This was written by my friend and mentor Pastor Walt Roberts to his congregational network. He is the pastor of Crossroads Church in Stateline, PA.
Is Pat Robertson a prophet?
POINT OF FULL DISCLOSURE: I am NOT a Pat Robertson fan. I used to be, but somewhere in the 80's he lost me.
In case you haven't heard, Pat Robertson attributed the devastating earthquake in Haiti to an alleged "pact with the Devil" made in the 19th century by the Haitian people. He has been roundly criticized for his comments. To be fair, the following points ought to be made:
1. Robertson made his comments in the midst of an appeal for aid to the earthquake victims,
2. Robertson has made irresponsible, incendiary comments in the past (often associated with "natural" disasters), and
3. Robertson's larger point is worthy of discussion. If, in fact, it can be demonstrated that the Haitians had some kind of deal with the Devil, is it really unreasonable to expect that this might not turn out too well?
HOWEVER, here is why Pat Robertson is probably wrong:
1. Robertson's assertion is unfounded and undocumented. He simply "says so." Also, he contrasts Haiti with the neighboring Dominican Republic as an example of a "prosperous" nation. This is simply wrong, as anyone who has been to the Dominican can confirm. Thus Robertson's whole story is suspect, since he apparently has a few easily-verifiable facts wrong.
2. "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matthew 5:45) Simply put, stuff happens; sometimes bad stuff. It's a part of the corruption of creation caused by sin. (Romans 8:18-22)
3. Jesus refers to a natural disaster and how the people so affected are no better or worse than his followers. (Luke 13:3-5)
4. When we see something bad has happened, it gives us an opportunity to do something good that will result in God's glory. (John 9:1-3)
Robertson's comments are probably wrong; they are definitely untimely and in poor taste. Regardless, as is typically the case, Americans are responding with swift generosity. It should be pointed out that this is very likely due to the "Christian values" that are embedded in American culture. My point is simply this: Pat Robertson may have said something stupid (yeah, I'll admit, I've done that too), but Christianity is still great and Jesus is still the Ultimate Hope!