After every major disaster, some evangelical leader rises up and attempts to interpret God's providence as a judgement against some specific sin. Who can forget Jerry Falwell's statements after 9/11 making this same application? If you listen to Pat Robertson, the Haiti disaster is blamed on their "pact with the devil". This is appalling, not only because God gives no man the right to read his providence this way, but, also, because it completely misses the application that Christ gave when things like this happen.

Pilate had murderously slaughtered a group of Galilean worshipers, mingling their blood with their sacrifices. Further, there had also been a 9/11 sort of event in the region, a tower had fallen on bunch of people killing a great number. In light of these events a multitude approached Christ wondering if the tragedy had occurred because they were worse sinners than others. Jesus' answer is one to consider: "And Jesus answered and said to them, Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:2-3)."

Pat has it terribly backwards. Jesus is saying that events like this in the world should have one great effect on those who live, it should produce a humbling of ones life before the LORD in repentance for his own sins. In other words, we can hear Christ's response to Pat in light of his comments, "Pat, do you think the Hatians are worse sinners than you because this happened--I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you are going to perish".

As we are recipients of the LORD's forebearance and longsufferring, so it should make us long for his same mercies upon this fallen world as we pour out our compassion upon the people of Haiti who are in need. We can't figure out the mysterious workings of God's providence--leave it alone.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for your insight on this, Rev. Gordon. my wife and I were discussing this topic the other night about what to say about Haiti when non-Christians ask the typical questions about "how a good God could let something like this happen." Sometimes it's diffucult to answer what should be an easy question to people brought up in the faith.

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  2. You're welcome Bryan. There is something real comforting about not trying to figure out God's providence. We simply bow before even the dark providence knowing that he will do what is right to accomplish his perfect will.

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