Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Curse

Haiti is a country of contrasts. The beauty of the land and of it's people stand defiantly in the face of the worst poverty and living conditions in the world. The faith and hope of the Haitian people stands firm amidst insane mortality rates and a lack of true progress. Their joy and spirit for life surpasses that of most Americans I know.
A great deal of speculation and analysis has taken place over the country's last two hundred years as to where the true problem lies. Many people point to a time in history when the country was "dedicated" to Satan in 1791. More recently, in 1991, in honor of the bicentennial anniversary of that ceremony, former President Aristide held a "re-dedication" ceremony. It is believed by many that the country lies under a "curse" that explains the current conditions and lack of improvement through the years. The unofficial official religion of Haiti is Voodoo. As practiced in Haiti, Voodoo mainly consists of ancestor worship, superstition, and the blessing or cursing by spirits. It is considered and occultic practice, and therefore related to Satanism. It is not uncommon for professed Christians to also regularly take part in Voodoo ceremonies and rituals. Missionaries and religious groups from around the world have been coming here for two hundred years, making efforts to improve the humanitarian situation, and more importantly...addressing the spiritual problem. Why hasn't it made a bigger impact? Is it the curse?

I say no. There have been numerous "curse-breaking" ceremonies held by religious groups over the years. (Often as a part of fund raising efforts.) As our Pastor recently asked: "How many times can a curse be broken? Isn't the blood of Christ sufficient to work the first time?"

I say yes.

"Don't think that because a country has poverty, death, and poor living conditions that it's because the country is more ungodly than another country." -John McHoul, Missionary to Haiti

We are living in a sin-stained, cursed world as a whole. The damage done by sin takes different forms throughout the world.

There is more religious freedom in Haiti than in the United States. People can freely express their beliefs and proudly proclaim their Christianity, without reproach from a biased media or the general pressure in the populace to be "neutral". Christianity is not viewed as "too judgemental" or "close minded" in Haiti the way it is in America. Satan uses different tactics to affect different people, and I believe he attacks different nations the same way.

So here we are way out on a limb, and ask these questions:

Is Haiti the way it is because of a Voodoo curse?

Is Haiti the way it is because of Satan?

Is Haiti the way it is because of the people's actions in Haiti?

Tougher questions (?):

Is America the way it is because of Satan?

More importantly, Is America the way it is because of the American people?

It is far too easy to blame sin, corruption, poverty, and environmental destruction solely on Satan. It is harder to admit and realize that sinful man's actions have been the cause of most of the problems. We are in a fallen world, we are fallen creations of a God that wants so much more for us, and for any nation. Nations like the U.S. and Haiti that have both turned their backs on that Creator in search of other gods and other pleasures.

Jeremiah 2:13 -

My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
Broken cisterns
That can hold no water.

Jeremiah 4:1-2 -

If you will return, O Israel, declares the Lord,
Then you should return to Me.
And if you will put away your detested things from My presence,
And will not waver,
And you will swear "As the Lord lives"
In truth, in justice and in righteousness;

Then the nations will bless themselves in Him,
And in Him they will glory.

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