Haiti sits atop a potentially lethal convergence of tectonic plates. The last few weeks have uncovered the horrifying potential of Haiti's Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault. For televangelist Pat Robertson, that is irrelevant.
In video that went viral almost instantly, Robertson cited Haiti's alleged pact with the Devil as the reason the country "has been cursed by one thing after the other."
Robertson is not alone.
Steve Wohlberg, an Adventist author and director of White Horse Media said in an email newsletter that "Jesus Christ puts both earthquakes and sky events together as clear 'signs' of His approaching return." Wohlberg's many books include The Character of God Controversy, in which he argues that God's justice must include killing the wicked.
Wohlberg, who describes his conversion to Adventism in the book From Hollywood to Heaven, claims that Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the recent Haiti earthquake are tied to voodoo and "some of the grossest forms of immorality."
Wohlberg's newsletter quotes Ellen White's Evangelism, in which White states that, "cities full of transgression, and sinful in the extreme, will be destroyed by earthquakes, by fire, by flood. All the world will be warned that there is a God who will display His authority as God. His unseen agencies will cause destruction, devastation, and death" (pg. 27).
Wohlberg's newsletter connects the dots:
Evidence indicates that Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, fits the category of a city "full of transgression, and sinful in the extreme." On January 12, at 4:53 pm, it was virtually "destroyed" by an earthquake. On the morning of August 29, 2005, New Orleans experienced its own disaster from the sky.
Brad Cole is a Seventh-day Adventist physician with a deep concern for how God's character is portrayed. With his wife Dorothee, he cofoundended the Good News Tour and maintains GodsCharacter.Com, a website dedicated to promoting God as only and always good.
In a lengthy online rebuttal to voices like Robertson's and Wohlberg's, Brad and Dorothee Cole argue that the life of Jesus reveals God as Healer, not Destroyer. Haiti and Katrina reveal the nature of Satan's kingdom, not God's.
The article, God's Judgment on Haiti?, points to Ellen White's Great Controversy motif to explain evil.
Ellen White’s "Conflict of the Ages" series highlights the actions of God and Satan from the beginning of the rebellion in heaven, to the events of Gethsemane and the Cross, and to the final end of sin and sinners. It seems to me that to leave Satan entirely out of the equation in an event that ended the lives of so many is a sad omission and puts God in a very bad light.
There is only one appropriate framework in which devastating disasters may be explained for the Coles: "An enemy hath done this."
The God who healed lepers, fed the hungry 5,000, chose a group of lowly fishermen to be his disciples and who ate with prostitutes and other “low-life” of society would never look down on the poverty stricken people of Haiti and say, “Look at all that voodoo going on down there…I’m sending a 7.0 their way.” God did not send the earthquake in Haiti; he is rather suffering with the people in Haiti who have fallen victim to the rule of Satan, the “prince of this world.”