Natural Disasters

In the catastrophe of the earthquakes in Haiti, and thrust in the wake of the comments made by Pat Robertson, questions remain. Why would a ‘God of love’ (I John 4:8) allow something like this to happen? How could He sit back and watch Christians and small children perish alongside the evil ones as fulfillment of a curse spoken of by Mr. Robertson? Can the mere fact of this event in a small country apparently destined for chronic disaster offer proof that God either does not care or possibly does not exist?

Though at first glance from a Christian point of view the questions may appear to border on the blasphemous, but again, the questions remain. They are good questions and ones that deserve an answer. With each network video of a broken child lying in the street, or footage of discarded human bodies being unceremoniously dumped into mass graves, we question God’s existence or purpose and find ourselves unable to fathom His will in the aftermath of yet another cataclysmic natural disaster.

Theologians and learned men will pontificate that we can’t question God, because when we do so His answer will be the same as the one given to Job from the whirlwind. When Job questioned God’s (unknown to Job) purpose, God replied, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” But it is all in the manner of asking, if you want my opinion on it. I have noticed throughout the Bible that whenever someone questioned God on any subject they always received an answer, even if it was an answer they did not want to hear. Jesus also reminds us to ask, seek, and knock.

We live in a fallen world. The world created by God in the beginning, complete with the garden in which He placed Adam and Eve, was perfect. There were no flaws, no natural disasters, no fear of climate change - in fact none of the things we see today that detract from the very essence of perfection present during that time. Original sin as perpetrated through Adam and Eve changed all of that, and though we were meant for so much more, here is where we find ourselves. This is a good starting point for understanding, yet it is only the tip of the iceberg. However, everything in our world today revolves around the inclusion of original sin to a degree in which its importance cannot be overstated.

Going further, a lot of the problems we face as a species are brought upon by us, and in that regard I'll be generous and say maybe Mr. Robertson is not too far off the mark. Proverbs teaches us in chapter 13: “Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.” Sin in the world and a society that thrives in such produces a tough life for all of us who share this planet. It does not matter if you live in Haiti, New Orleans, or even in McNeill, Mississippi. The way of transgressors is indeed hard and no one can deny it.

Continuing on, I believe there is something more sinister afoot in all of this – from Katrina, to the tsunamis of the Pacific, and continuing on through what we see occurring in Haiti today. More and more so, we are living in a world that has denied and turned itself away from God, and I highly doubt God has turned a blind eye towards that sin. So is it God sending judgment through the natural disasters we are witnessing these days? It could be, but I like to think about it by utilizing a different perspective.

Paul writes in Romans, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, we have dismissed God. In our modern way of thinking we no longer need God – we have it all figured out. We’ve been to the moon, we perform open-heart surgery, and we are well on our way to cloning life along with artificial intelligence or anything else our hearts desire from Pandora’s Box. We have become like God in our own minds as promised by the serpent to Eve so long ago. God 'stepping back' and allowing us to travel this road by ourselves, as we have all but requested, is the root cause to all of these disasters. I do not think it unusual that when God pulls His protective hand away from us, (See Job) bad things happen. What I do find ironic is this: the very God we deny as being in existence is the first one we blame when things begin to fall apart around us.

Pray for those poor souls that are lost in the destruction of Haiti. Give to the Red Cross. Offer your time if you can. But most of all, don’t judge. Don’t preen or gloat in the glow of some indicative self-righteousness on your part. We are all sinners and as such we, too, have fallen short of God’s glory. It is sad to know that what we really need is a world-wide revival that will never come about during this present lifetime. The clock is ticking and I'm convinced instead that we are fast approaching something far worse…

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