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Volcana
Jan 5th, 2005, 11:53 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6791508/

God and the tsunami
How can a merciful God allow such disaster and suffering?
TRANSCRIPT
Updated: 5:58 p.m. ET Jan. 5, 2005

With some 175,000 people dead and vast stretches of Asia ripped apart, a lot of people are asking, how can a merciful God allow such disaster and suffering? And should we interpret this as a sign from above?

Below are excerpts from a discussion with men and women of different faiths on 'Scarborough Country’ last night:
Anne Graham Lotz, author of "Visions of His Glory":
I know that God is a loving God. I don't look at the tsunami and what has happened at Asia.

I look at the cross. And when I look at the cross of Jesus Christ, when God sent his own son to die to take away my sin, I know that God loves me. So, I don't know the love of God is in question when this happens.

Why he has allowed it to happen, I don't know. I can't answer that question. But I think one of the things that we need to do when there's a disaster like that is to look up and ask God, “Are you trying to get our attention? Is there something we can learn from this? Is there something you're trying to say to us?”

What is interesting about this is that this tsunami did not increase death. All of those people who died were going to die anyway. And I don't mean to be cold. We desperately don't desire to see people suffer in such a horrific way. But, at the same time, every single one of us is going to die. And the critical thing is to determine what is going to happen to us the moment after we die. Where are we going to spend eternity?

And that's why God, who does love you, and he sent his own son to die on the cross, that, when I place my faith in him, I can be forgiven of my sin and I can know for sure that, when something happens to me—and I can die on the highway. I can die as a result of a disease. It doesn't have to be a tsunami. But one day, I'm going to die. And I know when I do, I am going to be ushered into my father's home into heaven because I have placed my faith in Jesus.

So, this is a tragedy and it's a disaster, but it's not a reflection on the fact that God doesn't love us, because God loves us and the proof of that is the cross.

Jennifer Giroux, director, Women Influencing the Nation:
Throughout history and reported early in the Bible, God has always used plagues, floods and natural disasters as a source of punishment.

One can talk about a sad lost generation over there in the disaster going on in Asia. We have a lost generation of 40 million aborted babies in this country that is being ignored by so many people. I believe that this situation that happens makes all of us look inward, realize God is ultimately in control of life and death.

Look at what we're looking with just in this country with cloning, homosexuality, trying to make homosexual marriages, abortion, lack of God in the schools, taking Jesus out of Christmas. I can't pretend to know the mind of God. But, historically, there have been warnings. And God, who is all-loving and all-good, and he will not be mocked.

What I’m saying is that God does allow natural disasters to happen. He always brings good out of bad. There is sin in this country. There is sin around the world. There's no way anybody could look over there and say they are more deserving than anybody else to have this disaster. We all look with horror.

And I think one thing that really has made all of us think is, we all know in the Bible it says death comes like a thief in the night and we know not the day or the hour. And it makes all of us look inward and ask, “Am I ready to meet my maker? And am I ready, if this were to happen right now, where is my life? Am I doing what God wants me to do? And am I living a moral life? “

We as individuals and as a country need to turn to God again, ask for forgiveness and mend our ways.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author, "Face Your Fear":
I think Jennifer Giroux is guilty of colossal blasphemy and even more colossal arrogance, because even Jesus on the cross says in Matthew 27 and Mark 15, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? “

He wanted to live. He was challenging God. He was saying life is precious, unlike Anne Graham Lotz, who just said only the afterlife matters. Jesus challenged God.

It's what Abraham also does when God says, “I'm going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.” And they were more sinful than any American or people living in Sri Lanka or Indonesia.

How dare one say that 150,000 people that you have never met who are probably more righteous than you, more innocent than you, poor people who just worked hard to feed their kids, how dare you say they

were punished by God? You don't know those people.

Tim Lahaye, co-author, "Left Behind":
Bible prophesy is history written in advance. And it doesn't mean that God is arranging all these activities.

I think the God of the Bible is a God of love, as Anne has described. But in order to understand what he does in an isolated situation like this, we have to come back and understand who he is. And although it's true as, I think the rabbi said, that Jesus prayed, “Why have you forsaken me?” the fact is, that's not the end of the story. If you go on, three days later, Jesus was raised from the dead and God raised him up from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sin was acceptable.

But the point is, we're looking through a glass darkly. We don't see the end from the beginning. Bible prophesy tells us that, as we get closer to the end of the age, there will be more and more of these natural phenomenon. And that's one of the things that I resent, people trying to say that this is the judgment of God. No, this is just the natural result of the phenomenon of nature.

As the Earth changes and shifts on its plates, you have earthquakes caused and such tidal waves that are just unbelievable and you have death and so on. I don't believe God is picking on these people. But we're approaching a time when people have to make sure that they are right before God, because all of these uncertainties—and certainly death is an uncertainty—when it comes, it's an uncertainty. It points out to us that we have to be ready at all times to understand not the God that man sees just in an isolated event, but the God of the Bible.

The amazing thing about it is, if you go to the U.S. Geological Society, you will find that they chart earthquakes and they have been increasing. For the past five decades, every decade has increased the number of earthquakes, killer earthquakes we're talking about. And this is one of the granddaddy of all earthquakes, and it has taken so much life. And the good thing about all of this is, it points out that man really has to get right before God, because the time is short.

Things are happening so rapidly today. Even unsaved secular scientists say they see no hope for this world beyond 25 or 50 years. What should our response be?

Kart
Jan 6th, 2005, 12:15 AM
I can't pretend to know the mind of God.
Then she should stop trying !

This woman is director of 'Women Influencing the Nation' :confused:

If that organisation attempts to do what it's name implies I don't know whether to laugh or cry at it's choice of leader.

Oleh
Jan 6th, 2005, 12:18 AM
http://www.aish.com/societyWork/society/Taking_Back_Nature_A_Reflection.asp

A wealthy man once lent a poor person a very large sum of money. At the end of the year he asked for the money back. The poor man scrambled hard, but in the end managed to return the money.

Two days later, the wealthy man offered the money back again. This repeated itself periodically. Finally, the poor man could not contain his curiosity, and he asked the wealthy man, "If you do not need the money, why do you take it back every so often?"

"I don't need the money now," he replied, "but I don't want you to start thinking that it is yours."

The greatness bestowed upon man is the mastery over the universe; the mastery over nature. Man was charged at his very beginning, "Rule over the earth and conquer it." Animals have been harnessed, fields have been plowed, rivers have been tamed, mighty cities have been built, the great secrets of the atom have been ripped from it, heavens and their planets have lost their invincibility -- all by man's fulfillment of that primordial charge, "Rule over the earth and conquer it."

So magnificent is mankind's dominion, that the angels complained, "What is man that you remember him ... that you have placed all under his feet?" (Psalms 8).

But every so often, we are reminded that we are not the conquerors, but trustees. Every so often God simply takes back nature, and man is all too painfully reminded that he is naught but God's custodian.

The personal suffering and tragedy is simply overwhelming, and we cannot even begin to fathom the "whys" of every person's tragedy. But for humanity as a whole it is a most sobering realization. After all, the crowing as to how "we have conquered," "our genius has taken us to the moon," "nothing remains invincible," our hubris has been dashed in an instant. Nature did not need to struggle, to rebel or to wage a mighty war. It simply reared its head, and we were gone...

The answer does not lie in stopping the march of science and progress. God desires that man use his abilities and talents to tame the world and develop it. But He desires that we not enter it as haughty conquerors but, rather, as faithful custodians, bearing in mind at all times Who is the owner.

"God's voice is upon the waters... from the sound of a multitude and mighty waters, of breaking waves, [we discern] that there is a powerful God above" (Psalms 29)

-------------------------

Aish somes it all up for how I think of it. Look around on that site there are lots of thinkings regardiong the Tsunami. Remember Life on earth is just that, just because HaShem may take it from you in an act of nature dosnt mean your being punished, he's using your life as an example. In my faith this earth is only a veryyyyy small part of "life", just beacuse bad things happen here dosnt mean its more than a scar you get as a child. Its there to remind you forever, but the blood dries up and pain slowly gos away.

Volcana
Jan 6th, 2005, 12:37 AM
After all, the crowing as to how "we have conquered," "our genius has taken us to the moon," "nothing remains invincible," our hubris has been dashed in an instant. Nature did not need to struggle, to rebel or to wage a mighty war. It simply reared its head, and we were gone...I do not agree. As a child, I played in the ocean, and always fought the waves. The waves always had their way. I've been in the forest, on new moon on a cloudy night with no flashlight. And I know I we fear the darkness.

NOTHING is invincible. NOTHING is outside of our eventual understand. There is NO challenge we might not one day overcome. That's MY faith, if I have such a thing.

But that doesn't make 'someday', TODAY. The Tsunami (will it go down in history simply as 'The Tsunami'?) does remind me of the fragility of life, and the scale of the challenges that face us as humans. Still, every building, dam and irrigated field says we CAN influence and alter the course of nature, just as every flood, earthquake and fire reminds us that Nature is not dormant.

My 'hubris' remains undashed, though of course, that may simply be because I never forgot the lessons nature taught me as child. The oceans will have their sway, and the darkness of night concedes but a token to artificial light.

Perhaps our refusal to concede in the face of such power is what makes us what we are.

Hulet
Jan 6th, 2005, 01:52 AM
The last thing I thought about when I heard about this story is God. Trying to make a connection between this tragedy and God is futile, I think.

Anyways, did they reverse the rep point colours or something? I can't believe Volcana, one of the few interesting posters in this board, has negative rep points. :eek:

SilK
Jan 6th, 2005, 02:41 AM
Anyways, did they reverse the rep point colours or something? I can't believe Volcana, one of the few interesting posters in this board, has negative rep points. :eek:

I don't get it... I like GoodRepped her tonight! :shrug:

Gallofa
Jan 6th, 2005, 03:03 AM
In the end, linking disasters to God (to any God), implies admitting that every bit of good luck in the World is, in fact, a miracle.

Infiniti2001
Jan 6th, 2005, 03:35 AM
Thank God the Rabbi was on that panel UGHHHHHHHHH

Volcana
Jan 6th, 2005, 03:37 AM
The last thing I thought about when I heard about this story is God. Trying to make a connection between this tragedy and God is futile, I think.

Anyways, did they reverse the rep point colours or something? I can't believe Volcana, one of the few interesting posters in this board, has negative rep points. :eek:That's really sweet of you to say. I have to concede, however, that I've been called an anti-Semite, anti-American, a monetary supporter of terrorism and a racist by various people on this board. I'd have to assume that at some point, one of them just might badrep me.:)

Scotso
Jan 6th, 2005, 04:24 AM
Thank god for that Rabbi.

What are these people on? The stupidity of "his" supporters is the reason I can't believe in God.

nash
Jan 6th, 2005, 07:45 PM
Anne Graham Lotz is awesome! She obviously has a great love for God, just as her father does...

Volcana
Jan 7th, 2005, 07:56 PM
Anne Graham Lotz is oviously irrational. And the only 'proof' that is on the cross is that man can be very cruel to his fellow man.

jelena4me
Jan 8th, 2005, 09:06 AM
Anne Graham Lotz is oviously irrational. And the only 'proof' that is on the cross is that man can be very cruel to his fellow man.
Anne Graham Lotz should obviously be incarcerated before she can do any more damage, she is obviously insane.