God and Disaster

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99 Responses

  1. Paigemom says:

    Maranatha, indeed. Lord have mercy.

  2. Babylon's Dread says:

    Call in the poets, the songsters, the priests, the mourners, banish the philosophers and pundits and pick up truck theologians.

  3. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
    He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
    and death shall be no more,
    neither shall there be mourning,
    nor crying,
    nor pain anymore,
    for the former things have passed away.”
    (Revelation 21:1-4, ESV)

  4. Rick Kincaid says:

    “Like” button on the first two

  5. sarah says:

    Amen….and amen to Dread as well.

  6. Michael says:

    Amens.to all the above…thank you, Derek.

  7. Gary says:

    This tornado had a meanness to it that I’ve never seen. Whole neighborhoods gone. Surely creation is groaning.

  8. nomans says:

    Amen.

  9. brian says:

    I get really confused by this creation groaning, is it getting worse or are we just seeing more of it do to media and the fact there are more people who live in more disaster prone areas? If we had developed a technology which could disrupt the cycle of tornado formation, would using it be thwarting the will of God? I agree there seems to be a meanness, but it also seems “random”, not random in the sense that we do not know where or even why to some degree these weather events happen. But that there is some over arching “purpose” to it all.

  10. Babylon's Dread says:

    Because of the Cross God never has to explain anything.

  11. Groaning with you all for mercy, comfort and grace in the face of the unfathomable.

  12. I just look forward to seeing that day, when all the troubles and ills of the world are no more. Passages like that are why we say “Maranatha…come quickly, Lord Jesus.”

  13. brian says:

    I have never expected God to explain personally. But does that mean we do nothing if it is in our power to stop or deduce the effects of such events?

  14. Michael says:

    brian,

    As I read the scriptures I believe there must be a purpose to all of this.
    That’s easy to believe when it’s not your child under the rubble.
    I already gave all the answers I’ve got…and they end up where Dread pointed us, at the cross.

  15. Rick Kincaid says:

    Brian, creation has been groaning since the fall for revealing of the Sons. As we get closer, it groans louder. But we have to be sober minded about all of it and look beyond the circumstance and stand in faith waiting for Shiloh to come.

    If we were able to disrupt the cycle, would it be any different than discovering a medical treatment that eradicates a disease? Did we thwart God’s will when He allowed us to discover the wonderment of vaccines? Nah, we just learned it when He was ready to reveal it to us and we could actually receive the good gift from him.

    So go disasters. Somehow in all of them, His perfect will is done. As BD said, He doesn’t have to explain anything but knowing that His character is such that all He does is of benefit to His creation, then we can rest in Him that all of this will work to the good.

    And I am out for the night.

  16. Babylon's Dread says:

    Do all you can. Explanations are vain. Do all that is in your power. Explaining is not.

  17. jlo says:

    I have no words. All I can do is groan and hope it is accepted as prayer. Lord have mercy.

  18. brian- as Fred Roger’s mom recommended, I “look for the helpers”. The picture above and the testimony of your life give me hope during hopeless times. May all those gifted and empowered to be helpers to the helpless find courage and comfort to sustain them in the face of so much pain.

  19. Steve Wright says:

    I know that God is truly good,
    ——————————
    Yes, I say often (and have cause to at most every funeral) we do not know the “Why’s” so we cling to what we do know – and never jettison what we do know just because we face a “Why” – Like Dread sort of said. We know the cross and the empty tomb.We know the God of love that made them possible. We know this world is fallen and this life is not all there is.

    Michael, I hope you realize just how good your post is. Don’t sell yourself short.

    For example, in comparison to that nonsense Piper blogged last year, when tornadoes across the nation killed many in multiple towns.

    Piper’s was ministerial and (IMO) theological malpractice (and I won’t even link it here)

    Yours was worthy of the Savior and His love.

  20. Nonnie says:

    How blessed we are to have Michael, Steve and Dread here. True pastors, ministering to us, pointing out truths of God, while at the same time, wondering and weeping with us in our sorrow for so many devastated lives. Lord have mercy.

  21. I agree, Steve. Jesus’ whole life and ministry exemplified that compassion trumped theology. Michael, your post tonight is a reflection of that same compassion. Thank you.

  22. brian says:

    “I know that God is truly good,”

    I envy you that Pastor Wright I really do.

  23. brian – I know that if God is truly good, it is because of people like you. Quite the paradox, eh?

  24. brian says:

    That is nice of you but I have often questioned God’s goodness for quite the same reason, people like me. Yes it is a paradox.

  25. mike says:

    In these types of situations, I’m soooo glad I’m not a Theistic Determinist. I’d have to do some pretty faancy and circuitous verbal dancing to talk myself out of that box and not count the damage, destruction and deaths on God’s account.
    In stead, I can pray for God to intervene in Grace and Mercy for the lives and families being affected by such a widespread and horrific Natural Disaster.
    I’m originally from Kansas and still have family in the area affected.
    Our family here in Az is praying. Lord have mercy.
    -MIC

  26. Kevin H says:

    Tomorrow I will be attending a memorial service for a 24 year old woman who was killed in a car accident last week. She was the oldest child and only daughter of a pastor and wife from my previous church. She was serving the Lord by teaching at a school in the Dominican Republic when she died. The pastor and his wife on Facebook have passed on a couple praise reports they have received from the Dominican Republic about those who have just come to know the Lord as a result of this tragedy. So God is working. At the same time, this must hurt like hell for the parents and other friends and family members who were close to the young woman. And this singular accident is such a small scale compared to what just happened in Oklahoma. Why can’t God work in people’s lives through less painful manners? Amening this article and much of the comments thus far.

  27. mike says:

    Our family here in Az is praying for and with our family there. Our Spiritual Family in Christ is praying for and with the saints in Ks and Ok.

    Come Lord Jesus
    -MIC

  28. victorious says:

    Jesus wept and we need to grieve. Thanks for giving expression to your gift of mercy so that I can find grace to grieve with my heart open and my mouth shut .

  29. mike says:

    Kevin said
    “So God is working. At the same time, this must hurt like hell for the parents and other friends and family members who were close to the young woman. And this singular accident is such a small scale compared to what just happened in Oklahoma. Why can’t God work in people’s lives through less painful manners? ”

    Dude, if you think God did this to get peoples attention or bring people to faith in Jesus then you need a theological review. God is not in the killing innocent children to make a point business. Rethink your position. Seriously.
    -MIC

  30. Michael says:

    mike,

    This isn’t the time or the place .

  31. PP Vet says:

    My Daddy has the big picture, He is a God of love, and He knows what He’s doing.

    I don’t see it all, but I believe in Him.

  32. Kevin H says:

    Mike,

    It was meant to be a rhetorical question, not a theological position. All we can see from our vantage point is that a tragedy occurs and then we see God working in people’s lives after the tragedy. I can’t fully wrap my mind around it from a theological perspective. The wish from my finite mind and spirit, however, is that God would work in peoples lives without allowing (or however you want to term it theologically if you don’t like the term allowing) such tragedy to happen in the first place. But I am not God, so who am I to say?

  33. Sarah says:

    Kevin…I wish I paid better attention in times of peace and ease. These things stop us in our tracks and demand we pay attention…our brokenness is laid raw.

    I’ve read some this morning and will leave it now for the day to pray. Sometimes the mass of news and social media makes me numb. The closest thing we have experienced was the flood here in 2010…and I remember being amazed by the laughter and the sense of community as we began the cleanup. There is something remarkable that happens in the wake of these events.

    Still…I’m with you, I wish we could have that fruit without the suffering. Praying with much emotion for those who have lost children especially. May God bring beauty from the ashes…in the right time and season.

  34. Tim says:

    When speaking at funerals, I often turn to the account of Mary’s & Martha’s encounter with Jesus just prior to the raising of Lazarus. Were there theological answers? Yes. But Jesus also walked with them in their pain. Sometimes people just need Someone to weep with.

    Theology is not the enemy of compassion, but if it is used as a vehicle to take someone away from (and not toward) the compassion of Christ Jesus, then something is terribly wrong.

  35. Tim says:

    “We are broken, the earth is broken, it’s all broken…but we know in our spirits that’s not the way it’s supposed to be and we dare confess it’s not the way it will always be.

    We groan together under the burden of of sin and the damage it has done and those groans are the cries of our souls for the Creator to return and do His good work over again.

    I know that God is truly good, because my spirit knows that all of this is so truly bad…His spirit testifies to mine that this is not how it should be.”

    Just thought that was worth repeating…

  36. erunner says:

    As I read Derek’s #3 my eyes welled up. I’m guilty of looking at things in the here and now at the expense of what our future holds and is our great hope.

    I’m one of many who suffer on a personal level. At times these times have been dark, holding no hope. Then there are things that happen like Oklahoma and it reminds me to be grateful for what I do have.

    I used to wrestle with my ever being born. My mother is a Nazi Germany survivor and my father’s grandparents immigrated from Russia due to the atrocities of Joseph Stalin. Out of two of history’s most evil events things unfolded to bring my parents together. Meanwhile millions upon millions perished in unspeakable ways.

    If I camped out with that mindset I’d be a total mess. Yet I know God is sovereign and I try to rest in that.

    My heart breaks for Oklahoma and the abject suffering that won’t end once the numbers are tallied. For many the suffering will intensify as the emotional impact attacks, not leaving well enough alone.

    This song and introduction are known by most here but it’s music like this that brings a calmness to my spirit.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYP–c2LTfg]

  37. erunner says:
  38. Gary says:

    I love these Bill Gaitherings.
    God is the God of redemption. He is not the cause of destruction but He specializes in redeeming. He brings joy out of sorrow, giving beauty for ashes. Tornados are scary. I wouldn’t live in that area for all the riches you could offer me. But I live in earthquake country and I ask why has God spared this area for so long? We are just as evil as anyone anywhere. In fact, it’s my belief that if there are centers of evil on the earth, San Francisco is one of them. It is only by the grace of God we aren’t destroyed by a natural disaster or by invasion or a nuke or all of the above.
    One of the things that God used to wake me up and bring me to Himself was the earthquake in L A in January, 1971.

  39. Believe says:

    OK, I’ll groan. Groaning for a variety of reasons.

  40. Believe says:

    Life, this existence, is a tragedy. We’re all going to die, we’re all going to experience terror and tragedy and illness and loss in some form. I guess the most we can hope for is for some folks close to us to go through the storm with and for some to show mercy in those times of extreme pain.

    There is no correlation to being righteous and avoiding natural disaster. Estonia is the most atheist/agnostic nation on the planet and the least likely (statistically) to have natural disaster. The Bible Belt is Tornado Alley.

    Groaning, yes, that’s what I did last night, that’s what I’m doing today, in my own way.

  41. Believe says:

    “I will not pretend to understand.”

    Bullspit, you do pretend to understand all the time. You have a theological answer for everything and a bunch of books to refer people to.

  42. Michael says:

    Believe,

    There are things we can rationally investigate and defend, such as the integrity of the Scriptures.
    There are things I will never understand and my only options are to trust and worship or walk away and scorn.
    There is more going on in my life and in the lives of many others that I absolutely do not comprehend than things I do.
    He has given me the measure of faith to hang on and to encourage others to do so as well.
    It’s all I’ve got.

    “So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.””
    (John 6:67–69 ESV)

  43. jamesk says:

    @42 *LIKE*

  44. Believe says:

    I can agree with your #42, I wish you’d example that sort of humility and lack of answer more often vs. fronting that your theology and Packer and all the books have a correct answer for everything known to man.

    I am often accused of a “man who has an answer for everything”…it’s a false accusation. I don’t have “the” answer, I simply point out that others don’t have a solid clue, yet they fron that they do.

    We know very very little for certain.

  45. London says:

    Not today Believe.

  46. I’ve experienced profound loss at times in my life. During those times God was my hope and comfort, and saw me through it. That’s all i can offer those in Oklahoma today, dealing with tragedy. Our God is a God of Hope, Life, and Resurrection. May they find comfort in Him.

  47. Matt Blick says:

    So true. I wrote a song a while back that tried to capture the same theme as your post. It’s funny how much pressure there was within and without to tie everything up in a neat bow at the end of 5 minutes, but I don’t think there is any answer other than “creation is good but broken” and God is in this with us, and perhaps it won’t always be this way. Here’s the song if you’re interested

    http://mattblick.bandcamp.com/track/everything-is-broken

    Must be a hairline fracture in the universe
    The Earth is cranky and she’s getting worse
    300 dead, a city split just like an open wound.

    If God were only strong, not kind
    Or God were only kind but weak
    I wouldn’t have to try to find
    Words I’m not afraid to speak
    When answers sound so trite and incomplete but…

    Everything…every thing is…
    Everything is broken.

  48. Believe says:

    “ere are things we can rationally investigate and defend, such as the integrity of the Scriptures.”

    Disagree, but that’s another thread and discussion if “integrity” equals non-contradiction and zero errors etc

  49. Believe says:

    London, no problem, not today. Not tomorrow, not ever.

  50. Believe, I’ll fight you in the Questioning thread, if that’s what you’re looking for. I think most would just prefer less strife in the tornado disaster thread.

  51. Rob Murphy says:

    Psalm 73 verses 4 – 12 really hit me like a ton of bricks this morning as I thought through the different responses to tragedy. I don’t like to think of myself as the bad guy, but if I’m reading off the words of the bad guy’s part in the script and memorizing the bad guy lines and saying them with gusto, either I’m a method actor or …. I am the bad guy. Will I own the bad guy words or trade them in for hope in God?

    So I was really happy to come across the last verse of that chapter – (from the Holman translation)
    But as for me, God’s presence is my good.
    I have made the Lord God my refuge,
    so I can tell about all You do.

    I sure want God’s presence to be “my good”. And He promised never to leave me or forsake me, no matter how desolate the landscape.

  52. Believe says:

    I’m not looking for a fight, just groaning.

  53. Well, come groan me upside the head in the Questioning thread, and leave the nice folks alone 🙂

  54. Rob Murphy says:

    and if reality has taught me anything, I can be sure that I am headed for a more desolate landscape unless interrupted on that journey with Heaven.

  55. London says:

    That would be ok too. But, certainly not today.
    Today is a day for the shock to be processed and for mourning and waiting.

    The woman in the cube row next to mine has family in that area that she was calling on about 1/2 an hour ago. Their house was missed. Today is a day to rejoice with her and mourn for those receiving other news.

    Praying for a man named Larry who processed my moms phone call to her car insurance company. His grandson was in the school that was flattened. He did know if the boy was alive or dead.

    There are other days for old wounds. Today is the day to acknowledge and respect those with brand new ones.

    Lets honor that.

  56. Believe says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by the “rules” of dealing with tragedy.

    There is a pretty consistent set of unwritten rules. I had an atheist friend say “give it a couple of days” (I’m guessing two days) then others on here defining what appropriate groaning* looks like etc.

    What are the rules in processing tragedy?

  57. Let’s talk about it in the questioning thread?

  58. Believe says:

    London, you seem to be an expert in what “rules” there are for how folks are to interact on blogs or respond to things etc, do you have a defined list?

  59. I’m out.

  60. Believe says:

    I’m out too

  61. Xenia says:

    Rule of thumb for dealing with a tragedy:

    Rejoice with the rejoicers.

    Weep with the weepers.

    Those are the rules.

  62. Believe says:

    One last piece of advice, rather than be bitter toward me, I’d suggest unilateral forgiveness, grace, love and mercy and to let it go and not be offended.

  63. You’re forgiven, you’re just not fun to talk to on some days.

  64. mike says:

    Xenia
    Great rules. Wisdom from God.
    -MIC

  65. Michael says:

  66. Nonnie says:

    I saw this report this morning and what a delight and joy it was in the midst of disaster.

  67. PP Vet says:

    Maha-Rushi today played a clip of numerous tornado victims reaffirming their hope and faith in a good God as opposed to just being FEMA Screamas. It was inspiring.

  68. erunner says:

    I came across this website some time ago that might be of value to someone here or someone they know who has been impacted by what has transpired in Oklahoma. It’s called the Disaster Distress Helpline and they help people who have been impacted by natural or human caused disasters. They are available 24/7 at no charge.

    http://www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/

  69. Dave says:

    Refuting determinism doesn’t get God off the hook really, unless a tornado is something that man “caused” directly and knowingly by his own volition. The bible is pretty clear that nothing happens that God doesn’t know ahead of time, ordain,(which means allow) and have a purpose for allowing. The alternative is a God who was powerless to intervene.

    I think these things are a consequence of the fall, but not necessarily directed at any one group of people, just scattered all over the earth for God’s reasons to allow. Who am I a man to talk back to God ? To charge him with being “Unfair” ? I have no rights, i’m a forgiven sinner who’s slapped the face of God with my sin and doesn’t deserve the air I breathe. If God wants to bring me home and use that to glorify himself to strengthen someones faith, how selfish of me to object.

  70. Believe says:

    Determinism makes God a monster. If that is your god, a god who knowingly and intentionally created the devil knowing the devil would rebel and bring sin into the world (if literal), knowingly and intentionally created man knowing he would fall, with the capacity to fall and creating hell to punish with torment the vast majority of mankind in forever with no end (if hell is literal as Fundamentalists assert)…then it is in direct contradiction to the “love” narrative and unilateral forgiveness narrative and mercy narrative of other parts of the bible.

    The other logical option is that God is not all-powerful and deterministic and must react to the choices of His creation: the devil, the angels, mankind. This God can be good and loving and the consequences for the sin rests solely on the created being for having the will and power to do good or evil and choosing to do such independent of God’s hand.

    Now the bible speaks to both, with is contradictory and paradoxical.

  71. Linnea says:

    erunner @37…thanks for that 🙂

  72. Neo. says:

    Here are the three options we’ve got here:

    1. God is all powerful but not all loving for allowing this to happen.

    2. God is all loving but not all powerful for letting this to happen.

    3. There are reasons I know not; nor probably ever will.

    But just because there is not a good reason I can see ( emphasis on “I”) does not mandate that no good reason in the cosmos can exist. To presume otherwise is arrogant (see: Job 38-42).

  73. Thank you, Michael. Groaning with and for.

  74. JTB, at least you tried.

  75. sarah says:

    I saw a friend post today on FB that his company has a semi loaded with supplies and ready to take to OK when they are given the go-ahead. I loved that. He has several friends who live there and are giving him some leads. Thankful for each word that holds hope and goodness.

  76. Bob says:

    I have been asked the question by many people, “why does God allow this stuff to happen?”

    I have had people very close to me die at a “tragic age,” I have sat with men whose children died of cancer and accidental issues, I had a woman in my church confess to me she “hated” God for taking her mother from her and when I heard the news about a school in OKC being destroyed by a tornado my first thought was, “what if it was my children or grand children went to that school?”

    Why doesn’t God stop these things from happening? I don’t know, but I can answer this question; “Why don’t I live fully for God?” Because often I don’t want to and I believe in the long run that is what counts in my life.

    I am so sorry for those who lost their loved ones and property in OKC. Sometimes living seems so much harder than dying. May the Creator of all bring rest to their souls and comfort to their lives as they live another day.

  77. brian says:

    I guess it turns out that much of my mood issues was caused by vitamin deficiencies started a new regiment a day ago,
    So Went to work took care of about 30 things that needed doing
    Went and dealt with a tax thing that has been hanging over my head for a year, the entire ordeal, 50 minutes and 75 bucks and a whole bunch of tax people that thought I was an angel because I was so nice to everyone. Got two cars working, and cleaned up the entire outside of my house. Still struggling with anger when I drive, mainly when I want to stop and help someone but cant get over fast enough and when I see someone has a tail light out going to tell them but being afraid I might get my head blown off.

    Keep praying and helping those effected by the storm. I read into the wee hours of the morning about weather modification, seems like we tried it in the 50’s and 60’s with some success. Unfortunately we were looking to use it as a weapon which may be one reason why we are not allowed by God to have the knowledge to modify the weather. Dont know.

  78. Brian, I’d like to know more about the deficiencies and the vitamins you’re taking. Not on this thread though…maybe this weekend on Open Blogging?

  79. David sloane says:

    ERunner,

    Been painting a commercial building off of Katella and Beach the last couple of days. Made me think of you just down the street.
    Dave

  80. David sloane says:

    Brian,
    They can control weather in a sense:
    http://youtu.be/Y-VMfzO94M0

  81. brian says:

    Sure Kevin I think it would be a good discussion opening up a topic what we do to get by day by day. Vitamins, exercise, different foods etc. of course I am not a doctor but it really helped me. I mean I was just so angry and depressed and frustrated. I am doing better and am grateful, I have always thought that much of my blabbering comes from physical issues though I believe all I said to some degree I am not so much of a nut today. I hope those folks are going to be ok, I am sorry that horrid storm struck them, just folks living their lives it really does make one frustrated and groan for a new home, a new home for everyone. OOps my universalism is slipping.

  82. brian says:

    David I have watched HAARP for some time, that was one of the references that we would make a weapon out of it. Sometimes people can be real turds, is that a theological term. God granted us the grace to understand the atom so what do we do with it, we build a bomb out of it. I know its not that simple but I am starting to understand a bit about God’s providence.

  83. brian says:

    Just chucked most of my satellite package, the high def, show time (Oh darn now I cant watch Bill Maher, let me weep boo hoo, ok over that.). It feels good it really does like I let a weight off my back.

    Something I do in between my rants is help groups build a plan for emergency response on a local level. I am not very good at it but hope to start a thread where we can talk about what do we do before, during, and after short mid and long term.

  84. brian says:

    From my heart, God, I struggle, I dont have a clue, it frustrates me. But I know you are there. I am in pain, I see pain, I weep so many tears, but not as many as you, I know you are near because it is all I have. I have been emptied yet you fill me. I seek a father in earthly realities, You offer me an Eternal Father. I weep for those lost in each Tragedy , I weep for each lost on a unit I worked in the late night hours where the medication did not work, just like the magic prayers offered up. But I have seen Your comfort God, I did not want to be comforted God because I wanted to be secure in my pain. God, Dear Lord Father I dont understand You, I dont really want to because I cant. I want to be with You and I want others to be with you. Such horrible things happen to innocents, and I believe you see innocence, you hold it holy and will reconcile it. In each heart there is pain. I know I have mine some caused by others, much caused by myself, in my arrogance, and being a rebel without a clue, wrapped in intellectualism, just to hide the pain a fear.

    God a friend of mine has a need, he is believe, what was done to him was wrong, it was. I pray you heal him. I have no real connection to you but God, if his pain needs to fall on me, the let it. He is a family man, I am not. So if need me, grant me this request. I think you can heal us both but if one needs to choose, heal him. Amen.

  85. Matt Blick says:

    @Neo. my thoughts exactly

  86. David Sloane says:

    Sorry,
    I did not intend to place a video here on #80. I thought i was putting a link to it and it turned out to be an embed code I guess. Kind of obtrusive. Sorry guys…

  87. David Sloane says:

    Brian,

    I love your prayer for believe!
    What a heart!

    Such a pure prayer that few could actually pray in sincerity. You are spot on.

    I could only wish that I had the strength and will power to be like you…

    Truly humbled.

    May God Almighty receive your petition and heal both of you as only He can.

    Love you brother.

  88. Gary says:

    Watched the HAARP video. Very scary especially after a 2 mile wide tornado with 200 mph winds. Where is the tornado’s antipode??

  89. Gary says:

    What I mean is that the antipode could be the launch point.

  90. Gary says:

    Agreeing with David. Beautiful prayer, brian. When we pray for others as you have God heals us. Spiritual principle.

  91. Dave says:

    Believe, you had 2 points,

    1. Determinism makes God a monster. If that is your god, a god who knowingly and intentionally created the devil knowing the devil would rebel and bring sin into the world (if literal), knowingly and intentionally created man knowing he would fall, with the capacity to fall and creating hell to punish with torment the vast majority of mankind in forever with no end (if hell is literal as Fundamentalists assert)…then it is in direct contradiction to the “love” narrative and unilateral forgiveness narrative and mercy narrative of other parts of the bible.

    —- God is in no way morally culpable for man or the devils actions just because he provided them with the free will to make decisions good or bad. Just as you are not responsible if you have a son, teach him all the right ways to live, and he goes and kills someone to take their money, birthing him did not make you responsible for his wrong.

    2. The other logical option is that God is not all-powerful and deterministic and must react to the choices of His creation: the devil, the angels, mankind. This God can be good and loving and the consequences for the sin rests solely on the created being for having the will and power to do good or evil and choosing to do such independent of God’s hand.

    ——The bible doesn’t say that God does not interact with our decisions, but since he is all knowing he knows them before we make them, the God that is not all-powerful is simply not the God of the bible, I hope you do not worship such an imitation God, He may not be powerful enough to grant you forgiveness.

  92. Dave says:

    I realized I did not address one item in the above – God knowing what we will do and then allowing us to fall, still totally fair. Its the same thing we do with our kids, just to a higher extent ; we know small things like, you wont pass that test unless you do this, etc etc… but God knows all things, so its just an example.

    If I warn my daughter that she will fall off her bike if she doesn’t keep both hands on the bars, then I let her ride in a controlled environment with a helmet on, the way she wants to and she falls, sure I allowed her to get hurt, but I also taught her to trust me and that actions have consequences. God gave us a really big helmet, its called Christ.

  93. Rebekah says:

    I just want to say that the outpouring of love and help here in the OKC area has been amazing! There are so many relief organizations either on scene or waiting to get in. My husband and I hope to be down in Moore later this week to help. The National Guard has been called up to help with security issues. Many churches and businesses are providing shelter and food for the relief workers, as well as the victims who have lost everything. According to media reports, there are tents in the affected area where you can get just about anything you need. Please, please continue to pray for those in this area, I suspect most are still walking around in a state of shock. The loss of the children at the school is just devastating, and there are still some people who are missing. Please pray and refrain from criticism or snide comments. We are expecting rain in the next few days and possibly high winds (not tornados) that will hamper the efforts there.

  94. Josh Hamrick says:

    Thank you Rebekah. We will continue in prayer.

  95. David sloane says:

    Amen

  96. Passing by says:

    Bridge collapse on !-5 near Mt Vernon, WA

    http://www.kirotv.com/s/news/live/

  97. Passing by says:

    Cars in the water…

  98. Passing by says:

    Cannot imagine the back-up on the interstate now and for days to come.

  99. Gary says:

    The bridge was struck by an oversized Canadian truck.

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