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God’s Reason

August 26, 2016

One thing you have to say about Tony Perkins, the leader of The Family Research Council, is that he can be depended upon to provide some interesting quotes.  Back in September 2015 he, and a guest on his radio show, agreed that God uses natural disasters to punish people for sinning.  At the time they were talking about a hurricane that could possibly hit Washington D.C. (it didn’t) as punishment for the Supreme Court and politicians allowing same-sex marriage to be the law of the land.

To be fair, neither Perkins nor his guest actually predicted the hurricane would hit.  It was just their assurance that hurricanes, and other natural disasters, are part of God’s arsenal in pounding the wicked and, for sure, America, and D.C in particular, was really asking for it.

So….armed with this assurance we can fast forward to recent events and in particular the horrible floods impacting southern Louisiana.  As it turns out, one of the people who had their homes destroyed by that flood was Tony Perkins.  Perkins called into his own radio show to talk about the disaster of “biblical proportions” that, he says, will force his family to live in a camper for the six months it will take to rebuild his home.  If you go to his Facebook page you will see pictures of his flooded home and him in a canoe.  So we can assume that he called in to repent of whatever sin God was punishing him for right?

Nope.

It turns out that in this case it wasn’t punishment as all.  Rather it was “an incredible, encouraging spiritual exercise to take you to the next level in your walk with an almighty and gracious God who does all things well.”   He went on to encourage other flood victims, and Christians in general, to rejoice that they were “worthy of suffering for His sake.”

I have great sympathy for Perkin’s loss, and the losses so many others have suffered.  It might however be a good time for him to admit that he has no clue what God might be doing in natural disasters or any other situation.  It might also be a good time to stop and think that, even though he has a right to his own opinion, God doesn’t need or want Tony Perkins to explain such things to us.

If there is one thing we learn in natural disasters it is that the meaning in what confronts our day-to-day lives is not found in pet Bible verses or theological hobby horses.  Rather they are part of our spiritual journey that will include failure, success, growth, joys, hardship and change.  The Bible isn’t an answer book to explain everything that happens to us.  It is our anchor,rock and guide in the floods and troubles of our lives.

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From → Christianity

4 Comments
  1. Well-said, as usual!

  2. Marshall permalink

    “God may use natural disasters to punish people.”
    -Noah

    “God will spare large swaths of evil people, for as few as ten decent people.”
    -Abraham

    “It isn’t always about what you did wrong.”
    -Job

    • My point is in question form. Is every natural disaster a judgement from God? If so,how do we know for what? And who gets to decide what God is judging? How can I,or anyone else, know for sure what God was judging? Since the hurricane did not hit Washington DC, was Perkins wrong that God was about to judge it? (BTW, on second listening to his show, he and his guest hedged their bet and said the DC disaster could be any time “in the next year” so can we assume that God has three more weeks to strike? How does Perkins know that the flood that destroyed his home was not a judgement on him and instead was “an incredible, encouraging spiritual exercise”?

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