AssemblyBoard
November 15, 2019, 12:48:06 pm *
The board has been closed to new content. It is available as a searchable archive only. This information will remain available indefinitely.

I can be reached at brian@tucker.name

For a repository of informational articles and current information on The Assembly, see http://www.geftakysassembly.com
 
   Home   Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 19
  Print  
Author Topic: The God Grab Bag  (Read 87869 times)
Elizabeth H
Guest


Email
« on: September 02, 2005, 10:00:56 pm »

I find it interesting that when natural disasters strike, there are those who proclaim, "This was God's judgement!" It seems to happen every time something terrible happens: 9/11, the tsunami, and now Hurricane Katrina.

Why is this? A friend of mine once described it as people reaching into a bag and pulling out God for every explanation. She called it "The God Grab Bag" and I found it a fitting moniker.

I wonder if God appreciates us blaming Him for every bad thing that happens on earth, esp. natural disasters. As humans we search for meaning to meaningless tragedy. But sometimes I think we do ourselves a disfavor if we attribute every natural disaster to "God's judgement." The most recent thing I heard was that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans just two days before "Decadence Day" a supposedly gay pride celebration. I have no idea if this is true or not, it's pure hearsay. But I use it as an example of how quickly some try to dismiss genuine tragedy.

Isn't there a verse somewhere that says God allows the rain to fall on the evil and the good?

Would this suggest that God allows it, but He doesn't CAUSE it?

Here in California we have people who build their mansions on unstable hillsides, propped up on improbably crazy stilts, on cliffs hanging out over the ocean, or below sea level. It defies common sense!

When people reach into the God Grab Bag they come out with the same verses each time: wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, pestilence etc. Sometimes I wonder: are things REALLY getting worse or do we just think they are because we have endless TV coverage?

I've been hearing about the end times since I was a nursing baby, in fact, I've lived through several End of the World predictions (anyone remember the 1988 scare? How about the Y2K bug that was supposed to bring death and destruction and usher in the Great Tribulation?)

Does anyone really KNOW if things are getting worse? Personally, I think living in 2005 is a heck of a lot better than living in any other time. Anyone care for a return to serfdom or slavery?

Elizabeth
Logged
vernecarty
Guest
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2005, 11:08:02 pm »

I find it interesting that when natural disasters strike, there are those who proclaim, "This was God's judgement!" It seems to happen every time something terrible happens: 9/11, the tsunami, and now Hurricane Katrina.

Why is this? A friend of mine once described it as people reaching into a bag and pulling out God for every explanation. She called it "The God Grab Bag" and I found it a fitting moniker.

I wonder if God appreciates us blaming Him for every bad thing that happens on earth, esp. natural disasters. As humans we search for meaning to meaningless tragedy. But sometimes I think we do ourselves a disfavor if we attribute every natural disaster to "God's judgement." The most recent thing I heard was that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans just two days before "Decadence Day" a supposedly gay pride celebration. I have no idea if this is true or not, it's pure hearsay. But I use it as an example of how quickly some try to dismiss genuine tragedy.

Isn't there a verse somewhere that says God allows the rain to fall on the evil and the good?

Would this suggest that God allows it, but He doesn't CAUSE it?

Here in California we have people who build their mansions on unstable hillsides, propped up on improbably crazy stilts, on cliffs hanging out over the ocean, or below sea level. It defies common sense!

When people reach into the God Grab Bag they come out with the same verses each time: wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, pestilence etc. Sometimes I wonder: are things REALLY getting worse or do we just think they are because we have endless TV coverage?

I've been hearing about the end times since I was a nursing baby, in fact, I've lived through several End of the World predictions (anyone remember the 1988 scare? How about the Y2K bug that was supposed to bring death and destruction and usher in the Great Tribulation?)

Does anyone really KNOW if things are getting worse? Personally, I think living in 2005 is a heck of a lot better than living in any other time. Anyone care for a return to serfdom or slavery?

Elizabeth


A though-provoking query Elizabeth and I am not sure that I have a good answer.
A few fundamental principles are very helpful in thinking about these things.

1. The cause of all sorrow and death is sin.

It is truly a amazing how many professing Christians do not recognize or even accept this simple  fact.

Unquestionably in the life of the child of God He is able to make even sorrow and death work for the good of His own.
This in no way militates against the fundamental truth that these things come to us as a result of our fallen condition.

Unlike Tom Maddux, I do not accept that "natural disasters" are part of the natural order of things. It is my personal belief that such things in their own way reflect the need for restoration of all things, including the physical creation. God promises to create a new heaven and a new earth not refurbish the present ones, which are decaying.

As to causation, we are also told that there is an intelligent being of great power who is in every way hostile to mankind. The Bible identifies him as Satan.
We know that he is not only able to entice humans to perform evil deeds (such as Judas) we also know that he has power to effect incredible changes in the physical realm as well. The book of Job makes that abundantly clear.
Obviously no one can say with certainty when a disaster like Katrina happens, exactly why it happened.
We can say with certainly though, that it happened in accordance with God's permissive will and His ultimate purpose.
It is quite telling though, that as Christians. we are now apparently put off by the very notion that God can and does excercise his prerogative to execute judgment in space-time, and that by a variety of means.
I have not trouble at all with the idea as a Christian that I should consider whether misfortune in my life could indicate God's correction.
In fact that is ususally the first thing I consider.
I went to San Francisco with my wife a few years ago and the entire time I was there I was praying that if God planned on doing any thing that would He please wait until we left.
Your point about people putting themselves in high-risk situations is well taken though.
This tragedy is a remakable example of incredible neglect and malfeasance on the part of authorities who have known for decades that something like this could happen, yet were apparently entirely un-prepared to deal with it.
I think it is just the beginning... Cry
Verne

p.s did anybody see the interivew of the guy in Slidell with the ICF house? I knew we were onto something great!
I want a franchise!!
« Last Edit: September 02, 2005, 11:20:47 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
al Hartman
Guest


Email
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2005, 05:15:35 am »




did anybody see the interivew of the guy in Slidell with the ICF house? I knew we were onto something great!
I want a franchise!!

Missed it-- please enlighten...

al
Logged
outdeep
Guest


Email
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2005, 06:26:31 am »

I've been hearing about the end times since I was a nursing baby, in fact, I've lived through several End of the World predictions (anyone remember the 1988 scare? How about the Y2K bug that was supposed to bring death and destruction and usher in the Great Tribulation?)

Does anyone really KNOW if things are getting worse? Personally, I think living in 2005 is a heck of a lot better than living in any other time. Anyone care for a return to serfdom or slavery?
When I became a Christian in the 1970's, Bible prophecy was hot.  I read "The Late Great Planet Earth" and much by Salem Kirban who suggested that Kissenger was the antichrist.  Mr. Kirban did much like the "Left Behind" series in that he fictionalized his view of the last times.  The difference was that in the 1970's, Mr. Kirban was a lousy writer but many Christians really, really believed that we would disappear in the rapture.  Today, the LaHay books are better written but deep down, most folks consider them fiction.

I remember in 1989 trying to convince a Chinese Christian bookstore owner why she shouldn't carry the book "88 reasons that Jesus will return in 1988."

Today, when I come to the book of Revelation, I don't look at it as "gee, lets see what God is going to do in the future" or "let's compare these wild images with the news".    I look it as a book written in a time of intense persecution by someone named John who wrote in what is called an  apocalyptic genre.  (This genre of colorful imagry and black-and-white good-and-evil ultimate battles does not exist today but was well accepted when Revelation was written.  People knew how to interprete an apocalypse just like we know how to interprete a Stephen King novel in our day - the reader would know what is literal and what is figurative.)  The purpose was to encourage fellow believers who had the very legitimate belief that their movement was about to be snuffed out by the powerful empires that existed in that day.

The great harlot, for instance, would easily have been identified in that day as referring to Rome and the antichrist as the emperor who ordered the general persecution of the church.  Much of the symbolism would have been recognized by those living in that time.  The goal was to get them to keep going and being faithful, not to answer questions about events two thousand years later.

Does that mean that Revelation has no relevance to the end times?  No, I cannot say that.  But, I think reading the book with the first and primary intent brings encouragement and saves folks from the end time speculations that has gone on repeatedly since I became a believer thirty years ago (as well as long before that).

« Last Edit: September 03, 2005, 06:28:05 am by Dave Sable » Logged
Recovering Saint
Guest


Email
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2005, 05:48:38 pm »

I find it interesting that when natural disasters strike, there are those who proclaim, "This was God's judgement!" It seems to happen every time something terrible happens: 9/11, the tsunami, and now Hurricane Katrina.

Why is this? A friend of mine once described it as people reaching into a bag and pulling out God for every explanation. She called it "The God Grab Bag" and I found it a fitting moniker.

I wonder if God appreciates us blaming Him for every bad thing that happens on earth, esp. natural disasters. As humans we search for meaning to meaningless tragedy. But sometimes I think we do ourselves a disfavor if we attribute every natural disaster to "God's judgement." The most recent thing I heard was that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans just two days before "Decadence Day" a supposedly gay pride celebration. I have no idea if this is true or not, it's pure hearsay. But I use it as an example of how quickly some try to dismiss genuine tragedy.

Isn't there a verse somewhere that says God allows the rain to fall on the evil and the good?

When people reach into the God Grab Bag they come out with the same verses each time: wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, pestilence etc. Sometimes I wonder: are things REALLY getting worse or do we just think they are because we have endless TV coverage?

I've been hearing about the end times since I was a nursing baby, in fact, I've lived through several End of the World predictions (anyone remember the 1988 scare? How about the Y2K bug that was supposed to bring death and destruction and usher in the Great Tribulation?)

Elizabeth


Elizabeth

People will always make clever biblical pronouncements. Most cannot be verified for their accuracy and most I believe are dead wrong. We had men in the Assembly quoting verses with absolute certainty but were they right. I don't think so because look at all the misery that resulted.

In John 9 the blind man. The Lord tests the disciples and says who sinned that he was born blind. The answer for many is varied but of course it is someone's sin. Possibly but not necessarily and the Lord says no one's sin was to blame but it was an opportunity to display God's glory.

In Luke 13:1-6 Jesus says we don't have the right to say people are getting their just desserts but rather as in verse 3-5 which reminds me of Katrina in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

3. "I tell you no! (They are not worse sinners) (my comments) But unless you repent you too will perish.
4. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them-do you  think they were more guilty than others living in Jerusalem? (Fill in your home town)
5. I tell you, no! (Stop looking at others I tell you Jesus says. We are quick to point away because it takes the focus off us) But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

We must rightly divide the Word of God. That is very humbling and should not be taken lightly. God is showing mercy not licence to all of us who have not suffered these disasters personally but it is not a time for us to be smug but a time to pray that we will be found worthy and also help people in need.

God have mercy on all the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Hugh
Logged
vernecarty
Guest
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2005, 01:38:10 am »

Elizabeth

People will always make clever biblical pronouncements. Most cannot be verified for their accuracy and most I believe are dead wrong. We had men in the Assembly quoting verses with absolute certainty but were they right. I don't think so because look at all the misery that resulted.

In John 9 the blind man. The Lord tests the disciples and says who sinned that he was born blind. The answer for many is varied but of course it is someone's sin. Possibly but not necessarily and the Lord says no one's sin was to blame but it was an opportunity to display God's glory.

In Luke 13:1-6 Jesus says we don't have the right to say people are getting their just desserts but rather as in verse 3-5 which reminds me of Katrina in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

3. "I tell you no! (They are not worse sinners) (my comments) But unless you repent you too will perish.
4. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them-do you  think they were more guilty than others living in Jerusalem? (Fill in your home town)
5. I tell you, no! (Stop looking at others I tell you Jesus says. We are quick to point away because it takes the focus off us) But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

We must rightly divide the Word of God. That is very humbling and should not be taken lightly. God is showing mercy not licence to all of us who have not suffered these disasters personally but it is not a time for us to be smug but a time to pray that we will be found worthy and also help people in need.

God have mercy on all the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Hugh

Very insightful verses Hugh. It is a great reminder of how unreliable it is to juge based only on appearances.
I do not think however the Lord in these examples was abrogating the prinicple of sowing and reaping, which I believe to be an immutable prinicple of the kingdom.  We are all, alas, children of Adam and share his heritage. I think of the hundreds of crack-addicted and FAS babies born intho this world daily, who have their parents to thank for the untold misry they will  have to endure in this life
What a great reminder to not be smug or rejoice in the calamity of others.
None of us are truly deserving of God's mercy. Great post!
Verne

« Last Edit: September 22, 2005, 07:44:27 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
Recovering Saint
Guest


Email
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2005, 04:57:40 am »

Very insightful verses Hugh. It is a great reminder of how unreliable it is to juge based only on appearances.
I do not think however the Lord in these examples was abrogating the prinicple of sowing and reaping, which I believe to be an immutable prinicple of the kingdom.  We are all, alas, children of Adam and share his heritage. I think of the hundreds of crack-addicted and FAS babies born intho this world daily, who have their parents to thank for the untold misry they will have to endure in this life
What a great reminder to not be smug or rejoice in the calamity of others.
None of us are truly deserving of God's mercy. Great post!
Verne

Verne

Yes we will reap what you sow. I agree. I know from your comments that you realize what I meant.

Some are quick to use a broad brush in a general situation. Like "All cabbies are bad drivers." "Really! How do you know have you taken any cabs lately?" "Well... no... but... everybody knows that." I would need to walk in those filthy shoes in New Orleans to really know what people were going through before I could make a peep about their lives. I know God is merciful to me every day and I need to give in kind. The Lord came not to seek the righteous but sinners that they might be saved.

Where there is repentance from sin we have a Saviour. Where there is unrepentance we have an Eternal Judge.

Lord bless
Hugh
Logged
Elizabeth H
Guest


Email
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2005, 12:26:33 am »

I’m a little befuddled by Verne’s comments. Praying for God to spare the city of San Francisco while he is there? It made me chuckle! Good thing Verne wasn’t in San Francisco (or the state of California, for that matter) during the huge earthquakes of 1906 and 1989 or he might have assumed he was caught in the midst of God’s judgement! Worse, he might have thought God allowed the earthquakes to happen as a rod of correction in his life!  Grin

IMO, Dave & Hugh are more on target in their view of Scriptural judgement. Context, while not the SOLE consideration in interpretation of Scripture, shouldn’t be underrated (i.e. Dave’s excellent explanation regarding the book of Revelation & Hugh’s point about the blind man of John 9). All kinds of Scripture twisting have resulted from taking verses and whole passages out of context.

Even well-trained meterologists have difficulty predicting weather patterns accurately. And after years of seeing my family and other Assembly folks stockpile massive quantities of "end times food supplies" (all of which rotted or became contaminated) I just don't fall for the hype anymore.

We just don't know. We can speculate, sure. We can draw up scenarios. We can hypothesize and write  best-selling books (the LaHaye books being the most recent, and most lucrative, I might add---as soon as I realized it was a THIRTEEN book series I had to question their motives!!). But none of us really knows.

I find it much more helpful to live with what is than with what might possibly happen.

And when disaster strikes, instead of coming up with reasons why it happened, I just try to help: Samaritan's Purse is a good choice and their online donation process is really easy.

E.
Logged
vernecarty
Guest
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2005, 01:46:12 am »

Praying for God to spare the city of San Francisco while he is there? It made me chuckle!
E.

That was my intention.
My comment however was only partly tongue in cheek.
Of all the adduced reasons why disaster could strike that area, I was simply pointing out that God's judgment for sin was one such legitimate possibility.
It happened in Sodom. Why not San Francisco?
Verne

« Last Edit: September 05, 2005, 03:16:16 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
tenderhearted
Guest


Email
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2005, 01:48:48 am »

I’m a little befuddled by Verne’s comments. Praying for God to spare the city of San Francisco while he is there? It made me chuckle! Good thing Verne wasn’t in San Francisco (or the state of California, for that matter) during the huge earthquakes of 1906 and 1989 or he might have assumed he was caught in the midst of God’s judgement! Worse, he might have thought God allowed the earthquakes to happen as a rod of correction in his life!  Grin

IMO, Dave & Hugh are more on target in their view of Scriptural judgement. Context, while not the SOLE consideration in interpretation of Scripture, shouldn’t be underrated (i.e. Dave’s excellent explanation regarding the book of Revelation & Hugh’s point about the blind man of John 9). All kinds of Scripture twisting have resulted from taking verses and whole passages out of context.

Even well-trained meterologists have difficulty predicting weather patterns accurately. And after years of seeing my family and other Assembly folks stockpile massive quantities of "end times food supplies" (all of which rotted or became contaminated) I just don't fall for the hype anymore.

We just don't know. We can speculate, sure. We can draw up scenarios. We can hypothesize and write  best-selling books (the LaHaye books being the most recent, and most lucrative, I might add---as soon as I realized it was a THIRTEEN book series I had to question their motives!!). But none of us really knows.

I find it much more helpful to live with what is than with what might possibly happen.

And when disaster strikes, instead of coming up with reasons why it happened, I just try to help: Samaritan's Purse is a good choice and their online donation process is really easy.

E.


Great conversation people.

The last two sentences says it all.

All with the Left Behind Series, it is a fictional version of the End Times, with Biblical References , all though the story is fiction, they tried to work around scriptures.

Revelations is a wonderful book, easy to understand if you dont analyze it to death.

It is the debate over pre tribulation, during tribulation or post tribulation with the question of when the rapture is going to occur.
All the signs of the end times that the Bible has warned us about.

I think the about debate is not important, what is important is to be ready for when Jesus comes back. My prayer is that Jesus will be back to take me home pre tribulation, and sometimes I will even pray hurry up. But my timing is not God's timing. I am still on earth because God has something else for me to learn, apply and grow.

In our human discussions, I will say when I get to heaven I will have a list of questions, "like a bone to pick with you God" , but I am sure once I end the kingdom of God, it will be God who has a bone to pick with me and I will have some explaining to do for certain situations.

I have read the first two books in the Left Behind Series, I read the first book in about a couple of days, then I lost interested, the whole series is in our church library.

Talk to you later.  Great topic.

Lenore
Logged
vernecarty
Guest
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2005, 03:14:49 pm »

Good thing Verne wasn’t in San Francisco (or the state of California, for that matter) during the huge earthquakes of 1906 and 1989 or he might have assumed he was caught in the midst of God’s judgement! Worse, he might have thought God allowed the earthquakes to happen as a rod of correction in his life!  Grin
E.

Your comment got me thinking about something - and that is whether I am the only one who thinks that God is angry over the number of unborn lives being destroyed daily with governmental sanction in this country.
I suspect I may at least be in the minority in my view on this.
The fact that we apparently no longer have any expectation of God's judgment, is a profound illustration of how grossly distorted our view of God has become, even as believers.
The fear of the Lord,is the beginning of wisdom...
Verne
Logged
moonflower2
Guest


Email
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2005, 03:19:31 pm »

Your comment got me thinking about something - and that is whether I am the only one who thinks that God is angry over the number of unborn lives being destroyed daily with governmental sanction in this country.
I suspect I may at least be in the minority in my view on this.
The fact that we apparently no longer have any expectation of God's judgment, is a profound illustration of how grossly distorted our view of God has become, even as believers.
The fear of the Lord,is the beginning of wisdom...
Verne

You may be in the minority, but you aren't the only one.

moonflower
Logged
vernecarty
Guest
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2005, 07:00:07 pm »

You may be in the minority, but you aren't the only one.

moonflower

Bless you, my chile... Smiley
Verne

p.s btw folks, I am not saying that those with a different persective on this are necessarily wrong.
What I am saying is that when we criticise those who contend that a calamitous event is evidence of God's judgment and then in the same breath turn around and ourselves declare that it is not, how is that different from what is being criticized?
None of know what is in God's mind unless he tells us. He has told us quite a bit about how He views, and equally more importantly, what He does about sin.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2005, 09:12:53 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
Elizabeth H
Guest


Email
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2005, 10:57:09 pm »

Whoa. How did the abortion issue land here? That was random.

I guess I just don't believe that a natural disaster which disproportionately afflicts the weakest and poorest of society (ie Hurricane Katrina) should be reflexively attributed to God's wrath. Especially if we follow this reasoning to its logical end: helpless old women drowning in flooded nursing homes in New Orleans is somehow connected to America's abortion practices?   Huh

Call me crazy....

Logged
vernecarty
Guest
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2005, 12:20:43 am »

Whoa. How did the abortion issue land here? That was random.

I guess I just don't believe that a natural disaster which disproportionately afflicts the weakest and poorest of society (ie Hurricane Katrina) should be reflexively attributed to God's wrath. Especially if we follow this reasoning to its logical end: helpless old women drowning in flooded nursing homes in New Orleans is somehow connected to America's abortion practices?   Huh

Call me crazy....




I don't know Elizabeth; it's hard for me to think of anyone weaker or poorer than the unborn.
The disaster which afflicts them may not be natural, but the disproportionate consequences causes all others to pale in comparison don't you think?
I raise this issue to provide some food for thought with regard to the principle of sowing and reaping - no man ( or woman) is an island.
I understand the nursing home reference evokes sympathy and rightly so. It does however fail to take into consideration the sobering fact that no one is innocent.
Every single breath that you and I draw is remarkable testimony to the matchless patience and long-suffering of God, who permits the continued existence of a world that denies Him and creatures that defy Him... daily...the surprise is that any of us are still here...
Verne
« Last Edit: September 06, 2005, 12:24:07 am by VerneCarty » Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 19
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!