Well, several years ago one did, seriously damaged the one house.
when did this happen, Ginnyrose? This last batch of storms?I have no doubt it was Divine intervention. God works in wonderful ways.Very glad you both went to town,white stone
I would like to make a few comments pertaining to the current discussion. I am not sure what I am about to say could be organized into some kind of a three point teaching, but I think taken as a whole what I have to say is important to the discussion of not only this issue but many others. I ask each one of you to genuinely consider what I am about to say.I find it interesting that Frank's observation that the Tornado had hit my town dead center so quickly turned into a deep discussion of God's sovereignty and God's judgment. I also find it interesting that the discussion has so polarized. First a few of my observations about the body of Christ (or maybe human nature) and then a few scriptural observations.About why we believe the things we believe.1. I have noticed a tendency of believers to align themselves with particular teachers or groups of teachers that they are exposed to. There are a lot of motivating factors that I have seen for why Christians do this. a) They were saved "under" or brought up as a child "under" a particular person or group. That which we first learn either as a new convert or as a child is often very powerful. We see this as the truth and anything else as a departure. b) They react to a particular point of view because of a bad experience. For example, suppose a person fellowships in a Word of Faith church that is off in what they believe. Suppose in a time of great personal tragedy (illness, loss of child, or whatever) this person experiences this group confronting them and telling them that if they had only had more faith their circumstances might have changed, but because they did not that they were sinning and did not get the answer to their prayer. This person might as a result allow the pendulum to swing and adopt a sovereignty doctrine that is the polar opposite of the WoF teaching that so hurt them. c) Some seek teachers that agree with them. (the itching ears syndrome if you will.) d) Any other motive than careful study of the Word of God and prayer.Paul speaks very plainly about aligning ourselves behind any teacher. "I believe it the way so-and-so teaches it", is a statement that puts us squarely in the same place as those in the Corinthian church that Paul rebukes. God has placed teachers in the body to mature the body and bring it into a place of ministry and fruit bearing. We are to learn from and honor these people, but we are not to be part of a "following" of any particular teacher. Test ALL things and cling to the good. As a teacher I will not always get it right. I cringe sometimes at the things I have taught only to learn that I was dead wrong about the issue. Because of this I have a lot of patience and understanding when someone honestly has it wrong. What I do not have patience for is someone who is determined to have it wrong and will defend "his" interpretation to the death whether it mean twisting scripture or not. We must be humble enough to allow others to sharpen us.2) I have noticed a tendency to polarize on issues. I am honestly not certain why this is the case. It is almost as if the majority are either Calvinists or Deists. Of course I overstate that a little bit but you get the point. But each group has their proof texts and practically ignores the remainder of scripture. I have seen whole teaching ministries built upon a particular, and often shaky, interpretation of a half-dozen or so scriptures. Soon there are very large groups of people who can see nothing in scripture but this interpretation. That being said it seems to me this discussion is now centered on the doctrine of sovereignty and the judgments of God. A few observations.1) The term "sovereign" is technically not in scripture, and certainly not in the way it is often defined today. Many modern translations do include the word "sovereign" but it is most often attached to or replaces the word "LORD". Example: Act 4:24 (KJV) And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:Act 4:24 (ESV) And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, "Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,The addition of the term "sovereign" is inexplicable to me other than the translator had an a priori commitment to a doctrine that influenced the translation. A very literal translation would be to replace the term "LORD" with the term "Master" which I believe is a very good translation. Where people often use the word "sovereign" in some translations of scripture it is often assigned a definition that is a lot like, "The one who controls every aspect of His creation at all times". In reality the term often translated sovereign simply means the one who answers to no one. He is the absolute authority, the one who is above all others. The term itself does not speak of the level of control He exercises at any one time. So we are left with the concept of sovereignty and what scripture says about it. We must rightly divide scripture and we must stop short of reading into scripture what is not explicit.Here is an example of what I am talking about. Lets use the example of child-birth. Some would say that in His sovereignty God causes or allows (I won't get into the nuances of these terms. People have argued incessantly about it and I am not interested in that.) babies to be born with birth defects for some purpose known only to Himself. This is a good example because it has SO much emotion attached, and we often lose sight of scripture or interpret it wrongly when we are overwhelmed by emotion. We cannot say clearly from scripture that God does this. The closest we can come is perhaps Job's comments in Job 31, but if we read in context we find that God was not inspiring Job to say those things, so we have only Job's opinion. The next might be David in Psalm 139 about God knowing us before we were born. But this scripture does not say that God intends for some to be born with defects. We do know that sin entered into the human race and death by sin. We do know that birth defects are most often a result of defective genes. We might ask about rape? What of those births? Was it God's will that the mother be raped so that the child might be born? If we adopt a view that God in His sovereignty willed this to be the case then we must accept that the rape was also God's will, or we must search for a way out of that predicament. In the New Testament we find Jesus healing the sick and saying that He was doing the work of His Father. We find Him bearing stripes for our healing just as sure as He shed blood for our sin. So we cannot say by an honest look at scripture that God wills sickness on people as an act of His sovereignty. However we also cannot say that God NEVER used sickness as a form of judgment. However in EVERY case in the New Testament where God did this the person in question was taken out of the way for a particular reason. Herod, for example, was persecuting the church. God removed Him from that place in an act of judgment. But now we must define judgment because this too has many meanings. I once heard a person speak of EVERY act of God as His "judgments", i.e. the expression of sovereignty. So they simply define judgement as sovereignty. But Herod experienced final judgment. As to 1 Cor. 11 we must also talk about what it does and does not say. It does pronounce a judgment on those who count the sacrifice of the body and blood an unholy thing. This is reinforced in Hebrews 10 (scripture interpreting scripture). It does NOT say that God places sicknesses on His children at certain times unknown to us for the purpose of perfecting us. It does NOT say that God will cause us to have a car wreck or send a tornado to Joplin in judgment. But what about the Old Testament? We know that God dealt with man in a different manner before the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament shows us plainly that there is an aspect of God that passes judgment and condemnation in a totally righteous and Holy way. But the New Testament tells us that God deals with man today primarily in grace. Look at Rom 9:22-23 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: (23) And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,This is what God is doing now. We all in ourselves deserve to be destroyed, and why not by a tornado, but God is longsuffering. He is not willing that any should perish eternally and we know that to perish temporally without Him is to perish eternally.2) We cannot say from scripture that God controls all events. We can throw about statements like "Either He is in total control or He is not in control at all, or, If He is not in total control He is not really God." But scripture has many examples where God was NOT in control. One notable example is when Jesus could there do no mighty works save healing a few sick folks due to the unbelief of the people. He was not in control, not because He did not have the power and not because it was not His place as God to do so, but because He had placed the response of faith in our hands and He cannot violate His own word to His creation. God is not in control of the trees. Why? He put the ability to produce seed and reproduce in them from creation. Trees simply do what they were pre-programmed to do. I believe it to be the same with sperm and egg. There is a physical law. However humanity is different in that we are all born with a spirit that can know God. But we cannot simply say God controls it all as we have scripture to the contrary that must be twisted to say otherwise.I guess all that was to say that I do not believe at all that this was a judgment on Joplin. You know, if I really believed that I would neither lift a finger to help those people nor would I pray for them. It would be insanity on my part to stand in opposition to the judgment of God. The most I might do is pray that God suspend His judgment and hope He would forgive me for praying such a thing. I believe it to be a natural phenomenon that is a result of weather patterns that have been crazy since the time of the flood and a random event. I do believe that we will see such phenomenon increase in the near future as I believe we are on the threshold of Christ's return and that the birth pangs are increasing. Creation is truly groaning and trevailing.By the way, I do believe we can have an effect on the weather through prayer. Has that also not happened scripturally? Might I be wrong in anything I have just said. ABSOLUTELY. Were I given a lifetime to study I could never understand all things. But I know we MUST approach scripture with no pre-determined outcomes and allow scripture to interpret scripture.Just some thoughts. I am not really interested in debating. I just present this as something I hope you will chew on and consider. I will also consider what I have read and struggle with it a bit. I have spent many hours in prayer and in the word struggling with similar issues over the course of the past year. Blessings from Joplin. Pray for the people here. I know so many who have lost all. I hope to spend Saturday combing debris with some of them and feeding those who are combing through the wrecks of their own homes a hot meal. Perhaps I will be able to pray with some and comfort them. We continue to have rain and thunderstorms on an almost daily basis since the storm. The weekend holds hope for sun. Pray for good weather. Travis
ginnyrose: I have so many Christian friends who were spared in pretty miraculous ways. One of them was in the cooler at the Dillon's grocery. I know CNN interviewed some about that particular incident. Others were not at home. Others were trapped for a time in the ONLY spot in the rubble where one could have survived. One was in a car and was hit dead center. She was only bruised but her car was totally destroyed. God does protect us when we walk with Him.
The time our GH took a hit was a few years ago. It was not horrible, but bad enough that one house had to be replaced. Of course, there were trees uprooted but that is minor - if no vehicle was parked under it! And the one a few weeks ago did not hit us but did some damage out in the countryside. The one that went over our town is the same one that destroyed a shop, plowed a field, and removed some asphalt from a road about 15 miles southeast of town. These pics were shown on the internet, not sure if it was CNN or weather dot com. When you live in a place where the weather can turn nasty, you learn that you just have to trust the LORD for your protection. In doing so you become aware how limited you are in providing for your own safety. And this is NOT bad - one has to trust the LORD and when he sends challenges like this your way it is for our own good. It was so inspiriting to ask people after April 27's tornadoes "where were you when the tornadoes hit?" You hear many stories of God's protection and they were all grateful. Personally, I find it gratifying to hear these testimonies. Don't you?ginnyroseEDIT: I also find it fascinating to ask our customers about the failed prophecy spoken by Camping last Sat. Interestingly, this prophecy tends to anger people! They are so thoroughly disgusted!
I have read reports where faithful believers were killed during this disaster.
So, this particular assumption implies that God killed believers and unbelievers in Joplin (and the livelihood of many others). Since when has God poured out His judgment, wrath and death upon His own people who have overcome evil by the blood of the Lamb?
Hi Brother OldJoe (and others),I would like to point out something regarding the examples mentioned from Scripture where God dispensed supernatural judgment. We all know that God chastises those He loves. But I would like to point out that there is a very big difference between spanking a child and killing a child. We have no record in Scripture where God killed the righteous or poured out His wrath upon them. In fact, we see quite the opposite. God protected Noah and his family. God supernaturally protected the Israelites who were under the blood of the lamb. God told Abraham that He would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah if only ten righteous had been found (and that was under the OLD covenant)! But, the overall point that I have been trying to make is that it is merely an assumption to say that this tornado was the wrath of God being supernaturally and specifically poured out upon the people of Joplin, Missouri or their homes and livelihoods. More importantly, I have to wonder whether or not this is an assumption that believers should even be entertaining. After all, Job's friends did the same thing. They tried to ascertain the causes of the bad things that were happening to Job. Finally, God confronted Job and asked who it was that "darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge" (Job 38:1-2). Speaking of Job: It was not God who poured out judgment or wrath upon Job. Satan asked for permission to afflict him. God said, "Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand" (Job 1:12) -and- "Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life" (Job 2:6). The next verse says, "So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown" (Job 2:7). In the example of Job, I wonder if his wife's advice to "curse God" may have had something to do with blaming his afflictions specifically on God.
So where did they go then? Heaven should be the assumption. Fancy judgment that is huh??? Left a sin-cursed world to go to heaven, shame on that bad God for doing such a thing.
Didn't Ravenhill just die a few weeks ago, as a lawbreaker no less? Not wearing his seat belt he died, but his wife wearing hers lived. What did he lose, a bit of his reputation in dying as a lawbreaker, but what did he gain? By all accounts here he should have gained heaven. Who was the judgment on because of his death? Possibly him for disdaining the laws designed to protect his life, but more probably a bunch of people who no longer get to be affected by him in person.
whether or not God purposely killed those believers (or destroyed their belongings)
in a supernatural act of wrath.
I watched the news today and they said 124 confirmed deaths. I didn't hear the number of unaccounted for in Joplin. Definitely keep praying for the families in Joplin.
Friday, January 28, 2011God, Judgment and the Weather: The Message By Dr. David R. ReaganI believe the message of Katrina is that God is on His throne. God is in control. He cannot be mocked. He will not tolerate the division of His Holy Land, nor will He tolerate gross immorality that mocks everything that is moral and decent.God loves our nation. He has blessed us today more than any other nation, but the Word of God says to those to whom much is given much is expected. And, the Word of God says God disciplines those whom He loves.Another thing God's Word makes clear is that when He sends discipline, the fundamental purpose is never to punish. Let me emphasize it, when God sends discipline as remedial judgments, His fundamental purpose is never to punish. His fundamental purpose is to call us to repentance so that we might be saved. Here is the way Isaiah puts it in Isaiah 26:9, "When the earth experiences your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness."I know that verse first hand because when I was fifteen years old growing up in Waco, Texas we had a tornado. It was the worst tornado in the history of Texas to this day. It was like an atomic bomb went off in downtown Waco. That tornado killed more people than in any other tornado in the history of Texas. It killed 114 and injured over 597. What I noticed for the next three months there was standing room only in every church in town because these disasters have a way getting peoples attention and getting them focused on an eternal perspective. The only problem is that due to our fallen nature it only lasted about three months and then people began to forget and the church attendance began to fall off.With regard to the spiritual impact of Katrina, I think it's interesting that the governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, called for a statewide day of prayer. She said, "As we face the devastation wrought by Katrina, we search for those in need as we comfort those in pain, and as we begin the long task of rebuilding we must turn to God for strength, hope and comfort." Those are noble words, but I want you to notice something, she made not one statement about repentance.President Bush issued a Presidential Proclamation calling for a National Day of Prayer on September 8. He asked the nation to pray for the victims and to reach out to them in compassion. Again, those are noble words, but there was no expression of repentance.New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas claimed the closest of all public officials in recognizing that Katrina had a spiritual message. On national TV he said, "You know, this all reminds me of Sodom and Gomorrah, and I'm beginning to believe that God has a message for us that maybe he's cleansing us." But, cleansing requires a response of repentance, something God is calling for from the whole nation and not just from the city of New Orleans.No public official in our history has yet seen the spiritual implications of a disaster as clearly as did Abraham Lincoln when he evaluated the cause of the Civil War. In a proclamation which he issued on March 30, 1863, the President called for quote, "A National Day of Prayer and Repentance." He made this comment, "In so much as we know that by His divine law nations like individuals are subjected to punishment and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of Civil War which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national reformation as a people."Lincoln continued by saying, "We have been the recipients of the choices bounties of heaven, we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown, but we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied, enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all our blessings were produced by our superior wisdom and virtue." Lincoln then ended it with these words, "Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to fill the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us. It behooves us to then humble ourselves before the offended power to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."That's the kind of proclamation we need today! But, the sad thing is we have become so secular and so pagan that if our President were to issue such a proclamation today, I have no doubt that someone in Congress would issue an indictment of impeachment for the violation of Separation of Church and State.We as a nation have set our jaw against God. We are tempting Him to move us from judgment to destruction. Our God is merciful. He is patiently sending us one wakeup call after another. He never pours out His wrath without warning.I want to call you to prayer. Pray that our eyes will be opened. Pray that our hearts will be melted. Pray for a national revival. Pray, too, for the hearts of our leaders to be opened to the significance of Israel in Bible prophecy.