I was waiting for it, and now I need wait no more!
I heard a Christian propose the theory that Ebola has entered the US because of our acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle.
Ah yes. It used to be just weirdos made these “God is judging you” statements, but now it seems everyone must jump aboard the judgment bandwagon.
Here’s the deal, I don’t think so. Here are the main reasons why I don’t think God is judging ‘Merica with Ebola.
1) When God judged nations it was rather devastating. Thousands of people normally died, like 20,000’s of people. This was in nations that numbered over a couple million people. Percentage wise, huge swaths of the nation were wiped out. If America were going through similar judgment, you would expect a million or so people to die. As far as I know, one guy has died from Ebola in the US. And he wasn’t gay.
2) God announced His judgment. There was no guesswork when God was judging. People know. God has a way of getting His points across.
3) Guessing God’s judgment has been wrong before. One of the ways God announced His judgment is through faithful prophets who were always right because they directly spoke for God. They were never wrong. There was no guessing. No revisions of prophecies to fit reality. Typically the prophets predicted judgment was coming. God is willing to forgive. He announces judgment that people might repent so He can then not judge.
4) Judgment is God’s strange work. This is stated in Isaiah 28. God would rather pardon than judge. Judgment is rare, not something He does all the time. Katrina, tornadoes, 9/11, Ebola, and who knows how many other disasters have been attributed to God’s judgment. People who make these statements believe that judgment is God’s favorite thing to do. He can hardly stop Himself from judging in a multitude of ways. They believe judgment is God’s typical work.
5) People who feel God is judging others are people who are not effected by that particular malady. Humans are excellent at feeling superior. Pride is our worst fault. It’s fun to note others who are suffering and rejoice because we aren’t, and then conclude that we must be better, that God likes us best. This is one reason why Jesus had nothing but venom for Pharisees. Yet here we are, being more like Pharisees than Jesus.
6) Judgment is usually on sin the hopeful judger is not guilty of. Why are Katrina, 9/11, and Ebola all judgments against homosexuality and not against lying or gossip or other sins the Bible talks about a lot more? I know, Sodom and Gomorrah. But hey, read the OT. The demise of Israel was largely because they worshiped God with a wrong heart.
7) If the sufferings of others is God’s judgment, I don’t have to help them. If we spent more time loving people than judging them, we might be better off. Most Christians feel guilt over how useful they are to others. We know we’re supposed to be nice and loving, compassionate and caring, but it’s so hard and messy. We can let ourselves off the hook if we conclude that God caused their suffering. Don’t want to undo what God has done, amen?!
8) Poor understanding of Covenants on display. The large portion of people who look at disasters as being God’s judgment against homosexuals are also people who theologically don’t see a difference between Israel and the Church. They tend to look at the Church as having replaced Israel. Israel Part 2, if you will. There is also a tendency to see America as new Israel. All in all, there is very bad biblical understanding of God’s special plan for the nation of Israel and how He intervened in their history.
The Church needs to spend more time in the Book of Job. You don’t want to be Job’s friends, analyzing others and their problems.
Next time you feel like telling a sufferer that God is judging them: It is sometimes those who are suffering who are the most pleasing to God.