Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti disaster brings out best, worst in Christians

Haiti earthquake destruction photo by United Nations Development Programme

The disastrous earthquake in Haiti seems has brought out the best and worst in Christians. True compassion, grief, selfless actions, and earnest prayer have unfortunately been accompanied in some quarters by the false theology of "it's their own fault". Others try to excuse why they selfishly don't want to help God's children who are in desperate need.

Pat Robertson's recent comments appear to show that he has an angry heart fixed on vengeance rather than Christian love. He even seems to enjoy living in the ancient world mindset that did not even understand the weather or other natural happenings on God's earth. In the modern world, an attitude such as Pat Robertson's is like gangrene on the body of Christianity. The cloying stench of its rotting effect is a warning that Christians need to cure or excise this dangerous infection before it spreads to the rest of the body.

Haiti earthquake victim photo by United Nations Development Programme

But what's the cure? How do we cut out the dangerous infection? Certainly not in a violent way. That's not the way of Jesus. And when someone's mind is so entrenched in evil darkness, mere words likely will have no effect. But God has given us prayer. And Jesus has commanded us to love and help others.

"It matters a great deal how we think about other people. ... The more we are able to keep in mind that the people around us are susceptible to grace and truth, as beings made in the image of God, the more likely we will be to treat them that way..."

... "We need to think like Jesus thinks, ... regard others as Jesus does, and to love them as He would." -- T.M. Moore, "Regarding Others: Why Do People Matter?"

Pray that Pat Robertson, his thousands of duped followers, and other dark souls like him will come out of their darkness into the light of Christ's love. Pray that they all truly "see the light". Pray for their eternal souls. Pray that God will blunt their attempts to abuse Christianity for personal and political gain. Pray that they turn from harmful to helpful words and actions.

"And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me'." - Matthew 25:40 (NRSV)

"... we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" - Acts 20:35 (NRSV)

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