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Lessons for Christians to learn from the events in Haiti

 

Although days, weeks, and months continue to separate us from that frightful day the earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, the Capital of Haiti, and left it devastated and desolate, we see no signs of a light at the end of the tunnel. The end of the chaos is nowhere near, and the suffering of the Haitian people is only getting worse by the day. Port-au-Prince is a homeless city with millions of people who have nothing to hope for, except for some rice, beans, and cooking oil when a generous NGO (non-governmental organization) decides to distribute part of the goods it received in the name of the people of Haiti.

The evening news around the world no longer includes Haiti, and those who donated money to help do not even care to know whether the Haitian people benefited from their contributions. The Haitian government is confirming its incompetence daily, the international community is spending three-fourth of its support on the logistical expenses connected with its intervention. There seems to be no concrete plan for the future. Has anyone been able to find some good news? Well, Christian organizations have reportedly been rejoicing about a “great revival,” in Haiti.

Please tolerate that I vent this early on my disgust with the “easy believe-ism” that is caricaturing the Gospel of Christ. It makes it so hard for real evangelism! Correcting false beliefs is more difficult than teaching the truth from scratch. Trying to make the Lord Jesus the object of people’s faith is a struggle when their motive in “coming to Christ” had been something other than forgiveness of their sin, salvation of their soul, and trusting in the only Savior.

I stand against the false claims of salvation made up by missionaries, local churches supported by American churches, and missions. In the spirit of that old hamburger commercial, “Where’s the beef?” our question should be, “Where’s the fruit?”

Galatians 1:6-9 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

When the preaching of the Gospel comes along with donation of rice, oil, beans, schools, dispensaries, financial assistance, housing, etc. it becomes a poisonous Gospel. I can hear some people say, “Oh yeah, but Jesus fed thousands of people!”  Yes, our Lord fed them. However, what was His answer the next day when they were looking for Him?

John 6:25-29 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?" 26 Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." 28  Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

The body count system should cease! The self-glorifying for so-called great works missions or churches are doing ought to stop. Of course, there are born-again missionaries who come in Haiti and preach without needing the sound of the trumpet to validate their work, or to justify the worthiness of the financial support they receive from individuals or churches, and we rejoice and praise the Lord for them. The objective is not to look for success stories on what one individual or an organization achieved in the name of Christ; our interest ought to reside solely in preaching the pure Gospel to those around us. The effectiveness of our efforts is up to the Lord.

Matthew 6:1,2 "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 "Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

No matter the “body count” of people killed by the earthquake obtained from the Haitian government, or the “body count” of converts given to us by Evangelical organizations, the hidden agenda of men is what stands behind the shameful boosting of those figures.

Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

I believe that more than ever, the evangelical church, the missions, and each individual belonging in the body of Christ have an obligation to rethink and question the gospel they have been preaching and the doctrines they have been teaching here in Haiti.  The true Gospel offends sinners, but today’s Christians are afraid of persecution, and fear the hatred of men, so they water down the true Gospel, which makes it in turn ineffective and sterile. “Shallow, emotional, man-centered, concerned about social-needs, providing the food that perishes more than the one that lasts eternally”, that is a short definition of this false gospel. The emotional “feel-good” gospel produces nothing but bad fruits. A watered down gospel is useless to the soul, but it makes the flesh feel good because those who preach it are proud of their cleverness in manipulating others to “accept” Jesus.

Matthew 23:15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

There is a tendency for American Christians to create a “touchdown” feel good sensation or atmosphere in order either to sustain their faith, attract others to their side, or again to create somewhat of a “our team is winning” type of mood. There is no need for that! Our marching orders ask us to preach the Gospel of Christ, and teach the Word of God. The rest is in the Lord’s hand. We do not need the sensational and thrilling stories to strengthen and solidify our faith or to impress unbelievers.

Psychological rationalizing leads many to believe that people will respond better to “truth” when they are down, hurt, and depressed. This has no biblical validation. Tragedy and calamity do not bring about conviction of sin. No sir! There is neither time nor circumstance that can qualify as being “better suited” for men to respond to the Gospel. Repenting and believing do not need a good emotional soil in the human heart. This is the poison called psychology mixed up with the truth of the Gospel in this modern era. The so-called vulnerability of the sinner does not matter. In fact, that is a real danger, because it actually makes Christians look like opportunists rather than evangelists. That would be taking advantage of the circumstances to force feed someone with Jesus while he/she is weak, depressed, and alone. Once the depression and the sadness go away, the “came to Jesus” experience ends likewise.

What pens did not find ink to write in the many articles, what cameras did not find film to capture in the videos, and what voices did not find breath to state during the so-called national fasting and prayer was the ecumenical spirit of this gathering. Protestants, Catholics, Anglicans, Muslims, Voodooists, Free Masons, and a large “no-preference” crowd gathered in front of what used to be the Haitian National Palace to “pray” and stand in unity for a common cause. The chief voodoo priest explained that the ancestral spirits caused the earthquake because they were angry with the people for turning their back on them to embrace foreign gods, including the God of Christianity. The Muslim imam led the entire gathering with a prayer in Arabic, asking them to repeat his words. Then, at the end of the prayer, he translated for them what they just said. “Allah is the same god that you believe in. We call him Allah, you give him a different name, but he is Allah!” The applause just would not stop after his statement. The Roman Catholic nun took advantage of this perfect opportunity to remind the people that they needed to turn towards the tender hearted, compassionate, blessed Mary, the “mother of God”. And thousands of hands were lifted in the direction of heaven, seeking the loving kindness of Mary, also known as “the mother of Haiti”. Everyone who made it to the podium, including the President, spoke in the spirit of love, peace, tolerance, in all appearance of piousness and holiness. Heads bowed, eyes closed, with lifted hands or praying hands… How nice!

Titus 1:15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

Real Christians stayed home or went to their church to fast and pray for whatever the number of days the Lord had put on their heart.

Reports came from both missionaries and missions that half of city of Port-au-Prince “got saved” as American Christians are accustomed in saying. However, the next day, on January 13, half on those “new converts” were already backsliders! By late afternoon on the 14th, everybody had already regained his or her January 12 nature. Thieves went back to stealing, prostitutes went back to solicitations, adulterers went back to their mistresses, homosexuals went back to their abominations, government went back to its corruption, idolaters went back to their carved images, and criminals went back to committing crimes… Maybe we should just apply the “Once saved, always saved” doctrine to that situation, and close the case.

Some accuse me of dousing their rejoicing. People can rejoice in whatever they wish to rejoice in; and when the truth gets in the way, they can put it aside and ignore it, in order to protect their rejoicing. Sadly, this is what Christianity has turned into in these last days: pragmatic, emotional, relativist, entertaining, and superficial!

People may wish all kinds of things, but here is what the Bible says the reaction of men will be when faced with calamities in the end times:

Revelations 15:8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. 10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.

Had the Lord given calamities such as this earthquake the ability to make people repent, and lead them to Christ, they would replace the great commission and the Bible. All we would need is to scare people with a near-death experience and get them to repent and believe!

Just like with the Pharisees in the Old Testament, church traditions and seminary teachings are dangerously taking the place of God’s Word.

Mark 7:5-9 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?" 6 He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8 "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men——the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do." 9 He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.