Is God Angry at Japan? Listen to the Bible, not Beck

Whenever tragedies strike, it is always inevitable that some will go down the path of dangerous theologizing.  In the wake of the horrific earthquake in Haiti, Pat Robertson stated the tragedy was a result of that nation’s “pact to the devil” and CBN later said the country was “cursed.”

The recent earthquake/tsunami/ radiation crisis in Japan is no different.  On Monday, while the Japanese people were still pulling victims from the rubble and battling potential nuclear meltdowns, radio/TV personality Glenn Beck stated that the tragic events were a message from God.  Beck stated, “I’m not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes,” and then added that he’s “not not saying that, either.”  Beck continued, “Whether you call it Gaia, or whether you call it Jesus, there’s a message being sent and that is, ‘Hey, you know that stuff we’re doing? Not really working out real well.’ Maybe we should stop doing some of it.” Perhaps Beck is not singling out the Japanese people in his comments and saying that the message from God in these earthquakes is for all of us to heed.  However, the timing and the implication are troubling and these comments only add to the corpus of Beck’s past comments/writing about religion that reveal him to be confused and at odds with Scripture.  So, how is it wrong of us to say that tragedies are the result of people’s particular sin?

Jesus made it very clear how we should interpret the meaning of tragic events.  In Luke 13, some people report to Jesus about others who had been persecuted and killed by Pilate.  Jesus used it as an opportunity to teach us about how we should respond to tragedies.

Luke 13:1-5- “There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

This passage of Scripture makes it clear that tragic events are not the result of people’s particular sin.  Rather, they are they the effect of living in a fallen world cursed by sin.  Jesus taught that in response to a tragedy, we should not point our finger at the victims and say, “They sinned.”  Instead, tragedies are a reminder that we have all sinned and unless we repent and have a right relationship with Christ on the basis of faith, we will all be liable for the judgment.  It’s not just a few that are cursed, we all are.  Honestly, I think some of the statements that tragedies are the results of some people’s sin are made from prejudice.  What would we say if an earthquake caused the nuclear reactor in Arkansas to melt down?  Are they cursed?   Do they have some “extra” sin the rest of us do not?

Please listen to Jesus rather than the pundits when it comes to thinking about why tragedies happen.  They remind us we will all perish unless we live for Christ.


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One Response to “Is God Angry at Japan? Listen to the Bible, not Beck”

  1. If these events are not a part of God’s warning to the world, but rather the natural flow of events in a cursed world, and that God has no part in this than explain this: In Revelation is it the earth exacting wrath and vengeance or is it God? I think it is clear. Israel of the OT were constantly warned and judged by God. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Remember, “the earth is the lords and the fulness thereof”. He owns and controls it all. I think instead of us Christians spending time trying to figure out whether this is God’s wrath or not, we should spend our time praying globally for healing, restoration, and repentance before it is too late. Just this weekend there was a tsunami in Japan again. Earthquakes in America and all over the world. So many people are talking about 2012 and all of that nonsense when they should be heeding God’s warning, repenting, and praying earnestly for America and the world. Remember,”Babylon the Great has fallen”. Who else could John be writing about in today’s world besides the USA? Pray now for God to stay his hand on our great country or we will be a byword and a hissing like Israel after they refused to humble themselves and pray. God bless you!!