People are asking where God was during the Tsunami. Why didn’t He intervene and save the people?
I think we all know the answer: it is that God established rules of nature that He does not overturn simply because some victims of these rules may happen to be guiltless or good. Outside of a couple of Biblical exceptions, Nature has run on its own inner-clock. It is not manipulated by God as a means to punish. Nature is not “angry”. It is what it is.
For God to continually do away with reality so as to spare those defiant of it would negate all the lessons He has taught which, when freely chosen, more often than not provide coexistence with organic reality. When announcing “Therefore Shall Ye Choose Life,” God is warning all men not to do anything so foolhardy as tempt His laws of physics that preordain destruction when a mere 150lbs. of human flesh decides to risk collision with a two ton automobile racing at 60mph.
Certainly, God would rather we do that which inherently provides success than transform reality to compensate for those wishing to remain oblivious to the rules of Nature. One axiom of reality is that if we don’t work, we will be poor. To alleviate that condition, God tells us early-on in His Bible: “Six Days Shall Ye Work.” The “How-to” of God is there, and enunciated by Him, so that we grow and become strong and self-reliant human beings — a tad “lower than angels.”
Life would be wholly chaotic and unpredictable if God were continually to alter life, nature and its rules. In fact, nothing would be more unfair to mankind than God everyday changing the rules of nature and life that we so heavily rely on just to head off every hourly misfortune and be spared the question: God, Where were You?
Why should we be motivated to eat healthy if, in the end, God would allow the overindulgent to live until 90 simply because it is unfair to children for their father to die before his time? Why should we take polio shots if, in the end, a compassionate God would spare all the children since they are innocent. Why should we work hard and try to advance society if, in the end, God will always pick up the marbles of our laziness and irresponsibility. Mommy will always be there!
Nature’s forces bring the pleasant reality of changing seasons and soothing breezes. They equally, since time immemorial, pound with violence. There is nothing new or unpredictable about Nature’s nature. It snows in Montana and no one should blame God for being caught in its winter storms. Coastal and island living is one where Nature’s vicissitudes are known by each generation, passing that information to the next.
It is not McDonald’s fault when a customer ordering hot coffee spills it on her dress and then finds out it is hot. We have become a world in which all our troubles are blamed on someone else. Even avoidable ones. It is the fault of: the company, the government, our parents, men, America, Western civilization, God. Even when our own conduct portends the outcome or heightens the tragedy, many have been conditioned to blame others–the stronger or more successful.
Because of our Judeo-Christian ethic here in America, we have a Biblical reverence for life coupled with the understanding that we as individuals and as a society must be scientific in our approach to Nature so as to use it to advance ourselves by it and be protected from it. The need to look at nature scientifically is called by God: “Know My Ways.”
Those sidetracked by theologies that do not put at its center GodÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢s mandate to choose life by being scientific imperil themselves to the forces of Nature. Religion and science are not at odds with each other. To the contrary, in the Judeo-Christian perspective, science is seen as the handmaiden of the Divine Will.
It is not by chance that Judeo-Christian societies have discovered more cures for sickness than any other. For it is a religious mandate, one whose ethos has taught us to define and value ourselves by the physical and spiritual improvements we make. The Bible labels this: “Man created in the image of God.” It is an aspiration!
It is not coincidence that the most scientifically oriented societies are the ones now least vulnerable to NatureÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢s periodic onslaughts. Only when science disregards its partnership with God does it become a source for anxiety.
The question, then, is not why God allowed the Tsunami to kill so many innocents, but why certain governments were so little in touch with the reality of their surroundings that they failed to build warning systems alerting their people of impending danger. We are now learning that to do so is not as expensive as some assume, and even crudely posting megaphones on trees and buildings would have been a feasible undertaking.
Though here in the U.S. we know we cannot control NatureÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢s wrath, we still choose to devote significant resources to prevent, warn, rescue and recover, not because we are rich but because of our attitude and priorities — an attitude born of our Judeo-Christian understanding of what God in the Bible millennia ago demanded of us.
Most societal everyday culture derives from present or past religious understanding and belief. Not all cultures are the same since, surely, not all religions are the same. Each has a different value system.
In some religions and societies, an other-worldliness so predominates as to make physical efforts in and for this world seem less important and less worthwhile — certainly, less “religious.” Some religions and cultures assume a much more fatalistic approach to life and nature — as did the ancient pagans — indifferent, therefore, to the Biblical mandate to “Subdue and Harness Nature.”
And in some religions and nations, more energy, money and value is apportioned on killing the infidel than preserving life.
The implication of disaster foretold by God to nations adrift from His ways is not so much as direct punishment per se. Rather, it is the inevitable consequence to those mired in the primitiveness indicative of decision-making built on non-productive theology; those who do not source manÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢s existence to God nor see in man the “creative being” foretold in Genesis.
So where was God during the Tsunami? He was there way in advance outlining in His Bible that which must be done to preserve human life in face of NatureÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢s omnipresent possibilities and ruthlessness.