Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

Quote of the Day: Bishop Carlton D. Pearson of Tulsa, Okla. “God is a good God and doesn’t have or need to throw temper tantrums like a spoiled and undisciplined child, in order to get his way or because he appears not to have it. We should not attempt to reduce God to such mundane […]

11 Comments

  1. September 21, 2005 at 1:30 am

    The bible says that God is good, but on a differnet token some people say that natural disasters is Gods way of controlling the population!!

  2. Is is not God who will judge in the end? I seem to recall there to be Judgements to be sent down to the people of the world……None of which are going to be all that pretty.

  3. I found the short article below (in italics) on the internet and thought it was quite true.

    August 31, 2005

    Hurricane Katrina: God’s Punishment for a ‘Wicked’ City??
    A reader writes: Is it true that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on a day that was to observe “Southern Decadence Day” with 100,000 homosexuals gathering to commit unspeakable acts in public?

    In a word, no. Despite the fact that some fundamentalist “Christians” appear eager to characterize the disaster as “God’s judgment” on the “wicked” city of New Orleans, and despite their attempt to link its timing to a gay celebration held there annually, the claims are patently absurd:

    The hurricane struck on Monday, August 29. This year’s Southern Decadence sometimes called the “Gay Mardi Gras,” was scheduled to open today, Wednesday the 31st, and continue through Sunday. The storm obviously did not strike on “the day” of the celebration. Many, perhaps most, of the revelers had not even arrived yet.

    Southern Decadence is a 35-year-old tradition in New Orleans. Why did God choose to wait till 2005 to “punish” the city for it?

    Why is the French Quarter, the district where the event (now canceled) was to be held, one of the least devastated parts of the city so far?

    If this tragedy occurred because God is angry at New Orleans, what was the point of the awful devastation and loss of life wrought in Mississippi and Alabama?

    Lastly, if I may vent a bit, I find it shameful, given the massive destruction, loss of innocent life, and ongoing hardships suffered by the hundreds of thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina, that any self-appointed spokesperson for God would have the nerve to suggest that these people in any sense deserved their fate. Natural disasters happen all the time, and Katrina was certainly not the first hurricane to strike the southern United States this season. By what logic, and by what right, does any human being arbitrarily declare that this natural disaster was a punishment meted out upon sinners by God?

    The sad thing is, I don’t even know if this guy is a believer or not. It’s amazing that some sinners know the truth about God more than most “Christians” do. We need to be proclaiming the GOOD News to people, not telling them that God hates them because of their sins and that He’s ticked off at them and looking to “get” them. We need to be telling people that Jesus Christ was the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) not just for our sins, but for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). We are living in an age of grace, where God is not imputing men’s sins unto them. The Bible says that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them..” (2 Corinthians 5:19). There definitely will be a time of final judgement, but that time has not yet come. God revealed His attitude toward mankind through the life of Jesus Christ. Listen to what the angels proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). Jesus Christ went around healing everyone and calming storms, not making people sick and sending storms!
    God’s wrath was poured out on His Son nearly 2,000 years ago and it hasn’t been poured out since. His wrath will never be poured out again until after we (the righteous; the Church; the Body of Christ) are gone! If Hurricane Katrina was “from God” as some sincere (but sincerely wrong) Christians are teaching, this would totally go against everything revealed under the Old and especially the New Covenant. If just one person who died from or was affected by the hurricane or flooding was a Christian, then that would mean God has totally violated His Word. God has promised to never be wroth (angry) with us and never flood the earth again with water (Isaiah 54:9). I know this contradicts what most of us were taught in “Sunday school”, but it’s what the Word of God teaches, so that’s all that matters. As Romans 2:4 states, “..the goodness of God leads to repentence”. That means we should be using God’s goodness and unconditional love to draw people into the Kingdom of God, not wrath and fear of punishment. Serving God because of a fear of punishment is totally a wrong motive anyway.

    The reason I’m writing this is because I want all of you to hear what the Word of God teaches, rather than the man-made doctrines that are so prevalent today. It never ceases to amaze me how every time tragedy happens, so many professing Christians immediately look to God and ask “why?” We don’t need to look any further than our mirror to find out who and what has caused all the junk that’s in the world today. Mankind, not God, is responsible for the evil in this world. If God is responsible for “natural disasters”, and if this hurricane was “God’s punishment”, then why on earth are we sending money, water, food, and help to the victims of “God’s wrath” (as some call it) ?? Why not let these people continue suffering so that they can continue experiencing “God’s mysterious will and purpose” (as some call it) ?? Why are we attempting to rescue them from “God’s punishment” ?? How do we know if those “worthless sinners” in New Orleans have “learned their lesson from a ticked off God” yet??

    Do you see what I’m saying here? People that teach such things are so full of mud. Let’s start believing the Word of God! God is GOOD, all the time. He loves us unconditionally. He isn’t angry anymore. He’s not even in a bad mood! My Bible states in James 1:17 that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Is a hurricane good and perfect? Absolutely not. Jesus stated in John 10:10 that He comes to give us abundant life, and it is the thief (Satan) who comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy.” Did this hurricane provide abundant life or did it kill, steal and destroy? Jesus also stated that He “came not to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (Luke 9:56)

    I’ll agree that “sin has consequences”, but only because of sowing and reaping, not because God is punishing us. Us living in sin doesn’t bring God’s wrath upon us… but I can guarantee you it does open up a door to the devil to destroy us. God has already taken care of our individual sins as far as He is concerned. The only reason a person goes to Hell is because he refused God’s sacrificial Lamb who took our sins.

    Stop blaming God!!!

  4. Praise the Lord that someone was blessed with the insight to write such an accurate statement concerning God and Hurricane Katrina, and all natural disasters. God is Love. That is the very foundation of the Bible. As “anonymous” put it, sin has consequences with regard to reaping what one sows. If you live a life of promiscuity, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter an STD or much drama. If you steal, there’s a good chance that someone might steal from you down the line. If you take advantage of people, there is a good chance you will find yourself humbled by having the same thing done to you. The point is, we deal with the sin that we create. We have many devils within ourselves that constantly create chaos in our lives. But through the GRACE of God and through relying on Jesus Christ, we can turn our back on sin and walk in the Love of God. We cannot blame this on God. Sure God controls everything that happens but he did also grant us free will.

    It’s easy to look at the destruction and chaos caused by Katrina and focus on how “horrible” the situation is. As people we know that experiencing “trying” circumstances only make us stronger. If we were to look at New Orleans as a person, he or she is going through his or her tests. And just like a person who grows in strength and Love through such experiences, New Orleans will rise to become a better and stronger city than it was before.

  5. If “God” is angry, then why most of the victims are the Black and poor? They are not even part of this “sin” that New Orleans was accused of has. And how can anyone prove that “God” even exists? (besides in the Bible.)

  6. Joseph H Wallace

    It was an act of God as everything is an act of God. Who are you to say what is an act of God and what is not an act of God? EVERYTHING is an act of God.

  7. there are lots of good agruements both ways. Stop agrueing it will get us no where. The church musht be united not devided

  8. Hurricane Katrina is something bad that happened. People who are arguing it was God’s will, Satan’s will or Global Warming’s will are simply displaying their coping methods by simplifying to themselves why bad things happen. Regardless of what the religious and not-so-religious say, there is actually no hard proof that indisputably proves there is or isn’t a God. This is why there are differences between how we explain the reasoning behind the world. Christians should understand that waving a Bible as a means of proof can (understandably) mean very little to an atheist or less religious individual; and those who are less religious should understand that there is a possibility that there is more beyond their physical perceptions.
    What pisses me off is that these Fundamentalists and/or Republicans, who can’t actually prove anything they’re saying, are proclaiming that the reason for something bad happening is because the people deserved it. How does saying that help anyone? Get off your government funded high horses and be the moral Christians you pertain to be. Jackasses.

  9. Tragedys do not just happen to black people. Actually during the aftermath of Katrina, there was a town of all white people that no one even knew about, they were without food and water for days before anybody even knew they were there let alone rescuing them. I saw a minute of that on the news and the rest of the broadcast were people like you saying the “white government” doesn’t care about black people.

  10. As a born-again Christian, I would like to point out to that since nature was created by God then, yes, Katrina could be an act of God because he controls everything but I would also would deny that it was a punishment sent by God singular to New Orleans or any group of people. Nature is a system. It can be predicted to a degree and measured. The Bible tells us that God “…sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”(Matthew 5:45, KJV) I would also like to point out that most of the destruction was at fault to man. The greatest destruction was caused by the breaking of the levees and not by the hurricane. In fact, unless I am horribly mistaken, New Orleans did not suffer a direct hit but the brunt of the actual storm was taken by Mississippi and Alabama. The bottom line is this, storms are part of the nature that was designed by God that serve various functions, not all of which is bad. If we get caught in the path of a storm then it is unfortunate but not an ‘act of God’ to bring judgment upon us. Bad things happen to Christians and non-Christians alike. In fact, I would like to say to all non-believers, my God loves you just as much as he loves me. He is happy whenever someone makes the decision to follow His son, Jesus, but that does not put us on some privileged pedestal high above the rest of the world. And to even further, we are called to love you like He loves us. So to bring this back to the topic at hand, it breaks my heart to see the devastation caused by Katrina but I cannot and will not lay the blame on God. After all, He didn’t ask us to build a coastal city below sea level. What I can and will do is pray for all the victims, believers and non-believers alike, and do my best to show them the same love Jesus has shown me. Also, I ask everyone recognize that neither I nor any other person reveal with certainty the true will of God. What I say is based on a personal 10 year relationship with Him. So, please take mine and everyone else’s opinion with a grain of salt.

    In Christ,
    Steven