This past week I finally uploaded a new podcast for Fire On Your Head. I chatted with Dave Edwards –my usual co-host and partner in buffoonery–mixed with spiritual depth too, of course. We had author and international speaker S.J. Hill on and we talked about God’s judgment on the earth. Again.
I’ve been doing a podcast for nearly 4 years now, and this is not the first time I’ve had SJ on the show to talk about this very subject, but it was the first time Dave got to be a part of the discussion with us. I figured it’s always a relevant subject and some of our views had changed a bit enough that it was time to talk some more. It just seems every time there’s an earthquake or some kind of disaster or something happens, the Church or a segment of it are right there to say “I told you this was God judging homosexuality!” Or something. People tend to wait for Pat Robertson to say something ridiculous and make the rest of the culture hate us even more.
Anyway, we tried to discuss and answer some of the following questions:
Does God really send disasters and calamities to cities and nations in order to teach its people lessons? If so, does it work?
Does a ‘rapture mentality’ produce a people interested in what happens in the earth during their generation?
Does the Church have way too pessimistic of an outlook when it comes to God’s involvement in the earth today?
Does the Church embrace too much fatalism when it comes to dealing with every day events and natural disasters as they happen around the world?
How Is The Church specifically, and the culture in general, supposed to deal with ‘doom and gloom prophets whose ‘prophecies’ don’t come to pass? No, we’re not talking about fringe groups but ones who are more mainstream and accepted in both evangelical and charismatic circles.
I waited a few days before posting a link to it on my personal blog, because I wanted to see what kind of reactions it got to determine if this is going somewhere or not–that and I had a lot of shorter techie posts to post first. What surprises me, and SJ already had mentioned it in the podcast, was how in sharing this on social networking sites this week, the reaction it has gotten from…Christians. At least so far. I don’t think the fact we were not as popular back in ’09 is why I got so little feedback, but it seems to me Christians get really mad if you imply that God is good. Or that an earthquake is not judgment for witchcraft or something like that. One friend over Skype the other night told me he wouldn’t listen to it because it would make him go nuts, because, according to him, if the earthquake wasn’t from God, and He could stop it but didn’t then He is not all powerful. According to this friend, I was taking a cop out and he “couldn’t worship a God that weak.”
I shared it on the wall of some friends who commented previously when I stated on Facebook we were recording the interview, and one friend said, just by looking at my title “Yes, He does, always. No need for podcast.” Others on S.J.’s Facebook commented on the link:
“Sign’s (sic) of the end. As shown in Revelation’s (sic)”
“I am listening and maybe you answered this ? already, but what do you do with passages like the flood, and the earthquakes that he sent cause he had enough?”
But in there, there was also encouragement like
“amazing how many people are far too willing to attribute to God the personality of the devil. Job made the same mistake. God is the bringer of life, satan is the one who brings death. Besides the reason the earth is groaning (tsunamis, tornadoes, etc…) is because of the lack of believers standing up and believing their identity. Our lack of understanding who God has made us has it’s price (sic). But God has no hand in that. He gave us authority.
I’m so glad there are others who know and believe in the Father’s heart and aren’t sending out a mixed message of love and judgment! Blessings on your life and ministry!”
At any rate, if you’re struggling with some of these tough paradoxes, I encouraged you to give this discussion a listen, and if you are thirsty for more check the archive to the ones we did in the past where we covered the flood and seemingly ‘barbaric’ acts of God in the Old Testament, but in this discussion we stuck mostly to the modern pronouncement of some men of God that earthquakes are related to nations’ pagan idolatry and stuff like that. Hope you enjoy!
Red Skies & Prophetic Weather Patterns by Dave Edwards
And don’t forget to visit SJ’s site at http://www.sjhillonline.com.