SOME THOUGHTS ON HAITI

Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 4:09 PM

Since last Tuesday when the earthquake that devastated Port au Prince, Haiti shocked, saddened, and motivated the entire world into action, people have taken to speculating, as is the case with every event of this nature, if it was the result of the judgment of God being administered. One popular televangelist, whose remarks may or may not have been misconstrued and may have been off base totally, was, at the very least, guilty of poor timing in expressing his thoughts on the subject.

Personally, I don’t think it’s up to any of us to speak specifically for God when it comes to judgments upon specific nations. Although He’s done that himself when it comes to the world in the time of Noah as well as Sodom and Gomorrah, we’re not qualified, in this day and time, to speak for Haiti, New Orleans, China, or any other place that has felt the effects of a natural disaster. I can’t even begin to imagine the questioning, the loss, and the sorrow that the people in these places have felt.

But there is something I do know. The death rate on Earth is 100% and will be until the Lord returns. And every single one of those deaths can be traced back to one cause – sin. Without our willful desire to disobey God, we’d live in a perfect world where death couldn’t even come close to touching us. However, that isn’t where we find ourselves.

In Romans 6:23 Paul says that “the wages of sin is death.” That’s no less true for the 95 year old Christian grandmother who passes away peacefully in her sleep than the hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti who lost their lives when the ground gave way beneath them. Death is the great equalizer and it shows no favoritism. We should be glad that the verse doesn’t end with this verdict. It goes on to say “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We are made righteous and given eternal life only because the righteous one took our punishment for us.

I’m not saying that what happened in Haiti wasn’t God’s specific judgment on that land. I’m simply saying that we don’t know for sure and because of that, our focus as Christians shouldn’t be about pointing fingers at other nations. After all, we live on a particularly large spiritual fault line here in America too. Every single human being on Earth is deserving of God’s punishment. Grace, however, is God’s unmerited favor. That’s what makes the gospel good news! It’s also what puts us in righteous standing with God the Father, not our own works. So if we can all agree that nothing would ever go wrong apart from sin and leave specific judgments to God, we’ll be free to focus on doing what we’re called to do, which is to be salt and light in the world.

The biggest difference between the self-righteous and the truly righteous shows in how we react to situations like the one facing us in Haiti. The self-righteous will point fingers and say “they got what they deserved.” The righteous will act. Proverbs 29:7 says “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”

So how are you going to act? I’d encourage you to go to websites such as www.compassion.com, www.worldvision.org, and www.handsandfeetproject.org to find ways you can reach out to the people of Haiti who very much fit the description of the “least of these” Jesus speaks of Matthew 25. You can sponsor a child in Jesus’ name for a very low cost or donate even the smallest amount of money. Anything helps, even $10 which you can donate through Compassion International simply by texting the word “disaster” to 90999. On top of this, pray that God’s love through Christ will be seen in all the relief efforts that the body of Christ puts together.

Come on church! Let’s get those planks out of our eyes and put them to use – building God’s kingdom in Haiti.

Blessings,
Dave

Comments (3)

Great points! Matthew 5:44-45

I'm glad to see that, in spite of the belief that God intends to ultimately torture billions of people for all eternity, some other part of your faith is telling you to do whatever you can to relieve suffering. My guess is that second part is from the Holy Spirit, but I can tell for a certainty that the idea that God has ever, does now or ever will hurt anyone definitely did not come from any "holy" spirit,

not if what Jesus originally had to say about God's nature is true,

because Jesus emphatically rejected the idea that God hurts people, but instead taught that his desire is to relieve pain and heal us all.

In other words, Jesus did not believe in Hell.

I've actually written an entire book on this topic--"Hell? No! Why You Can Be Certain There's No Such Place As Hell," (for anyone interested, you can get a free ecopy of my book at my website: www.thereisnohell.com), but if I may, let me share one of the many points I make in it to explain why.

If one is willing to look, there's substantial evidence contained in the gospels to show that Jesus opposed the idea of Hell. For example, in Luke 9:51-56, is a story about his great disappointment with his disciples when they actually suggested imploring God to rain FIRE on a village just because they had rejected him. His response: "You don't know what spirit is inspiring this kind of talk!" Presumably, it was NOT the Holy Spirit. He went on, trying to explain how he had come to save, heal and relieve suffering, not be the CAUSE of it.

So it only stands to reason that this same Jesus, who was appalled at the very idea of burning a few people, for a few horrific minutes until they were dead, could never, ever burn BILLIONS of people for an ETERNITY!

True, there are a few statements that made their way into the copies of copies of copies of the gospel texts which place “Hell” on Jesus’ lips, but these adulterations came along many decades after his death, most likely due to the Church filling up with Greeks who imported their belief in Hades with them when they converted.

Bear in mind that the historical Protestant doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures applies only to the original autographs, not the copies. But sadly, the interpolations that made their way into those copies have provided a convenient excuse for a lot of people to get around following Jesus’ real, core message.

Rick, I appreciate your comments but, respectfully cannot agree with you on this particular point.

The interesting thing about your post is that mine didn't mention Hell at all. So I'm not entirely sure how you gathered exactly what I believe on the subject. But while we're on the subject, it should be pointed out that no one spoke on the subject of Hell more than Christ himself, which you've noted that you do not believe and by doing so, undermine the authority of God's word. Do you not believe that God is able to sustain His word? Or do you believe only the parts that feel right? God is holy. We don't get to pick and choose what we want to believe about Him. There are standards and absolutes. This should be an encouraging thing to any believer because we know that He never changes and can always be counted on to do what He says He will do. Does He want anyone to go to Hell? No. Will they? If you believe what the Bible teaches, then most certainly.

I think we have to be very careful when we speak for the Holy Spirit. I make no such claims in this blog. The only 100% divinely inspired writing is the Bible itself.

I don't see how you can read the Bible and not see that God pronounces judgment upon sin. But even so, that was not my point with this blog and your response seems to get back to the arguing and debating that was the very reason I posted this at all. My purpose is to encourage people to move rather than to talk.

Again, I appreciate your comments on the subject but it isn't what this blog is about. If you'd like to talk further with me about it, I'd be glad to do so personally. I allowed your comment and felt like I needed to respond here because I do respect you and, more importantly than that, love you with the love that Christ has placed in my heart. However, this won't be a forum to discuss this and any further comments will be strictly between you and me.

I encourage everyone who reads this to know that you can trust God's word as a steady, unshakeable, and solid foundation. Even the parts that you don't seem to suit you personally. Trust God with all of it. If you take away one part of it, you've undermined the credibility of all of it. Time and history have shown, over and over again, that it's up to the scrutiny.

God bless,
Dave