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Why God Hates Sin, Not Haiti

Today’s edition of Newsweek featured an article by Lisa Miller provocatively entitled “Why God Hates Haiti.” Her title does not necessarily evince her own opinions about the matter; rather, they reflect the opinion held by CBN personality Pat Robertson. To start out with, I disagree with Pat Robinson; God does not hate Haiti. God hates sin. This fact not only clears up Patterson’s obvious confusion but also neatly solves Miller’s “frustrating theology of suffering.”

God does not hate Haiti. God hates sin. Recall the list of seven sins that the Lord hates in Proverbs 6:16-19. God hates sin. But He does not hate Haiti. He even would rather “that [the wicked] should turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 18:23). This idea that our God who does not desire the wicked to perish but justly sends them to hell anyway (Romans 9) is paradoxical at best if not downright offensive. But if we take offense at God’s justice in sending sinners who have transgressed the One True Holy and Righteous God to hell, we lose sight of the bigger picture. God elects people to salvation out of His love (1 Thessalonians 1:4); God is never spoken of electing people to hell in the Bible. In fact, it’s people’s own sin and rejection of Him that “judge [themselves] unworthy of eternal life” (Acts 13:46)! Biblically, God hates sin … he does not hate Haiti.

Pat Robertson also must have forgotten the multitudes of Christians who live in Haiti when he made his comments. As Dr. Albert Mohler writes on his blog:

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. … In other words, the earthquake reminds us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only real message of hope. The cross of Christ declares that Jesus loves Haiti — and the Haitian people are the objects of his love. Christ would have us show the Haitian nation his love, and share his Gospel. In the midst of this unspeakable tragedy, Christ would have us rush to aid the suffering people of Haiti, and rush to tell the Haitian people of his love, his cross, and salvation in his name alone.

But the problem with Mr. Robertson’s comments does not end with his comments. Lisa Miller wrote an article for Newsweek that uses his comments as a springboard for a treatise on “the frustrating theology of suffering.” For people like Bart Ehrman, whom Ms. Miller quotes multiple times in her article, they can’t reconcile the idea of “a powerful and loving God in charge of the world” with the fact that terrible things happen. But for us Christians, we realize that God gives us sufferings (Philippians 1:29) to bring us closer to Him. We know that suffering produces perseverance, which produces character, which produces a hope that doesn’t disappoint us (Romans 5:3-5). Sufferings aren’t meant for us to become depressed and doubt God, rather, they are meant to bring us closer to God and be a cause of Christian joy! Why? Because by suffering, we are assured of our salvation. By suffering, we know are brought to a deeper trust and reliance upon God—and a confession that He alone is our salvation, not just spiritually but also physically.

As Christians, we can look to Haiti, which was struck by a 6.0 magnitude after shock this morning, and see the grace of God. There are Christians who died and are now rejoicing with their Savior and Lord in heaven. There are those who died without Christ, and are now in hell. The first fact should dry our tears and make us rejoice; the second fact should bring tears anew to our eyes and a sense of conviction that we will not allow a message of God’s hatred to reach Haiti, but rather a message of how Christ alone is the Savior of mankind, and that repentance toward Him and faith in His finished work is the only way of salvation. Is it confusing that our loving God allows suffering in this world? Yes. But each time this issue arises to confuse us and to tempt us to doubt our loving God, we must respond with the Biblical truth that our God is just; our God is sovereign; our God is infinitely holy; and we are infinitely sinful. The fact that any of us are not rotting in hell at this very moment for all eternity—which is what we all as sinners against the Most Holy God deserve—is cause for celebration and for glorifying God. Ultimately, we must trust in the Perfection of God; that everything will, in the end, turn out for His greatest glory and our greatest good.

A list of all the websites cited in this post:

May God bless you all and constantly remind us all of our utter dependence upon Him, and of our pleasurable duty as His people to bring Him honor and glory in this world, and to “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

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