Yesterday was a thinking day. I brewed over some thoughts and I’ll share them with you. One thought goes into the other so we’ll see how this goes.
The crisis in Haiti sounds like it is really bad. The rumors are plenty, but it sounds like over 50,000 people are dead from the level 7.0 earthquake that struck Tuesday. The last time we saw devastation like this was with the tsunami in the Far East a couple years ago. As I read the reports, it just saddened me how many were lost. I think all of us hope that they knew Jesus.
I do have a friend in the aid relief. My friend Brent Gambrell was on the ground yesterday and was helping children get to higher ground. I met Brent back in 2000 when my friend Tim Schmidt introduced me at First Baptist of Orlando’s Metro service on Tuesday evenings. Brent spoke for almost a year at these services flying down from where he is headquartered in Nashville. You can keep up with his ministry efforts on his website, www.brentgambrell.com. Brent does tell us that there is need for medical supplies and that there is a fund set up through Regions Banks through a fund called the BGM Haiti Relief Fund. You can also mail donations to his address, which you can find on his website. I think it’s important to pray for Brent and all those that are there helping in the relief effort.
At this point, I’d like to address another big story in the Haiti situation. Pat Robertson spoke on Wednesday and so that you know what I’m talking about, the clip is here.
I don’t think there is a way to take those comments out of context. Let me say this, there are many, including me, that are shaking their head, trying to figure out what is going on inside that brain of Pat’s. Now the blessing in disguise comment, I would label off as rich people thinking that it saves us the trouble of bulldozing buildings down to rebuild. That may or may not be what he meant, but that’s where I’d put it.
The bigger story is the comments about Haiti’s supposed deal with the devil. Many of you sit and probably agree with a guy I listen to on YouTube occasionally called The Young Turks, calling Robertson’s comments at best “heinous.” However, the story comes from a 1791 legend that the people in power did make this deal with the devil and upped their power using voodoo. Whether I believe that or not, let’s play “devil’s advocate” here and say that this deal was brokered in 1791.
The first question I have is “Does it explain the difference in prosperity for Haiti and Cuba (Dominican Republic)?” The facts no doubt show that Cuba has been prosperous at times including now and that Haiti is deprived and in lack. I admit that I’m no economics major, but Stevie Wonder can see that the two sides of the island have lived differently. Truthfully, that may have more to do with the people at the wheel than any pact that could’ve been made.
The next question is “Could Pat Robertson believe that he is a prophet of old like Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.?” Sure, he could believe that, but one expert on prophets would tell me that he hasn’t used the cliché of the prophets, “So sayeth the Lord!” Let’s be honest though. One thing is evident here in the words of Pat Robertson. The words that seem to come out of his mouth after tragedy are almost never popular. What I think should come out of what he says is that we should take a moment and self-examine. Instead of total outrage, maybe we should think and reflect, “Am I doing what is pleasing to God?” and “As a nation, are we trying to follow the standard that God has set for us in the Bible?”
One thing I will say right here. Pat Robertson is one of two things. Either he is totally nuts and probably never should be listened to again in times like these OR he is right and these comments should serve as a warning. The prophets weren’t popular, but they were trying to steer the nation of Israel to rightness. Yes, I know I’ve already knocked the prophet theory, but what if God has sent dear ole’ Pat to warn us. Stop laughing, I’m serious here. I think most of us would agree that these United States are not the same nation that was founded in 1776. Times have changed, but have they gone too far the wrong way. That’s up for each person to decide, but I wanted to give you something to think about.
Finally, I heard comments all over in varying degrees that Pat Robertson better stand firm to his words of caring for the hurting in Haiti. I’ll agree here. But I think that it’s something we all need to think about. I’m not saying that all of us need to pack bags and head to Haiti. But I think we are called to help.
One of my pastors is speaking on tough sayings of Jesus later this year and we talked about a set of verses from Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus speaks in verses 34-36, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
In verses 37-39, the righteous respond in wonder of when they did this. Here is Jesus’ reply in verse 40, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Verses 41-46 is Jesus telling us of those that did not do whatever was asked of him. They were sent off into punishment and eternal fire.
Does this mean that I’m asking all of you to give to Brent or to any other ministry supporting Haiti or give to ministries supporting the work of God? No. For those who can, do. You know if you feel that tug on your heart. However, some of us can’t go and can’t send the donations. Here’s what you can do. Pray for the people of Haiti. Pray for their care. Pray for them to be helped back on their feet. But also pray that those who don’t know Jesus will meet with someone who will show them Jesus and lead them to a relationship with Him. Pray for the workers that they not only get the opportunities to minister health and goodwill, but also chances to talk with the people about the Gospel.
Your prayers will touch Heaven and will launch with full strength toward those intended. Your prayers will be an advance strike of the words of those that will minister. Your prayers will defeat the powers of Satan trying to stronghold onto Haiti. That’s the difference all of us can make.
We’ll be back on spiritual gifts as soon as I can get a couple hours to churn another part out. Thanks for being patient and thanks for supporting this ministry in the ways you can.
I love you guys!