In my lifetime it’s almost normal for some nut to stand up and claim God’s hand in something that otherwise is unexplainable or a natural disaster. Ok so far but they can’t just shut up. They will fill you in on why God did it which is always because he is angry. The example that stands out the most was Pat Roberston claiming that hurricaine Katrina was God’s wrath on New Orleans for their sinfullness. I think specifically because of abortion(to lazy to Google right now). I KNOW God is angered and hurt by abortion, but I wouldn’t pretend to know when and how that anger and hurt is manifested in our world.
Pat could be right since there are examples in the bible where God poured out his wrath on people and people groups. There are also examples of God’s people crying out to God to relent and forgive them of their sins because his wrath was too much. There are also stories of men of God crying out for the people to recognize their sin and repent. Most of these men seemed to always be suffering in the midst of the people who were experiencing God’s wrath. If a pastor in New Orleans said what Robertson said as he ministered to the people in his city, I would have listened fearfully. But when you sit a thousand miles away in an air-conditioned studio sporting a three piece suit getting paid a ton of money telling us “beware! God is punishing ‘US'”, no one gets it. You don’t look like you are suffering or worrying too much so I don’t thin you know anything about what God did.
So is New Orleans steeped in sin? I think so. I’ve been down there enough over the last thirty years to know that sinfullness is on the front burner(-not a clever reference to hell-). But what about the sin in Japan? I’m pretty sure Japan has it’s share of sinfullness and I’m not judging them; I just know human nature…we’re all sinners. But when part of Japan was leveled by an earthquake, washed away by the tsunami, and then paniced by the possibility of a nuclear meltdown, no one pointed out that any of this was God’s wrath as a result of sin. If that was not out of God’s anger, then what? God was just having a little fun stomping his feet and playing in the water?? Make up your mind guys.
Why is it that God’s wrath is his only characteristic that gets news time? God only gets nailed for being mad. This is accentuated by the news bearers being angry conservative believers. What do the liberal believers have to say? We don’t know because they aren’t adamant about anything! They are all about “God is love” so it seems they would balance God’s press with some love stories.
I think Christians, especially evangelicals(of which I am one), have a form of tourettes. When we bring up God or our faith in Jesus Christ sometimes we blurt it out completely out of context in the conversation or the environment we live in.
For example, if we were in church discussing Jesus and his disciples and I just blurted out “the Dolphins are going to win the SuperBowl”, how would hearers react? They might expect a dazzling story about Don Schula and the Dolphins that would help them understand Jesus’ relationship with his disciples to follow. But if I don’t come through, people will write me off as a nutcase and walk away with an understandably bad taste in their mouth about Schula and the Dolphins, my church and maybe even Jesus and the disciples.
Similarly when someone close is telling us how their marriage is falling apart or how they are struggling with lifes woes, for us to claim “JESUS IS THE ANSWER!” or “IT’S SIN” is not helpful and mostly offensive. Truth can’t be heard as truth if not expressed out of love. Love means taking the time to go the long haul, invest time in that person and help them understand what it all means by completing the full gospel story. Otherwise we are in danger of fouling up the image of believers, Jesus and the church.
A loud warning about sin, the effects of sin, and how God views sin is needed, so I guess our tourettes has it’s place. I place it in the same category as the guys on street corners telling everyone…EVERYONE…they’re going to hell.
Just something I’ve been troubled about…I was eady to trash the first person to say the Japan earthquake was God’s wrath and was a little disappointed no one stuck their neck out.