Thursday, May 11, 2006

Natural Disasters...God or Satan

This post is for comments, I want to get a healthy discussion going here. Why do natural disasters happen? This topic has always been an interest of mine and I'm just wondering what others think. Is God punishing us for something we've done wrong? Is Satan doing something to turn people from God? Is God trying to show he's still in control? WHAT'S GOING ON!!!!

Comment Away


b coop said...

crickets chirping....

Wes said...

Global warming

Keith Walters said...

Hopefully this is not too lengthy but I want to give a definitive answer to this question because it's answer is crucial to your view of God.

I am going to start of with what will be, for some of you, a shocking declaration concerning the greatest disaster, albeit not a natural one, ever. God killed Jesus, not the Romans, not the Jews, God killed His Son. Read Acts 4:27-28. It was not simply God's will that Jesus should die but God's power that made it so.

Who Causes Natural Disasters?
This is commonly known as the problem of evil; of which there are several possible outcomes. Rather than explain these outcome I will just let Scripture address the situation.

Christ commands the wind and the waters (Luke 8:25). Even more Christ has all authoritiy and all power over everything everywhere (Matthew 28:18). Christ holds all things together (Colossians 1:17). The tsunami in Asia leads us to conclude that God caused the tsunami. And in Isaiah 45:7 God says, "I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things."

Why Does God Cause Natural Disasters?
This was a question that the Jesus was asked in Luke 13. He replies that disasters are intended to drive us to repentance lest we likewise perish. In his book The Problem of Pain C. S. Lewis wrote, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speak in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." Suffering should drive us to God not from Him.

Natural disasters represent judgement and mercy. It serves as judgement to those who suffer and die; as Romans 6:23 informs us that we all deserve to, and will die. It represents mercy those who continue to live. You deserved to die the very first time we sinned, if God had chosen to strike you dead as an infant He would have been perfectly just in doing so. Therefore, anything we recieve that is not death is a blood-bought gift from God. When you deserve death and hell earthly suffering is a gracious gift that we do not deserve (we know from Hebrews 6 that we all recieve this general grace while only few recieve the peticular grace of redemption). Romans 2:4-5 reveals to us that God's purpose in His patience, in delaying our punishment, is to lead us to repentance.

God causes natural disasters so that we would turn to Him in repentance

Anonymous said...

God has a purpose for everything that happens to bring glory to his name. he will never put us in a situation that makes himself look bad.

Nick C. said...

YES!! People still read this thing!

Keith I agree with your view, I had read about this in all instances in the Bible when I was truly struggling with the concept. It seems so obvious to me that God would do these things to make us see his glory. When 9/11 struck they had this same debate. What is your view on that since it was man and not natural?

Anonymous, why are you anunymous on this particular post? Your opinion can't offend anyone. Anyways I'm a little confused about your comment. You say God wants to bring glory to his name, but will not do anything to make himself look bad, are you saying ruin his rep. or make himself look mean? God is just and cannot look mean for anything he does to us because he is perfect and we are evil. Please answer the post as to why natural disasters happen.

Keith Walters said...

When 9/11 struck they had this same debate. What is your view on that since it was man and not natural?

I will answer the question in two ways philosophically and straight from the Bible.

Philosophically: God created and sustains the physical universe. God also established and sustains the laws that govern the physical universe. When the planes hit on 9/11 they acted in accordance, or in submission, to the laws of nature, that God established and currently sustains. Therefore, 9/11 could not have occurred apart from the providence of God.

In the same way when Christians are martyred they can confidently rejoice in God's sovereignty. If they are being burned at the stake they can rejoice and exclaim "My God reigns!!!" This is because the mere burning wood means that it is acting in accordance to the laws of combustion which God established and is currently sustaining while they are burned alive!

From the Bible
One of the most common responses to 9/11 was asking "Why would a good God allow this to happen?" The problem is that while recognizing the goodness of God they have failed to notice the evilness of man. We all live under the sentence of death. Ten out of ten people die, it is the ultimate statistic. In the Old Testament God used the enemies of Israel to chastise Israel for her unfaithfulness (Leviticus 26:16-17). God is just in doing this because man is sinful and deserves to die.

God sovereignly rules the universe and as such nothing happens apart from His consent. Read my post on Israel demanding a king. When Israel sinned and demanded a king God had foreordained that they should do so. As I mentioned before in Acts 4 God foreordained that Herod should kill Jesus. Ultimately man bears the responsibility for his actions and God will hold the terrorists accountable.

If I were to say that God caused 9/11 would I be saying that God is the author of evil? No, it would be sinful for man to kill man but God is just in killing man because He is our judge and has declaired us to be guilty and on death row. So while this is a sinful action committed by sinful men its approval and foreordainment by God is actually a just and righteous action. Was that the answer anyone expected?

Also, as contrary to God's will as any action may seem we must understand that sinful man cannot frustrate or thwart God's divine plan (Psalm 93, Romans 8)

Keith Walters said...

Hey not only are people still reading your blog but it is probably my favorite one to read!! Because you bring up thought provoking things that foster healthy discussion.

Woody said...

I will say that 9/11 was carried out through human agents but remember that "not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of God." And remember that men put Christ on the cross (physically) but that was the plan of God. Job is a good example as well. It was men who raided and slaughtered at one point, but who allowed it?

I agree with Keith. The reaction to these disasters should not be, why? but rather, the Lord gives and takes away, let us proclaim His glory to the nations because "life is a vapor."