It is amazing how insensitive Christians get during times like these when people are going through incredibly difficult life circumstances. Anyone who has paid an ounce of attention to the news in recent times would have heard about the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy across the East Coast of the United States.
Why did I start by saying that Christians are prone to being insensitive to people’s sufferings in times like this? It is because a lot of us get caught up in theological skirmishes that amount to nothing more than small-minded victories in small-minded arguments. All over the web, I’ve come across countless debates as to whether or not this storm was an act of God. Some say it happened because of America’s sin. Others say it is a prophetic sign pointing to the coming elections.
What do I think personally? I think that right now, instead of expending valuable energy and resources on theological debates, we ought to put our hands to the plow and be a part of the solution to the problem. The response from the Christian community has been great but there’s always more that could be done. The last I checked, the hurricane caused 39 deaths in the U.S. alone. The strong winds resulted in record flooding, massive power outages and extensive devastation. Whole livelihoods have been lost and many have no place to call home in the wake of this disaster. In view of this tragedy, how is it that we can get distracted from helping people recover by allowing ourselves to get caught up in theological skirmishes that really don’t help any of the victims right now.
There is a place for trying to understand why natural disasters occur in the light of the scriptures but that should never take precedence over the pressing need in front of us. So many are hurting and reeling from the losses caused by this hurricane. This is a time when churches can have their members volunteer in different ways to help provide solutions to what has been an overwhelming problem. The rebuilding process will be long and arduous. We can donate to the victims through trusted organisations like Christian aid and the Red Cross. We can volunteer to help out at relief centers that will spring up across the affected areas. We can pray for the families of those affected. We can offer real hope by telling those who feel hopeless about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. We can do so much more than we think we can. One person can make a difference.
We were saved to show forth God’s love in a fallen world. I cannot pretend to understand why God allows such tragedies to occur but one thing I know is that His goodness cannot be questioned. We live in a sin-ravaged world that is no longer the perfect Garden God created a long time ago. Even in the midst of so much hurt and pain, God is behind the scenes tirelessly working things out together for the good of all the hurricane victims.
It is time for us to rise up and truly practice the Christianity we profess. I really doubt that Jesus’ response to a tragedy of this magnitude would be to get into a theological debate with the Pharisees for example and stop there. No! He often showed compassion to those suffering. He corrected the Pharisees when He deemed fit because He had the answers! He is God. But He never stopped there. He proceeded to alleviate the pain and suffering of His sheep, raising the dead back to life, opening deaf ears, healing blind eyes, feeding multitudes, preaching the gospel of hope and so on. We are His Body and the body always follows the decisions made by the head. He is right there with those victims, cradling them in His arms and whispering words of hope and comfort by His Spirit. We ought to be right there with Him, being His hands and feet, making a difference and introducing the world to Christ.
- What’s Causing Hurricane Sandy? Let’s Ask Some Christians Who Know Nothing About Science… (patheos.com)
- Theologians explain the suffering caused by Hurricane Sandy (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- My Apologies for Causing Hurricane Sandy (reasonalliance.wordpress.com)
- Christian Leaders Blam Gays For Hurricane Sandy (lezgetreal.com)