|Did God cause the Japan Quake?|
The Christian Post article 25 Mar 2011 entitled "Piper, McLaren Ponder God's Hand in Japan Quake" asked the question "Did God caused the eartquake in Japan". Pipe states an unequivocal "Yes" on the basis that God permits it - be-it caused naturally or by spiritual forces. Brian McLaren responded by reflecting that Sovereignty need not mean absolute control. God is not heartless claimed McLaren.
The question of whether God causes the Japan Quake ultimately reflects on how we see the omnipotence, and ommnipresence of God. We give too much weightage on these theological constructions to give simple and direct answers to "everything", yet by saying that God caused the Tsunami simply because He was the creator of the earthplates, or because He had seemingly allowed it is tantamount to blaiming God and devoiding ourselves of responsibilities.
Was God in the first place engaged intimately and is everywhere and in every situation to be held accountable for not stopping the disaster ? Our theological construction of an "Ommipotent" God is presuming that God can do anything, yet God's power is constrained in order to be consistent with His other attributes such as morality/legal standing, and righteousness. There is also a sovereignty of God, not that He is mysterious but God has a will and character and a purpose in mind. God cannot simply "do anything" simply because He was God. His actions are consistent with his morality, holiness and righteousness.
There is a moral code that will simply not passed away and God operates within this constraint. That was why Mother Theresa, the Saint, prayed and yet felt a deep dark gulf between her and God. It was not a test by God. The church was reaping what they sowed according to the law. They had minimize Jesus and exalted the Pope, Mary, the Saints and the Priests until the direct communion between laity is replaced by a religious structure.
The Jewish nation had a covenant with God, that they were His people, He will guide and protect them, and that they will keep the laws, perform the worship sacrifices, and be identified with Yahweh and not any other gods. It was a covenant relationship. Hence God was intimately involved and when they failed to follow the laws and committed spiritual adultery, God allowed for calamities or the enemies of Israel to overrun them for a season. But the purpose and heart of God was always to bring the Jewish people back to Him and permitting harm was a last resort.
We commit a grave biblical error if we take Japan for Israel, for God was not in it, nor required to be involved and engaged with the nation of Japan through any covenant relationship. Hence, using biblical pasages referring to Israel where God was highly engaged to that of Japan is simply cherry picking the bible to fit our predetermined theology. There was no legal standing to blame God for permitting the event.
Japan was simply a natural disaster, compounded by the fact that they build far too little protection in a highly risky area proned to Tsunami. A giant Tsunami actually hit the same area in 1953, but the wall built to prevent another disaster did not account for the size of this Tsunami.
Why didn't God built a better earth crust then, so that earthquakes and Tsunami will not occur since "God is perfect"!. This again is not mindful of the history of creation. When God created Earth, He called it beautiful, but the ownership of this Earth has since been given over by mankind to Satan. That was why Satan could offer Jesus the entire Earth! The entire Earth is therefore moaning, groaning, and detereorating waiting for the new creation and the new earth. There is also no legal standing in blaiming the creator for faulty creation as it is badly maintained and handed over to "others".
(Gen 6:3 NKJV) And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."
God is not "ommipresence" as claimed by many Christians in the sense that He did not choose to be everywhere all the time. God has a will, a sovereign will with a choice of where He wants to exhibit His presence even though He could be everywhere. The bible is very clear in Gen 6:3, before the flood in a time where the demi-gods existed that He will not strive with the apirit of man, ie He will not be actively engaged in the happenings of human history. There was simply too much evil and corruption in man.
God removed His Spirit, the Holy Spirit from being engaged with humanity, and chose Himself a person in Abraham, a nation called Israel to be His people, to show forth His glory and salvation. But even then, the Spirit of God stayed within the Holy of Holies where the presence of God was said to reside. They sought the Lord each year and through the Prophets. The voice of God was heard through the Prophets and priests and not on an individual basis.
However, the Spirit of God did not contend with Israel forever. After they returned to exile from Babylon, there was a period of 400 years where there was no revelation ie the voice of God could no longer be heard. There seemed an errie silence during this period where God seemingly was not there despite the restablishment of the temple worship. There was difference from the earlier worship in that the Ark of the Covenant was lost. It was an empty Holy of Holies, devoid of the reality of the Spirit of God, until Jesus came into the scene.
God is not intimately involved in the affairs of mankind today to be blamed for not stopping every evil dictator or blowing the Tsunami away. It is not that God doesn't care or is disengaged. He gave it all in His Son, Jesus Christ, 2000 years ago. When Jesus died two thousand years ago, He said "it is finished", and He meant it.
God did His part, the Holy Spirit was free again to be in communion with those who had legal standing and righteousness before God in Christ Jesus. Hence, as Christians we become Jesus' hands and feet guided by the Holy Spirit when we chose to abide with Him.
We pray because our prayers have substance and are accepted by God because we are the sons and daughters of God. Some say that God will act even when we do not pray forgetting that morally God cannot act without a good legal reason. God's love is not unilateral. it has to be consistent with His morality and righteousness hence the demand of the sacrifice of His Son as a payment for our sins.
God has done everything He could, to empower us to act on His behalf to be the light to the nations. We are His hands and feet to bring the Gospel of Salvation, and the revelation of God's love, grace and mercy. Our mouth becomes the tools of worship and supplication, and our hands giving a lifeline to the hurt and suffering humanity.
Many bad things happen in the world is the result of what mankind sowed rather than whether God had allowed it. This world doesn't belong to God, God has little jurisdiction other than praying Christians calling upon help based on the name of Jesus Christ. This world morally belong to the various Pincipalities and God just can't morally intervene without a good legal basis for righteousness sake.
The 911 is caused by evil religious people, so was World War Two and the bombing of Pearl Harbour. We can't blame gays for it or judgement from God, when they had nothing to do with these acts of evil people. Of course, it is easier to blame God and gays and not address why we let this evil to happen in the first place. In World War Two for example, the Americans did little to help China whilst the Japanese were killing hundreds of thousands prior to WWII by invading China! Nor did the British intervened long before by Hitler started killing the Jews and invading Poland.
This world belongs to us. God has given us the tools - the power of prayer, the guidence of the Holy Spirit to bring Salvation and Hope to humanity. Alas, we kept our light under a hill when we should be like "little Christ" to a lost and suffering world.