Tuesday, 6 October 2009

trivializing natural disasters

Quite a lot of Christians, usually Pentecostals, claim to know the mind of God. They (in particular) attribute natural disasters to punishment by God of particular sins. So some, in what seems to me an act of the grossest unkindness, attributed the disasters that beset New Orleans to alleged immorality...usually they want to name sodomy and homosexuality as the particular reasons that God apparently wants to wreak havoc on people.
This seems to me to be most cruel, simplistic, and really.....well infantile nonsense.
The Lord himself is at pains to point out that God does not make equations of particular sins, particular people or particular circumstance. (see for example John 9 which would seem to be about disabusing the faithful of the idea that God is in the business of punishing people for particular wrongdoing....a common Hebrew scripture idea). More than this, it actually seems to em to be a total travesty of the God who loves the world so much that he allows redemption through suffering.
When ever we are tempted to say that suffering can be relieved by getting God to wave a magic wand, or by getting people to do the right thing so that they won't be punished we are forgetting that our lived experience is that suffering would seem to be universal.
The question is not why does it happen......but what do we do when it does.
I hope these stupid Penties stop telling us that they have some inroad into the mind of God, and realise that the cross proclaims that in the midst of suffering there is life

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