Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What would Jesus flood?

If you believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, that everything that happens is because God wills it, then tell me why God would possibly think that flooding New Orleans and Mississippi and leaving people dead and homeless is in any way a good idea.

If you believe that God created the world and everything in it and then went back behind the barn to grab a smoke, leaving us to our own devices, then tell me how that is any different than me hearing the cries of an abused child and doing nothing. In the real world, if I have knowledge that a child is being abused and do nothing, then I can be in trouble with the law.

If you believe that what we need to do now is pray for those flooded out of their homes, I have one word for ya- why? God doesn't know already that whole cities are washed away and under water? Couldn't he have kept this from happening? Didn't he say he would never judge the world by flood ever again?

At times like this the best answer may be no answer at all. It is likely better to just hang our head and say "I don't know" than to try and jam a response into our predetermined theological structure. I don't think the people of New Orleans would care to hear our plastic theology. I think they would rather have a bed to sleep in for the next couple of months, a working toilet and some food to eat.

Far be it for me to say what someone in this kind of event would want, but if it were me? I wouldn't want to hear about the love of God, I would want to see it.

7 Comments:

Blogger Darcie said...

Hey - Darcie, here. Thanks. You make me think.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Carla said...

Great questions - and ones I believe do deserve an answer, other than "I don't know".

Sure, there is plenty that we don't know, but there is also opportunity to share the comfort and peace we have - even in such horrific situations.

Answers given ought to be delivered with great sensitivity - however - since many are just so heartbroken, they truly do require all the compassion in the world.

I think the folks down south DO want to hear why some of their neighbors who are believers, are so encouraged, and praising God. They don't have that mindset, that peace, or that gratitude, it eludes them.

I have a friend who had to evacuate her home in Pensacola, and she shared her thoughts on God's grace and provision on her blog - only to receive a comment that basically said "what makes you so special that God spared YOUR family?". It's a valid question in the eyes of many.

Now the question is, HOW do we answer that question?

Instead of plastic theology, how about theology with feet - living what we claim to believe, and making a difference in not only the immediate physical needs down there (by giving - tons of resources listed all over on places to give) but also giving solid answers to legitimate questions.

I believe we're to do both. I also believe when we truly do not have an answer, to be honest about it rather than speculate and/or postulate.

Just a few thoughts.

SDG,
Carla

8:37 AM  
Blogger mrclm said...

On a complete intellectual level (as people removed from the disaster) we could simply say that none deserve to live, and that God has wiped out plenty of others with floods (among other options are pestulance, plague etc.). Obviously this isn't what the people on the ground in theses devistated areas need to hear, or want to hear. We need to reach out to them, serve them, and meet them in their need. Discussing the deeper aspects of Theology is worthwhile, but choosing the proper time and context is also important. I prefer saying "let's talk about that later" rather than "I don't know" though. If they are asking the questions, I don't want to close the conversation, just put it on hold.

Beyond that:

I suggest giving cash. There are tons of places to do so, but if you want another place with links to resources you can find it on my blog.

Big Chris
Because I said so

7:58 PM  
Blogger Sean MacNair said...

Carla and Chris- good thoughts. You just wrote my next blog entry :)
But specifically, to Chris, I have given cash, or Paypal money which is cash I never see; James White had a link to a Paypal account set up to help a church down in that area. Red Cross and other relief sights I saw didn't have a Paypal option and I don't have a credit card.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

For a solid take on theodicy, check out David Hart's essay on the Tsunami in First Things:

http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0503/opinion/hart.html

2:08 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It looks like that link got cutt off in the comments. After the last slash, it ends with:

hart.html

2:09 PM  
Blogger mrclm said...

Doug,
The trick to the links is to do something like the following:

< a href="typeyourlinkhere.com">Type name of link < /a>

Just take out the space before the first "a" and the space before the last "/" and insert the proper info and you will have a good link. That's how I link to my blog in comments (see below).

Big Chris
Because I said so blog
http://mrclm.blogspot.com

1:44 PM  

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