At 12:55 p.m. this afternoon Christchurch was shaken by an earthquake that was quite a bit different from the big September one. The main difference is that this one has fatalities.
When there were no fatalities last time, those who believed in the God of the Bible (Group 1) and those who didn’t (Group 2) had different takes on the matter.
People like me, who belong to Group 1, saw the hand of God and commented on it. I even wrote a small post about it entitled 7.1 on the Richter Scale and total preservation of life.
Unbelievers attributed it to the good building standards in New Zealand and to chance—the fact that people were safe in their homes at that time of the day.
I pray that today’s quake would cause people everywhere, whichever group they may belong, to turn to God, who alone can offer true deliverance both for this life and for eternity.
An event like this causes people to think and ask questions. It should. Questions like:
–Did God cause the earthquake; does God cause bad things to happen?
–If not, is He powerless to stop bad things from occuring.
–On the other hand if He did cause the earthquake, is He unloving?
–Or is He punishing the people of Christchurch; are they more sinful that the people of any other city in New Zealand?
To those in the former group—those who profess to believe in God—I would like to ask you something. Do you know good Bible answers to these questions? If not, it could mean that your theological position is not adequately robust to see you through the vicissitudes of life and the severe testings that could come in our lifetime. Unbelievers have accused Christians of being weak people who use religion as a crutch, and we should not let this be true of us.
These questions are good questions which touch upon profound subjects like the nature of God Himself; they cannot be answered casually. Yet, the Bible offers sufficient insight into these matters, giving us true and lasting confidence in God and His plan for mankind.
If you would like to know more, check out these links on my God and Human Suffering page.