What are we to make of bad storms? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I am interrupting work on theology to talk about something since it was something my own mother asked me about yesterday and well, her concerns rank up there as pretty important to me. Yesterday, she asked me if I thought bad storms around the world meant anything. Now I was pretty sure I knew where she was going with this, but I decided to probe by asking her what countries she was talking about.
I remember hearing Russia, China, Taiwan, Brazil, and Spain. Now whether that list is accurate or not, I cannot attest. I am just stating what she told me. At that point, I pointed out that there are around 190 or so countries in the world. I have been given a list of five countries so that’s hardly impressive. Then I was told it’s happening in Colorado or Texas. Again, two states out of fifty. Hardly impressive.
Couldn’t God be trying to wake up the world? I question that since normally such judgments in biblical times came with actual prophets speaking the message. I am very suspicious of many prophecy claims today since they happen to be wrong so often and the track record for Scripture is 100%. Too many books that are sold as prophecy books are now gathering dust in the storerooms of Christian bookstores as their predictions have been shown to be false.
In Luke 13, Jesus is told about circumstances of His time and He replies that the people in those were not worse sinners than anyone else, but you need to repent. It wouldn’t matter who Jesus was speaking to. He would tell them to repent. We are all in need of repentance and repentance should be a constant refrain in the Christian life.
Of course, that doesn’t mean when we experience something painful, we don’t spend any time in self-examination. We should. Pain is often God’s megaphone to a deaf world, but normally, the problem is we don’t pay much attention. Remember when 9/11 happened? Here in America, shortly after that, people flocked to the churches. We had a wonderful time of love and unity.
For about a week or two.
We are sadly this kind of people today. There will be a big news story and normally it will be all that everyone is talking about for a few days and it won’t get resolved and everyone will normally just stop talking about it and then move on. I am seeing commercials about the Covid situation and saying how after this we won’t take family for granted and we will appreciate what we have and that this won’t change.
But is this happening because the church isn’t being the church? The church in America hasn’t been the church for quite some time. We definitely need to repent and return to preaching the gospel. We’ve instead turned and preached individualistic feel-good stuff. Too often when we talk about the Christian life, the whole goal is to get someone to go to Heaven and who cares about all this stuff in between? Well, we should. God surely does.
Here ultimately is the big problem that I see with this kind of thinking. We have too many people who spend so much time interpreting their personal experience or the daily news to see what the Bible says about them, which to an extent is fine, but they’re not just seeing what the Bible says first. Not only that, they often treat these events as if they all come directly from God and God is causing them to happen. These are Christians who can often keep dream journals where they want to see what God is saying in every dream they have. A dream could be from God, but it could also be because you ate too much pizza last night.
We interpret these as if we are certain they came from God and must be understood that way, but meanwhile we have Scripture which as Christians we know comes from God and we spend far less time interpreting that. If only we would spend as much time interpreting Scripture as we do interpreting the news. Sometimes a storm is just a storm.
We are told to not worry about matters many times. If someone is hurt greatly by inclement weather, then we should do what we can to help them out in Christian charity. However, plenty of people have made predictions in the past based on events going on. Every single one of them was wrong. Thus, when I encounter someone with a new claim, I set the bar extremely high. If every other time a Chicken Little came by, nothing happened, why should I panic when this one comes by?
So people, watch the news, but please do not panic. God is still in control of this world. If you think you need to repent, the answer is yes. What you need to repent of, I cannot tell you, but yes. You need to repent. So do I.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)