Yesterday there was an incredible tragedy in Haiti as the island nation was rocked by a severe earthquake. Loss of life may top 500,000, and this already poverty-stricken nation will be dealing with the consequences of this act for many years to come. As a Christian I pray for God to bless these people and show His hand to them, guiding them through the horror and loss. God loves them as much as he does anyone, and I know that He wants us to care for them.
Which makes Pat Robertson's comments very upsetting to me (see the link). He stated that the reason Haiti is currently in a state of poverty is because of a pact made with Satan to free them from French rule in the 18th century. What??? I'm sorry, but as a conservative, evangelical Christian I find Robertson's words offensive. They are also misinformed, as explained by a Haitian minister. But even if there was some truth to this Satanic pact, what part of "God's grace" and "God's love" would cause Him to ruin the country and kill a half-million people over 200 years later?
Yes, I know that many people in Haiti practice voodoo and other non-Christian practices that are influenced by Satan, and even officially recognize it as a valid religion. But there are also numerous Christian ministries and missionaries making inroads with the people of the country, and a growing Christian presence. In the Old Testament Lot is told by God that He will not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if there are even 10 righteous people. Do you think God is more strict nowadays, after the sacrifice of Christ?
I do believe that people who curse God and turn from Him will find punishment, but that may not be until after death. I also know that many Christians died in this earthquake, as they did during Hurricane Katrian and 9/11 (both of which were also God's punishment for sinful behavior according to Robertson). Sometimes a natural disaster is simply that...natural. God allows it, but doesn't cause it.