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Gene, the correspondent whom we quoted and answered in There Is a Better Way wrote this after reading God Is Finished Winking:
Frankly, with regard to the hurricane issue being punishment for evil, I have to disagree. There were many christians and good people in Louisiana who were left wiped out as well as the heathen, who live all over the world. California has Gay parades and Gay day, every college out there has wild parties with perversion and nudity. Evil is a universal thing. I can tell you some things about Texas also.
When I lived in Colorado there was a massive flood that came around regularly in the Thompson canyon area. It evidently recurs on a cycle, as does the hurricane issue. If one is to go with the belief in the ecology being altered by the flood of Noah, we can safely conclude that due to that event we get resulting butt kickings on recurring basis. That and of course our meddling with the ecological cycles with cloud seeding, nuclear test explosions and other things we think nature ignores.
Evil is universal. That is why Jesus said that unless everyone repented, they would all likewise perish. Not only is evil universal, but is so great in this last day that we are also promised, not a flood, but a fire, as necessary to cleanse heaven and earth.
If Jesus, as a man, had the wind and sea obeying Him, how much more as the eternal, omniscient, and omnipotent Spirit does He rule over all things? He said that not a hair on your head is overlooked. HE DOES EVERYTHING. Because you do not believe Him, you deny His sovereignty. You do not believe Him because you prefer to maintain sovereignty in your own life, as miserable as it is, and with only an illusion of sovereignty. The truth is that God still rules even while man claims the right to do so for himself.
You would do well to re-read the account of Sodom and Gomorrah. Was there geophysical predisposition to destruction in that area? Perhaps. But when destruction came, at that precise time, and in the specific manner mandated by God, He delivered the one godly person there, personally sending His emissaries to escort Lot and those who were with him out from the area God destroyed. You say there were many “good people and christians” in New Orleans. Were there? Jesus said no man is good. And if there were any of His people there, is His hand shortened that He cannot still deliver today? How do you know that He did not do so? And if He sent the storm as chastisement and for correction of some who had gone astray and were disobedient, is that not needful and good? Why do you argue against His judgment? Why do you say in your heart that there is no God?
You are looking at things as a man. This is understandable, but there is a much higher view, and more than that, a truthful view. Your understanding is built on a lie, which is that God is not over the flood and all affairs of Heaven and earth. You declare that there is no point in serving Him, as He cannot protect or keep us anyway. How great a price you pay for your lies, Gene! If you only knew!
What predisposes men to build in a flood plain? Is it not sin, ignorance, and hubris? Of course it is. All unnatural and ungodly practices that you mention bring suffering in the present, along with the future reaping of destruction that comes by sowing from rebellious flesh. Because the destruction does not come immediately, you greatly underestimate the ramifications of sin, as says the preacher.
“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11).
And why are you envious of the wicked? Asaph was in such a state, until his eyes were opened, and then he saw that God has set their feet in slippery places and declared that he had been as an ignorant beast before Him. I quote the entire psalm below, Gene, which would be good for you to read. It all applies. You have yet to see reality. Your eyes are set on the outward that deceives the heart and mind. When you repent you will begin to know the heart and its depravity, and then you will be wise in the sight of God, rather than wise in your own sight. You will learn not to suffer as a fool any longer, but instead to suffer for God, as one enduring with Him in His temptations, thereby gaining peace and eternal life. Then, walking with God and in harmony with His judgments, you will rule with Him, rather than being trampled on by men. Then you will no longer say, “Does God really rule?”, but will declare that He rules over the affairs of men, because your confidence will not be in man (Gene), who fails, but in God, Who succeeds. Then you will not complain against your lot, but will glorify God and rejoice in Him, knowing Him Who rules, and does all things well.
The following was recommended to Gene: A Psalm for those who think the wicked are getting away with something, serving as a warning to the wicked and a comfort for the righteous:
(1) A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.
(2) But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.
(3) For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
(4) For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.
(5) They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.
(6) Therefore pride compasses them about as a chain; violence covers them as a garment.
(7) Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
(8) They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
(9) They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walks through the earth.
(10) Therefore His people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.
(11) And they say, How does God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?
(12) Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.
(13) Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.
(14) For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.
(15) If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of Your children.
(16) When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;
(17) Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
(18) Surely You did set them in slippery places: You cast them down into destruction.
(19) How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors.
(20) As a dream when one awakes; so, O Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image.
(21) Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.
(22) So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before You.
(23) Nevertheless I am continually with You: You have held me by my right hand.
(24) You shall guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
(25) Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside You.
(26) My flesh and my heart fails: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
(27) For, lo, they that are far from You shall perish: You have destroyed all them that go a whoring from You.
(28) But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Your works.
Gene, concerning your letter and disagreement, Paul has accurately spoken. We cannot see as God sees until we are joined to Him. Without walking in the light as He is in the light, we stumble and grope, not knowing as we ought, though knowing some things in part. The Bible is replete with testimony of God’s sovereignty over all His creation at all times. For example, Jonah demonstrates how God is over the wind, the seas, the fish, the heathen, the believer (Jonah), the plants, the insect world, the sun, and the wills of men (in that every soul of the 120,000 in Nineveh repented). As well, he is over the lots cast, and the timing (three days) and the future, in that Jonah served as a classic sign of that which was to come, in which the Savior of all mankind would come to save all (120,000 of 120,000), both king and subjects, rich and poor, and bring salvation even to beasts.
Indeed, the entire Bible declares His total rulership. And consider this, if I walked into your home and your six-year old son kicked me in the shins again and again, while you stood by and permitted him to do so, would it not be legitimate on my part to consider you as an offender against me, in that you did not restrain your son in your house? There are those who say, “God would not bring evil; He is not the author of evil; He allows it but He does not cause it.” These do-gooders preach another Jesus and deceive all who heed them. If God can prevent anything from happening, is He not responsible? Of course, He is! If I were to see a kid endangering itself, knowing of evil to come, and turn a blind eye, am I not responsible if I could have prevented it? Of course, I am! It is no different with the One Who rules all things.
On the other hand, God has determined to keep those that are His. You write: “There were many christians and good people in Louisiana who were left wiped out as well as the heathen….” However, David, by the Spirit of God, declared:
“I have been young, and am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his seed begging bread” (Psalms 37:25).
So the “righteous” and “good people” in Louisiana weren’t begging bread; they simply got drowned, or were totally dispossessed, and now live dependent on government and people’s charity. Big deal! So much for God and His ability to protect and reward! No, Gene, you speak against God when you make such declarations. You need to understand that if evil has visited you, it must be considered whether or not “you are the man.” As the proverb says:
“As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse without cause shall not come” (Proverbs 26:2).
One could casually flip through the Bible almost anywhere to find that not only does He “allow” evil, He brings it on. Several times is it written that He sends the sword, famine, pestilence and wild beast, not just “allows” it to happen, as though He exercises only passive control, letting His creation do as it pleases. But He hides, Gene, behind what seem to be ordinary circumstances with explainable causes, such as you pose. Only the regenerate eye of faith can discern Him, His presence, His will, and His work.
Several psalms express His sovereignty in no uncertain terms. Read Psalm 145, 146, 147, 148…all of them. The entire Bible expresses His total rulership, if one has the heart granted to perceive. Take Job, for another example. God is over the sons of God, Heaven, Satan, the Sabeans, Chaldeans, the evils Satan performs, over life, determining hedges of protection, hearts of men (all withdrew as one from Job during his period of trial, then returned as one, each bringing a gift), over wombs (his wife bore him another ten children), over those who come to debate or comfort, over dreams…over everything. Gene, He is over Katrina, New Orleans, Colorado, Texas, homosexuals, demons, Muslims, believers, unbelievers, angels…you name it. The Kingdom of God reigns supreme over all. He has made all of creation “subject to vanity, not willingly.” What does that tell you?
“God reigns over the nations, God sits on the throne of His holiness” (Psalms 47:8).
“Jehovah reigns, He is clothed with majesty; Jehovah is clothed with strength. He clothed Himself and the world is established; it shall not be shaken” (Psalms 93:1).
“Say among the nations, Jehovah reigns; and the world shall be established; it shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples in uprightness” (Psalms 96:10).
“Jehovah reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of islands be glad” (Psalms 97:1).
“Jehovah reigns; let the peoples tremble. He sits between the cherubs; let the earth quake” (Psalms 99:1).
I am so thankful to know that He is in full control. Our letters to you and yours to us are in His hand.
Granted the grace to see and to know Him as He is,