As news began to pour in yesterday from Haiti, my thoughts turned to Mission of Hope , an orphanage-school which friends of mine volunteered at. I wondered about their safety, the safety of the children and staff, and the condition of the ministry’s infrastructure. I thought about the country, the stories I’d heard, the history I’ve studied, and, then…I heard Pat Robertson’s statement.
It was embarrassing. I’ve grown weary of such spokespersons casting a shadow on the rest of modern Christendom and felt the need to defend proper biblical understanding.
I talked this out with others, settled in to write down my thoughts, and…nothing came out. Thankfully, Peter Wehner (h/t Allahpundit) of National Review Online did it for me in his cogent, correct response:
Pat Robertson’s argument is as neat and clean as a mathematical equation: God grants blessings and curses on nations and people based on their allegiance and obedience to Him. If things are going well, you’re living right; if things are going badly, you’re living wrong. And it is Robertson himself who can divine the hierarchy of sins that most trouble God.
Wehner then expounded the cross of Christ, the centerpiece of Christianity, placing it in stark contrast to Robertson’s works-based system of national blessing:
But this view simply does not correspond with any serious understanding of Christianity. After all, the most important symbol in Christianity is the Cross, which represents suffering, agony, and death. When Jesus spoke to Ananias, who was instrumental in the conversion of the Apostle Paul, Ananias was told, “I will show [Paul] how much he must suffer for my name.” Christ Himself warned His disciples that they would suffer for His sake; most of them were martyred for their faith. The Apostle Peter speaks about the suffering that Christians will endure for doing good. And in the book of Romans we read that we are to rejoice in our suffering because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; and character produces hope. On and on it goes.
This is essential Christian doctrine, something which Rev. Robertson appears to neglect. I encourage everyone to read the entire piece for a distinctly biblical, erudite response to Robertson’s remarks and the Haitian tragedy.