Numerous religious organizations, charities and individuals immediately responded in helping to provide aid and assist in recovery efforts. Many Christians have moved forward with the compassion of Jesus and are already making plans on how to care for those that have been affected by this tragedy.
Unfortunately, Christian television personality Pat Robertson has once again chosen to assume that a natural disaster is a sign of God's judgment. Robertson had the following to say on his show "The 700 Club":
"The Haitians "were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever," Robertson said on his broadcast Wednesday. "And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.' True story. And so, the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.'"Instead of choosing to respond in compassion to the millions of people that have been affected by this, Robertson has used this opportunity to proclaim who he sees as evil. I rarely criticize other Christian leaders publicly, but I am tired of individuals like Robertson who, in attempting to speak for God, bring more pain to the already hurting. As an evangelical Christian, Pat Robertson does not speak for me nor do I think he often speaks for God.
As I read the Holy Scriptures, I get a different perspective from Jesus. He was the one who said "I have not come to condemn the world but to save the world" (John 3:17) and "when he saw the crowds he had compassion on them because they were like a sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36).
I do not know any of the Haitians that were killed in this earthquake. Nor do I know why God allowed this to happen. But what I do know is that my heart is just as sinful as anyone else's and I will not attempt to speak to why tragedy befalls some and not others. God causes the sun and rain to fall on both the righteous and unrighteous (Matt. 5:45). Yes, even earthquakes befall the good and the bad. What Haiti needs now is God's love shown through his people not condemnation.
For some good thoughts from Donald Miller on this, check out his blog.