"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Monday, January 25, 2010

Was the Earthquake a Judgment of God on Haiti?

I have a few questions.

When I heard Robertson declare that the Haitian earthquake was a judgment of God on that country, I thought it ridiculous and dismissed it entirely based on what I know about science, and what I know of the Bible and of God.

There was an earthquake when the seismic plates shifted. Where these plates meet a tremendous amount of energy can be stored for centuries, and when released and the plates move, earthquakes occur. God certainly knows this, as he is the one who created the plates and created all energy. And I know that God loves all people and wants them to turn to him. In fact the reason he doesn't end all of the suffering and sin on earth now is his longsuffering. He doesn't want people to perish eternally.

So I dismissed Robertson's declarations, as did so many evangelicals.

But I have read statements by Al Mohler, and hear statements by Mac Brunson, that leaves the door open to the possibility that the earthquake WAS indeed a judgment on this nation. Wise, learned men who are our religious leaders.

Said Brunson Sunday in a sermon out of 2 Chronicles 11-14, contrasting the disobedience of Rehoboam and the obedience of Asa:

"If they ever invite me to the Congress or the White House to preach, I'm preaching this. It is not rocket science, figure this out. Rehoboam you sinned against God, the prophet said, God abandoned you. Asa, you have followed God, you have been delivered. I mean its not that hard. God does that with nations....when man is disobedient, when nations are disobedient, the enemy comes. See also the United States in the year 2010.

Don't mistake this. Have your eyes open. Let there be a remnant in this country that understands fully that what we're experiencing in this country is most likely the judgment of God. We look off down at poor little Haiti, and bless his heart, Pat Robertson, you can't help but just to pray for him, you know. He may be right, but what a dumb time to say something like that. But let me tell you something, we don't need to worry about seeing the judgment of God on somebody else, all we gotta do is look within our own borders, and congregation, let me tell you something, we've got the judgment of God here. We gonna have to edit all that out when we get to the TV thing. We don't need to look and say 'Well, is that God's judgment on them?' Folks, listen, you don't need to worry about God's judgment on somebody else, its coming on us, its coming on us."

Not that Robertson is absolutely wrong. No. "He may be right."

Mac is very smart and learned. He hs forgotten more Bible knowledge than I will ever know, and he has been educated at a prestigious seminary. So maybe I've been wrong about my perception of who God and Jesus is, and I need to be set straight.

Some questions that I would like answers to:

- we are all dirty, filthy sinners deserving hell and death, and Christians have been saved by God's grace. However, is it true that those Christians who are mostly obedient, God blesses, but those who are more sinful, God abandons and punishes? Is it true, when we sin as Christians, "the enemy comes"? I am aware of the consequences of sin, but is God ready to bring judgment? Is is true as Brunson says: "the mills of the gods grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine"?Since we are all sinners, are the gods (whoever they may be) grinding on mills and we're all going to be ground to dust by their mills?

- is God still judging nations today like he did in the Old Testament as Mac suggests? Is he looking for those nations who are "obedient" and those who are "disobedient"? And what is his criteria? What sins does he punish countries for? Does his wrath trump his grace when he delivers punishments like earthquakes that harm little boys and girls?

- so if Pat Robertson "may be right", as Mac admits he may be, why so much ridicule towards Pat? How could it be the wrong time to say the truth? If that earthquake was Jesus' wrath, shouldn't we be proclaiming this to other nations so they can repent? And since when is it the wrong time to speak the truth?

- as I have been critical of for so long: is it true as Mac has said on numerous occasions and reiterates above: is the economy, 9/11, Katrina, the recession, high gas prices - are those all things that are the judgment of God on America? Is God really working behind the scenes to harm Americans?

- if we think Jesus perhaps decided to shake up Haiti and smash buildings and instantly kill thousands and thousands of babies, boys and girls under the rubble, how do we go and tell these same people that the answer to their problems is this same Jesus? "This earthquake that devastated your country was a judgment of God and Jesus on you...but we want you to accept Jesus as your Savior, He is the answer!"

I really already know the answers to my questions, but would love to hear your responses.

What happens on earth - earthquakes, cancers, brain tumors, divorces, tsunamis, murder - it all comes about because of fallen man living in a fallen world. Not one sin or a group of sins committed in a specific time by a specific people, but as the result of ALL sin for ALL time. Romans 8:18-25 makes it clear that all suffering in this present day is part of the corruption of mankind and this fallen world - but that a day is coming when this suffering will cease. To try and hang one event, or a series of events in our country on the wrath of God is blasphemous.

My Bible says it is not God judging people or nations and then exacting his due punishment on them.

What does your Bible say?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Luke 13


1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”


Matt

PS: I think you may "understand" the Word better than Mac

Anonymous said...

BTW Tom, these are excellent questions and one place where Christians are horribly deceived.

If you think them through logically, it becomes a doctrine of works.

Bad things ARE going to happen. Because we live in a fallen world. The question is: Are we ready?

Legend tells us that John was boiled in oil, Paul and Peter crucified. Stephen was stoned.

Were they worse sinners? Would it have brought more Glory to God had they died of old age with financial security in a cool hilltop villa in Ephesus or Corinth?

Romans 8

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.


Matt

Anonymous said...

I am not going to take up the question of whether God is judging or is not judging some person, place country etc. based on some natural disaster.

It is a topic and question so far removed from our ability to know and answer that to even bring it up is presumptuous.

Jesus, "Who sinned? This man or his parents..."

Our calling as Christians is not to speculate about such things that are unknowable, but to proclaim what we do know, and to minister to those in need.

It is really not that complicated.

Louis

Anonymous said...

God said he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorroah and he did for their sin. God said he was going to destroy Nineveh and there were 120,000 that could not discern their left from their right hand. God would have, however, the people (all) repented and put on sack cloth and ashes and God saved their lives.

The Bible says it rains on the just as well as the unjust. Jesus holds (all things together) more specifically all things (consist) by His power. When they explode or come apart of course He knows. Job was a righteous man, but Satan had to receive the authority from God to allow suffering in Job's life and the ability to kill all ten of his children.

IT APPEARS that lost people live better than most saved people because they are protected by their father the Devil. However, in the future state they (the lost) suffer forever and forever as they choose not to serve God or accept Jesus Christ as Savior.

I have no idea whether the Haitains are anymore a victim than those killed in wars, hurricanes, , typhoons, train wrecks, plane accidents, ferry sinkings, cyclones, etc,etc. One thing is most certain...MATTHEW 6:34 "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof". Obviously, we have enough to deal with today!!! Tomorrow will provide us with more than we can cope.

The rich man found this out and could not even return and witness to his lost brethren, and if he could have, Jesus said it would not make any difference anyway since they failed to listen to Moses and the other Prophets.
One thing is for sure...Death, destruction and judgement enter into the world because of SIN. It is very clear that when there is disobedience God will deal with it., and punishment will follow. Whether or not this was a "punishment", who knows. It certainly behooves us to stop and consider that Almighty God still reigns and He is the one that ultimately decides our fate, based on what we have chosen to believe and whether or not we accept Him as Lord and Savior. The final judgement will tell all. We are to honor and glorify Jesus, this is not happening very much in this world today. There has definitely come a "falling away of the church", (2 Thess:2 vs.3) and judgement for all is not far behind. What will you do with Jesus?

Anonymous said...

the more i read about xianity in the states, the more i wonder if i'm really an SB!! worse yet, i'm beginning to wonder if i'm even a xian!!!!?????
mac and roberson...if these are truly god's chosen spokesmen, i wanna re-consider my decision.
how can we ever hope to win a dying and lost words with men like these at the helm??????

LORD HAVE MERCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

It's all about the money.
Mac wants the congregation to feel like desperate sinners about to receive God's judgment. The most expedient thing to do is to give Mac your money. That will prevent God's judgment.
I pray for strength, motivation and desire to walk in God's way.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog this is just another SIGN of the end times. Wars and rumors of wars, disease, pestilences, earthquakes, people departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciencesw seared with a hot iron, falling for the commandments of men (MARK 7:1-12) worse winters in history of Jacksonville and most of Florida, etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

etc, etc, etc

God will get glory, thank all of you for the fullness of the scriptures of which you have posted.

We all know that God does what is right and what is needed. None of us knows what will happen today it is all speculative. But God gives grace to those who are not saved to get them saved and to us who are saved. He loves us all.

Anonymous said...

Im not speaking for my Bible Im speaking for me.

If you mess around with voodoo to the extent that it "sounds" like Haiti did, New Orleans did, you are messing with the devil and the devil comes to do ONE THING...STEAL KILL AND DESTROY. Sound like something you are watching take place before your very eyes...WHOSE FAULT IS IT....CHRISTIANS WHO DON'T WARN, PREACH, PRAY FOR THE PEOPLE OF HAITI AND ANYBODY WHO SAYS YOU CAN MESS WITH THE DEVIL AND NOT BE DESTROYED. And in NO WAY do I claim to speak for God or what HE may be doing in Haiti and why this is happening....but PLEASE STOP MESSING WITH THIS CRAP ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE I BEG OF YOU..

I have personally seen enough of the occult and supernatural take place before my very eyes when someone was trying to destroy me not to say this. Thats ME speaking, not GOD. I would never claim to speak for God in HOLY FEAR. I do believe that the devil is the author of voodoo, witchcraft, satanism, the occult, magick, etc......and i gotta tell you, get ONE GLIMPSE into that world and you will RUN as a Christian out the other exit. YES IT DOES OPEN SOME KIND OF STINKING PORTAL. One glimpse is all it takes to make me a believer in warning anyone and everyone who will listen to LEAVE THAT CRAP ALONE. Call me stupid, its something I could care less about, if just one person would listen.

Anonymous said...

The poster above (the voodoo one) makes some strong points.

Anonymous said...

I just "happened" to come across your site. I too, am a follower of Jesus. I had just read my daily devo, and thought i might share it with you. I found it to answer a few questions, answering why God allows us to suffer. If it doesnt answer any of your questions, maybe it will answer someone elses, whom you will cross paths with in the future. Hope you have a pleasant day! God bless you, and keep writing!...Heres the devo...

Therefore the Egyptians set taskmasters over the Hebrews to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. Exodus 1:11-12

Why does God allow us to suffer? Doesn't He have the power to prevent suffering in our lives? As a pastor, I've heard questions like these many times from wonderful people who are enduring incredible hardships. No doubt, these questions must have been common amongst the Hebrews as the Egyptians afflicted them, setting taskmasters over them to build supply cities for Pharaoh. But the greater the affliction, the stronger the Hebrews grew. The more the Egyptians tormented the Hebrews, the more the Hebrews multiplied. You see, God didn't cause their suffering, but He used it to strengthen them. Instead of granting them a time of peace as slaves, He prepared them for a lifetime of freedom.

Today, God is preparing us, as believers, for an eternity of freedom in Him. God allows us to endure tough times because they force us to rely on Him. They force us to finally let go of our self-reliance, our pride, and our stubbornness, and let Him do a work in our lives. No, adversity is not fun, and if you are experiencing tough times right now, my heart goes out to you. "In the world you will have tribulation," Jesus said, "but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33b).

Our hope as followers of Jesus Christ lies in that simple fact: He has overcome this world. Yes, we will struggle here on earth, but this is not our home, just as Egypt was not the Hebrews' home. We have the promise of eternal life with Christ, through His death and resurrection. He purposefully chose to endure some of the worst adversity anyone can imagine, not for His sake, but for ours -- and He overcame it. But He didn't die so that we might live prosperous, unhindered lives here on earth. There's nothing necessarily wrong with living a prosperous life, but Jesus died to give you something much greater: eternal life.

Does God have the power to prevent suffering in our lives? Yes -- He has the power to save us from an eternity of suffering. We must see the big picture as He sees it. In Him, we have hope that one day, we will live with Him where there is "no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying," and "there shall be no more pain" (Revelation 21:4). This world today, however, is broken because of sin. God didn't cause the sin -- we did -- but God, in His unknowable love, overcame that sin so that we might have hope.

When those moments of adversity seem unbearable, know that God is at work. Let Him strengthen you. Let Him be your hope. A better day is coming.

Entertained said...

Either Robertson is right or wrong. Robertson might be right. Robertson might be wrong.

Either of the above statements are true. No one, other than Robertson, is saying that Haitti is getting the wrath of God.

One observation though...Haitti is not the center of the financial world, a world power, or in anyway remarkable. I am just pointing that out.

For certain, the event caused one of the top 3 or 4 events in this century with regard to the loss of life.

Remember to pray for the people and give generously to the many organizations, such as, the American Red Cross.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Entertained - its clear to me that Brunson thinks the earthquake IS a judgment of God on Haiti. He uses the example of the U.S. in declaring over and over again that what we are experiencing in this country IS the judgment of God. He used a clever way to get that across - he says Robertson might be right...not that it was a stupid statement, but just poor timing. And when he in the same breath argues that high gas prices, unemployment, recession in our country IS God's judgment, then it stands to reason he would view the earthquake also as God's judgment.

Anonymous said...

The Lord went down into Egypt but did not stay for long. The nation of Israel went down into Egypt for 400 years and finally God perfected their ability to leave. I suggest the evil that is all around us is mainly not taught against by mega pastors as it is not PC for them to do so. Sort of like some of the TV gurus who don't want to upset ANYONE!!! Pitiful excuses. God is not the author of confustion...thats the Devils abode. Preach hard, preach against sin especially in High Places where the control is located. Tell the people over and over again that sin just keeps pulling you down and to avoid the very appearance of it. All religions do not lead to Heaven...many lead to Hell and Damnation. Preachers should be ashamed of their little three point sermonetts.!!! If a preacher doesn't preach against sin and about Jesus the Savior what is his purpose in being a preacher? Some preachers should examine their motives for being in the ministry at all. Jesus said, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me". John 14:6.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Rev. Jeremiah Wright get into big trouble for making similar statements?