Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Did God Take Vengeance on New Orleans?

Recently the Mayor of New Orleans said:

"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane, after hurricane, after hurricane . . . [and He] . . . . doesn’t approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses….

During a Polipundit discussion of these comments a liberal posted a comment to which I responded and have included below:

maybe God *is* mad we invaded Iraq! did that not ever occur to any of you?

Our country went in and saved 50+ million people from the evil dictatorships in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under those dictatorships the populace was not allowed to practice the religion of their choice and certainly neither Christianity nor Judaism. Part of the Great Commission of Jesus Christ were His words "go unto all the nations and tell them the good news of My coming". This commission is impossible to fulfill if people are not free.

So in a word, it is God's will that people be set free to choose Him (or not choose Him as the case may be.) He has used our nation in carrying out his purposes countless times in this regard.

at the time, the Pope was against it, and, as we all know, he’s divinely inspired.

People can disagree on when the Just War principle should be applied in any given war. This has been discussed at length in other threads but the long and short of it is, the liberation of Iraq follows the RCC's own Just War doctrine. Maybe the Pope (who is NOT divinely inspired BTW) simply decided that he would not look to his own church's policy in this particular case.

and Jesus was a pacifist.

I would have to disagree with this. Jesus is God. The God of the Bible is a judge and has often commanded the destruction of whole nations.

Jesus taught that we should not take revenge and he also taught that we need to be submissive to our government. Also, as I mentioned above, telling people the gospel requires that people be free to hear it.

Of course, I doubt that GW is freeing Iraq so that missionaries can move in but certainly, a free people obtains the privilege of deciding how and who to worship. A good commentary on this the issue of whether Jesus was a pacifist can be found here.

many of you people ascribe to the Bible, you say your Christians, and that’s great, but when someone actually speaks out in such a way that explicitly conforms to the Bible’s teachings (Nagin, Robertson), you get all bent out of shape, like its crazy talk. but in reality, it’s quite the opposite.

This is certainly a valid consideration but let me suggest that Nagin was clearly speaking from a political perspective, not a Biblical one. As I've said above, God is not going to punish a nation for doing His will. His will is for people to be free to follow Him and for righteous people to protect the vulnerable. Saddam was thwarting any hope for his citizenry to worship freely. They were being killed by the thousands. America stepped up and righted that horrible wrong.

Nagin is just talking out of his hat. He is invoking God's name to cover his own backside. Robertson has never done that.

It is more likely that the floods in NO are the result of poor planning over the last 200 years rather than God's vengeance.

Jesus said “turn the other cheek.” So maybe God is mad.

This is clearly not an admonition by Jesus to a nation like the US. Contextually, this is an admonition for Christians to not retaliate for revenge. America is not a "Christian" even though America has always sought to conform itself to Judeo/Christian standards of Just War (i.e. defensive wars). We are not imperialistic and in fact, we are typically saviors (c.f. WWI, WWII, WWIII (Cold War), WWIV (GWOT)).

When it comes down to it, the reality is that our efforts in the middle east are geared toward the protection of Israel. Most Christians believe that this nation has been blessed by God because of our protection of that nation. I would hope that we would never stop being their protector but regrettably, that is a false hope. The Book of Revelation says that eventually an American leader will forfeit our role as Israel's protector at which time, Armageddon will quickly follow.

On that happy note...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred Phelps also claims that God sent the hurricanes.

1/28/06, 10:39 PM  

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