Friday, February 12, 2010

Disasters - Natural Phenomenon or Judgment?

How should preachers respond to natural disasters?

Perhaps we can learn something by observing the type of comment that Jesus made in response to the natural disaster that occurred when a tower in Siloam collapsed, killing eighteen.

Jesus' comment was: "Do you think that they were worse sinners than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? I tell you, No: but unless you all repent, you shall all likewise perish".

So, Jesus certainly wasn't quick to say the victims must have been worse sinners than everyone else. But neither was He silent, during such occassions, about the reality of sin as a factor in ultimate human destiny.

To be quick to describe victims as worse sinners than everyone else, or to whitewash over the reality of sin, in the face of disaster - are both extreme responses.

We needn't overcorrect one extreme only to end-up in the opposite extreme.

Jesus' response, rather, was to bring the public's focus back to themselves: they will all similarly die if they don't repent.

That's a brilliant way to respond!

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