Friday, January 15, 2010
Haiti, God's Judgment and Pondering
The following is taken from a comment I made over at Dan Phillips' blog.
The media and blogs are aflame with the latest controversial comments from Pat Robertson. I don't follow the guy much these days, just as I don't follow many televangelists. Too much baggage and too many doctrinal issues.
Anyway, Pat's comments were about Haiti being cursed with repeated events since the days when they won independence from France. Supposedly there was an occult voodoo ritual involved, but that particular story has turned out to be only a legend. Certainly voodoo does go on in Haiti, but that's beside the point.
Aside from Pat Robertson, there is a larger question that I am pondering. And that is . . . does God bring calamity on nations in judgment these days, or is that only to happen in the final judgment? There are people I respect on many sides of this issue. I have been inclined to agree with the former view, but there are aspects that trouble me, such as the absence of a prophetic warning to a nation.
I haven't made an exhaustive study of this question, admittedly. It seems to me from Scripture (Old Testament) that God has indeed brought judgment on nations. If God is anything, He is consistent, and I see no reason why He couldn't do it again if He thought proper. However, in the OT, you generally had a prophet give warning of impending judgment. You also have God's accounts of why He brought judgment.
In this day and age, we typically don't have prophets warning a nation or a people of God's impending judgment based on specific evils within a specific nation. That makes it pretty hard to declare definitively that a specific calamity was brought to pass or allowed in direct judgment. We can say that God allowed it to happen for His own reasons, and speculate why endlessly. I can think of Jesus' words in connection with the tower of Siloam. "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
It is true that there is a lot of wickedness in Haiti. Lots of voodoo and the occult, and lots of violence. Those things have been known to happen in the United States also, although maybe not to the same level. But there were (and are) also true Christian believers living in Haiti. Some of them might well have been killed.
The long and short of it is that I'm conflicted. I'd really like to see a good, sound biblical study of this issue. I'm sure they're out there, but I don't know where they'd be off the top of my head.