Friday, January 15, 2010

Reaction to the Earthquake in Haiti

My brother in Christ, Pat Robertson, has made some comments about the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The comments have caught the attention of the media.

These comments concern me for several reasons. I do not think they do anything to help the victims of this tragedy. They also do nothing to help the world understand and be encouraged by God's love. If quoted correctly, these views do not represent the beliefs of the vast majority of Christ followers. A contributor to Sojourners had a response to the comments, which is available at the link below.

To be clear, I do not condemn Mr. Robertson. Clearly, the quoted comments do not reflect the love and compassion of our Lord. But each of us falls short of that on a daily basis. Every morning I pray that I would be "light" to those around me, but I am very aware that I frequently fail to do this. I would hate for my own many failings to be held up to ridicule on the 24/7 cable and internet newscycle.

Indeed, it is sad to me that the media would pounce on and publicize these comments, instead of showing the Christians who are working hard on the ground and in their home countries to help the people impacted by this tragedy.

This type of publicity again distorts the public's view of Christianity, and makes non-Christians more cynical about those who purport to be Christ followers. It also prompts many Christians--particularly those who are culturally conservative--to be suspicious of the secular media and a possible anti-Christian agenda within the press.

Nonetheless, I personally do not care to dwell much on these reported comments. I just don't think that is productive. The situation in Haiti is horrific. God's children are suffering. The scope of the disaster is mind-boggling. But it is encouraging to hear how many governments, aid groups and individuals are trying to respond to help.

Mia Farrow wrote an eloquent, heartfelt commentary about the situation for CNN, highlighting the acute impact on the children of Haiti.

Even comedian David Letterman took time the other night from making fun of Jay Leno to ask for donations to help the earthquake victims.

John 9:1-4 (The Message)

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, "Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?" Jesus said, "You're asking the wrong question. You're looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.

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