If it were not so public (and doubtless, soon to be more so, as the secular media picks up on it), the latest inanity from TV evangelist Pat Robertson might be easily dismissed. However, once again the prosperity gospel’s strange brew has poured salt instead of salve into the wounds of the suffering.

In the clip, Pat Robertson attributes Haiti’s tragic poverty to “a pact with the devil.” This is no mere metaphor: Robertson believes that a Faustian bargain was struck with Satan, in exchange for the devil’s assistance in gaining independence from France.  Just look at the evidence!  Haiti shares the island with the Dominican Republic, yet one is poor and the other is prosperous (indeed, blessed with “many resorts”!)

What does this communicate to the wider world, especially to unbelievers who along with Christians are pouring out their hearts and financial support to these neighbors in need?  A passage from Jeremiah 23 comes to mind:

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes.  They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD…For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened…I did not send these prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied…Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, ‘Thus says the LORD.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them.”

Michael Horton