The State of Queensland is extremely damaged overall. Here's a report with some photos of what is going on in Brisbane alone. Its really hard to comprehend just how much of the state's infrastructure all over this huge place is down. Just to get an idea, take a look at this list of roads that are down or damaged. All over the state.
The amazing thing is that very few people, Christians included, seem to be asking if God is saying anything through this. That's my perception right now. The church leaders in my view seem ill-prepared to interpret these events in a way that makes sense. i've talked with only a few, they are kind of phlegmatic about it in general.
There's the thought that "we'll bounce back, we're resilient, we're Queenslanders". We're getting that from our political leaders, and a dose of positive thinking usually does some good. But for thinking Christians, certain questions remain.
Were these events:
- Caused by God as a kind of judgement? (Romans 1:18)
- Tolerated and permitted by God because He has been ignored lately (or for some time now)?
- Caused by the devil as "god of this world", but the church has been too weak or ignorant concerning spiritual authority to effectively stop it? (Refer to the storm the disciples faced which Jesus rebuked).
- Caused by the laws of physics with God looking on remotely as a distant observer? (i.e. floods are just one of those things which happens every so often, they come and go, God just lets them run their course).
You'll get all 4 theories from Christian leaders and people in general. Perhaps there are other approaches also. I haven't heard a lot of urgency, a lot of calls to urgent prayer, that sort of thing. Maybe its too early for that and they will come. I hope so. I'm sure there will be some kinds of charity activities, but where are we as a PROPHETIC PEOPLE? Are we even on the map?
Our political leaders are referring to "Mother Nature" a lot, and what "she" can do. Delightful. No honor to God here.
Of course churches will send in grief counselors and packets of food to those worst hit. These things are good. But in the eternal perspective, what can be said?
Over the years, at least in the Pentecostal church, God has been presented pretty much as the author of "lifestyle enhancement". Sin has been viewed pretty much in terms of something that leads to bad lifestyle consequences, and Jesus' sacrifice has been seen in terms of a necessary step to return us to the Garden of Eden more or less.
When bad stuff happens, it is often viewed as "an attack of the enemy". Few pentecostals would talk in terms of the displeasure of an offended God. So people will be saying that these floods have been an attack of Satan on the people of Queensland. The church then is seen as a group which joins its hands in co-operation with civil authorities to alleviate human suffering. I am glad that the church is doing that. I am very thankful that we ourselves have not faced total loss, and if we had, we would be grateful for all assistance from State and church. My question is: is this all just "par for the course", "part of life", or is there a message from God in this?
Could our society be under judgement from God for abandoning certain norms that we as a society no longer care about, but God does? Does the fact that we are in significant measure a nation of fornicators and adulterers led by a pro-abortion atheistic woman in a de-facto relationship enter into the equation? Or is that totally irrelevant to the discussion? How about society's recent pro-homosexual legislating? Does it matter to God, or am I being a bigot for even mentioning the idea?
Toowoomba is on a mountain range and was recently DEVASTED by flash flooding where 6 inches of rain fell in 30 minutes. Could the fact that (as I learned from my accountant in Canberra) a recently fallen Christian City Church pastor from Canberra just recently took up residence in Toowoomba with his partner in adultery have anything to do with this storm which has been described as "supernatural" by one public figure? Or is that kind of irrelevant also? Was the devil just whipping up trouble for the worthy citizens of Toowoomba? Or was it one of those chance things, as in "That's life. Stuff happens".
Do we serve the same God today who caused the whole Israelite army to fall before a small army because of the sin of one man, Achan?
Or is that just an Old Covenant thing, with no lesson to teach us New Covenant believers in this day and age?
How do we interpret verses such as the following:
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
Rom 1:21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Is there still a wrath of God which acts in the affairs of earth? Or did all the wrath of God already fall on Jesus, so all this stuff is actually the wrath of Satan? Does Satan wield such awesome power?
How about this passage?
2Pe 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
2Pe 2:5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;
2Pe 2:6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;
2Pe 2:7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked
2Pe 2:8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—
2Pe 2:9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,
This passage suggests that God will take extreme measures when a society gives itself over to what GOD calls sexual immorality. (We call it being partners, being gay, or whatever).
What do they sing in Revelation 15?
Rev 15:3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!
Rev 15:4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."
On the other hand I take note of Scriptures such as Luke 13:4-5, where Jesus is talking about disasters that happen to people.
Luke 13:4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
Luke 13:5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
I do not wish to be so dogmatic on these issues that I cannot learn. I hope all others will have the same attitude of wanting to learn.
I DO want to be faithful to the Word of God in interpreting the significant events that happen in our nation. I do not want to presume that just because I can think up an explanation that sounds plausible, I must have the mind of God on the issue.
What do others think?