Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti, the Devil, and Pat Robertson

Contrary to what you may initially think, Pat Robertson isn't making this up. The story of Haitian revolutionary leaders making a pact with Satan has been around for a long time. Missionaries believe it. Even native Haitians believe it. It's accepted as historical fact in many Christian circles.

Jean R. Gelin, Ph.D., born and raised in Haiti and now serving as assistant pastor at a church in the U.S., covers the legend of the pact in an article entitled "God, Satan, and the Birth of Haiti" (part 1, part 2, part 3). In short, he hasn't found any evidence to support it.

He does, however, offer a reasonable explanation for Haiti's extreme poverty:
    Haiti's emergence as a free nation in the New World was similar to the birth of an unwanted child. After winning its liberty through the literal destruction of the entire colonial structure, the new country was simply not welcome in the community of nations. ... Haiti was forced to pay a large compensation to France before its independence could finally be accepted. Many historians believe that this huge financial burden, in the order of several millions and lasting one century, plays a critical role in the country's slow but steady descent into poverty.

    Along with France, the United States and even the Vatican initially refused to recognize the new nation. For reasons known only to them, the leaders of the Catholic Church in Europe, who were very much involved in Saint-Domingue, declined to have diplomatic relations with Haiti, even after repeated attempts by several heads of state, and despite the fact that Catholicism was made the official religion of the new country.
To suggest that what we are seeing in Haiti is the result of a 200-year-old pact with the devil is to underestimate the sinful depravity of man. Since when did we humans need any help in being evil?

Yes, there are dark spiritual forces at work in Haiti, just as there are everywhere else in the world, but let's not give the devil more credit than he's due. Satan may be "the god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4), but the God of all eternity is still in control.


The Seeking Disciple said...

Good post. I have a friend who likewise was a missionary to Haiti and is in fact stuck in Haiti as I write this post. He was there working with some pastors when the earthquake struck. He is trying to get out but has not had any success as of yet. Pray for him.

However, he has shared with me much about Haiti and you are correct that the country was in fact given to Satan. He told me that they celebrate what they call "Rah Rah" on Good Friday in Haiti that celebrates the death of Jesus. The Haitians have parades in honor of the devil whom they view as the killer of Jesus. He said that it is a tough time for Christians during Rah-Rah and he said that the darkness is intense.

The Navy Christian said...

This is very interesting, but are you suggesting that God did this because of their collective pact with Satan? I am not arguing, I'm just trying to figure it out. Seems counter-productive for him to slay believers and unbelievers at the same time. So I'm just trying to figure it out.

Lee Shelton said...

Pat Robertson is saying that. I'm not. Personally, I don't think there ever was such a pact. But even if there was, it wouldn't be the cause of what Haiti has endured over the years.

The Navy Christian said...

Ah...ok. That makes sense! Sorry for the misunderstanding!

Anonymous said...

Regarding Pat Robertson's comment that divine will caused the earthquake in Haiti, I thought these comments from the Haitian ambassador were interesting.

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