Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wow, I thought....every cable news channel's waiting for OBAMA ON HAITI

....I thought there must be something stunningly unusual about to be announced with all the waiting and fanfare......and HERE it finally was: WE ARE GOING TO HELP HAITI (I mean, the cameras were panning the dais for at least 30 minutes knowing full well Obama was in a health care meeting with Reid and would come out when he'd announced he'd come out!)...WAS THERE NO OTHER NEWS WORTHY OF SHOWING WHILE WE BIDE TIME FOR OBAMA'S APPEARANCE? I thought there must be something REALLY big and new coming for the media to forgo all other news for so long just to have all cameras directed at a ........ teleprompter. Did they expect THAT to speak (again)? I mean, go to OBAMA when he ARRIVES, right? I'd get that...he's president, he has an announcement to make, right?

Anyway, here's a bit from the linked article: "Obama sought to show a swift and united disaster response with the United States as an assertive leader, but he said the effort must be an international one." Bush did more for Africa than any president before him (ask liberals Bono and Geldof, who know) and gee...did anybody in the media consider the States as an 'assertive leader' with Bush at the helm leading the crisis of AIDS and POVERTY? And, by the way, I completely agree with Obama on the "international" remark.

Pardon me for using a disaster to make a point about the media again (I'm usually not one to 'never let a serious crisis go to waste' as Rahm Emanuel famously advises), but I just beg for fairness in the media. AND........so much MORE importantly... Please pray for the Haitians....what a terrible disaster to a place which is so difficult in its best times.
z

340 comments:

1 – 200 of 340   Newer›   Newest»
Ducky's here said...

Please pray for the Haitians....what a terrible disaster to a place which is so difficult in its best times.

-----------------------

Those poor souls.

But let's face it z, concrete action may help. They can't eat prayers.

Jungle Mom said...

In the mean time, many of my missionary friends live there and give 'concrete action' to help the Haitians everyday.
Some of my friends spent the night sleeping in the doorway of their cement house, with their small children, in case of further tremors and today are using their water cistern to give out water to those who do not have a clean water supply.
I'm glad they did not wait for Obama to tell us to help Haiti!

Z said...

Ducky, of course'concrete action' should be taken. Thankfully, we're using Dominican Republic's landing fields and roads to try to get to these poor people......I hope that we can get there FAST.

Jungle Mom..that's Christian Conservatism at its best. And, no, I do NOT mean to imply liberal atheists would not help. I'm just saying....the Christians were THERE and able to help NOW in so many ways, even before this utter disaster.

God help them all.

Ducky's here said...

Or better yet Jungle Mom, how about some prayers to the God who caused the earthquake.

Time to reread Candide.

Jungle Mom said...

Ducky,
Perhaps He allowed it so that folks might be reminded that we are not in control of this earth or anything else. Natural disasters show us our limitations and powerlessness. It gives us the opportunity to reach out and serve those in need and consider our own eternal end.

I expect your scorn to be poured upon my head. I really don't have time to be bothered with it. I have better things to do today.

Time to reread the Bible.

Z said...

Oh, thank you, Ducky, it really IS good when you say things like this...it shows a lot. But, then, I saw how you think a crucifix in urine looks 'ethereal'. :-)
how disgusting.

Gee, Ducky, I wonder at the fact that brilliant Christian theologians haven't thought of that.."Hell, if somebody gets SICK or an earthquake happens, how can there be a loving God!?" WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT :-)

Faith said...

Or better yet Jungle Mom, how about some prayers to the God who caused the earthquake.

That's exactly what we're asked to do, Mr. Duck. God who in judgment must send catastrophe hates doing it, and also sends salvation.

Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

Is 59: 16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor . . .


I'm so glad there are missionaries prepared to help already.

Jungle Mom said...

Z, about that other thing, It has been an adventure!!!

shoprat said...

Concrete actions will be taken . . . by conservatives, along with prayers. It will be the "right wing" churches that will be raising money and sending food and supplies while Obama gets loads of accolades for sitting on his thumb.

Jan said...

Or better yet Jungle Mom, how about some prayers to the God who caused the earthquake.

Time to reread Candide.

Ducky..
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill, but time and chance happeneth to them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11

Time to read the Bible, perhaps, for the first time?

Sorry, Z, but sometimes, he just goes too far.

We know that God didn't 'cause' the earthquake..but we do know, that He cares.

Btw, Ducky..prayer is 'concrete action' in my book.

If you should be thinking of replying to my comment, please don't bother.

God's word says to let us reason, together, and there is no reasoning with you.

Misfit410 said...

Boy Ducky, if only you used all of the time you waste trolling Z's blog doing anything for anyone, what a difference it could make in the world eh? you hypocritical douchetard.

Z said...

JM..thanks for the response. You're the best. I mean THE BEST.

Shoprat...very well said. Bush got zilch for all he did in Africa with no fanfare, Obama will be HAITI'S SAVIOR, wait for it.

Jan..why are you apologizing? That Ecclesiastes scripture really hit me today...I needed it SO BADLY, and it has nothing to do with Haiti, it's something personal...but it DOES have everything to do with Haiti, too, you're so right. I appreciate that, sweetheart.xx
I have Catholic friends in Bible Study who say they're not encouraged to read Scripture growing up...or after for that matter. Though I know many Catholic friends who have started to and LOVE IT, it's a whole new world.
And, of course, that Holy Spirit kicks in and then you're 'lost' (in the eyes of a secularist) (but so FOUND in the important sense of that word!!)

Z said...

MISFIT...why am I getting THE SHOP THAT IS ALWAYS RIGHT on your site when I click your avatar but I get your actual site on my sideblog?? ODD!!?
I'm so glad you're blogging again, you were missed :-)

Dan said...

These things always make me wonder: do they fix the cameras on the podium to build that sense of expectation for their audience, you know, like God is about to come around the corner, or do they do it because they honestly feel that way themselves.

Elmers Brother said...

Better yet duhkkky repent.

Ducky's here said...

Pat Robertson keeping it classy
-----------------

On the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club” today, after a lengthy interview with a missionary who talked about helping the victims earthquake in Haiti, Rev. Pat Robertson had some interesting thoughts as to why the earthquake struck the impoverished nation:

"And you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it.

“They were under the heel of the French, uh, you know Napoleon the 3rd and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the Devil.

“They said, 'We will serve you if you'll get us free from the French.'

“True story.

“And so the Devil said, 'Okay, it's a deal.’

“And, uh, they kicked the French out, you know, with Haitians revolted and got themselves free.

“But ever since they have been cursed by, by one thing after another, desperately poor.

“That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti on the other side is the Dominican Republican.

“Dominican Republic is, is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etcetera.

“Haiti is in desperate poverty.

“Same island.

Z said...

excellent and very sad hypothesis, Ducky.
There truly are people who believe in the Bible, believe what it says, and believe in Satan, Ducky....
Didn't think anybody would have to tell you that, but it's true...believe me.
While that island is approx 90% Catholic, there is Voodoo there, too, from what I've understood in the past.
Fascinating the juxtaposition of Haiti and the Dom. Republic...rather like Jewish God-proteced Israel and Islamic Palestine, n'est-ce pas?

Elmers Brother said...

ah yes duhkkky now assumes bringing up Pat Robertson means he can paint every Christian as uncompassionate boobs.

Repent Duhkkky.

Elmers Brother said...

God also created natural laws and a perfect earth. This wasn't God's fault as much as our original dismissal of Him in the garden.

beamish said...

At least Clinton's "restored democracy" thug Aristide was removed from office by the US Marines under Bush.

Disaster relief might actually reach the Haitian people, AND nobody will wear flaming gasoline tire necklaces.

Thanks Bush!

shoprat said...

Ducky and Voltaire operate(d) under the same mistaken assumption and that is that the world is operating now as God intended. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is not the world that God intended but such a world is coming. God now needs to let evil, and its consequences, run its course in order to fulfill His purpose but that won't last forever.

Ducky's here said...

That's right elmo, plate tectonics are a result of original sin.

Fascinating.

cube said...

My eldest daughter, who attended Catholic school from Kindergarten through high school, asked me what kind of a God would let this horrible thing happen to his people. I admit I was at a loss to explain this to her beyond the explanation that this isn't the world God envisioned for us. It didn't sound convincing even to me. Maybe someone out there can help me with this?

Elmers Brother said...

That's right elmo, plate tectonics are a result of original sin.

Please duhkkky read the Bible, and try to get past the Beatitudes this time. Then you'd understand that even the earth is in labor pains because of our original sin.

Elmers Brother said...

cube I recommend Lee Strobel's book the case for a Creator and the Case for Christ. He makes an excellent argument about how bad things happening actually point to a God.

C.S. Lewis also wrote a book about the Problem of Pain.

Elmers Brother said...

Admitting you have a problem is the first step duhkkky.

Faith said...

It's about sin, cube, ever since the Fall in Eden we're all under the curse of God -- until set free from it by faith in His Son who died to take the penalty for those who trust in Him, and even then not completely until the end of this world.

1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Otherwise, this is a sin-wracked, pain-wracked death-wracked world because of sin. God clearly says it is He who brings calamity on the earth because of sin, specifically in the books of Amos and Isaiah. Sometimes we can surmise something about the causes of a particular disaster, sometimes we can't, but in the case of Haiti their practice of Voodoo has to be a big part of it. The Old Testament makes clear that false idolatrous religions brought judgment against the peoples in those days.

Who says they are "His" people if they follow other gods and don't obey Him? Christians suffer in this world too, of course, but it's pretty clear that of all the nations on this earth, those with a predominantly Christian population have been comparatively blessed while pagan nations have continued to suffer terrible conditions.

Jen said...

Put your books away, Ducky.

Why do you fight the simple things so much? Why do you feel the need to complicate things?

eh. as if you'll answer.

Elmers Brother said...

It rains on both the righteous and the wicked.

Elmers Brother said...

I don't suppose to know God's mind and why this would happen to Haiti BUT in general the problem is because of our sin nature.

Elmers Brother said...

A fine world it would be if God hopped in and out of the natural order every five minutes to fix things to our liking.

Contemplating the causality of natural disasters is fool’s work. Better to focus on the evil we do to one another or repenting from our own sins.

This could happen for a lot of reasons.

a consequence of our own sin

Romans 1:24-32

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

2. the Biblical axiom that it rains on the righteous as well as the wicked should apply in most cases

God was specific when he passed judgement on peoples in the Bible...what we see in the hurricanes and other places are indiscriminate natural occurrences....or manmade disasters

Is God aware and does He allow these things? sure but it's the difference between His permissive will and His explicit will

3. think of Job....what did he do wrong?

God could be allowing these events to cause us as a people to turn to Him... it could be nature, it could be the result of our own sin or it could be like the famine in Egypt...it wasn't a judgement at all.

Elmers Brother said...

We should be careful of saying any disaster is a judgement.

Even if it is, it should not affect our compassion to those who suffer as a result.

In the Old Testament some disasters – the flood, the tower of Babel , Sodom and Gomorrah – are indeed a judgement from God. AND it was clear these were judgements from God. But many other disasters in the Bible – such as the famine in Egypt at the time of Joseph – are not seen as God’s judgement, just a natural event.


We cannot claim an easy explanation for each disaster. Instead we should seek God’s
purposes in each different situation. Look at Nehemiah, for example. He did not rush in to
build the walls of Jerusalem . First he asked God, ‘Where are you in all this? Why did this happen and what should we do?’ Do we really spend time with the people affected and think through together why this disaster has happened? In each situation we must ask God for his purpose in this event.

In Acts 16:16-40 the earthquake in Philippi offered an opportunity for Paul to share his beliefs – the jailer and his family were converted and Paul was freed the following day. In the New Testament, disaster often gave the Christians a chance to share with one another and with non-believers.

God is all-powerful and can bring good even out of the tragedy of a disaster, whether it was a judgement on sin or a natural event.

1 Kngs. 19.11-13-- On the surface of things it may seem that the destruction that Elijah witnesses is directly intended by God since it is God who is passing by according to vs. 11, but then the text says "then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart...but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there as an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a conflagration, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper/light breeze/ or some render it still small voice." At the very least, this text tells us that God's will cannot be determined just by observing natural phenomena. But the text even says that God was not "in" these phenomena, which is saying more than just his will cannot be discerned in such events. It suggests that while nature reacts when its Maker comes down in theophany, God is not engendering these things in such a fashion that we could call them intelligible acts of God.

Elmers Brother said...

When Jesus is asked in Jn. 9 if the man born blind is that way because either he or his parents sinned the answer is no, but that God will use this malady to reveal his grace and glory. In other words, one cannot always correlate sickness or physical deformity and sin. Sometimes the most robust sinners are also the ones most robustly healthy. Sometimes great saints like Blaise Pascal die early deaths due to the ravages of a deformed and sickly body. There is no infallible spiritual logic to be deduced by analyzing who is sick or handicapped and who is not.

When Jesus is asked about a human tragedy or disaster, in this case the falling down of the tower of Siloam on unsuspecting and undeserving victims (Lk. 13.4-5), and whether the victims were worse sinners than others, his answer is a flat NO! In fact he had just said in Lk. 13.1-2 that the Galileans who were victims of deliberate human maliciousness of Pilate could not be said to be 'getting what they deserve', for Jesus insists they were not worse sinners than all the others in Galilee. In short there is no one-to-one correlation that can be drawn between sickness, natural disaster, human accident, human maliciousness on the one hand and sin on the other. And it is repeatedly said in the Bible that God judges sin.

What then should we say to those who are suffering from hurricanes, or any of the other things that plague us quite unexpectedly? I would suggest that we be wise enough not to make snap judgments and glib pronouncements. Sometimes, but only sometimes, it is clear that human beings get themselves in a mess and are allowed to experience the natural consequences of their actions. Paul in Rom. 1 tells us that 'God's giving up the notorious sinners to their own wicked choices and the consequences of their actions' is indeed a form of the wrath of God against unrighteousness (see particularly Rom. 1.18-34, which even speaks of experiencing in one's own body the penalty for sexual immorality). But most of life's tragedy do not fall into this category, and hurricanes certainly do not. Most events are a bit less transparent than that when it comes to connections between sin and judgment or between disasters and the Judge of all human beings.

Elmers Brother said...

I think what Lee Strobel says is appropriate:

Human suffering came about because people abused their free will, not because God wanted to hurt us. God decided to give free will to men and women because this is the only way we can enjoy the highest value in the universe, which is love. Jesus said, “The first and greatest commandment” is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and the second is “Love your neighbor as yourself” (see Matt. 22:37–39). Without free will, we could never love, because in order to love we must have the choice not to love. If God had forced us to love, this would be akin to programming a robot to say, “I love you.” It could utter the words, but they would be meaningless because it has no choice but to say them.

“The classic defense of God against the problem of evil is that it’s not logically possible to have free will and no possibility of moral evil,” explains Kreeft, author of Making Sense Out of Suffering. “In other words, once God chose to create human beings with free will, then it was up to them, rather than to God, as to whether there was sin or not….It’s a self-contradiction — a meaningless nothing — to have a world where there’s real choice while at the same time no possibility of choosing evil. To ask why God didn’t create such a world is like asking why God didn’t create colorless color or round squares.”6

When Adam and Eve exercised their free will to disobey God, this opened the door for moral and natural evil to plague humankind. Moral evil is when we make the choice to be hateful, abusive, and selfish, thus bringing suffering to ourselves and others.

Again, we make this decision. People starve in some parts of the world, but the problem isn’t a shortage of food. Cliffe Knechtle points out that the world produces enough food for each person to consume 3,000 calories a day. The problem is that corrupt governments and selfish individuals don’t care enough to feed the hungry. “It is a cop-out to blame God for human irresponsibility,” he says.7

Knechtle, who cut his apologetic teeth sparring with skeptical college students, observed that our hands can hold a gun that can inflict suffering or they can extend food to a hungry person. We make the choice; that is, we exercise our free will.8

Natural evil consists of earthquakes, tornadoes, droughts, and other disasters of nature that cause human suffering. Paul said, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Rom. 8:22).

How is this connected to the first decision to rebel against God? Knechtle explains, “When we human beings told God to shove off, he partially honored our request.” Nature was adversely affected. Genetic breakdown, disease, pain, and death became part of the human experience. “We are born into a world made chaotic and unfair by a humanity in revolt against its Creator,” Knechtle says.

Jen said...

I've never read Strobel's book ElBro, but this makes intuitive sense to me.

When my child died, I was angry at God. At first, I questioned how a loving God could "cause" such a thing. But this is the conclusion I came to. We live in an imperfect world. It's our current reality. Heaven is a different reality, untainted by death and pain.

I used to have a "why me?" attitude toward tragedy, now it's a "why not me?" attitude.

JM is right. We are so determined to maintain control over every little thing. The moment we surrender and let go of that...it's absolutely fantastic.

Faith said...

What you are saying, Elbro, I generally agree with, but I disagree with this facile notion of there being two different wills of God, one explicit and one permissive, that's been so popular over the last few decades. I guess that makes things feel better in a way, but God's will is God's will and it's just a hairsplitting nicety to try to make such a distinction. Yes, He listens to Satan at times, as in the case of Job -- but surely since God could say no to Satan, it's still God's own will making the decision -- and yes, sometimes there are other reasons than sin for a particular calamity, at least in the case of individuals (which I never discuss because I do think it's impossible to know in the case of individuals and even if we could it's none of our business. We're all born sinners). And yes, sometimes the wicked prosper too, and there are mysteries galore in all these things.

BUT God DOES say that it is HE who brings evil/calamity on this earth -- that's in Isaiah -- chaps 42 - 46 somewhere in there, I've been going nuts trying to find it because the Concordance is geared to the King James and I'm probably remembering it in some other translation -- fie on all the new translations! -- and in Amos 3:6: shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Elmers Brother said...

I think another example of God's perfect will verses permissive will might be divorce.

He hates divorce (Malachi) but allowed it.

His perfect will is that none divorce but His permissive will allows for it.

That doesn't change the fact that God is sovereign or somehow NOT in control.

As for the reasons as I've tried to indicate I won't presuppose to know God's mind. The Bible seems clear that some instances of natural disasters were judgements and some were not. Does that negate God's sovereingty? To the contrary, it reveals that His creation suffers the consequences of our sin too.

Anonymous said...

Ducky always clears things up ... eventually. Now he exposes himself as an avid fan of Club 700 into the devilish history of Pat Robertson and Haiti. Waht else is new?

Next I expect Ducky will be exposing himself as an avid supporter of Pope Benedict and his support for World Government and enforcement of world health and breath control by the friendly world despots and assorted tyrants at the United Nations.

Here's a news flash for YOU Ducky: The fish rots from the head first — and the fish head is definitely rotting, as we speak.

Waylon

Z said...

Elbro....this is good, too "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill, but time and chance happeneth to them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11"

WAYLON, Ducky identifies himself here as a Catholic. I don't know how he feels about that, the Pope, or Christianity, though, except he absolutely seems to loathe any Christian who's NOT Catholic.

David Wyatt said...

I do pray for these people. I cannot imagine the horrific hurt they must be experiencing.

As for the problem of evil, no doubt we'll not solve it here, in fact, we don't need to, our wonderful Savior has already done that work on the cross, with the death He died for us. He could righteously have let us go on our miserable way to eternal darkness due to our sin, but in love to our souls He gave us the opportunity to trust Him & have undeserved eternal life. He said it best: "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." But then, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." That's whoever, no matter how eveil our deeds, if we'll confess our need for Him & believe in Him, He will save whosoever. Even me. If y'all knew me like I know myself, you'd probably kick me off this blog for good & rightly so, but He has saved even me. Prasie His Name!

psi bond said...

What a terrible thing to play the usual political games with! Yet I am not surprised.

At a time like this, we should forget politics and contribute.

I contributed online to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

Z said...

David, I mentioned your blog title to a dear friend today because she told me there's a hymn of that title..is that where you got it?
thanks for your input..

thanks for ALL your excellent input, everyone...great conversation.

Anonymous said...

Look people. Let's face the facts. Haiti didn't need an earthquake to demonstrate how utterly incompetent, fragile and useless their government, infrastructure and country is.

We could relocate all 8 million Haitians to Arizona, Texas, New York or the Dominican Republic ( right next door ) or even to Guantanamo...spend trillions, gazillions to rebuild their entire 5th world shit hole from scratch....then send them all back to Haiti with new roads, sewers, electric grids, roads, housing, airports, government, fuel, cars ( a used Corolla for everyone one of them )...new forests ( only 2% remain )..and within one year...it'd still return to a 6th world shithole!!!

We've ( the US ) has been spending billions of dollars to show them how to shovel their own crap for the last 50 years...and guess what...We still need to send in "missionaries" to show them how to use a freakin' shovel!!

These dopes still look in awe at a wheel barrow for chris sakes! Why is it that we...instead of the French ( let's say like we did in Vietnam ) have to bail out these utterly hopeless, unteachable, moronic people, how to stand up for themselves, dig their own ditches, rebuild their own country, take charge of their lives and future...rather that relying on the white man to always bail them out of whatever predicament they can't comprehend or deal with?

PC? Tough sheet. It's the Bell Curve at work.A Proven, fact that these people cannot deal with freedom, prosperity, or an idea that we've mastered for 233 years...against their 200 + years of..."
INDEPENDENCE and FREEDOM!

Haiti...will always be the same....why is it up to us....the US when the rest of the world...knows what we already know? Haiti...is a wasteland and always will be.

Z said...

Anonymous, I must admit that your comment somewhat rankles me because these are human beings and I think most of us figure we need to help all we can, but I'm leaving it for further discussion. That tons of our dough will be going there when we have SUCH abject poverty still here in the States is another subject and one I wouldn't mind seeing a discussion on, either...

We have a reputation for helping here in the States......I wouldn't like to see that stop, but I SURE do agree with Obama (HELP!) in that they should get INTERNATIONAL HELP, too.
God bless.

Faith said...

The Haitians need Christ, not infrastructure, not money -- with Christ they'll learn to do all that themselves. That's how it has always worked in the West. They need to see the folly of Voodoo and throw it out the way the first Christians threw out their demonic idolatries and sorceries. Then they'll have a chance and not otherwise. It's ONLY missionaries of Christ who CAN help them.

Faith said...

I don't think God can be made responsible, either explicitly or permissively, for sin, which is what divorce is, Elbro. That's a different subject completely.

I'm not going to argue this further except to say how sad it is when people know the Bible but don't understand God's mind.

Elmers Brother said...

ok Faith. I'm not making Him responsible but there seems to be an exception with adultery.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous, I must admit that your comment somewhat rankles me because these are human beings"

Of course it "rankles" you. I too ( in my deepest recesses as a human being ) feel the same way. But the truth is what hurts most. And that the truth is irrefutable is what rankles anyone who reads my comments. It's simple...just look back over the past 50 years of Haiti...what have they ever contributed to the global society of man? Versus what they have received from civilized nations? You don't have to think hard about that. Because it's the same "contributions" that 99% of the majority of Black "nations" like Zimbawbe, Rhodesia, Liberia and South Africa to name a few...have contributed. Strife, war, genocide, starvation, disease and a constant disconnect with the 19th, 20th century and now the 21st.

How much more time do these "nations" need to join the society of man? How much longer must the world wait for these peoples to eschew the universal handout? Have they no pride? Have they no intellect? Have they no innate ability to govern themselves free of their own self imposed constraints? Must they always be the step children of the world?

I know for many...it's the guilt of having to face the truth...that all men...are not created equal. It's not "racism" in play...it's the sole evidence from these countries themselves... that proves day after day, year after year and decade after decade that they are utterly incapable of dealing with the hardships of life....enough to pick up their own shovels to help themselves. To disagree...means to me...that you...agree with me that they are indeed..."helpless"!

Elmers Brother said...

Faith if you'd like to discuss it futher I'd be happy to. just email Z and she can connect us. Lord Bless.

Elmers Brother said...

last thing I'll say, I promise.
Perhaps this distinction is what I'm trying to make.

....while we have the power and ability to disobey God’s commands, we do not have the right to do so.

Anonymous said...

"The Haitians need Christ, not infrastructure, not money -- with Christ they'll learn to do all that themselves"


It ain't Christ that'll build them roads, hospitals and housing..it's the US of A...that's who!

And they're already...88% Catholic....for what it's worth. And "voodoo" is a mix of Catholicism and African, tribal superstitions. Like idols and all that stuff?

Faith said...

And they're already...88% Catholic....for what it's worth. And "voodoo" is a mix of Catholicism and African, tribal superstitions. Like idols and all that stuff?

Well, they need to throw out the Catholicism too, in my opinion, but it's the voodoo that's the out and out sorcery. Unfortunately, true to their Vatican II overhaul, the Catholic church has more or less baptized it into the flock instead of denouncing it.

I'm not going to argue that there aren't some built-in differences between people groups but I do say that guided by the indwelling Christ the world has been revolutionized in the direction of civility and rationality and that's what the Haitians need too.

psi bond said...

Anonymous, to quote you quoting Shakespeare, "Brevity is the soul of wit." Civility and humanity help, too.

Faith, if, instead of sending doctors and other aid personnel, Obama had sent preachers to explain to the Haitians their collective sin, would you then praise the president for doing God's work?

beamish said...

::sigh::

"Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few" - Ecclesiastes 5:2

psi bond said...

Elmers Brother: ....while we have the power and ability to disobey God’s commands, we do not have the right to do so.

beamish: "Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few" -

I say unto thee, everyone has the right to decide for himself what is best, apart from what self-appointed religious authorities insist is God's mind.

David Wyatt said...

Thank you Z. yes, it is from the title of a great hymn by a great believer of the past, Philip Bliss. He died at 38 trying to save his wife from the flames of a wrecked train. They both perished in the flames, but as Hebrews 11:4 said of Abel, through his hymns, he being dead yet speaketh. A trunk that he was carrying of new hymns he was ariting was unscathed through the flames & recovered! OK, more info than you needed! God bless.

Faith said...

I'm happy that physical help is being sent, psi bond, that's only right in a disaster and I'm sorry if I conveyed any other impression.

I was trying to answer "Anonymous" who complained that in the long run that sort of aid doesn't get the Haitians out of their poverty, and I agree, but I think Christ IS a real solution to their social problems, starting with burning all their voodoo dolls and whatnot.

No, it's not Obama's job to send missionaries, that's God's job.

Elmers Brother said...

hands to man hearts to God

Faith said...

Elbro, I think I'm burnt out on the topic but I'm usually up for a discussion if someone wants to pursue it even if I don't see a direction for it at the moment.

Elmers Brother said...

Elbro, I think I'm burnt out on the topic but I'm usually up for a discussion if someone wants to pursue it even if I don't see a direction for it at the moment.

That's ok, I just thought if you felt like there were things you still wanted to share then we could continue and not carry on here.

I'm no theologian but I enjoy iron sharpening iron.

psi bond said...

Mischief all comes from much opening of the mouth.
-- Chinese proverb

I'm happy that physical help is being sent, psi bond, that's only right in a disaster and I'm sorry if I conveyed any other impression.

You conveyed a different impression when you said, "The Haitians need Christ, not infrastructure, not money."

I was trying to answer "Anonymous" who complained that in the long run that sort of aid doesn't get the Haitians out of their poverty, and I agree, but I think Christ IS a real solution to their social problems, starting with burning all their voodoo dolls and whatnot.

Burning voodoo dolls---isn't that something voodooists naturally do, without the urging of religious imperialists?

Prosperity theology that some evangelicals promote has come under fire from many rightwingers.

No, it's not Obama's job to send missionaries, that's God's job..

I'm relieved to see you say that, Faith. I'm sure God heard you.

psi bond said...

Elmers Brother: That's ok, I just thought if you felt like there were things you still wanted to share then we could continue and not carry on here.

I thought rightwingers favor transparency. I'm sure others would be interested.

Faith said...

Sorry, psi bond, perhaps I should have identified the person to whom I was posting, but it didn't seem necessary at the time. You have a knack for making the simplest statements into something else entirely.

"Not infrastructure and not money" was a direct response to Anonymous that wouldn't have conveyed anything BUT that if you were following the discussion. Infrastructure and money aren't an appropriate response to the immediate needs caused by a disaster so accusing me of denying such a response is really off the wall.

Infrastructure and money aren't what the Haitians need now OR overall. Right now they need rescue helpers, help clearing rubble, medical help, basic food, water and shelter. And it would be an added help if there are missionaries around to show them the way to Christ TOO.

Elmers Brother said...

it's not transparency it's common courtesy to Z didn't want to hijack her blog. besides I don't normally answer to trolls.

Elmers Brother said...

faith I sent you an email.

Z said...

not at all 'too much info', David..thanks for that story; so sad but amazing that the music survived the flames.

Faith and Elbro, thanks...I am enjoying your conversation and, unlike the Democrats, absolutely believe you two should go on about this subject here if you feel so inclined. Thanks for the interesting give/take.
Believers are always enriched by two other believers hashing it out...thanks.

Elmers Brother said...

thanks Z.

psi bond said...

Elmers Brother: it's not transparency it's common courtesy to Z didn't want to hijack her blog.

blogs are for free discussion. strict control can kill it. you honor Z by adding to the discussion.

psi bond said...

Sorry, psi bond, perhaps I should have identified the person to whom I was posting, but it didn't seem necessary at the time. You have a knack for making the simplest statements into something else entirely.

In a thread with many active posters, it always helps, Faith, to identify, somewhere in your post, whose unquoted remarks you're addressing. You have a knack of assuming that your words are unambiguous and mine mean exactly what you want them to mean.

"Not infrastructure and not money" was a direct response to Anonymous that wouldn't have conveyed anything BUT that if you were following the discussion. Infrastructure and money aren't an appropriate response to the immediate needs caused by a disaster so accusing me of denying such a response is really off the wall.

Some infrastructure---such as police, hospitals, and organized search and rescue---is an appropriate immediate response.

Infrastructure and money aren't what the Haitians need now OR overall. Right now they need rescue helpers, help clearing rubble, medical help, basic food, water and shelter. And it would be an added help if there are missionaries around to show them the way to Christ TOO.

Emergency management infrastructure and contributions of money are necessary to attend to their earthly needs effectively. I know that Pat Robertson said today that the Haitians made a deal with the Devil, but I don't think missionaries to show them the way to Christ are a critical need at this point in time; given that access is necessarily restricted, missionaries might even slow down the efforts of aid agencies.

psi bond said...

Exodus 22:18: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live (KJV).

Faith: They need to see the folly of Voodoo and throw it out the way the first Christians threw out their demonic idolatries and sorceries.

Throughout Christian history until the advent of the scientific revolution, Christians have usually put to death those members of the community they thought were sorcerers. In my humble view, that cannot be the way to throw out voodoo in Haiti or put an end to their traditional indigenous religious beliefs.

Faith said...

Acts 19:18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men. . . .

Jungle Mom said...

I came by to see what Ducky was up to. I see the issue has been covered by Elmer's Brother quite well, no need for me to add a thing.

psi bond said...

Haitian creole forms of Vodou [anglicized 'Voodoo'] exist in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, parts of Cuba, some of the out-islands of the Bahamas, the United States, and other places that Haitian immigrants dispersed to over the years....These and other African-diasporic religions such as Lukumi or Regla de Ocha (also known as Santería) in Cuba, Candomblé and Umbanda in Brazil, all religions that evolved among descendants of transplanted Africans in the Americas.
-- Wikipedia

European colonialism, followed by totalitarian regimes in West Africa, suppressed Vodun as well as other forms of the religion. However, because the Vodou deities are born to each African clan-group, and its clergy is central to maintaining the moral, social, and political order and ancestral foundation of its villagers, it proved to be impossible to eradicate the religion. Though permitted by Haiti's 1987 constitution, which recognizes religious equality, many books and films have sensationalized voodoo as black magic based on animal and human sacrifices to summon zombies and evil spirits.
-- Wikipedia

Haiti: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3%
note: roughly half of the population practices voodoo

-- CIA World FactBook, 2009

psi bond said...

Roman Catholicism was mixed into the Haitian Vodou religion to hide their "pagan" religion from their masters, who had forbidden them to practice it. There are no holy voodoo books "to burn before all men."

Ducky's here said...

No Jungle Mom, no need to add a thing. Your God killed over 100,000 people at random because someone went to confession or took communion or got down on her knees and spoke the rosary.

Go back to calling Roman Catholics idol worshipers and let me know when evangelicals disavow Robertson.

Elmers Brother said...

as usual duhkkky read none of the comments.

Ducky's here said...

excellent and very sad hypothesis, Ducky.
There truly are people who believe in the Bible, believe what it says, and believe in Satan, Ducky....
Didn't think anybody would have to tell you that, but it's true...believe me.
While that island is approx 90% Catholic, there is Voodoo there, too, from what I've understood in the past.
Fascinating the juxtaposition of Haiti and the Dom. Republic...rather like Jewish God-protected Israel and Islamic Palestine, n'est-ce pas?

----------------

Exactly what more needs to be read, Elmo?

Z said...

Ducky, sometimes it takes more than reading, it takes thinking.

I'm glad you bit the bait and reacted. I wouldn't dream of stopping whatever those islanders do with their beliefs. That's their choice, their right. Let them do Voodoo....I only mentioned it :-)

Do you honestly believe your insults and belittlements work here? You don't believe the Bible, that is FINE, how many times do I need to say that to you?
Just don't come here and argue what it says, it's silly. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can say that highly intelligent Christians haven't questioned themselves, TRUST ME ON THAT.
This is FAITH and it's a gift...and I'd never have believed or understood that 10 years ago, either. I just know it's a very great gift.

Ducky's here said...

God's running a protection racket funded by prayer ...... is that where your intelligence led you , z?

Nope, that isn't my God. Sometimes things just happen and we have to respond compassionately. God does not intentionally visit this kind of destruction on the poorest of the poor.

Faith said...

I know of people who have personally been attacked by the demon spirits of voodoo. It is a shamanistic religion that conjures with such spirits, as tribal religions of the world have always done. I've personally been attacked by demons myself, though not voodoo demons as far as I know. This is the sort of religion Christ came to save us all from. Our ancestors all practiced something like it. Your typical Wikipedia article of course knows nothing of such things.

In this discussion I haven't said their freedom to practice it should be curtailed (although I do believe that in the United States freedom of religion should never be extended to this sort of practice), what I've said is that Christ can save their society and they'll have to give up voodoo if they are ever to build a workable society above the poverty level, in answer to "Anonymous" who was saying he believes they are just naturally unable to build a society. Being in thrall to demon spirits is sufficient explanation for a society that can't rise above the most primitive conditions.

Elmers Brother said...

Nope, that isn't my God. Sometimes things just happen and we have to respond compassionately. God does not intentionally visit this kind of destruction on the poorest of the poor.

sorry duhkkky I just left a church meeting where we are planning what we can do to help those in Haiti

if you had read what I said

We should be careful of saying any disaster is a judgement. Not to mention it's foolish to attribute any disaster to a judegement from God.

what you missed is that I don't believe you can draw any conclusion that this is a judgement from God


Your God killed over 100,000 people at random because someone went to confession or took communion or got down on her knees and spoke the rosary.


what's rich about your comments is that YOU'RE the one who brings up Pat Robertson...no one ABSOLUTELY no one here mentions him because we don't follow, listen, read or care what he has to say and even if we did Robertson's (g)od is a piker compared to your gods (Stalin, Mao et al) so if anyone needs to do any repudiating it's you

Elmers Brother said...

Nope, that isn't my God. Sometimes things just happen and we have to respond compassionately. God does not intentionally visit this kind of destruction on the poorest of the poor.

you're right duhkkky because in God's scheme of things we ALL desereve to be judged. Hence the reason Christ came.

Elmers Brother said...

one of our friends said it best duhkkky

For those who try to imply that all Christians are lacking compassion because of Roberson's statement would be akin to saying all liberals are racist because of what Sen. Reid said about Obama the other day.

Elmers Brother said...

prayer.. a protection racket?

What? Catholics don't pray?

Faith said...

I just saw a news clip about Pat Robertson's comment about Haiti. From what I can gather from other online sources there's no evidence that Haiti "made a pact with the devil" but maybe Robertson has some reliable source -- he should reference it then.

I'm not a Robertson follower but I do object to the way the media are portraying his comment. They call him unChristian for it. Yet they have a Baptist preacher quoting Isaiah about how God brings calamity as well as blessing, even though that pastor seems to be trying to say God doesn't. Confusing.

NOTHING that happens happens without God, or what kind of God do we have? Can Satan do things apart from God? Boy would that make Satan powerful. Do you really want to think there might be such a powerful Satan? But where in the Bible is there any hint that "nature" is on its own either? Just because the reason for a calamity is not specifically given in scripture (the famine in Egypt) doesn't mean God isn't behind it -- Isaiah 45:7 SAYS it is God who brings calamity (yeah I finally found the verse), or as the King James has it:

Is 45:6-7 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

God is in charge of the hurricane and the earthquake and their effects or our prayers for His intervention at such times are meaningless. He will even do miracles of protection for those who pray for His help, as He did on 9/11 according to many stories, yet 9/11 was certainly judgment too. Or do you think Muslims are independent of God and can do as they please in this world?

There is nothing inconsistent about this view of God and taking care of people who have been devastated by disaster. In fact scripture COMMANDS us to care for the suffering. God WANTS us to pray for those under judgment. I quoted above the verses about His looking for some to stand in the gap on behalf of those under judgment, looking for intercessors on their behalf.

I don't know about a specific pact with the devil, but voodoo is just about the same thing. It can only hurt a people who practice it. Their shoddy infrastructure is one of the ways God's judgment can play out.

Why do people complain about this view of God? I guess they want a God who is nothing but nicey-niceness, but that kind of God is useless to us. That picture of God certainly doesn't draw people to Him either, except in the most shallow ways. If there's nothing to fear from God ("Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" -- that's in scripture too and don't tell me "fear" means something other than fear either -- it means knowing that sin flirts with painful consequences) then what's the motivation to seek His salvation? From what?

Another problem in all this is confusing nations with individuals. God is of course in charge of absolutely everything, the most minute event in life -- that's the point of scripture's telling us about His concern for the sparrow that falls -- but I NEVER EVER talk about individuals when I'm talking about judgments on nations. That's between individuals and God. We can't known the reasons in the case of individuals anyway, and scripture does say that some calamities are for His glory and not for judgment. However, in the big picture, ALL calamities are for His glory and for the good of those who trust Him as Romans 8:28 says:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I just got motivated to put this up because I saw that news clip, but I expect to come back when I have time and post some more on this subject.

Faith said...

Why mention it at all? Wouldn't it be better not to? What can anyone get out of being told that this or that devastation is God's judgment against them? We are to help them anyway of course, so why not just help and leave the explanation alone?

It was "Anonymous'" comment that Haiti is doomed to never being able to build up a functional society that got me going on this. He complained about throwing money at a problem that can't be solved that way. That's right, it can't be solved that way if we're talking about God's judgment, if there are causes for the disaster that are spiritual. Such as the practice of voodoo, a devil-worshiping religion.

Wouldn't it then be helpful if this were seriously considered to be a cause so that it could be addressed meaningfully and potentially effectively rather than by throwing money down a rathole and accomplishing nothing?

The reason for knowing that 9/11 was God's judgment was the same. If you attribute it to the Muslims or to blind fate then you have nothing you can do to avoid the next similar incident. If you think that fighting Muslims will solve the problem though it's not the real problem then you won't avoid then next similar incident that way either. You're at the mercy of raw events.

And we're going to be anyway apparently, because that's how 9/11 is generally explained by people. If the nation were to repent of our misdeeds that displease God, if we were to have national days of repentance and serious soul-searching THAT would go a long way to putting off future disasters. Yes, Katrina was also God's judgment. They come in many forms.

Seems elementary to me. Seems clearly based on scripture too. But I guess I'll have to produce my own evidence for that since Elbro has said so much against this view of it.

Z said...

Ducky, I don't resort to name calling but are you a freakin' IDIOT? HOw the HELL do you come UP with this crap? I have this odd picture of you and psi bond, frankly, trying desperately to think of bon mots which SORT OF respond to the subject but insult and obfuscate and twist as much as possible...
You said this "God's running a protection racket funded by prayer ...... is that where your intelligence led you , z?"

If you don't pray< FINE...How the HECK many times do I need to comment to you that NOBODY CARES what you base your beliefs on NOR what you believe. Yes, I KNOW you could be a Catholic who doesn't believe in prayer. You've id'd yourself as Catholic and you say the ABOVE? !! It's hilarious! You'd be the first, but FINE, what the hell do I CARE, DUCKY?
Honestly, you really can be such a freakin' ASSHAT....and so damned often.
Why "protection racket"? What a way to put it. All of us believers do believe that prayers can help us, "protect us". I personally don't believe that is a racket, Mr. Catholic.

There...oh, that did feel good :-)
GeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeZ

I've been gone ALL DAY and it bugged me some of it that I needed to add this to my blog:
I don't give a darn WHAT the Haitians believe, I don't care if they can't compete with Dom. Rep. as far as a thriving economy, etc....but they are GOD'S CHILDREN and they deserve help...they certainly don't deserve insults, especially NOW in the wake of this incredible tragedy.

There, I finally got home and commented ....thank you for your attention :-)

Elmers Brother said...

And we're going to be anyway apparently, because that's how 9/11 is generally explained by people. If the nation were to repent of our misdeeds that displease God, if we were to have national days of repentance and serious soul-searching THAT would go a long way to putting off future disasters. Yes, Katrina was also God's judgment. They come in many forms.

in the sense that we're all under God's judgement but God clearly gave specific warnings to places such as Sodom and Gomorrah. Was it specifically a judgement on our nation?

When and how did God tell you this?

Did God not create this world with natural laws and were not those things corrupted by the original sin?

When warm air and cool air collide does it not create a storm? Yes God controls those forces but is every storm a judgement?

I'll reiterate that the famine in Egypt, Jesus' example of the blind man and the falling tower seem to indicate there are other reasons that these things can happen.

Elmers Brother said...

Consider the illustration in Luke 13:1-5 where Jesus was told of a recent horrifying incident. The Roman governor Pilate had worshippers killed while they were offering sacrifices at the temple.

Perhaps the bearers of the story wanted Jesus to take a position on the injustice of Pilate's action. Jesus chose to make a more important point. He asked them: "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

In a general sense we all deserve what happened in Haiti.

Elmers Brother said...

We must not forget that all of us (even if we are never affected by
disaster) will one day be judged by God. Disasters can therefore act as a reminder to us of
the broken world in which we live and our need for a restored relationship with the
Creator.

Elmers Brother said...

I'm also wondering if you think that Haitians could have avoided this disaster by repenting? if so what percentage of the people would God consider enough to withhold his hand? 40% 50%?

or 9/11 for that matter?

psi bond said...

I seriously doubt, Faith, that sending off a pack of zealous American missionaries or preachers to show them the error of their traditional beliefs, in the wake of this natural, albeit biblical-scale catastrophe,would be received well by most Haitians. As one frequent rightwing poster here has said, though with a detectable air of disgust, "I wouldn't dream of stopping whatever those islanders do with their beliefs. That's their choice, their right." I agree with that opinion, but I have no disdain and the quality of my tolerance is not strained.

Unlike you, Faith, I can’t claim to have been attacked by demons, or even by demonic zealots, except on the blogosphere---but I fully support freedom of religion in Haiti, Santo Domingo, and the Bahamas, as well as in the U.S., and other places where voodoo is practiced. "Spirit possession plays an important role in Afro-Haitian religion, as it does in many other world religions," the Encyclopædia Britannica says. Although, 'shamanistic' and 'tribal' are evidently pejoratives in your usage, I think such religions deserve scholarly study, not obliteration from the earth.

Being in thrall to demon spirits is sufficient explanation for a society that can't rise above the most primitive conditions.

Sorry, I have to disagree with you and Pat Robertson on that: I know it is useful to believe that but I don't believe Haiti is cursed by God or the Devil. I think their society can be improved without recourse to missionaries harshly judging them, swearing not to let a “wonderful”disaster go to waste.

The Haitian people need to see now the generosity of the American people, not the inherent hostility of religious imperialism.

Faith said...

And we're going to be anyway apparently, because that's how 9/11 is generally explained by people. If the nation were to repent of our misdeeds that displease God, if we were to have national days of repentance and serious soul-searching THAT would go a long way to putting off future disasters. Yes, Katrina was also God's judgment. They come in many forms.

in the sense that we're all under God's judgement but God clearly gave specific warnings to places such as Sodom and Gomorrah. Was it specifically a judgement on our nation?


I believe so, yes. What other nation? I believe you can tell from the particulars that it was a very mild judgment, a warning in itself. He restrained the hit on the White House, He kept the hit on the Pentagon partial and I think the symbolism tells us something too -- our executive branch got "hit" later by an anti-constitutional Marxist, our military has been getting hit in public opinion.

God doesn't warn us any more the way He did in the Old Testament. We're to make use of His written word to understand His will. It doesn't take a special prophetic spirit to understand these things if you know his principles of judgment, which He does reveal to us in His word.

Good grief, Elbro, we're DUE for judgment. Think of where our laws have gone in the last half century. Think of the massive abortion industry just for starters, millions murdered every year UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF OUR GOVERNMENT. All kinds of sin can go on in a nation without its being the nation's fault, but when the nation specifically endorses it, THEN the whole nation is under judgment for it.

Amos 3:6-8 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?

God specifically says in that passage that He brings calamity (evil) to a city. Also that last verse, "who can but prophesy" I believe pretty much says we're SUPPOSED to know the mind of God and be able to speak it.

When and how did God tell you this?

See above. I started being aware of God's judgments soon after I became a Christian. I'm aware of them in my own life too. I knew it immediately about 9/11. I even woke up from a dream about refusing to fly in a plane the morning of 9/11. I do have prophetic moments. But in this case I only claim God's word for the basis of understanding.

Faith said...

Did God not create this world with natural laws and were not those things corrupted by the original sin?

I think most of what we experience of natural laws now are the result of original sin. The world is a very different place now than it was before the Flood.

But I don't see any reason to think God simply set natural laws in motion and stepped back from them. They operate in accord with spiritual laws and I'm sure you agree that He could stop or change the direction of any natural pattern if He willed to, and may in answer to prayer, and if you acknowledge that He can do that, then you are acknowledging that He has power over it all. What kind of weak God would He be who wasn't sovereign over all His creation? He counts the hairs on our heads, you can be sure He's in charge of the direction and magnitude of the hurricane and the earthquake.

When warm air and cool air collide does it not create a storm? Yes God controls those forces but is every storm a judgement?

No, most storms do no damage, many are in fact desirable. We on the desert sure needed that huge snow in December and the Sierra snowpack needed it for our water supply after a couple of drought years. He sends rain on just and unjust as a blessing to all.

I'll reiterate that the famine in Egypt, Jesus' example of the blind man and the falling tower seem to indicate there are other reasons that these things can happen.

I think that God's judgments in themselves have other reasons but they are still also judgments for sin. They do work to the good of those who love and trust Him for instance. Yet they are still his judgments.

And I'll reiterate that the famine in Egypt was simply not given an explanation, which isn't enough to say it wasn't judgment for sin. God gave Joseph wisdom in preventing it from being destructive but we ought to know from God's own revelation that He sends such things as judgments.

As for the falling tower, Jesus was not teaching about judgment against nations but against individuals and I am always only talking about judgment on nations. It is the Old Testament that spells out God's mind on these things, not the New.

Faith said...

Consider the illustration in Luke 13:1-5 where Jesus was told of a recent horrifying incident. The Roman governor Pilate had worshippers killed while they were offering sacrifices at the temple.

Perhaps the bearers of the story wanted Jesus to take a position on the injustice of Pilate's action. Jesus chose to make a more important point. He asked them: "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."


1) Again, he's talking about individuals, not nations.

2) He IS acknowledging by saying that if they don't repent they too will perish that this action was a judgment for sin.

3) But He wants them to know that it doesn't say anything about the degree of their sin, apparently to answer those who keep tallies, such as the Pharisees who tended to think themselves better than others.

Nor does any disaster that I've mentioned tell anything about the degree of sin of individuals. I wouldn't begin to guess. Scripture also says that God takes the lives of some in order to protect them from worse things in this world. These things are beyond our ability to judge. We're all born sinners, and if we're not in Christ God will deal with us individually according to His own judgment, which we cannot know about anyone, and usually not even about ourselves.

In a general sense we all deserve what happened in Haiti.

In a sense, but it would be foolish not to recognize that the US has been particularly blessed by God and Haiti has been particularly deprived, and "cursed" is probably not a bad word for it. We should be deeply thankful for our blessings as it was our ancestors who deserved them for us and we may no longer deserve them and worse may be coming to us too. We should do everything in our power to help the Haitians, for they are blind followers of sorceries and idolatries. Helping them physically is right, but it would be a great disservice to them to ignore their spiritual plight. We certainly could be in their position, any one of us. We aren't to condemn them but to lift them up however we can.

Faith said...

We must not forget that all of us (even if we are never affected by disaster) will one day be judged by God. Disasters can therefore act as a reminder to us of the broken world in which we live and our need for a restored relationship with the
Creator.


We are very blessed if we have this perspective on the situation -- but Christians won't be judged in the same sense that unbelievers will be because we have the blessed protection of Jesus' sacrifice paying for our sins and are not exposed to judgment for them as the rest of the world is. This makes missionary work top priority so that others might come to share in this blessing. What I would hope is that the Haitians and others would come to have this perspective.

Faith said...

I'm also wondering if you think that Haitians could have avoided this disaster by repenting?

Of course, but everything would be so different if they had that mindset it's unrealistic to wonder about it.

if so what percentage of the people would God consider enough to withhold his hand? 40% 50%?

Don't know. Not sure there's enough in scripture to indicate this. Relatively small numbers of fervent believers seem to work for God, however.

or 9/11 for that matter?

Don't know. But I think recognizing it as God's judgment is where we have to start. Denying it just leaves us open to more.

beamish said...

I don't know what Ducky's problem is, but I suspect it flows naturally from the all-too-common mistake of confusing and conflating Catholicism with Christianity.

Christianity is a 2000+ year old religion.

Catholicism is a 1700-ish year old religion.

Christianity believes man is saved and his sins forgiven through God's grace by faith in the death and ressurection of Jesus Christ, not works.

Catholicism believes man is saved and his sins forgiven through iterations and reiterations of rote rituals invoking an ever-growing number of "saints" and pagan deities canonized as such, like the Celtic fire goddess Brigid (now Ste. Brigid), the Roman god of wine (now St. Bacchus) and the current effort to "canonize" rocks as saints fron the animist religions of eastern Africa.

Christianity is a continuation of a monotheistic belief system with roots in Hillel school Judaism and the disciples of Jesus Christ in the early 1st Century.

Catholicism is a continuation of the syncretic adoption of various deities by the polytheistic Roman Empire which now includes figures from Christianity as well.

Christianity believes its faith is led by Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.

Catholicism believes its faith is led by a vicarious replacement of the God-Emperor of the polytheistic Roman Empire wearing the fish-head shaped hat of the ancient Philistine deity known as Dagon.

Christianity believes (from the book of Jeremiah) that worship of Astoreth - "the queen of heaven" will visit great financial ruin and violence upon a nation.

Catholic majority nations, those that actively worship Astoreth in the form of Mary as "Queen of Heaven" are a who's who of the most financially destitute, violent nations on Earth.

Christianity is not Catholicism, and never was.

..........

Now, I don't care what you believe. You can be Christian, Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, or even Obamaist. Doesn't matter to me.

Possibly 500,000 people were killed in the earthquake that struck Haiti.

That's a lot of suddenly orphaned children.

Do what your heart calls you to do.

Faith said...

From one of your posts above:

A fine world it would be if God hopped in and out of the natural order every five minutes to fix things to our liking.

I certainly don't have any such idea about how God operates and I don't know anyone who does. Do you? He's never "out" of it anyway.

"Contemplating the causality of natural disasters is fool’s work. Better to focus on the evil we do to one another or repenting from our own sins. "

The point, or at least the best outcome, of contemplating these things is in order to become AWARE of our sins and know what we are to repent OF.

This could happen for a lot of reasons.

a consequence of our own sin

Romans 1:24-32

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.


Yes, and how could this consequence be anything but a judgment against the sinner? Leaving us to sin is also a judgment against us.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.


Again, being given over to sin is certainly judgment.

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z said...

Beamish said "That's a lot of suddenly orphaned children.
Do what your heart calls you to do."

Amen.

By the way..the great thing is that missionaries there and on the way IMMEDIATELY, are showing the love of Christ that way......They were the first ones in and will be the last out. God bless them all, risking cholera and other diseases just to HELP.
I strongly doubt if they'll be doing much else than HELPING.....their love will be seen through ACTIONS.. faith will be absorbed and appreciated and possibly it will change lives for the better through example, modeling....that's the best way.

Faith said...

Exactly, Z, the missionaries are doing the work of rescue and aid of all sorts. Psi bond is just making up whatever makes Chrstians look ugliest to himself.

Faith said...

Elbro post continued:

2. the Biblical axiom that it rains on the righteous as well as the wicked should apply in most cases

Rain is not a judgment, it's a blessing. God is saying He's good to the unrighteous as well as the righteous. "Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect" refers to being kind to those who vilify us and blessing our enemies and so on.

God was specific when he passed judgement on peoples in the Bible...what we see in the hurricanes and other places are indiscriminate natural occurrences....or manmade disasters

God was pretty specific in the case of Haiti. The Dominican Republic was completely undamaged. But what about the drought and subsequent famine that Elijah called for? How specific are you thinking of God being? Just as in the case of the famine in Egypt when Joseph was there, this would have affected the entire region, not just Israel.

Is God aware and does He allow these things? sure but it's the difference between His permissive will and His explicit will

I'll have to try to find a good commentary about this idea. I've always hated it myself. Either God is in charge or something or someone else is. However, it is true that God hates bringing judgment against people. This is said clearly in scripture And He is very concerned that His people help out and pray for those who are suffering in judgment.

3. think of Job....what did he do wrong?

Good point since Job was said to be a righteous man. But nobody, not even job, is PERFECTLY righteous. We're ALL sinners. However, I want to look up some commentaries on this. Please remind me if I forget.

God could be allowing these events to cause us as a people to turn to Him... it could be nature, it could be the result of our own sin or it could be like the famine in Egypt...it wasn't a judgement at all.

The best outcome WOULD be causing people to turn to Him and to think about our own sins, but that doesn't prevent it from being judgment in the first place. We SHOULD start with our own sins. In the case of 9/11 it is too easy to think of national sins brought about by others, but we've been complicit in many and we should pray for understanding about this.

Faith said...

Here's something by Jonathan Edwards on God's sovereignty. A quote from it:

It is unworthy of the Governor of the world to leave things to chance; it belongs to him to govern all things by wisdom. — And as God has wisdom to qualify him to be sovereign, so he has power also to enable him to execute the determinations of wisdom. And he is essentially and invariably holy and righteous, and infinitely good; whereby he is qualified to govern the world in the best manner. — Therefore, when he acts as sovereign of the world, it is fit that we should be still and willingly submit, and in no wise oppose his having the glory of his sovereignty; but should in a sense of his worthiness, cheerfully ascribe it to him, and say, “Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever;” and say with those in Rev. 5:13, “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be to him that sitteth upon the throne.”


And here is Arthur Pink's famous book "The Sovereignty of God"

A chapter on Reprobation (damnation)

He discusses the problem of how to reconcile God's sovereignty with human freedom of will in this chapter

psi bond said...

When the missionaries came to Africa, they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.

-- Desmond Tutu

Over the centuries, the Haitians have had a lot of experience with missionaries telling them their traditional beliefs are sinful and wicked.

psi bond said...

I have seen the latest reports from Haiti---I won’t believe any god responsible for this is benevolent.

Faith said...

He's NOT the benevolet daddy God so many try to make of Him.

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

Faith said...

Over the centuries, the Haitians have had a lot of experience with missionaries telling them their traditional beliefs are sinful and wicked.

Too bad they didn't take it to heart.

beamish said...

Psibond,

I have seen the latest reports from Haiti---I won’t believe any god responsible for this is benevolent.

That's good. Grand, even.

I don't believe any god is responsible for the Haitian earthquake, benevolent or otherwise.

Of all the judgements brought by God depicted in the Bible, none of them came without warning.

Port-au-Prince could have been the most pious and righteous Christian city on Earth and still would have been struck by an earthquake. It's built upon a fault line.

The most righteous and pure person in the world can still bash their thumb with a hammer.

I personally believe those that are pointing to the Haitian earthquake as an example of "God's wrath" are just as mendacious as atheists that point to the Haiti earthquake as an example of the absence of a benevolent God.

The truth is there is a nation that was already suffering economically before the earthquake that may have suddenly lost 5% of its population, and further, it likely lost a huge portion of the population that drove the majority portion of Haiti's economy.

Now is not the time, nor will it ever be the time for "that's what they get for pissing God off" or "see there really is no God" type arguments.

Help the survivors, or get the fuck out of the way.

beamish said...

Faith,

"Too bad they didn't take it to heart."

That's sick.

psi bond said...

Faith: He's NOT the benevolet daddy God so many try to make of Him..

It is not a benevolent god by any sensible definition, whether or not it is the Father that evangelicals make of him.

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

It would be a fearful thing if this were a coordinated series of terrorist attacks.

Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

If it were a man-caused disaster, the evildoers would be hunted to the ends of the earth and beyond, and catching them would be the beginning of justice.

psi bond said...

psi bond: Over the centuries, the Haitians have had a lot of experience with missionaries telling them their traditional beliefs are sinful and wicked.

Faith: Too bad they didn't take it to heart.

Yeah, it's too bad they wouldn't listen to the benevolent daddy missionaries from up north.

Furthermore, it’s really too bad, Faith, that the Haitians dying in the streets can’t read your scornful, supercilious rejoinder here.

psi bond said...

I have seen the latest reports from Haiti---I won’t believe any god responsible for this is benevolent.

beamish: That's good. Grand, even..

It’s grand that you like it, but I don’t care whether you approve.

I don't believe any god is responsible for the Haitian earthquake, benevolent or otherwise.

I don’t either.

Of all the judgements brought by God depicted in the Bible, none of them came without warning.

That’s debatable. Nonetheless, it is an insignificant assertion since, unlike Pat Robertson and some zealots who post here, I don’t believe the earthquake in Haiti was divine retribution.

Port-au-Prince could have been the most pious and righteous Christian city on Earth and still would have been struck by an earthquake. It's built upon a fault line.

That’s an unprovable proposition. However, lots of localities are built on geological fault lines, including many in California.

The most righteous and pure person in the world can still bash their thumb with a hammer.

Thanks, that’s nice to know. As they say, bad things happen to good people. As many may know, theodicy is the branch of theology devoted to finding answers to that paradox.

I personally believe those that are pointing to the Haitian earthquake as an example of "God's wrath" are just as mendacious as atheists that point to the Haiti earthquake as an example of the absence of a benevolent God.

Unless it’s meant to be a political slam rather than an assertion of fact, I personally believe ‘mendacious’ is the wrong word choice in this context. I would say the religious zealots and the atheists are both ignorant of what the truth is. I do not say there is no god; that is more than I can know. I merely say that if a god caused this, I know that he cannot be benevolent.

The truth is there is a nation that was already suffering economically before the earthquake that may have suddenly lost 5% of its population, and further, it likely lost a huge portion of the population that drove the majority portion of Haiti's economy.

That is self-evident. However, the economy had been improving, according to some reports.

Now is not the time, nor will it ever be the time for "that's what they get for pissing God off" or "see there really is no God" type arguments.

I make neither argument and endorse neither. If you think you are talking to me by declaring thus, you are wholly mistaken.

Help the survivors, or get the fuck out of the way.

That’s the essence of what I said two days ago in this thread, but without the foul language. It seems that, in this forum, it takes a rightwinger saying that for Z to endorse it and echo it.

Faith said...

Well, out come the self-righteous now. Sick, huh, to make the observation that the missionaries were teaching the truth, that voodoo is evil and weakens Haitian society? Can you quote scripture on that point, beamish?

Port-au-Prince could have been the most pious and righteous Christian city on Earth and still would have been struck by an earthquake. It's built upon a fault line.

So sorry, but you are naive about how these things work. The fault line is only the secondary cause and need never have given way as it did. But it wasn't the earthquake that caused such devastation, anyway, it was the lack of building standards in Haiti.

The most righteous and pure person in the world can still bash their thumb with a hammer.

How do you know that? Can you produce an example of a bona fide most righteous person who did so?

Well, you are willing to contradict the Bible and accept the anti-Christian evolutionist assumption that there was death before Adam and Eve so I guess I shouldn't wonder at this display of scriptural obtuseness either.

Faith said...

I'm going to say one more thing and you can blast me again and then I'm gone.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Aid workers hoping to distribute food, water and other supplies to a shattered Port-au-Prince are warning their efforts may need more security Friday as Haitians grow increasingly desperate and impatient for help. Hundreds of U.S. paratroopers arrived overnight to back up the relief effort.

Hard-pressed government workers, meanwhile, were burying thousands of bodies in mass graves. The Red Cross estimates 45,000 to 50,000 people were killed in Tuesday's cataclysmic earthquake.

More and more Friday, the focus fell on the daunting challenge of getting food and water to millions of survivors. United Nations peacekeepers patrolling the capital said people's anger is rising that aid hasn't been distributed quickly, and the Brazilian military warned aid convoys to add security to guard against looting.

"Unfortunately, they're slowly getting more angry and impatient," said David Wimhurst, spokesman for the Brazilian-commanded U.N. peacekeeping mission. "I fear, we're all aware that the situation is getting more tense as the poorest people who need so much are waiting for deliveries. I think tempers might be frayed."


This kind of behavior is disgusting. People are knocking themselves out to get aid to them under very difficult circumstances and they are "impatient?" and "angry" because it isn't getting to them fast enough? Where did people starting getting such a sense of entitlement anyway?

Z said...

Beamish said:
"Help the survivors, or get the fuck out of the way."

Disregarding the language, who doesn't think we should just concentrate on helping the survivors?
Psi Bond, you said "That’s the essence of what I said two days ago in this thread, but without the foul language. It seems that, in this forum, it takes a rightwinger saying that for Z to endorse it and echo it."

REALLY? I can't just say it in different ways, I have to CITE YOU? REALLY? NOBODY here suggests action not be taken and that anything in the way should be stopped.

Ducky's here said...

Haiti today

Sure Beamish, just like that. In a country with no communications infrastructure, no effective transportation system, no standing hospitals, no power generation or sanitation ... just like that.

And I'm sure you'll feel better for a bit and convince yourself that you are not part of the Pat Robertson crowd. People like "Faith" (what a non sequitor) who is complaining that after this abject devastation the pickaninnies aren't being patient. I remember this type of lie from the right during Katrina, just waiting for a chance to dump on the folk who found out they weren't among the elect.

Z said...

CNN originally reported that little boy's mother was killed nearby him...I'm so happy that was wrong.

Ducky, you say "Faith"'s avatar is a non sequitor when you claim to be a Catholic who thinks prayer is a 'racket'? I hate to be unkind, but WHAT?

Look, ALL but ONE commenter here thinks we need to be in Haiti NOW and we are.
I personally can't stand Obama but to have ANYBODY criticizing the treatment of this disaster is as horrid as what you people did to Bush with Katrina. The Left always feels there needs to be something in play NOW so IF SOMETHING HAPPENS we can get in YESTERDAY..more unrealistic silliness.
I thought it was sad the lefties didn't compliment the Midwesterners who, pretty much immediately after Katrina, had flooding that would make Noah's ark buoyed again but NOBODY complained about the gov't not helping, there wasn't widespread pillaging, there were people with their sleeves up helping THEMSELVES...of course, those are mostly Republicans, but........heck, even I'd think SOME liberals might aspire to that, wouldn't you?

well...I've got to run. Be back around 7 EST. BYEEE, everyone..see you

Z said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100115/ap_on_an/us_obama_haiti_analysis

I think that article's important reading...imagine the misinformation?
They got ONE thing right..the federal response was slow because of all levels of incompetency, particularly the one where Louisiana didn't go through the channels to ask the Exec branch to PLEASE HELP.


The Midwesterners didn't need that, of course, as their houses were floating down the streets.

beamish said...

Faith,

Well, out come the self-righteous now. Sick, huh, to make the observation that the missionaries were teaching the truth, that voodoo is evil and weakens Haitian society? Can you quote scripture on that point, beamish?

It is abundantly clear in the context of your theological remarks here that your "too bad they didn't take it to heart" comment implied that Haiti has suffered an earthquake as a matter of "God's wrath upon them" for their retention of a non-Christian religion.

If I've misread you, please tell me how. It seems to me you've been making a "that's what they get for pissing God off" argument.

If you need a scripture, you can go back to the one I quoted when I foresaw the direction this thread was going to take - Ecclesiastes 5:2

So sorry, but you are naive about how these things work. The fault line is only the secondary cause and need never have given way as it did. But it wasn't the earthquake that caused such devastation, anyway, it was the lack of building standards in Haiti.

I'm not naive. 7+ Richter magnitude scale earthquakes are as massively devastating as they are rare in occurance. An earthquake of 6.7 Richter magnitude can (and did, in Los Angeles in 1994) do significant damage to even buildings and infrastructure that are designed to withstand earthquakes. Obviously Haitian buildings are "not up to LA code" but even that is not due to Haiti's lack of faith. I'd point out building "sub-standard" buildings on a fault line is rather faithful, regardless of whether that faith is misplaced.

Well, you are willing to contradict the Bible and accept the anti-Christian evolutionist assumption that there was death before Adam and Eve so I guess I shouldn't wonder at this display of scriptural obtuseness either.

Well, I suppose it's possible God skinned animals to clothe Adam and Eve without killing said animals, but I wouldn't want to obtusely put your Bible knowledge in the dirt by pointing that out.

beamish said...

Faith,

This kind of behavior is disgusting. People are knocking themselves out to get aid to them under very difficult circumstances and they are "impatient?" and "angry" because it isn't getting to them fast enough? Where did people starting getting such a sense of entitlement anyway?

Oh I don't know. Probably the day the little ungrateful heathens and their economically limited sources of food, water, and medicine were suddenly buried by an earthquake they were totally unprepared for.

Have you no empathy? No compassion? No mercy? No love?

It is a desperate situation in Haiti right now. Help is indeed arriving as fast as it can, because of that desperate situation. People are panicked, and panicked people can become downright hostile.

Mocking their desperation isn't going to help them.

beamish said...

Ducky,

Sure Beamish, just like that. In a country with no communications infrastructure, no effective transportation system, no standing hospitals, no power generation or sanitation ... just like that.

It's not going to be an easy relief effort by any stretch of the imagination. In their favor is Haiti's proximity to the United States and our aicraft carrier fleets that are literally floating cities that can desalinate and purify drinking water on a massive scale, ferry food and medical supplies, and perform other humanitarian tasks that left-wing paradises like Cuba and Venezuela can't.

And I'm sure you'll feel better for a bit and convince yourself that you are not part of the Pat Robertson crowd. People like "Faith" (what a non sequitor) who is complaining that after this abject devastation the pickaninnies aren't being patient. I remember this type of lie from the right during Katrina, just waiting for a chance to dump on the folk who found out they weren't among the elect.

All I can say is f that noise. I know for a fact that churches in the St. Louis area alone raised more money for Indonesian tsunami relief than most of Europe combined.

You're going to see American exceptionalism in action, again, twit.

Get out of the way. There's work to do.

Faith said...

I thought you were one of those "theistic evolutionists" who argue that evolution was underway for millions of years before Adam and Eve came along. I certainly wasn't talking about the animal skins which came AFTER.

Take the rest of your sanctimonious evil-talking comments to Haiti and stay there where you can keep on patting yourself on the back for having the "correct" feelings.

Z said...

I thought I'd throw this little ditty in that a friend told me Corrie Ten boom said in a book (she paraphrased Ms Ten Boom)...

"God, you'd have a lot more friends if you were nicer to the ones you already have." It's SO non Scriptural and I don't agree with it at all on those grounds, but it DID crack me up mightily and I thought it sort of applied! :-)

beamish said...

I thought you were one of those "theistic evolutionists" who argue that evolution was underway for millions of years before Adam and Eve came along. I certainly wasn't talking about the animal skins which came AFTER.

You thought wrong. I've never argued "for" evolution, theistic or otherwise. I find evolution theory to be largely bunk and hand-waving away attacks on its central premise, that an organism gave birth to another, seperate, different species.

I believe in a phylogenetic forest, not a singular universal "tree of life."

I disagree with your asinine presumption that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. The Earth is billions of years old.

I believe in a Creator God. I would think that was fairly clear in our prior discussions. I do not, however, agree with your interpretation of creationism.

Take the rest of your sanctimonious evil-talking comments to Haiti and stay there where you can keep on patting yourself on the back for having the "correct" feelings.

Well God bless you on your oblivious journey to hell too.

[hint: Matthew 7:15-23]

Anonymous said...

Pillowneous said:

"Brevity is the soul of wit."

Smart man!

Z said...

Anonymous, if you are bothered by the length of the threads, you don't really, really need to be here. How many times are you going to be posting that same comment? Thanks for your interest, but, really....??

Seems like this Haitian nightmare echos Katrina in some ways...when people are hot, tired, scared, have lost loved ones and have no food and water, things get bad fast.
I hope and pray aids workers aren't hurt in this situation...
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100115/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cb_haiti_earthquake

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faith said...

Teresa of Avila said something similar, Z. The story is probably apocryphal but supposedly she fell into a pile of horse manure and said "Is this how you treat Your friends, God?"

Faith said...

Well, beamish, I really couldn't figure out what your position on the evolution debate was in our previous discussion with psi bond, so would you please clarify now: Did those billions of years precede the creation of Adam and Eve? Was there life in those billions of years or not? Was there death? How many years do you calculate since Adam and Eve? Or do you believe in Adam and Eve at all? Maybe a better question is How many years has the human race been around?

Thank you.

psi bond said...

Z: Psi Bond, you said "That’s the essence of what I said two days ago in this thread, but without the foul language. It seems that, in this forum, it takes a rightwinger saying that for Z to endorse it and echo it."

REALLY? I can't just say it in different ways, I have to CITE YOU? REALLY? NOBODY here suggests action not be taken and that anything in the way should be stopped
.

Z, it is neither a question of saying it in different ways nor of having to CITE me approvingly (God forbid!), as you reply for purposes of distraction from the facts.

You did not clearly state it any way until beamish graciously posted a similar sentiment, albeit as a misguided swipe at me.

Then you said on January 14, 2010 8:59 PM, "Beamish said ;That's a lot of suddenly orphaned children. Do what your heart calls you to do.' Amen."

Yes, amen, but let's not forget the parents in Haiti who are now childless,and those still buried in the rubble. And I sincerely hope what one's heart calls one to do is not merely to recite prayers that they will renounce their disapproved religious traditions in that country, which is almost wholly Christian, but to give generously, heedless of, as you wrote, "the tons of our dough [that] will be going there when we have SUCH abject poverty still here in the States," and heedless as well of the political points you could be scoring by excoriating the mainstream media for mistakes in reporting.

Not that I imagine that you remotely care what I hope, Z.

Faith said...

It is abundantly clear in the context of your theological remarks here that your "too bad they didn't take it to heart" comment implied that Haiti has suffered an earthquake as a matter of "God's wrath upon them" for their retention of a non-Christian religion.

If I've misread you, please tell me how. It seems to me you've been making a "that's what they get for pissing God off" argument.


You didn't misread me so much as you are casting it in the nastiest most evil possible light.

I think it's very strange that as a supposed Christian you would vilify the judgment of missionaries:

Over the centuries, the Haitians have had a lot of experience with missionaries telling them their traditional beliefs are sinful and wicked.

I answered that it's too bad they didn't take it to heart.

You don't think their traditional beliefs are sinful and wicked?

Or it only bothers you that I'm sorry they didn't accept what the missionaries said? There's something wrong with my being sorry about that? I am genuinely sorry for their sake. That's why I answered as I did. Psi bond insinuated there was something wrong with what the missionaries said so I supported the missionaries.

Now you come along and attack me for that.

I had their eternal salvation in mind more than their freedom from earthquakes, but both are relevant.

What good does it do to take care of people's temporal needs and utterly ignore their spiritual needs? Why are you siding with psi bond?

I don't know why I'm writing this since I know you can't see it any other way than you did. To you it's only compassion if I send money and don't mention the spiritual side of their situation.

I'm stunned by your attack on me, frankly. I expect it from psi bond.

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
psi bond said...

This is a letter to the editor of the New York Times from someone who evidently has a heart is in the right place. I think it is worth sharing here:

Last week I was in Haiti’s Central Plateau with a group of doctors and medical students providing health care for the impoverished under the guidance of Project Medishare, a Miami-based nonprofit.

The cases we saw reinforce what we read about Haiti: it is a country deeply mired in poverty and with a long and unfortunate history. We saw a child who was on the edge of death due to malnutrition, a woman who was blind because of a disease that could have been cured by a single dose of antibiotics and many others suffering from diseases that are simple to treat and virtually unheard of in the United States.

The side of Haiti you don’t hear about is that this is a nation richer than most in love, spirit and resilience. It is the warm nature of the people that draws anyone who visits Haiti back time and again.

After visiting one old woman at her small wooden hut, she insisted that we take a few grapefruits as a gift. As we left to hugs and thanks, I thought about how selfless this woman was as her grandson handed us her only things of value.

Despite the economic downturn, few of us in the United States are in as desperate a position as the Haitians. Let us all follow their example of love and charity and help with whatever we can, even if it’s only enough for them to buy a few pieces of fruit.

Christopher Cory Gibson
Salt Lake City, Jan. 13, 2010

___________________________________

Even if some of us may believe that working to counter the effects of this disaster is unsympathetic to God’s will, let us help, for that is the human thing to do.

psi bond said...

Happy new year!

Faith said...

NOBODY has said that "working to counter the effects of this disaster is unsympathetic to God's will" you liar.

psi bond said...

Faith: NOBODY has said that "working to counter the effects of this disaster is unsympathetic to God's will" you liar.

You are misreading me, Faith. NOBODY has said that anyone said "working to counter the effects of this disaster is unsympathetic to God's will.”

I said, “some of us may believe that.” It is based on the following premise: If someone builds a house by day, and someone else undoes it by night, it is logical to deduce that the latter person is unsympathetic to the will of the former.

Happy new year, Faith! Your tyrannical god is alive and well. Fear him.

beamish said...

Faith,

If I've misunderstood your remarks on Haiti, given the implicit and explict context of the discussion being centered around whether or not the earthquake was "God's judgement" and the Haitian failure to adopt Christianity being responsible for their lack of earthquake resistant building standards, then I'm sorry there's a "bad light" there. That's what I'm discerning from your remarks.

Certainly their eternal fate is of import. Certainly you may speak to them of it over food, water, and medical supplies or help others do so.

That's all I'm saying.

But I will add this:

Place yourself in a similar situation. You have no food, no water, no medicine, surrounded by dead and dying bodies and other survivors looking at the same, taking in the full scope of the tragic situation and realizing you're now in a full on competition with other desperate people for survival while waiting for hope to come from the outside world.

Do you, imagining that, want to hear about the outside world essentially voting whether or not to help you? Are you patient for it?

No sense of entitlement to human decency and dignity? None?

Disaster assistance and rationing reveal the ugly truth about centrally planned economies. How evil it would be to live like that, forever.

These people need help helping themselves.

Wagging the finger with shoulds, coulds, woulds doesn't clear the rubble and rebuild.

This isn't a question of us believing in God. This is a question of God believing in us.

Faith said...

Double liar.

Faith said...

NOBODY even BELIEVES it. Double liar.

psi bond said...

The Catholic Relief Services have long been active in Haiti and are doing good humanitarian work, as seen on CNN.

After this post makes it through comment moderation, please give generously when you read this.

psi bond said...

Faith: NOBODY even BELIEVES it. Double liar.

Just as I did not say that anyone said that, I did not say that anyone believes that. I said some may believe that.

Faith said...

Hair-splitting hypocrite liar.

Faith said...

If I've misunderstood your remarks on Haiti, given the implicit and explict context of the discussion being centered around whether or not the earthquake was "God's judgement" and the Haitian failure to adopt Christianity being responsible for their lack of earthquake resistant building standards, then I'm sorry there's a "bad light" there. That's what I'm discerning from your remarks.

Yeah, and to such an extent you don't mind denouncing me in the severest possible terms for your own way of "discerning" what I mean.

Sorry, it's nice you are sounding more ameliorative but there's still a problem here.

As I said you didn't so much misunderstand as you pulled a psi bond and cast what I said in the most evil possible light. That's a form of lying.

Certainly their eternal fate is of import. Certainly you may speak to them of it over food, water, and medical supplies or help others do so.

Well, thanks for that tiny token, finally.

That's all I'm saying.

No it isn't.

But I will add this:

Place yourself in a similar situation. You have no food, no water, no medicine, surrounded by dead and dying bodies and other survivors looking at the same, taking in the full scope of the tragic situation and realizing you're now in a full on competition with other desperate people for survival while waiting for hope to come from the outside world.

Do you, imagining that, want to hear about the outside world essentially voting whether or not to help you?


I HAVE NOT BEEN DOING ANYTHING REMOTELY LIKE "VOTING WHETHER OR NOT" THEY ARE TO BE HELPED. I'VE SAID OVER AND OVER THAT IS THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. But this discussion happened to get off on another subject and that's what I was pursuing. It is not addressed to the Haitians and I wouldn't say anything of the sort to them personally at this time. Good grief, consider the context.

Are you patient for it?

With a grasp of the situation and much prayer, yes. I'm a Christian. I put my neighbor before myself, I don't think in terms of "competition for survival," Jesus said not to save my own life. If there isn't enough to go around, I give it to my neighbor. And on that same basis I also support all the physical aid we can muster for these people.

Faith said...

continued.

No sense of entitlement to human decency and dignity? None?

Not as a Christian. I pray, I consider the people suffering around me, I don't worry about myself. God will take care of me.

But there was a time when most people, not just Christians, didn't insist on their rights under such horrendous circumstances as we see in Haiti, that have made getting the help to them so difficult. We aren't animals. But you and Ducky and psi bond read this as me being an elitist and putting myself above them as "pickaninnies" with the evil spin. No, it's an objective observation. People have lost humility and patience in our time, thanks I think to the influence of Marxism and its doctrines of entitlement. Much better off Americans have the same attitude nowadays though we never used to. It's ugly. But by all means let us do what we can, including praying, to make sure that help gets to the Haitians as soon as possible. As I've said all along.

Disaster assistance and rationing reveal the ugly truth about centrally planned economies. How evil it would be to live like that, forever.

Indeed. And your point is?

These people need help helping themselves.

Is that happening?

Wagging the finger with shoulds, coulds, woulds doesn't clear the rubble and rebuild.

Who on earth has been doing any such thing? Good grief, you're just reading all kinds of things into what I wrote.

Analyzing the spiritual cause of the problems isn't wagging the finger at anyone, it is spelling out HOW they might eventually be helped to help themselves. Ultimately an understanding of the cause should make it possible for THEM to learn to rebuild their own society. That's been my point. If the true causes are ignored they'll just go on being vulnerable to disaster and I see this as the work of the missionaries. But you don't even accept the spiritual causes as I see them. At the least you might try to be cautious in denouncing someone with a different point of view, but you are so self righteous about your own point of view you pull no punches. I still feel like punching you out, unChristian though that impulse is.

This isn't a question of us believing in God. This is a question of God believing in us.

That's a phony theological position from Robert Schuller the heretic, right? Or somebody in his camp. What does it have to do with anything going on in Haiti or in this discussion? Utterly meaningless. Blech.

psi bond said...

Faith: >Hair-splitting hypocrite liar

The factual truth is: I did not say anyone believes that or anyone said that.

psi bond said...

The Catholic Relief Services have long been active in Haiti and are doing good humanitarian work, as seen on CNN.

Assuming this post makes it through comment moderation, please give generously when you read it.

beamish said...

PsiBond,

Some may believe they have ichthyological ancestors. Others see cousins in chimpanzees.

I see survivors of an earthquake needing help and a bunch of people bickering about if God had anything to do with the carnage.

You believe the God of Christianity is tyrannical. I believe the God of Evolution is a bottom feeding fish. Yippie Skippy for beliefs.

Can't we at least agree that none of this has anything to do with helping Haiti recover from this tragedy, and further none of it will?

I know you've donated to charity over this tragedy. All of us probably have.

But ultimately, what's the point of trying to turn a tragedy into a theodicy debate?

Z said...

Beamish, you're so right.

psi bond...let me know when you have had a comment that didn't make it through moderation, okay?
You sound like Ducky crying that I've deleted him when I haven't.

Goodnight.

Faith said...

The "bickering" is not preventing anyone from offering the necessary help and commiseration. But your denunciation of the "bickering" is just a bunch of self-righteous holier-than-thou judgmentalness.

Faith said...

Even if some of us may believe that working to counter the effects of this disaster is unsympathetic to God’s will . . .

The factual truth is: I did not say anyone believes that or anyone said that.


Hair-splitting hypocritical devious sly insinuating niggling nitpicking quibbling pettifogging evasive sophistic liar.

Z said...

Faith, he knows that. It's the silliest and cruelest of conjectures; be glad you didn't think of it.

Faith said...

Aw, I was getting to enjoy plumbing the thesaurus for terms to describe his duplicity. But of course you are right.

psi bond said...

psi bond...let me know when you have had a comment that didn't make it through moderation, okay?
You sound like Ducky crying that I've deleted him when I haven't.


I don’t know what Ducky has been saying, but the post asking for donations to the Catholic Relief Services was my second attempt to pass it through comment moderation.

Z, is the appearance of everyone’s post being delayed now for one or more hours, or just mine? It hampers dialogue.

psi bond said...

Apparently, Z, you have turned off comment moderation. Thank God. You can rely on me not to use foul language or post gratuitous insults in lieu of discussion.

psi bond said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
psi bond said...

Faith: Hair-splitting hypocritical devious sly insinuating niggling nitpicking quibbling pettifogging evasive sophistic liar.

Although some here are determined to believe I am a liar, I have asserted nothing in the blogosphere that I knew to be false.

psi bond said...

Faith, would you honor someone who rescued thousands from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, regardless of their hospitality or sexual orientation? If your answer is an unambiguous yes, then, although there may be some here who believe countering the damage of a God-caused disaster is unsympathetic to God’s will, it is more likely that none here believe that.

psi bond said...

beamish: But ultimately, what's the point of trying to turn a tragedy into a theodicy debate?

Your naïve albeit irrelevant misunderstandings of evolution aside, I have not been debating the theodicy issues, (i.e., explanations relating to the existence of evil in God’s world) that were shaken up by the Haiti earthquake. You have me confused with someone else.

Faith said...

. . . disingenuous, calculating, plotting, cunning, tricky, masquerading, duplicitous, manipulating, crafty, sneaky, snaky, weasely, double-dealing liar.

psi bond said...

. . . disingenuous, calculating, plotting, cunning, tricky, masquerading, duplicitous, manipulating, crafty, sneaky, snaky, weasely, double-dealing liar.

Faith, are you projecting, exercising your thesaurus, exorcizing your hostility, or having a breakdown?

psi bond said...

Z: Faith, he knows that. It's the silliest and cruelest of conjectures; be glad you didn't think of it.

I can’t claim credit for it. I am sure you know that some Christians believe for religious reasons that it is wrong to interfere with an illness by allowing medical treatment. They believe illnesses are from God.

beamish said...

Faith,

The "bickering" is not preventing anyone from offering the necessary help and commiseration. But your denunciation of the "bickering" is just a bunch of self-righteous holier-than-thou judgmentalness.

Judgemental? That's rich from the "Haiti deserved an earthquake for pissing off God" pew.

I'm not "holier-than-thou." But it seems I'm no where near "shittier-than-thou."

beamish said...

PsiBond,

If you're not spoiling for theodicy arguments in the middle of a severe tragedy, then I suppose all your mocking tones to paint God as a tyrant should be addressed to God, and not to the comments page. Agree?

Mark said...

Z, Remember Hurricane Katrina? Why was that fiasco Bush's fault but no one's blaming the Haitian earthquake on Obama?

What is the difference?

Oh, right. Never mind.

Z said...

I have never met one Christian like that, psi bond. I have also never met a Christian who's killed an abortion doctor.
Christianity doesn't call for blanket killing of infidels....it also implies the brains we have to cure illnesses, etc., are from God.

Also, it does call for helping those who are in need, it calls us to help on our own volition as much as we can.

One Christian abortion doc killer gets so much more disdain and blanket agreement that he's terrible than any muslim who kills in our country, something which the leftwing goes into overdrive trying to either explain away as "Isolated extremist" (why aren't Christian sinners also considered that?) or to blame US for his extremism.
These are things I ask Americans to consider.

As for Haiti..it's the Christians who were there first. It might be a few at first, but they were there first and I personally know many who are going Monday, so you can imagine how many really are going...and their web sites opened up first for contributions.
"None are so blind as they who will not see"

Z said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/cb_haiti_earthquake

"Haitians praise God After Earthquake" is AP's title.

Yahoo changes it on their homepage to "SOME Haitians Praise God"

It's a little thing, I know.....Odd they'd ADD a word on their homepage line which is known for condensing for space sake.

Faith said...

I was happy to see that headline too, Z.

Faith said...

I just reread all my posts in this thread and I said nothing there that deserves beamish's attack on me, not to mention what came from psi bond and Ducky, but I expect it from them. Elbro had made some statements I disagree with. He offered to continue the discussion in email and maybe that would have been the better thing to do. Hard to know.

Z said...

Faith, I'm wondering if it's that you seem certain that this earthquake was God's will ...something we could never know.
I think to say that it COULD have been His will, that He certainly CAN do something like that, makes sense.

I think that the certitude might be hard to take and why you've had such a ribbing? Just a thought.

Elmers Brother said...

actually asserting that it's His JUDGEMENT on Haiti is the rub

Faith said...

Does my asserting it deserve that kind of foul-language denunciation?

I can't think of God as not in charge of absolutely everything, which I get from the Bible, there just is no "could" to it so there's no way to put it in a nonassertive way. He's God, He's the sovereign ruler, and all the waffling about it is just human weakness and wishfulness. So I guess I'll always be called sick and uncompassionate and evil for that and whatever else beamish said.

I could agree there are better times than others for discussing such a subject, but really, in my experience, if people refuse to accept that God brings calamity, as the Bible clearly says He does -- and surely we also know from scripture that He is a longsuffering, patient and merciful God who doesn't WANT to have to judge people, and isn't going to do such a thing for a frivolous reason! -- then there isn't ever going to be a good time. Pat Robertson is not my favorite preacher by a long shot but he's right about this sort of thing. It's so clear in the Bible and there are so many excellent commentaries that affirm it too, I'm always amazed at the rejection it gets.

I CERTAINLY never said ANYTHING crass as beamish put it about their "deserving" it. I said over and over that we are commanded to help people under such circumstances.

Well, I'll keep it to my own blogs then. People rip me up over there too for my biblical opinions, mostly about my "asinine" view (as beamish put it) that the earth is only 6000 years old and that evolution is a crock, so I might as well keep it all in one place.

Z said...

Faith, God is SOVEREIGN....who'd disagree who believes in God?

Let me ask you, however, in reference to your last comment; Did Jesus not WEEP when Lazarus died?

Faith said...

SAYING God is sovereign doesn't amount to belief that He is sovereign if you deny that He is the mover behind absolutely everything, but instead claim some things are chance or accident or nature or whatnot. What beamish and Elbro were describing is NOT a sovereign God.

Or they'll say He did it but for a frivolous reason like "to get our attention." Nobody wants to hear that God judges us I guess. But there is no other meaningful explanation for a disaster like what the Haitians are enduring.

God may indeed weep over the disaster in Haiti. Scripture is clear that He does not want to destroy people, but that justice requires it after much longsuffering on His part.

There is a compartmentalizing of these things that is wrong. BOTH are true. God judges, God weeps at having to judge. God judges, God wants us to help those suffering from judgment. God also wants us to warn people of judgment to come and explain the reasons so that they can be remedied.

Or am I not getting your question?

Z said...

the whole thing's making me dizzy and, anyway, I'm turning in early tonight.

Faith..I DO believe God is in control...so, I do see your points but we don't know with assurance that Haitians are being punished. If that's so, wouldn't God have started on LAS VEGAS or something!?

Faith said...

If we don't know with assurance that Haiti is being punished (I do not say "Haitians" because God deals with individuals individually) then there is no rational explanation for what they are going through. What? God couldn't have stopped the earthquake? What? God wanted to "get their attention?"

Nobody can know all the reasons for a particular judgment but all you have to know is a LITTLE bit about voodoo and its grip on the people to know one BIG reason for it. Voodoo is black witchcraft and most of the people follow it. You can find that out by googling it if you aren't familiar with it. It's an evil evil practice and the people need to be set free from it.

Apparently the sins of Vegas haven't yet reached "the fullness of time" for judgment. Haiti's been around a lot longer than Vegas.

Faith said...

This is an interestingly different take on how voodoo contributed to the disaster -- by encouraging a fatalistic attitude.

There's probably something to that, along with its demonic character.

Pastor Albert Mohler is quoted in it denying what Pat Robertson said. I've answered him at my blog.

beamish said...

Faith,

I think you ought to reread Job. There's several deep but subtle lessons there. I'll enumerate some of them:

1.) Job was a Gentile, not a Hebrew / Israelite. A righteous man loved by God despite not being born of Israel or participatory in their religious customs and rituals. After long feasts from his consderable wealth and bounty, with his family, Job made burnt offerings to God "just in case" he or any of his family has somehow transgressed against God. If you know anything about Old Testament doctrines and practices, you know even Job's ritual manner of worship and sacrifice wasn't "how the Hebrews did things." Job had faith in God, and that was enough! God even points this out to Satan. ("Have you considered my servant Job?") Job was considered by God to be the most righteous man on Earth in action and deed, glorifying God from a place outside the domain of any sort structured religious community with temples, prophets, or under the commandments upon the tribes of Israel. He may have never even heard of a Hebrew before (the story of Job is THAT old, handed down through the ages from a source likely originating in Central Asia)

2.) Bad things happened to Job AFTER God removed his protections from him, allowing Satan to bring calamity after calamity upon him to test his faith. His bounty of livestock were stolen, his servants were taken away into captivity, his lands taken, his home destroyed, his wife and his children killed, his body ravaged with painful boils. He too was mocked by his "friends." They probably said things to him like, "Curse God and die! Look at the judgement God has brought upon you, Job. Where's your loving God now, Job?" Job was beaten down in a bad way. He had every emotional and truly physical reason to wonder if all his faith in God was for naught. Despite his losses, despite his pain, despite having no connections to the "proper" religious community and surrounded by mockery and doubts, Job's faith in God ("I know my Redeemer lives!") never faltered. Not even once. Job's testimony of faith was so great the Jews include his story in their Scriptures despite Job not being a Jew. Job didn't blame God for his misfortunes and tragedies. He tore at himself in sackcloth and ashes wondering how he had brought these misfortunes upon himself. Job had faith enough to know this merciless assault upon him did not come from God.

beamish said...

[continued]

3.) Satan's goal was to show God that Job would turn his back upon God when times got bad, as so many of us do and have. To "prove God wrong" about his "most righteous man on Earth," that Job's faith would leave him. It was a gamble. Men have free will. Job had free will. But God had an ace up his sleeve. He knew Job's heart. Job, the man that was favored by God despite not even being part of the covenant with Israel. An outsider. God didn't bring judgement and tragedy upon Job (that was all Satan) nor did he make Job prove Satan wrong (that was all Job). Job's faith held, not even knowing that he was being used to defeat Satan, and not even knowing that the story of his triumph over hopelessness and evil would be a part of religious teachings thousands of years later, as a lesson in the holy books of organized religions that were quite likely alien to him.

That, my friend, is the faith of the most righteous man on Earth prevailing in tragedy and crisis.

4.) Aside all of this is perhaps the most subtle of the lessons from Job. After this testing crisis, God returned to Job double his lands, double his livestock, double his material wealth. But, God did not double his lost children or wife. Job remarried, and had more children raised with twice as much material wealth as before. Why did Job get twice as many livestock back, twice as many lands, double his fortunes, but not double his lost family on Earth? He did. Job's in heaven now, with twice as many children that were born to him on Earth.

This is because people are irreplaceable on Earth, but further, death is not their final outcome either. People are far more important, unique, and precious to God than livestock, lands, wealth, and even earthquake-proof homes.

The Book of Job is not the only parable in the Bible, and it's not the only parable that uses a character "outside the religion" to make a point (i.e. the "Good Samaritan" parable in the Gospels)

God is bigger than petty "bad stuff happens to people not of my religion" and "God is a tyrant" charlatanry.

Too often we all forget that.

beamish said...

Speaking of "people who too often forget that" - that article Faith links lamenting that the Haitian people's faith can't be practiced and worship done properly because their stained glass edifices lie in ruin is EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

The faith of a mustard seed can move mountains. The faith of a "minister" in Britain needs a tidier space to operate.

I'm glad I don't go to church. It's not the place to look for God.

psi bond said...

Z: Faith, I'm wondering if it's that you seem certain that this earthquake was God's will ...something we could never know.
I think to say that it COULD have been His will, that He certainly CAN do something like that, makes sense.

I think that the certitude might be hard to take and why you've had such a ribbing? Just a thought.


I’m wondering, Z, if what beamish thought was unconscionable is Faith’s foul suggestion that Haitians who are suffering from a sudden lack of food, water, and shelter, are not acting as perfect ladies and gentlemen, and well-bred kids.

psi bond said...

Z: I have never met one Christian like that, psi bond.

Neither have I, Z. Not having personal experience of them, however, is no proof that they don’t exist, or that their existence is insignificant to the question at issue. I have read about them in newspaper accounts of tragic stories, usually involving devout parents and their children. I’m sure you have, too.

The point you seek to obfuscate in this thread by irrelevantly rambling on about abortion doctor killers, Muslims, supposedly fair comparisons of Christianity and Islam, clamoring about who got there first (as if you can really know that), and God-knows-what-else---is the fact that some Christians believe it is irreverently countering God’s will to interfere (using modern methods) with what God is thought to have done. As you said, “It's the silliest and cruelest of conjectures, “ and happily it is. I think, a relatively rare one.

Nonetheless, personalizing it to the scope of your own experience can serve only as a high-handed tactic of dismissal.

There are none so blind as they who see only what is around them.

psi bond said...

beamish: If you're not spoiling for theodicy arguments in the middle of a severe tragedy, then I suppose all your mocking tones to paint God as a tyrant should be addressed to God, and not to the comments page. Agree?

I wasn’t all that mocking. I just said to Faith, “Your tyrannical god is alive and well. Fear him.” When I said that, especially the latter part, I could feel the beginning of wisdom tingling up my leg.

beamish said...

Faith,

If we don't know with assurance that Haiti is being punished (I do not say "Haitians" because God deals with individuals individually) then there is no rational explanation for what they are going through. What? God couldn't have stopped the earthquake? What? God wanted to "get their attention?"

There is no comfort in the rational explanation - Port-au-Prince's buildings and structures are built to withstand hurricanes more than magnitude 7 Richter scale earthquakes. An earthquake of that magnitude in Los Angeles would itself create a massive zone of devastation and death and ruin of their much lauded "earthquake-proof" infrastructure. A Richter scale 8 earthquake would reduce LA and everything within a hundred miles to rubble.

Don't fool yourself. Even if Haiti were as built up as sophisticated and I dare say as pridefully as the "modern world" of the United States, a 7 magnitude earthquake would see them in much the same situation they are in now, only with hundreds of thousands of tons of more rubble to clear.

There is nothing Haiti could have done to forestall this tragedy apart from not living atop a major fault line.

In this sense, "Haiti would have been a lot better off if they were more like us" is utter hogwash. Cynical, heartless, boastfully ignorant hogwash.

Nobody can know all the reasons for a particular judgment but all you have to know is a LITTLE bit about voodoo and its grip on the people to know one BIG reason for it. Voodoo is black witchcraft and most of the people follow it. You can find that out by googling it if you aren't familiar with it. It's an evil evil practice and the people need to be set free from it.

I think you owe me an apology for accusing me of mischaracterizing your remarks. You're as much as admitting here that you're saying that the Haitian earthquake is a "judgement from God because of their false religion." I didn't mischaracterize a damned thing. Ain't no sugar coating that turd.

And that is exactly what your pretentions to knowing the mind of God in this situation are. Utter crap. Self-righteous indignance and vehemence masquerading as piety.

Apparently the sins of Vegas haven't yet reached "the fullness of time" for judgment. Haiti's been around a lot longer than Vegas.

Oh yes, none of us are as abominable to God as Las Vegas.

::roll eyes::

beamish said...

PsiBond,

If you're not spoiling for theodicy arguments in the middle of a severe tragedy, then I suppose all your mocking tones to paint God as a tyrant should be addressed to God, and not to the comments page. Agree?

I wasn’t all that mocking.

It registered on the mock-o-meter.

I just said to Faith, “Your tyrannical god is alive and well. Fear him.” When I said that, especially the latter part, I could feel the beginning of wisdom tingling up my leg.

Perhaps Faith has a tyranical god. Christians don't.

beamish said...

PsiBond,

I’m wondering, Z, if what beamish thought was unconscionable is Faith’s foul suggestion that Haitians who are suffering from a sudden lack of food, water, and shelter, are not acting as perfect ladies and gentlemen, and well-bred kids.

I'm not the type of person that looks at San Francisco or the entire gay state of Masshachussetts and seeks an apology from God for Sodom and Gammorah.

I'm not the type of person that looks at Indonesian tsunamis and Haitian earthquakes and South Pacific volcanoes and sees an angry, vengeful God to supplicate.

I only see people in crisis who need help regardless of whether or not they're the gold standard of spiritual purity or the flippin' Antichrist.

Faith's perspective is not entirely incorrect and your perspective is not entirely correct, but neither perspective feeds, clothes, and shelters anyone in crisis.

I'm struggling personally with my own calling. I can barely take care of myself and my own needs right here in Comfort USA and yet I feel an overwhelming to do something, anything for the people of Haiti. I've had dreams, tearfully waking nightmares really, about getting my ass down there to Haiti somehow and pitching in physically with all I really have in this world, my own two hands.

Maybe this is a pull and calling I've been feeling that I should have kept to myself, I don't know. But the feeling has been overwhelming, and perhaps means something else entirely.

But it has caused me deep revulsion at "that's what they get for pissing off God" and "see, God's a tyrant" on either side of me.

Perhaps the earthquake was God's way of showing us how ugly and vain we really are.

psi bond said...

beamish: God is bigger than petty "bad stuff happens to people not of my religion" and "God is a tyrant" charlatanry.

A tyrant is a sovereign, whether benevolent or malevolent, who has absolute control over the lives of the people and is unaccountable to them. If there is charlatanism, it is in he who makes believe that is not true.

Bad stuff happens to good people. Good stuff happens to bad people. People of no religion are exempt.

To claim that God, because he is the sovereign, is responsible for the unimaginable suffering now occurring in Haiti is no different than claiming God was responsible for the Holocaust, which if true is just as atrocious. Fortunately for believers, the truth is no such “truths” are objectively verifiable.

psi bond said...

beamish: If you're not spoiling for theodicy arguments in the middle of a severe tragedy, then I suppose all your mocking tones to paint God as a tyrant should be addressed to God, and not to the comments page. Agree?

I wasn’t all that mocking.

It registered on the mock-o-meter.

Golly, you’re so sensitive, beamish.

I just said to Faith, “Your tyrannical god is alive and well. Fear him.” When I said that, especially the latter part, I could feel the beginning of wisdom tingling up my leg.

Perhaps Faith has a tyranical god. Christians don't.

Faith seems to believe she is a good Christian, and whoever doesn’t believe as she does is not a good Christian. It is that black and white for her. Tolerance is apparently no part of her Faith.

psi bond said...

psi bond: I’m wondering, Z, if what beamish thought was unconscionable is Faith’s foul suggestion that Haitians who are suffering from a sudden lack of food, water, and shelter, are not acting as perfect ladies and gentlemen, and well-bred kids.

beamish: I'm not the type of person that looks at San Francisco or the entire gay state of Masshachussetts and seeks an apology from God for Sodom and Gammorah.

Being God means never having to say you’re sorry.

I'm not the type of person that looks at Indonesian tsunamis and Haitian earthquakes and South Pacific volcanoes and sees an angry, vengeful God to supplicate.

I’ve said something similar in another thread.

I only see people in crisis who need help regardless of whether or not they're the gold standard of spiritual purity or the flippin' Antichrist.

Whether or not their Christianity is of the approved kind, they deserve the help of good people everywhere.

Faith's perspective is not entirely incorrect and your perspective is not entirely correct, but neither perspective feeds, clothes, and shelters anyone in crisis.

Fallible human opinions help no one; action does.

I'm struggling personally with my own calling. I can barely take care of myself and my own needs right here in Comfort USA and yet I feel an overwhelming to do something, anything for the people of Haiti. I've had dreams, tearfully waking nightmares really, about getting my ass down there to Haiti somehow and pitching in physically with all I really have in this world, my own two hands.

Maybe this is a pull and calling I've been feeling that I should have kept to myself, I don't know. But the feeling has been overwhelming, and perhaps means something else entirely.


I am sincerely flattered that you can confess these feelings to me. I have had similar stirrings. I think many Americans have.

But it has caused me deep revulsion at "that's what they get for pissing off God" and "see, God's a tyrant" on either side of me.

Sorry, but a god who wreaks heartbreaking collective suffering on millions of people cannot be benevolent.

Perhaps the earthquake was God's way of showing us how ugly and vain we really are.

In my humble view, whether God caused it or did nothing to stop it, the earthquake is God's way of showing us how ugly and vain God is. And also petty. It reminds me of the story in the Bible in which Moses asks God to provide water for his thirsty people, who have been wandering for a God-forsaken time in the desert. God tells Moses to tap a certain rock and water will flow out of it. Moses, who I thought was forgivably aggravated, struck the rock with all his might instead of tapping it. For that, God punished Moses by not allowing him to set foot in the Promised Land. Well, damn! Fear him.

Faith said...

I have made it very clear I am not comparing God's dealings with individuals with God's dealings with nations, beamish. Job is not the relevant comparison. There may be many Jobs in Haiti; I hope there are. But I am talking about nations, period. Consider how God dealt with the various nations in the Old Testament, including Israel herself. That's the comparison. In the OT He gives us His reasons so that we may learn how He operates in this world.

I see no angry, vengeful petty God. That's an invention of yours and psi bond's. I see a longsuffering loving merciful God who is holy and hates idolatry and sin, finally bringing judgment AS HE HAS VERY CLEARLY WARNED IN HIS WORD HE WILL DO. We could definitely be next.

Faith said...

Actually, Job DID blame God, beamish, he kept saying he was righteous so why did God do this to him? I hadn't carefully read what you wrote about him until now because what I'm saying has nothing to do with individuals, it's a false comparison. But you are wrong even about Job.

Faith said...

I didn't deny that I'm saying this is judgment because of their false religion. I've denied only your nasty vicious judgment of my motives and character for that belief.

I really don't want to talk to someone who speaks evil as you do. I'm sorry I got into this.

beamish said...

PsiBond,

God is bigger than petty "bad stuff happens to people not of my religion" and "God is a tyrant" charlatanry.

A tyrant is a sovereign, whether benevolent or malevolent, who has absolute control over the lives of the people and is unaccountable to them. If there is charlatanism, it is in he who makes believe that is not true.

God does not have "absolute control" over anyone's lives. Everybody has free will to choose to serve God or actively rupudiate such notions from their own lives. Mortality is such that death is inevitable for everyone.

Bad stuff happens to good people. Good stuff happens to bad people. People of no religion are exempt.

Indeed. But good stuff and bad stuff only happen to the living. There's nothing good or bad that can happen to the dead. They can't be helped or hurt further.

Help must go to the survivors of tragedy.

To claim that God, because he is the sovereign, is responsible for the unimaginable suffering now occurring in Haiti is no different than claiming God was responsible for the Holocaust, which if true is just as atrocious. Fortunately for believers, the truth is no such “truths” are objectively verifiable.

God's not stopping good people of free will from helping the needy survivors in Haiti.

Sitting in contempt of the dead by claiming God put them to death for their religious practices or sitting in contempt of God for not intervening to stop the earthquake from occuring are equally disgusting to me.

No matter whatever external, immaterial, spiritual message is to be discerned or guessed at from this tragedy and the crisis in its aftermath, God has left our free will intact and our reactions to this crisis entirely ours.

I would hope that we would strive for the faith of Job, who didn't need an organized religion to guide him and his mocking peers didn't discourage him from doing the right thing.

That's God believing in us. It all ends when God stops believing in us.

Faith said...

Evil speaking: "That's what they get." Not once have I said anything with that implication. Not once.

Faith said...
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Faith said...

Actually, from what I've seen myself on video, the people are not unruly at all, though some headlines were saying so.

If people aren't patient when everybody is suffering and aid workers are hampered for no fault of their own, it is selfish and unjust and only makes the suffering worse. So I'm glad the headlines were exaggerating.

Faith said...

Evil speaking, casting in the worst possible light: "Sitting in contempt of the dead by claiming God put them to death for their religious practices"

Beamish, you are making a big self-righteous deal out of your free-will theology and demonizing someone who doesn't share your view. I am a Calvinist and I disagree with your theology. God is in charge of ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING in my view. That doesn't deny free will, but I know it's hard for free-willers to get that. Why can't you be gentlemanly about such a difference in views?

beamish said...

Faith,

Actually, Job DID blame God, beamish, he kept saying he was righteous so why did God do this to him?

WRONG.

Job lamented his woes, and acknowledged that God had removed his protections from evil, harm, and wickedness, and questioned what he had done to have lost God's favor.

Not once did he lose his faith in God or shed his righteousness. He credited God for protecting him from evil. Not once did he ever say "God did this to me" or an equivalent thereof. He merely sought answers to what he had done to lose God's favor and protection.

Job was counseled by others presuming to "speak for God" and all of them mocked Job in his humiliation claiming he must have done something to offend God. Job rebuked them all, and kept his faith in God's grace and mercy.

It was these counselors and "wise men" that questioned both Job's righteousness and presumed to speak for God that God commanded burnt offerings for forgiveness from. God found Job blameless, even in his darkest, despairing depressed state.

Job was truly a righteous man. He found it unbearable to have lost God's protection from the wicked world about him.

But not once, not ever, did Job blame God for his misfortune, and more to the point, he never cursed God to His face as Satan wagered he would.

Read Job again. You'll see. It's all there.

I hadn't carefully read what you wrote about him until now because what I'm saying has nothing to do with individuals, it's a false comparison. But you are wrong even about Job.

Uh, no.

beamish said...
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Faith said...

Sounds to me like Job is saying God is doing this to me, and I don't understand it. And his friends keep chiding him for seeming to claim he is righteous. But let's not argue this further because it's irrelevant to this discussion anyway.

Job 6:4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.

Job 7:20 I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?


Job 9:12 Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou? Job 9:13 If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him. Job 9:14 ¶ How much less shall I answer him, and choose out my words to reason with him? Job 9:15 Whom, though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my judge. Job 9:16 If I had called, and he had answered me; yet would I not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice. Job 9:17 For he breaketh me with a tempest, and multiplieth my wounds without cause. Job 9:18 He will not suffer me to take my breath, but filleth me with bitterness.

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