God, Earthquakes and Tsunamis

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It never ceases to amaze me that when we hear news of a natural disaster like the earthquake and tsunami in Japan yesterday, within 24 hours Christians start spewing their ignorant rants about God's judgement. Not only does it amaze me, but it infuriates me because it is obvious that these people do not know what the Bible says about such things. At a critical time when the world needs reassurance, hope and comfort, we pour salt in their wounds further increasing their pain and confusion. Let me give some principles that should guide us in our thinking as we try to deal with such catastrophic events without assuming things for God.

#1 - If God judges sin by killing masses of people, then we all would have been dead long ago. There is not one of us who are without sin. If that is your theology, I challenge your thinking. It isn't backed up by scripture and it just doesn't makes sense. Think of theology as a bucket with water in it. It must hold that water consistently without leaking. If you have holes in your bucket, you need to throw that bucket in the garbage.

#2 - God's desire is not to condemn the world, but to save it. Read John 3:17 for yourself. That is a quote right from the mouth of Jesus. We need to be careful that we don't put words in God's mouth. He doesn't like that. The problem with too many Christians today is that they spend all their time talking about things they know nothing about. The only thing their words prove is their ignorance. We would do well to heed the advice of our mothers when they said, "If you can't say anything nice, say nothing at all."

#3 - I wonder if we are bordering on blaspheming the Holy Spirit when we blame God for such things. In Mark 3:20, Jesus cast a demon out of a man and the religious leaders quickly declared that this was the work of the devil. Jesus responds with a warning about blaspheming the Holy Spirit, for which there is no forgiveness. What those religious people were doing was attributing the works of God to the works of Satan. The flip-side of that coin, I believe, holds the same truth - blaming God for things he had nothing to do with. That is what we are doing when we start spewing the ungodly talk about God's judgement when we experience disaster. We are walking on dangerous ground when we start speaking for God. He can speak just fine for himself and he doesn't need us making assumptions on his behalf. If anything makes him angry and might move him to push the destruction button, I think that might be close!

We have a huge opportunity and responsibility before us in the wake of the tragedy in Japan. We need to respond in love and grace and reach out to those who need hope right now. During such times it behooves us to just shut up, pray and actually do something to help. I close with this warning from Matthew 7:2 - "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." If your house burns down and I stand in your driveway blaming it on some sin you may have committed, I better check my own smoke alarms and make sure my insurance is paid up because my house is next on the list!

1 comment:

Phather Phil Malmstrom said...

Another excellent post David.

It's truly sad that so many who claim to be Christians take the path you're describing, but I see it often I'm afraid. Your points are well stated, and in my opinion spot on. I venture to say that even with everyday little "nightmares" people should examine how they react using the same litmus tests you describe.

Have a Blessed Day David!

 
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