Does God Hate Haiti?

In a post yesterday (1.14.2010), president of Southern seminary and a leading evangelical voice Dr. Al Mohler addressed the question—Does God Hate Haiti?

Does God hate Haiti? That is the conclusion reached by many, who point to the earthquake as a sign of God’s direct and observable judgment.

God does judge the nations — all of them — and God will judge the nations. His judgment is perfect and his justice is sure. He rules over all the nations and his sovereign will is demonstrated in the rising and falling of nations and empires and peoples. Every molecule of matter obeys his command, and the earthquakes reveal his reign — as do the tides of relief and assistance flowing into Haiti right now.

A faithful Christian cannot accept the claim that God is a bystander in world events. The Bible clearly claims the sovereign rule of God over all his creation, all of the time. We have no right to claim that God was surprised by the earthquake in Haiti, or to allow that God could not have prevented it from happening.

God’s rule over creation involves both direct and indirect acts, but his rule is constant. The universe, even after the consequences of the Fall, still demonstrates the character of God in all its dimensions, objects, and occurrences. And yet, we have no right to claim that we know why a disaster like the earthquake in Haiti happened at just that place and at just that moment.

The arrogance of human presumption is a real and present danger. We can trace the effects of a drunk driver to a car accident, but we cannot trace the effects of voodoo to an earthquake — at least not so directly. Will God judge Haiti for its spiritual darkness? Of course. Is the judgment of God something we can claim to understand in this sense — in the present? No, we are not given that knowledge. Jesus himself warned his disciples against this kind of presumption.

Why did no earthquake shake Nazi Germany? Why did no tsunami swallow up the killing fields of Cambodia? Why did Hurricane Katrina destroy far more evangelical churches than casinos? Why do so many murderous dictators live to old age while many missionaries die young?

Does God hate Haiti? God hates sin, and will punish both individual sinners and nations. But that means that every individual and every nation will be found guilty when measured by the standard of God’s perfect righteousness. God does hate sin, but if God merely hated Haiti, there would be no missionaries there; there would be no aid streaming to the nation; there would be no rescue efforts — there would be no hope. (emphasis added, read entire post…)

“The arrogance of human presumption is a real and present danger.”  Yes, we need to let God be God and rule this universe with perfect justice and perfect righteousness (Romans 11:33: “How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways!“, HCSB).

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22 Responses to Does God Hate Haiti?

  1. Pingback: NEW LEAVEN

  2. mapoulos says:

    One of the better comments I’ve seen regarding this tragedy. Thanks for the post.

  3. T.C. R says:

    Mapoulos,
    My pleasure. Dr. Mohler is spot on. We need to think straight about this whole matter.

  4. SteveL says:

    Luke 13 (Today’s New International Version)

    “Luke 13
    Repent or Perish
    1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” TNIV

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  7. SteveL says:

    Maybe I was being oblique? This verse came to mind when I read your post. Did God (especially) hate the people killed by the tower of Siloam?

    As noted above, we should be in awe of God, not presume to understand or pass judgment on his ways, and also remember that we all (individuals and nations) are deserving of condemnation, but for the vicarious life and death of Christ…

  8. T.C. R says:

    SteveL,
    I got you point the first time around, and truly appreciate it. 😉

  9. Kevin Sam says:

    TC, Robertson sometimes speaks too informally, but that’s his nature, and he gets interpreted as making ignorant comments.

  10. T.C. R says:

    Kevin,
    The sad thing is that he thinks he’s right.

  11. Iris says:

    We need to learn from him (and others) so we do not repeat these mistakes. At the same time, we are, as Christ’s own, impelled to love and extend grace — not speak against just because we differ — and oh how I differ. TC – you do a good job with this balance and I appreciate it very much. It is good at times to differ. It is never appropriate to take someone apart because I differ so greatly. I know you agree. Thanks you for the balance here.

  12. T.C. R says:

    Iris,
    Thanks. Yes, we need to continue to be patient with each other, but especially the less fortunate among us. The only thing that is worst than bad theology is more bad theology.

  13. Was the earthquake evidence of God’s hatred of the people of Haiti? I have no idea.

    I hold the same position as Jesus in the following: Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)

  14. T.C. R says:

    Stan,
    I really don’t know what to make of your answer. It opens the door for a lot more speculations. Let’s say you’re driving down the road and a tree falls on your car and you’re injured, Does that mean God hates you?

    • Certainly nothing that happens is outside the will of God (Matthew 10:29-30). God can destroy people and nations as he pleases.

      The earthquake in Haiti could very well have been God’s judgment against the people of Haiti. It could also have been like the tower in Siloam which killed the eighteen meaning the Haitians are NOT more guilty than all the others.

      Whatever the case may be, and I suspect it is like the tower, it is beyond our knowledge.

      Either way, however, the words of Jesus stand: But unless we repent, we too will all perish.

      As for a tree falling on my car injuring me, whatever the reason for the event I would not consider it God’s blessing on me. I would tend to think of it, once again, like the tower.

      • T.C. R says:

        Stan,
        As a classic theist myself, then I must agree with your understanding of the will of God in these matters.

        And thanks for your well-reasoned response on both counts. I’m in agreement.

      • stephanielouisefisher says:

        I still think Jesus was talking about the final judgement on the Last Day, which is eternal and by God himself. He did not suggest that natural disasters would wipe out groups of people including innocent people.

  15. No God does not hate Haiti. Ya know, sometimes, tetonic plates…shift. Depending on how big the shift is, tragedy occurs. When tragedy occurs, God comes to people’s aid through his provision of help. What about those who die? I don’t know how to answer that but to say God will be with us in and through the grief, providing comfort though others and through his Spirit.

  16. T.C. R says:

    Brian,
    I like you analysis of things. 😉

  17. T.C. R says:

    stephanielouisefisher :

    I still think Jesus was talking about the final judgement on the Last Day, which is eternal and by God himself. He did not suggest that natural disasters would wipe out groups of people including innocent people.

    But Jesus’ words were being applied to a historical situation, not Final Judgment Day. But I still think we can make that projection. 😉

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