Harbingers of the End-Time or Opportunities to Help?
A recent poll (done by Public Religion Research Institute and Religion News Service) found that nearly six in ten evangelicals (a term always open interpretation) believe that recent natural disasters are signs from God that point to the coming end-time. By comparison, only about one-third of Catholics and mainline Protestants see natural disasters are signs from God. About half believe that natural disasters are the result of God’s judgment and punishment. You may recall that last year, Pat Robertson suggested that the horrific earthquake in Haiti was God’s curse on the country for its history of voodoo. (Robertson made similar remarks about Katrina and God’s punishment for abortion). I haven’t heard of any church leaders baling the Japan disaster as punishment from God.
Can God use natural disasters to punish his people and give them opportunity to repent? The message of the prophet Joes was an impending horde of locusts that would punish Israel for her corporate sons. The plagues on Egypt were a series of natural disasters that were God’s judgment on the various deities of Egypt. The difference in these Biblical examples of natural and the modern disasters in Japan, Haiti and the Gulf Coast is that in the former case, we have the commentary of inspired Bible writers telling us what it is that God is doing. Mr. Robertson, I’ve read Moses and Amos’ I’ve studies Moses and Amos. And Mr. Robertson, you neither Moses nor Amos! To presume to speak for God in what God is doing in the world today is the height of arrogance.
The message for the church in earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan is precisely the message that millions of God’s people are getting. Here is an opportunity for the people for God to heal hurting people , to model the love of Jesus Christ and in the process to share the good news and the world sees that we are Christians through our love for others.
You can be a part of the ongoing relief efforts in Japan being done by our fellowship by giving to Healing Hands International.