Skip to comments.Don't Blame God, Tragedies Happen
Posted on 01/17/2010 8:50:17 AM PST by OneVike
After the Earthquake that devastated Haiti, Pat Robertson was accused of saying that God was punishing Haiti because of the evil practices of its people. At first I must admit that I cringed and even stated that he was out of line and the statement was ignorant on his part, especially when the Scriptures go directly against such foolish beliefs. Then I looked into what Pat actually said, and found this statement put out by CBN:
"Pat Robertson's comments were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed. Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God's wrath. If you watch the entire video segment, Dr. Robertson's compassion for the people of Haiti is clear. CBN
So Pat Robertson did not say what he was accused of saying, yet I still have a problem with the so called scholars whom he quoted and it is their belief that I want to address today. I must question how well learned these scholars are for making such a claim. After all, a simple reading of the encounter that Abraham had when he was visited by three angels on their way to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah should be enough to dispel such nonsense. 16Genesis 18:16:33 God was willing to spare the whole of Sodom and Gomorrah if, as Abraham pleaded, He found 10 righteous individuals. Well, God did not find 10 righteous people and so, destroyed both cities. Regardless of how evil the men of Sodom were, God was willing to spare them. I could probably list many of the evils things that have been going on in Haiti, from their supposed deal with the devil in 1791 all the way up their current practices of Voodoo. However, I could probably find and list the names of Haitians who practice their Christian beliefs as good or even better then many Christians I know in America. That would be hundreds of times the number of people God was looking for to spare Sodom and Gomorrah.
What many Christians fail to understand is that God did not target the people of Haiti for their sinful ways no more then He specifically targeted Indonesia in 2004 when it was devastated by a tsunami, or America on September 11, 2001. I can think of a certain few cities in America that are just as evil in God's eyes, if not more so, because they have more access to the truth than many people in Haiti do. Last time I looked San Francisco is still among the cities of America.
Furthermore, we live in a dispensation of time that was ushered in by Christ. This new dispensation makes each individual person responsible for his own sin. There is no corporate punishment for countries or societies like there was in the Old Testament times. Other than the final judgment that is spoken of in Revelation when God will finally judges all mankind, there is no such thing as God punishing nations. Like it or not that is a fact. Christ came as the Lamb of God the first time to usher in His church and die for our sins. The next time He comes it will be with a sword, and He will Usher in His Kingdom.
Now as far as disasters are concerned, it's easy to think of nature as serene and safe--the way that many people who enjoy the comforts of the modern world experience it. We in America are used to nature when and how we like it. But natural disasters are faith-shakers. It may be that we in the west should ask why we do not suffer more faith strengthening natural disasters. Katrina should have been a faith building disaster, but we allowed too many to use it for political purposes and in the process too few realized the moment to trust fully in God as they should have. We would be wise to study the actions of the early Christians who suffered many tragedies for their faith. For them, suffering was not a metaphysical problem needing a solution but a practical challenge needing a response of faith. Apparently it never occurred to them to question their belief in God or his goodness because they were unjustly suffering from either man made or natural disasters. Rather, their faith gave them direction in the face of persecution and general misfortune. God did not cause the earthquake nor did he step in to stop it, because he expects us to use those moments of trouble to look to Him.
There will come a time when we will all collectively be tested by persecution and tragedies because of mankind's sin, but depending on what your understanding of the end times is, the way, and time will happen when God is ready. Ones understanding of how and when the end will come has no bearing upon the salvation of ones soul. Acceptance of Jesus as your Lord and Savior will save you, not your understanding of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
So in conclusion, I would advise any and all Christians to refrain from claiming God is targeting any population of people for the corporate sin of their society as some have erroneously claimed.
I pray that those who have ears to hear will hear His voice and call upon the name of the lord Jesus Christ.
Or, is the belief that, while all good and all success is given by and comes from God, but that God bears no responsibility at all for tragedies?
I apologize for posting this so late, I am behind the gun today so please keep me in your prayers that I may get to my allotted destinations on time when I should.
God bless you all.
Apparently prayers to God to spare us from disasters of nature such as hurricanes and pandemics- are useless
God is not in control
(didn’t Haitians claim to have prayed or voo doo’ed away a hurricane several years ago?)
“Apparently prayers to God to spare us from disasters of nature such as hurricanes and pandemics- are useless”
Prayer ain’t a drive-thru window. You want fries with that miracle?
So if we aren’t supposed to know the time of the end then how can we deny that this could be it. Mankind ( those who have not come to Christ) will feel the wrath of God in those days. The Bible tells us to watch and be prepared, not scoff at those who choose to do that...
So...what of this 1791 pact? that’s the real question. I’m sick of people talking about robertson while dancing around this. did the pact happen or didn’t it? The rest of these discussions are really stupid and pointless until this is discussed.
I know, I know...we aren’t supposed to point out the choices we made when a tragedy happens. It isn’t nice.
However- it is NOT God’s fault and bad things are NOT “God’s plan” for us. But the sad truth is that we CHOSE to “know both good and evil”; we CHOSE to
“be as gods”. It’s called free will. Whenever there is pain, loss and disaster, we would do well to remember that this is what we wanted and hot shots like us would make the same choice again. That’s called pride and we ALL suffer from it.
You take the bad with the good and we sure don’t mind taking the credit when things go right.
There are two big problems which most people have with religion, i.e. evolution(ism) and the question of evil. The question of evil is still the bigger problem and natural disasters are one aspect of it. The basic answer is found in Jesus’ words to the effect that his father’s kingdom is not of this world. That means that the spirit realm has little if any real power to act in this physical world which we inhabit. It’s a question of whether terms like ‘omnipotent’ or ‘all powerful’ mean having all the power which anybody could imagine, or all the power that there actually is. The former leads inevitably to conundrums and violations of logic; the later does not.
God had nothing to do with the tsunami that hit Christmas day on a nation that pracitced a sex trade with children...or many in that nation...oh really? I think you are misreading God and not even looking well at our history when we were a more faithful country. The leaders and people of America often prayed to God for repentence after big disasters, it is only now in the modern era that we divorce right and wrong and God from natural disasters. I beleive God is much tougher than we want to beleive in our own dark weakness. Haiti is sooo sick and has been for so many years that I believe this was a wake up call for them to repent, or continue in the hard hearted ways. And God DID spare the huge majority of haitians, so the authors Sodom and Gomorah comparison is not valid.
Don’t blame God, He doesn’t exist.
If it is true (this pact) and if you are a conservative believer, then the concept of blessings and curses spoken of in scripture are not far fetched. A pact with the devil and widespread participation in Voodoo does not fall under the heading of "Ways to be Blessed by God". Is this why they are the poorest country in the world and seem to constantly be dealing with natural disasters? Who am I to say for sure. But like Robertson, based on my beliefs, I have my opinion. Just who are those that are critical of him to say it is not a curse...and if they are taking that stand, are they not doing the same thing that they are criticizing him for...expressing their opinion?
What this is is a classic case of religious persecution fueled by political ideology. He made a statement based on his understanding of Haitian history and his religious beliefs. The bigger story is why he is being criticized for making these statements on his show. If people don't agree with his staements and/or opinions, then TURN THE CHANNEL!
At least he is not screaming from the pulpit, "G.D. America" to the delight of the congregation.
By Tom Barrett (03/11/04)
"Haiti is the only country in the entire world that has dedicated its government to Satan. Demonic spirits have been consulted for political decisions, and have shaped the country's history." Thus speaks Reverend Doug Anderson, who grew up in Haiti with missionary parents, and served there along with his wife Dawn as a missionary until 1990. The leaders of Haiti make no attempt to hide their allegiance to Satan. Haiti's government is a government of the devil, by the devil, and for the devil.
It is a matter of well-documented historical fact that the nation of Haiti was dedicated to Satan 200 years ago. On August 14, 1791, a group of houngans (voodoo priests), led by a former slave houngan named Boukman, made a pact with the Devil at a place called Bois-Caiman. All present vowed to exterminate all of the white Frenchmen on the island. They sacrificed a black pig in a voodoo ritual at which hundreds of slaves drank the pig's blood. In this ritual, Boukman asked Satan for his help in liberating Haiti from the French. In exchange, the voodoo priests offered to give the country to Satan for 200 years and swore to serve him. On January 1, 1804, the nation of Haiti was born and thus began a new demonic tyranny.
At the time of the pact Haiti was France's richest colony, and was known as the "Pearl of the Antilles" for its singular beauty. But it soon became one of the world's poorest and most benighted nations. Scoffers may say that there is no connection between the fact that Haiti was the richest nation in the hemisphere, and then became the poorest after selling its national soul to Satan. But the scoffers can't come up with a better explanation.
Voodoo is a practice based on a mixture of African spiritism and witchcraft. Depending on the source of one's research, between 75 and 90 percent of Haitians practice voodoo. This seems to fly in the face of the fact that the country is predominantly Catholic. But, like their African ancestors, voodoo practitioners have no problem embracing multiple religions. In fact, most who practice voodoo believe they must be Catholic first.
Until recently, voodoo was practiced in secret. Practitioners would go to the Catholic Church on Sunday, and attend voodoo ceremonies deep in the woods at other times. Voodoo was forbidden during the colonial times, and the 32 Haitian governments that followed independence also suppressed the practice because of world condemnation. But on April 8, 2003, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide approved Voodoo as an officially recognized religion in Haiti (see links below). Voodoo priests can now perform marriages and other ceremonies previously reserved for Christian religions. "An ancestral religion, Voodoo is an essential part of national identity," Aristide said in the decree recognizing Voodoo.
Aristide has been a controversial figure since he became the first freely elected president in Haiti's history in 1991, 200 years after the nation was dedicated to Satan. A defrocked Catholic priest, Aristide was expelled in 1988 from his order, the Salesians. He was a hero of the resistance to Haitian tyranny, then president, then exiled, then restored to the presidency by his close friend, Bill Clinton. One of his first acts was to express his support for reinstating the Voodoo pact that expired the year he was elected. He claimed that Voodoo was the "national religion" of Haiti, and a source of national pride.
Even before Aristide came to power, a U.S. embassy official in Port-au-Prince described Aristide as "a Marxist maniac." Newsweek Magazine called him "the flaky Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide." And none other than Henry Kissinger declared that he was "psychotic." While it is true that Aristide used Communism to gain power, I don't believe he is psychotic. What many see as madness is simply the pure evil that emanates from the man.
The Media Research Center (see link below), which describes Aristide as a "charismatic Marxist priest" had this to say about the man: "Aristide wasn't much of a Democrat, paying people to beat up his opponents, and becoming wealthy from drug trafficking into the U.S. For a good, brief primer on Aristide, see "Aristide Must Go," the editorial in the March 8 Weekly Standard. It explains how 'It is not the democratic authorities that are being overthrown in Haiti, but Aristide's retinue of gunmen.'" (There is a link to this article below, as well.)
Aristide was only in office eight months before he was ousted and fled to the United States. There he effectively lobbied Bill Clinton and other government officials, convincing them that he was not the tyrant that Haitians said he was. After Clinton sent 20,000 American troops to install Aristide in power in 1994, the president-turned-dictator disbanded the army. But the civilian police force he replaced it with has also brutalized the Haitian people, engaging in summary executions as well as the drug-running that has made Aristide the richest man in Haiti. This drug money allows Aristide to live in a lavish mansion in a nation where the average yearly salary is $350.
As the Weekly Standard editorial by Christopher Caldwell says, "Aristide, of course, did not create Haiti's problems, but he profits from all of them. His ten years of direct and indirect rule have been a disaster. His regime has been democratic only in the Haitian sense of one man, one vote, one time. The last free and fair election in Haiti was in 1990, the closely monitored contest that brought Aristide to power. Even then, Aristide was making use of street violence orchestrated by his "vigilance committees." Four years ago, Aristide received over 90 percent of the vote in a presidential election so transparently corrupt that several American and European agencies reluctantly froze hundreds of millions of dollars in aid money.
With a mystifying regularity reminiscent of Saddam Hussein, Aristide has refused the simplest procedural inducements to unlock millions that could have been used to feed and treat his poorer compatriots. From humble beginnings as a Salesian slum priest, Aristide has become the richest man in Haiti. How? Last Wednesday in Miami, the Haitian mafioso Beaudoin Ketant, go-between for three Colombian cartels, was sentenced to 27 years in prison for transporting 30 tons of cocaine between Haiti and Florida. At his sentencing, Ketant said that Aristide "is a drug lord. He controlled the drug trade in Haiti. It's a one-man show, your honor. You either pay him or you die."
Caldwell goes on to relate how Aristide created a series of banks that paid absurd rates of interest, which enticed Haiti's tiny middle class to deposit their hard-earned dollars. He then stole $90 million from the banks, effectively demolishing the middle class and creating a classic poor-against-rich uprising that resulted in his ouster.
Democrat almost-nominee John Kerry spoke out in support of Aristide prior to his resignation, saying "This democracy is going to be sustained." Democrat Charlie Rangel and the Congressional Black Caucus, along with such upstanding citizens as "Reverend" Jesse Jackson and Alcee Hastings (the former federal judge convicted of bribery), have been calling for the US to once again install Aristide in power following his recent resignation. They have been irresponsibly trumpeting his ridiculous lies about being "kidnapped" by the US and "forced into exile." The obvious facts are that Aristide begged for US help and we protected him. When it became clear that the only way his safety could be assured was to leave the country, we provided transportation for him.
Had we not intervened, Aristide would have been dead in a matter of days, so furious were the people he had abused for years. He gladly boarded the plane, grateful for our protection. Now that he is safe, he is laying the groundwork for a possible comeback with his preposterous lies. Rangel, Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee and the rest of the Black Caucus should be ashamed of siding with a vicious dictator against their own country. I don't have a bone of prejudice in my body against blacks. But I am greatly prejudiced against the members of this Caucus because of their constant use of the race card, whether or not race is an issue. It is clearly not the issue here. The fact that Aristide is black is not why his countrymen want him gone. It is because he is an evil man.
My biggest problem with this man is the fact that, not only did he make Voodoo an official religion, he used every device available to him to promote it. On the day that his government officially recognized Voodoo, he paid all the radio stations to play nothing but Voodoo music all day. He flew in 400 Voodoo priests from West Africa, the birthplace of the evil religion, to promote it.
A missionary couple who run an orphanage and a school for 400 children in Haiti sent a report to their supporters last summer (see the link to "Religious Persecution Intensifies in Haiti" below). It reads, in part, "Last week a baby was stolen from the hospital in St. Marc. The reason the child is to be sacrificed to appease the Voodoo gods for the so-called special day of celebration." Can there be any question of the horribly evil nature of this "religion" that former priest Aristide promotes?
And now for the good news. Even with Aristide's support and promotion, Voodoo in Haiti is doomed. God's people have gone on the offensive, and the blood pact that has kept Haiti in darkness for 200 years has been broken.
I first heard this account from Bishop Joel Jeune at a meeting of the Gospel Crusade Ministerial Fellowship (www.GCMF.org). Jeune is the Coordinator of Haiti for the GCMF and oversees 64 churches there.
The link, "US Department of State Report of Religious Freedom" below contains this report: "In early August 1997, three evangelical pastors were arrested near Cap Haitien after they had proceeded with plans to hold a religious revival at Bois Caiman. Bois Caiman has a strong patriotic significance for Haitians, since it is the site of a legendary 1791 voodoo ceremony at which slaves swore to rise up against their masters and risk death rather than continue to live in bondage. The resulting slave rebellion was a precursor to the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804)."
"The pastors, who had been prohibited by the authorities from holding the revival on the actual anniversary of the ceremony, proceeded instead with plans to hold the event several days before the anniversary, hoping to rid the area of malevolent influences. This offended much of the local populace and local authorities, who arrested pastors Joel Jeune, Jean Berthony Paul, and Gregor Joseph on August 4. They were released on the orders of a judge on August 6."
The government account tells only part of the story. In the link "Haiti - God's country after a 'holy invasion'" you will see the following and much more (very exciting reading):
"On 14 August 1997, God's people in Haiti experienced a historic victory over Satan, a milestone in winning our country back for God. The reason lies in history. The slaves brought here from Africa have suffered incredibly for many years. On 14 August 1791, a slave leader by the name of Boukman called a secret meeting in a wood called Bois-Caiman near Cap Haitien, which was attended by a large number of slaves. They celebrated a satanic ceremony, sacrificing a pig and drinking its blood, swore to serve the Devil and dedicated Haiti to him. For 206 years, Bois-Caiman was a very holy place, a high place which could only be entered by witch doctors during Voodoo ceremonies. For 206 years, they have been meeting there every August 14 to sacrifice to Satan."
"A number of Christian leaders, including Paul and Gerald Clerie of 'Vision: Haiti' and Christian leaders among the large numbers of Haitians in the USA, Canada, France and other countries, called Christians to unite on 14 August 1997 to pray and fast that Haiti would return to God. In Haiti's towns, villages and mountains, Christians came together to fast and pray, held victory marches in the streets and a large event in the capital from 6am to 10pm during the holy invasion."
"Our church members started their march in front of the President's palace and marched for 6 hours to the place where the satanic ceremony took place 206 years ago. We had informed the government and media of our intentions weeks before the event, and were told that the witch doctors would be there, as they were every year. When we arrived, they had hidden themselves, unable to directly confront the Christians. It was a significant spiritual battle to reach the tree under which the pig was sacrificed in the original ceremony. We formed a Jericho march, circling the magic tree seven times. On the seventh time around, God gave many people a vision of the Devil fleeing from the area. The Christians were overjoyed. We cancelled the satanic contract and broke the curse, before celebrating communion and dedicating the area as a place of prayer. We also declared 14 August to be a national prayer day, on which people should pray that Haiti will return to God."
"On the same day, several witch doctors were saved during the events in the capital. Three days after our holy invasion, the witch doctors returned to Bois-Caiman to bring their sacrifices and call on the spirits. After days of effort, nothing happened, because we had commanded the spirits never to return and dedicated the area to Christ."
"The witch doctors complained to the government and media. At first, the government also protested, speaking in a press release of 'terrible damage to a Voodoo holy place in which no Christian had set foot for 206 years.' By the grace of God, the government relented and respected our legal right as Haitians to gather at any place on Haiti, including Bois-Caiman, where they now allow all Christian groups to meet. The place is now very popular, and local Christians gather there daily for prayer and fasting. All Haitians now know that the country no longer has a pact with the Devil; the contract has been cancelled, the curse broken."
In 1991, 200 years after his predecessors had dedicated Haiti to Satan, Jean-Bertrand Aristide became president of Haiti and attempted to renew the contract. In 1997, the contract was broken forever. In 2003, in a last desperate attempt to retain power, Aristide made Voodoo an official religion. And now he is gone. Let us pray that Haiti, with its newfound freedom, will turn to the one true God.
US Department of State Report of Religious Freedom
Haiti - God's country after a 'holy invasion'
Victory Over Voodoo in Haiti
Religious Persecution Intensifies In Haiti
Haiti; Satan's Stronghold
Breaking the Blood Pact
Aristide Approves Voodoo as an Official Religion
Voodoo - It's Official in Haiti
Aristide Defends Record
Media Research Center
"Pearl of the Antilles"
"Aristide Must Go" - The Weekly Standard
Aristide Claims He Was Kidnapped from Haiti
Islamic Influences on Haitian Voodoo
The Challenges Facing Haiti
Some articles by Tom Barrett (the link below), so you can see where he's coming from...
Tom Barrett has been an ordained minister for 30 years. He has written for local and national publications for most of his life, and has authored several non-fiction books. He has been interviewed on many TV and radio programs, and speaks at seminars nationwide. Tom is the editor and publisher of Conservative Truth, an email newsletter read by over fifty thousand weekly which focuses on moral and political issues from a Biblical viewpoint.
Conservative Truth is published weekly. Each issue is read by approximately 50,000 people worldwide. If you're tired of the same old liberal slant that the major media give to the news, you'll find Conservative Truth a breath of fresh air. Did you know that 92% of the producers, anchors, editors and reporters that decide what news you are allowed to see are registered to vote either as Democrats or Socialists? 100% of the Editorial Staff of Conservative Truth are Conservative Republicans or Libertarians.
Conservative Truth reports on news that the major media censor. We offer original commentary on the major moral, social and political issues of the day from a Biblical, moral conservative viewpoint. We're not ashamed to say that America is the greatest country on this globe, but neither are we afraid to point out areas where our politicians are leading us astray.
[ ... ]
Always remember this: Regardless of what the liberal left would have you believe, you live in the greatest nation that has ever existed on the earth, and God is still in control.
You are skirting it. Keep dancing. Dancing fool.
God is sovereign over all nature all of the time.But God uses natural disasters to punish evil only some of the time. Some Christian leaders should not embarrass themselves by assuming, without it being clearly revealed by God,that a specific natural disaster has come upon the earth as a specific judgment by God on specific people.
Pat Robertson’s statement reminds me of two
“Gal 6:7 (Jer) Don’t delude yourself into thinking God can be cheated: where a man sows, there he reaps.”
“Rev 3:19 (NIV) [Jesus] “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.”
Chastisement is in many verses in scripture.
Ad hominem attacks.....used when facts are NOT on your side.
Have a nice day.
Thanks for the ping!
I hear an old George Carlin skit coming on, "Why do you never hear 'Jesus made me fumble at the line of scrimmage!'"
Haiti is easy for me to explain: Nature is indifferent. The earthquake would have happened had there been the perfect Christian colony on it, had it been run by Satanists, or had it been empty.
Go back one step. God gave us the choice and, being omniscient and eternal, knew how we would choose and knew what the consequences of that would be in the end. Remember, God knew at the time of Adam, before the Apple, that some years later he would be killing everybody in the world except for Noah and his family.
This has been a problem for a long time. Ascribing to your deity the attributes of omniscience, omnipotence and pure benevolence conflicts with the bad in the world. Strike any one of those three and there is no more conflict. It required some pretty torturous logic to attempt to reconcile all three.
This reminds me of that hurricane that was supposed to hit "gay days" celebrations in Florida, and Pat was all over it as God's wraith against gays.
Then the hurricane took a right turn and slammed into Pat's Virginia headquarters. Oops. Now it was just a natural disaster, not judgment from God.
This seems to be a verse no one wants to come to terms with, it's so clear that disasters are used as punishments and calls to repentance.
For those interested, from Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition on this passage:
Sinners, &c. People are naturally inclined to believe, that those who are unfortunate, and afflicted with calamities, must likewise be culpable and impious. The Jews were very much given to these sentiments, as we see in many places of Scripture; John ix. 2 and 3. Our Saviour wishes to do away with this prejudice, by telling them that the Galileans, who are here spoken of, were not the most culpable among the inhabitants of that country; shewing by this, that God often spares the most wicked, and sends upon the good the most apparent signs of vengeance, that he may exercise the patience, and crown the merit of the latter, and give to the former an example of the severity which they must expect, if they continue in their disorders. Neither can it be said, that in this God commits any injustice. He uses his absolute dominion over his creatures, when he afflicts the just; he procures them real good, when he strikes them; and his indulgence towards the wicked, is generally an effect of his mercy, which waits for their repentance, or sometimes the consequences of his great anger, when he abandons them to the hardness of their reprobate hearts, and says, "I will rest, and be angry with you no longer." (Ezechiel, Chap. xvi. 42.) This is the most terrible mark of his final fury. (Calmet)
This prediction of our Saviour upon the impenitent was afterwards completely verified; for Josephus informs us, that under the government of Cumanus, 20,000 of them were destroyed about the temple. (Jewish Antiquities, lib. xx, chap. 4.) That upon the admission of the Idumeans into the city, 8,500 of the high priest's party were slain, insomuch that there was a flood of blood quite round the temple. (The Jewish War, lib. iv, chap. 7.) That in consequence of the threefold faction that happened in Jerusalem before the siege of the Romans, the temple was every where polluted with slaughter; the priests were slain in the exercise of their functions; many who came to worship, fell before their sacrifices; the dead bodies of strangers and natives were promiscuously heaped together, and the altar defiled with their blood. (The Jewish War, lib. vi, chap. 1.) That upon the Romans taking possession of the city and temple, mountains of dead bodies were piled up about the altar; streams of blood ran down the steps of the temple; several were destroyed by the fall of towers, and others suffocated in the ruins of the galleries over the porches. (The Jewish War, lib. vii, chap. 10.)
Ver. 4. Or those eighteen, &c. The Almighty permitted these people to be thus chastised, that the others might be filled with fear and apprehension at the sight of another's dangers, and thus become the heirs of the kingdom of heaven. But then you will say, is another punished that I may become better? No; he is punished for his own crimes; but his punishment becomes to those that witness it the means of salvation. (St. Chrysostom, Concio. 3. de Lazaro.)
Ver. 5. Unless you do penance, &c. The Jews did not penance; and therefore, forty years after our Lord's Passion, the Romans came, and beginning with Galilee, destroyed this impious nation to its roots, and polluted not only the court of the temple, whither the sacrifices were carried, but the inner sanctuary, with human blood. (Ven. Bede)
Correction: Lk 13: 1-5
Which facts are you referring to?
Have a wonderful glorious day.
Exactly...and whether it's Haiti or San Francisco or Kuala Lumper...nature remains indifferent!
It is benevolence, for sure, that caused Him to give us the absolute right to make the choice. WE make our OWN choices, and a sizeable number of us would make the same choice again. There are many who “don’t need no steeking “diety”.” Right?
There are even Christians who don’t realize that NO ONE is “thrown into hell” or DRAGGED into heaven. We CHOOSE and get to either on our own steam.
Thus it was God's plan that such suffering, even of innocents, would occur. If he is omniscient and eternal then he knew from the beginning every instance of suffering his plan would cause. All of that in order to let us choose, well, most of us -- the innocent victim of the earthquake didn't make any choices leading to his suffering. True, whether or not choice is worth it is a judgment call, purely subjective.
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily, Occam's Razor.
On one hand, we require explaining, apologetics, extensive logical exercises to reconcile the bad in the world with God's stated attributes of absolute benevolence, power and knowledge. Probably billions of words have been written and spoken in order to reconcile this, up to and including your last post (and probably thousands more around the world since then).
On the other hand we have the premise that nature (or God, if you wish) is indifferent. No explaining, no apologetics, no logical exercises required. It's simple, it is straightforward, it fully explains everything, so it is more likely true.
Yes, I tend to operate on logic and reason, not much on faith. It works well for me. If you take the Martin Luther approach that faith must "trample under foot all reason" to whatever lesser or greater extent, fine, if it works well for you. Yes, my quoting of Martin Luther is perfectly within context.
The god who created the sun which gives us light, who rouses the waves and rules the storm, though hidden in the clouds, he watches us. He sees all that the white man does. The god of the white man inspires him with the crime, but our god calls upon us to do good works. Our god who is good to us orders us to revenge our wrongs. He will direct our arms and aid us. Throw away the symbol of the god of the whites who has so often caused us to weep, and listen to the voice of liberty, which speaks in the hearts of us all.
Now I will leave that for somebody else to decide whether the above equates to a pact with the devil or whether it is calling on people to go back to their ancestoral religion.
From our perspective, an animist religion such as what they had / have equates to the same effect, but was that the intent of their action?
It seems we have a “circular argument”, to be sure. I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe and neither of us will be convinced- right? You must see in order to know (you must be fun in discussions about gravity!). I have found that trying to describe a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe is a bit like trying to describe an orgasm to one who has never experienced it.
We CHOSE the pain, loss and, yes, earthquakes we experience in this life. I suspect that had the forebears known what went along with “being as gods”, they might not have been seduced by the enemy. There has to be a certain amount of security in allowing God to make all the decisions and choosing all the (unpainful) exigencies that we might have experienced. However, our pride (a singular human failing) would never have allowed it, and, I re-submit, most of humanity would make the same choice NOW. Would you prefer that God had struck Adam and Eve with lightning to keep them in the garden? He gave us free will- and we used it.
I’m sure that attributing our fate to “chance” has its appeal for some. The unsatisfying lack of explanation of nature and its laws leaves some of us decidedly more skeptical of atheism than others. I am a skeptic.
You seem like a smart guy (girl?) and I am sure you have given your atheism LOTS of thought. I am an old lady and have given my faith lots of attention. I collect degrees as a hobby, now (goes with being retired and having time on my hands!) and I find that the more I learn, the less I know. I do know this- there is something bigger and greater than us. I have chosen to believe in God and have no regrets.
BTW- I’m sure you used the Latin to impress and it worked! I am dang shure IM-pressed. Yoo sho’ gots yoo sum larn’in!
I'm always open. But I've already been on your side and decided it was not for me.
I re-submit, most of humanity would make the same choice NOW
I don't doubt it, although, you've seen the Russian communists pining for the old days. I think it's the right thing, too. However, I don't think a god can be purely benevolent and allow the suffering. Surely there is a way to give free will without the innocent suffering. If there isn't, then that is admitting that something is beyond the power of God. If there is, then God isn't doing it, thus not pure benevolence.
Given this world, infinite power, knowledge and benevolence cannot coexist. One must be less than infinite.
Im sure you used the Latin to impress and it worked!
I wanted to define it first. After that I just think it sounds cool in the Latin. Anything sounds cool in Latin. For me it started with this line:
"What's this, then? "Romanes eunt domus"? People called Romanes, they go, the house?"
” However, I don’t think a god can be purely benevolent and allow the suffering. Surely there is a way to give free will without the innocent suffering.”
God is benevolent and forgiving. I have been the recipient of both on more occasions than I could ever recount here. He is also capable of righteous anger, for which I don’t blame Him (at all).
What we have come to believe, and I DON’T understand, is that we have a “right” to make our decisions and NOT have to accept the consequences. It seems that this is a legacy going all the way back. Children are the only “innocents” and they are the greatest examples of our “pain and loss” choices. It doesn’t have to be an earthquake that takes your child from you and not many would want to hear that it is part and parcel of our rejection of God’s plan. We want to blame something or someone else. We have no interest in personal accountability.
We are all just so smart- too intelligent, by far, to believe in God. We are just doing it so right on our own, aren’t we? This world, outside of God’s protection, has “bear traps” set precisely with the purpose of removing us from God or, even, to foster hatred for Him. Our self-importance doesn’t even allow us to see how we are used as a means to an end. And yes, I AM speaking of the devil here ( I believe he is true as well). In the great cosmic battle, we are the purpose on one side, and ammunition on the other.
Ultimately, I believe. I know you believe you are right, also. And it’s all good. We all make our way the best that we can. I also know that my belief won’t stop bad things from happening in my life. But my faith enables me to understand and gives me hope for the life beyond this one.
“Anything sounds cool in Latin”
LOL! I agree! But the only thing I remember from my Latin (a LOT of years ago) is “agricola, agricolas, agricolorum”
Scripture teaches we are in bondage to sin unless God regenerates us.
Scripture teaches that all have sinned. IOW, no one is innocent.
I always thought that was a nice little racket. Take a person who has no idea of the concept of sin, Heaven or Hell, tell him he is a sinner destined for Hell, and then give him a way out. IOW, you provide both the problem and the solution. It's kind of like if I popped your tire and then mentioned I have a tire shop right up the street.
I don't get that either. From my POV you have a full accounting for your actions since there's no penance or confession or indulgence to wash away the guilt. There can be no forgiveness except from the person you've wronged, and if he is not so inclined, you're screwed.
Children are the only innocents
Nope. Original Sin. OTOH, the effect of Original Sin varies widely among Christians, so I can't say absolutely whether children could be innocent under your specific understanding.
We are just doing it so right on our own, arent we?
We weren't doing too well under God either. In fact, I'd think we're far better off now than in the more religious times of a few hundred years ago.
I know you believe you are right, also.
It's not quite so concrete. I don't "know" that I am right. I may be wrong. I can't claim ultimate truth because nobody knows everything. It is simply that nobody has been able to show sufficient evidence and argument to me otherwise. You can tell I'm not too into the faith thing, religious or otherwise.
LOL! I agree! But the only thing I remember from my Latin (a LOT of years ago) is agricola, agricolas, agricolorum
Dead Poet's Society? :)
There were some present at that very time who told [Jesus] about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
And He answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Don't blame me. It's God telling us this.
It's kind of like if I popped your tire and then mentioned I have a tire shop right up the street.
Except one little issue. I don't get my wallet greased.
From my POV, it's people under the guise of representing a deity telling you this.
Except one little issue. I don't get my wallet greased.
Approximately what do you think the combined financial and real estate assets of all Christian churches are? I'm thinking more figures than I have fingers.
Nope. It's in Scripture.
Approximately what do you think the combined financial and real estate assets of all Christian churches are? I'm thinking more figures than I have fingers.
Don't know. But like I said, I don't get one dime.
I do know that my church doesn't own a building and rents office space.
Written by people claiming to be inspired by God. I know, you have to have faith. That's fine.
I don't get one dime.
Still, there's money to be made, employment to be had.