Tsunami God's Judgment?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by gb93433, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    What do you think?

    from http://abpnews.com/news/news_detail.cfm?NEWS_ID=480

    Blackaby says tsunamis God's judgment; missions experts question theology

    By Ken Camp

    DALLAS (ABP) --"Experiencing God" author Henry Blackaby believes the tsunamis that hit South Asia were God's punishment of an area where Christians have experienced particularly intense persecution. But some missions experts with links to the region question both his theology and his assertions about persecution.

    Blackaby told a Kentucky pastors' conference workshop he recognized God's hand of judgment in the tsunami after he saw a map published by Voice of the Martyrs showing areas of intense persecution of Christians worldwide.

    Many of the areas highlighted on that map "match to a T" the tsunami's impact, he said.

    He later told a reporter for Baptist Press: "If you read the Old Testament, especially, God is very concerned how the nations treat his covenant people. The nations that persecuted, offended and killed his people, God came down and destroyed them. And he's the same God today. He's just as concerned about his people."

    The idea of God using natural disasters as instruments of punishment is "a biblical concept," said Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Some Christians in South Asia have expressed the idea that the tsunamis were God's punishment for some wrongdoing, he noted.

    But Johnson urged caution before definitively linking any natural disaster to divine wrath --particularly without the benefit of long-range hindsight.

    "It's so difficult to know," he said. "We don't want to write God out of the equation, as the secular world would do. But the problem lies in interpreting an event" either as God's judgment on evildoers or as a "wake-up call" to Christians.

    Keith Parks, who served 14 years as a missionary in Indonesia before becoming president of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board and later coordinator for Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Global Missions, agreed it's risky for Christians to try to interpret natural calamities as God's instruments for accomplishing his plan.

    "My personal view is that God's way of working is so far above us and his thoughts are so far beyond our thoughts that we're on very uncertain biblical ground when we try to define God's purpose in natural disasters," he said.

    He pointed to the New Testament account in which Jesus asked whether some Galileans who were killed by Pilate or some people on whom a tower in Siloam fell were worse sinners than anyone else.

    "It's hard for me to believe that these folks (in South Asia) were the most sinful people in the world," he said.

    Even if God either caused or allowed the disaster in South Asia to accomplish some corrective purpose, Johnson pointed out that while some persecution of Christians has occurred in the region, the most intense persecution was not in the areas hit hardest by the tsunami.

    "It just doesn't make quantitative sense in that respect," he said.

    Indeed, reports on the Voice of the Martyrs website indicate persecution of Christians in three countries hit by the tsunamis -- Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka. But ethnic strife between Muslims and Christians in Indonesia has been centered in portions of the country not greatly affected by the tsunami rather than in the hard-hit Aceh province, which is almost entirely Muslim.

    Aceh province is the only part of Indonesia specifically authorized to implement Islamic law, but the U.S. State Department in its report on the country last year noted "no criminal sanctions for violators ... either Muslims or non-Muslims."

    Spokesmen for Voice of the Martyrs were out of the country and unavailable to respond to questions.

    The U.S. Commission on International Freedom listed only two tsunami-affected nations -- India and Burma -- as "countries of particular concern" regarding religious freedom abuses.

    Burma suffered minor losses from the tsunami compared to other neighboring countries. And the commission was divided in its decision to name India as a country of particular concern because conditions appeared to improve there after the ruling fundamentalist Hindu party lost in the most recent national elections.

    Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, served on the U.S. Commission on International Freedom at the time the group issued its listing of countries of particular concern. Land was unavailable for comment.

    Regardless whether persecution is more intense in South Asia than in other parts of the world, Stan Parks, international liaison with the Baptist General Convention of Texas-affiliated WorldconneX missions network, said he would "categorically disagree" with Blackaby's assessment.

    "If anybody deserves judgment, it's Christians who horde the gospel and who lavish God's blessings on themselves with bigger buildings and finer homes," he said, adding if God gave people what they deserved, American Christians would have more to fear than non-Christians in South Asia.

    Parks recently returned from a nine-day trip to Indonesia -- where he served 10 years -- to meet with Christian leaders, as well as business and governmental representatives.

    He acknowledged some Christians in the region saw the tsunami as evidence of God's wrath. But they viewed it in terms of divine judgment on themselves for not sharing the gospel more diligently with their non-Christian neighbors.

    Parks noted that people around the globe who haven't heard the gospel already are in the middle of "a spiritual tsunami, sweeping them into an eternity of separation from God," and in some respects, the tidal waves that hit South Asia were evidence of God's mercy rather than his wrath.

    While disasters happen in a "sinful and fallen world," it appears God has used this natural tragedy to "break down barriers," he said. Rather trying to discern the meaning behind disasters, Parks said Christians have a responsibility to respond to new opportunities to share God's love with needy people who have not heard or seen a Christian witness.
     
  2. Gershom

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    The quote above ... :confused:

    Standing alone without Christ you WILL get what you "deserve," no matter what your country.
     
  3. Aaron

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    Tsunami God's Judgment?

    It's either judgment or a blessing. Either way, God did it.

    Amos 3:6

    "And clouds arise, and tempests blow,
    By order from Thy throne;" Isaac Watts, I Sing the Mighty Power of God.

    Don't worry, America will get hers, and she'll wish it were only a tsunami. Honestly, though, the quote is bullpoopie. No one gets what they deserve in this life.

    They in the East should be thanking God He didn't wipe them completely off the map. It wouldn't have been any harder. When they see the rainbow they should think of how bad it could have been if not for the Noahic covenant.
     
  4. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Isn't this much like the idea about the child who was born blind. Who sinned, he or his parents?
     
  5. Brownov

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    right gb93433.
    It was done so that Christ might be glorified.
     
  6. APuritanMindset

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    I don't understand why it can't be both...Lamentations 3 states,

    Do not both adversity and good come from the mouth of the Most High? Why should [any] living person complain, [any] man, because of the punishment for his sins? Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:38-40 HCSB)

    I just don't see why we interpret this stuff as EITHER God's wrath on sinful people OR His sending a wake-up call to Christians. I think it is both.
     
  7. Joseph_Botwinick

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  8. chipsgirl

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    I think this is one of those things that humans can't answer. Only God knows why it happened and we just have to be at peace with that.
     
  9. Aaron

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  10. APuritanMindset

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    So, if it wasn't God's judgment, what was it? </font>[/QUOTE]I guess the only option is that He was showing His love. :rolleyes:


    hoping the sarcasm was noted...
     
  11. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I think the problem with over analysis is then you could assume persecution upon Christians is judgment from God. When 1 Peter declares differently.

    I think what should be clear is that it rains on the just and unjust. The parable of the house built on the rock ought to illustrate believers. Believers will be exposed to the same trials of life but the believers will be rock solid in their faith and spirit. That is where I see the difference lies.
     
  12. Marcia

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    A natural disaster, like a hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, blizzard, lightning strikes, etc. We live in a fallen world and the earth wreaks havoc as part of the consequence of man's sin.

    I am always wishing that I had a t-shirt that says
    :D
     
  13. Aaron

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    A natural disaster, like a hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, blizzard, lightning strikes, etc. We live in a fallen world and the earth wreaks havoc as part of the consequence of man's sin.</font>[/QUOTE]"Consequence"? You mean judgment?
     
  14. Aaron

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    "Over analysis"? We're just trying to establish the basics here.

    1)Did God do this?
    2)What was His purpose?

    Then let's be perfectly clear, and state the verse as Christ stated it. "He" sendeth rain and causeth the sun to rise on the evil and good, the just and unjust.
     
  15. blackbird

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    Just because Blackaby wrote some good books and is a best selling author doesn't automatically make him the "expert" at everything----some people just assume that if he(Blackaby)says you can put a jet engine on a little boy's Balsa model airplane--that you could take a trip to the moon----some people would believe they could do just that!!!

    "What'cha strappin' that jet engine on to that model airplane for??"

    "Gonna go to the Moon!"

    "Who told you that comtraption would work?"

    "Blackaby!!"

    The Tital wave--IMHO--is part of a process of the "groaning" of the Earth!! The Earth is groaning right at this very moment---in anticipation of being "put upon" from Heaven!

    When the tital wave videos started coming in and started being broadcast--some of the videos actually showed the "wave" comeing in---and I thought to myself---"Adam's sin caused that wave!"

    Funny how Blackaby was silent about those 4 Hurricanes that hit Florida this past Summer!!! Rolling over Floridian's houses like a Lawnmower rolling over a piece of paper!!!
     
  16. Hardsheller

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    Go Blackbird Go!

    You're absolutely right.
     
  17. gb93433

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    Nor did anyone mention where tornado alley is.
     
  18. wifenmother

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    I don't know if the tsunami was God's judgement or not, but when I see the rituals they are performing for the dead, it saddens me. Even now, they will not turn to Christ for their own salvation. Perhaps they have never been witnessed to, I don't know.
    In agreement with Aaron's post above, I think America will get hers too. I heard a preacher say once that Lincoln recognized that the Civil War was God's punishment for the sin of slavery. You may or may not agree with that, but it's what Lincoln believed. If (just an "if") Lincoln was correct, then imagine what America will be dealt for the sin of abortion. that's what the preacher said. At the very least it makes you think.
    Whatever God's purpose for the tsunami, the rest of the world should heed His warning as well.
     
  19. APuritanMindset

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    If God is not in control, than what is the point of Him? I really don't think God is up there simply for us to ask Him to save us all time time. He is intricately and intimately involved in everything that happens. To deny that is to really deny the God of the Bible. To deny the God of the BIble is to not be saved. hm...someone will get on me for that Im sure...

    Why are people trying to strip God of power? GOd never lost power over stuff even from the beginning. MAN is the one who lost power. Read the garden story.

    God did the Tsunami. God allowed the Tsunami. God willed the Tsunami. It's all the same thing. God was in control of it. It could have been worse than it was or less than it was, but it was what it was because that is how God wanted it.

    Worship the God of the Bible, not the God of your devotional book!
     
  20. chipsgirl

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    If I tried to analyze everything God did in my life I would have a permenant headache. I'm not really sure why anyone would discuss this topic in the first place since no human can answer it.
     

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