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Archive for July 21st, 2014

INDONESIA QUAKE TIDAL WAVE

 

Why Does God Allow Disasters and Calamities?[1]

INTRODUCTION:

When the water came, I was frightened,” recalled Sanga, 12 of the tsunamis that struck in late December.  “We ran, and our home is gone.”

“From Thailand to Somalia, more than 150,000 people died in the tsunamis.  The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) first estimated children made up one third of the death toll.  But…that percentage, if anything, might be too low.  Children are much less able to run away, fight the water, hold onto or climb a tree…the youngest were simply unable to.  While some children scaled a mango tree, evading the torrent, half the group [from an orphanage]—mostly babies and toddlers—did not make it.~ “The Most Vunerable Victims.”  January 12, 2005, CNN.com. 

When this event occurred, many questions transpired

  • Why did this happened?
  • Why so much destruction?
  • Why is there so much suffering?
  • Why were thousands of people affected?
  • Why were children and babies swept away from the arms of their mother?
  • Was Satan involved?
    • In the Book of Job, we learn that Job’s children were killed by a wind that collapsed the roof of the house & fire from heaven came down and killed Job’s servants and sheep.
      • Scripture states that Satan was involved (Job 1:6-12; 13-22)

PURPOSE:

  • We will cover the wrong views given from non-Christians, the wrong views given by Christians, the biblical response, and the big Why question people have.
  • I am going over the topic concerning natural disaster so that you know the Bible’s explanation concerning it.

Point 1: Wrong Views Given from Non-Christians

  • Atheist—God does not exist.  Therefore disasters in this earth are just forces of nature.
  • Agnostic—This person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God will indicate that the supernatural had nothing to do with this tragedy.
  • Polytheist—Many gods, but one of the gods was involved in this disaster.
  • Scientology—Disaster, evil, and sin are not realities, but illusions.
  • Unitarianism (One who asserts the unity of God, but rejects the trinity).
  • Unbiblical Monotheism—Islam, Judaism.

Point 2: Wrong Answers Often Given by Christians

  • All Calamities are a Complete Mystery
    • Of course there are some things that are mysterious, but I am afraid saying that “all” calamities are a complete mystery is the wrong answer.
    • God has given us answers.  He knows we are beings with a intellect and a conscience.
  • All Good Comes Out of It.  The Bad Justifies the Good
    • We need to be nuanced when explaining this.  Why?
      • For example, after the tsunami, much evil occurred.  Some sold their children for money.
        • Murders were prevalent.
        • The disaster created a breeding ground for religious unity.  Buddhist monk, Hindu priest, and  professing Christians were singing songs of praise together.  The world loves to see this.  This is an appeal to selfish human thinking in the name of co-existence.  You have probably seen some of those bumper stickers too.
          • People saw religious unity as being good and virtuous.
      • I have no doubt at all, that there is some good that comes out from natural disasters, but there is still a problem because those who think they are doing good are saying what God did is bad.  They think they are morally good people in their behavior.  That is wrong thinking.  We need to see it from God’s standards.  Please see Romans 3:23.  Every person is a transgressor before God.  There are no exceptions.
        • Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”[2]
  • God is Not All Powerful (some professing Christians who subscribe to this would embrace onto Open Theism and Deism)
    • Deism:
      • This camp believes in God, but believes He is not involved.  This is the opposite of theism. Theism believes God supernaturally interferes due to His providence.
    • Open Theism:
      • God does not know everything about the future.

Point 3: Biblical Response

  • Major Bible passages to consider:
    • Job 9:5-6, “He who removes mountains, and they know it  not, when he overturns them in his anger, who shakes the  earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble.”
    • Psalm 135:6-7, “Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.  7He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
    • Isaiah 45:7, “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.
    • Amos 3:6, “Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?”
  • Implications of the passages covered:
    • It defeats some of these unbiblical statements:
      • “Although I believe in God, the supernatural had nothing to do with this tragedy.”
      • “God doesn’t exist; disasters like this are just forces of nature.”
      • “The earthquake and tsunami were sent by God, and there is no the purpose behind it.”
    • Some of the most popular responses that is disconcerting [atheism is small] are this:
      • “Although I believe in God, the supernatural had nothing to do with this tragedy.”
      • “The earthquake and tsunami were sent by God, and there is no purpose behind it.”
        • Isaiah 45:7, “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.
        • Amos 3:6, “Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?”
    • God is not surprised by natural disasters.  He is sovereign.
    • Even if Satan had an involvement in some natural disaster like he did with Job—Satan acted with God’s permission and under His sovereign rule.
  • Another Major Bible passage to consider:
    • Daniel 4:35: “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?”
      • Major points of this verse:
        • Nothing happens apart from God’s will.
        • Question: What does it mean that, “None can stay God’s hand?”  ANSWER: Nothing can stop Him from doing what He wants or wills.
          • Moreover, even that question alone reveals something unsettling about man. Beneath the tone of that question in Daniel 4:35, man accuses God of doing something wrong.
      • Daniel 4:35 corrects many ignorant and sinful thinking such as:
        • “What have you done God?”
        • “How could you have allowed so much destruction?”
        • “What gives you the right to do this?”
        • “Why did you unfairly target the poor and young?”

Stay tuned for the second part of this series as I plan on covering the big WHY question.

 

 

 

 


[1]Some notes are adapted from David Pawson’s Lecture and from Desiring God Ministries, Your Word is Truth, “Human Suffering—Disasters and Calamities.”

[2]All Scripture is quoted from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), unless otherwise noted.

 

 

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