Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, September 09, 2005

More on God and Hurricanes

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. (Pslam 107:25)

Last week, I believe it was, I posted a quick article addressing a theologically correct view of hurricanes (or any calamity) and God's sovereignty. I appreciate the handful of comments I received reminding me of the danger of assigning a certain purpose to Katrina and the aftermath. I could not agree more with that. Just like Christ's words in Luke 13, the people of New Orleans were no more terrible sinners as anyone else in the United States. First, we are not a theocratic nation, so it is misplaced for people to claim Katrina was sent to destroy New Orleans for its public sins. For anyone to make such a claim, there would need to be some revealed, prophetic word foretelling of certain doom if the people of New Orleans did not repent. Perhaps a real, bone fide, blue ribbon prophet who would interrupt city council meetings to remind the mayor of the wickedness on display on Bourbon St. I could even imagine this prophet driving up in front of the city town hall towing a bath tub in which sat a model of New Orleans and in a scene from out of Ezekiel, the modern day prophet fills the bath tub with water and announces, "This is what will happen to New Orleans if you do not burn the wickedness from your midst!" Then, about a couple of weeks before Katrina is even on the radar, the prophet gives one last speech, and leaves town. But nothing like this occurred.

New Orleans is really no more wicked than say New York City, and especially San Francisco. I personally think the mind killing swill daily poured forth from the lecture halls of Berkeley University is far more polluting than a once a year gay pride parade in the French Quarter; it is the dolt professors masquerading as educated intellectuals that give justification to the gay parade.

What I had wished to address in my first post was the embarrassing excuses Christians offer in an attempt to separate God from destructive hurricanes. Amazingly, Christians who extol the virtues of worshipping a sovereign God will flounder about making up reasons why any calamity is everything else but God. Even more amazingly is how Christian will pray for protection while a Hurricane is heading toward them, and if it happens to turn back into open seas, God is credited with sparing people from disastrous ruin. Why then is God sovereign in these merciful instances, but had nothing to do with horrible instances? Do people see what I am talking about here?

Oddly, otherwise sound minded believers put forth a weak, impotent god who is just mighty, but not almighty. Do they even read their Bibles? This is the god of pop-culture gurus like Rabbi Harold Kushner of Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People fame who believes the idea of an absolute sovereign God is pagan. From where he dreams up this claim is a mystery. I wonder what Moses would had said to this idea of his? How about David? And don't forget Joseph. In Rabbi Kushner's worldview, the god he worships is doing his best to help, but sometimes is not powerful enough to stop on coming evil. Why he believes this wringing his hands in the sky kind of god is worthy of our worship is beyond me; I see such a god as being only worthy to receive my scorn and contempt.

Thankfully, the biblical God, the only true and living God who has revealed Himself to humanity, is not like this. If He has the power to create the universe and our world as Genesis clearly indicates He did, then I believe I am safe in saying he can control the course of a Cat-5 Hurricane. What is the more powerful act? To create a universe or direct a hurricane on one of the planets in that universe? Come on.

I may not know for certain what God's purpose was in Katrina, but the one thing I do know is that my theology has a major impact on how I view the world and comfort those looking for answers after a disaster. I aim to be biblical, not an embarrassed excuse maker for God.

Checkout James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries, too. He has some excellent, as well as convicting words, that can be heard here. Real Player is needed to listen.


Blogger ThirstyDavid said...

Well, since you asked what David would have said to Rabbi Kushner, here it is. I believe God is not merely mighty, but almighty. He is omnipotent, and yes, he created Katrina to do his bidding, and it was done. I don't know why, but I know it was his will.

8:19 AM, September 10, 2005  
Blogger Loki Odinsson said...

Great article. I've linked to you here at The Thirsty Theologian.

8:49 PM, September 11, 2005  

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