SIN OR WHAT? The cartoon below was in the paper a few days ago, and I thought I would share it along with some thoughts. I am always struck by how closed and judgmental some religious groups are. Notice I said religious, not just Christian. It runs through all religions I think. Whenever some disaster, disease, or some other crisis befalls us, there is some person of faith who makes the statement, this happened because YOU did some bad thing. Its God's judgment and punishment for something. Well I say NO.
God did not make the fire burn down your house, God did not give you cancer, or some other negative thing because you are a bad person, did something bad. I have come to understand, these things happen because we live in an imperfect world. They happen as part of life lived in what a Christian calls a fallen world. True there often is a cause and effect if a person smokes for 60 years it most likely will cause some kind of health issue, but God did not cause it. 60 years of smoking caused it. You drive 90 miles an hour in a 55 zone you might get arrested. Now I also believe in God's protection, often times I am protected even though I did something stupid. god did not cause the storms, tornadoes and such to destroy property because people did bad things. its a weather pattern. This is not to say God might not use it to bring about something in one's life. The Biblical principle here runs through the entire Bible. Something might be evil, or negative, but God brings something good out of it. Sure its hard, but there are many examples in Scripture of the hard things bringing something better about. Jesus talked of the wine press, Peter talks of trials by fire, James even talks about facing trials with JOY! Knowing the result will be something good, better, and there is a reward. In the old testament, we see it when Jeremiah, Nehemiah, and others experience trials and end up bringing something good about. Hence the statement the world means it for evil, but God means it for good.
New International Version (NIV)
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
I think these verses say it plainly, the people who like to point out with such judgment the sin of another, should pay more attention to their own problems and sin. Before they try to call attention to others troubles.
To break it down farther: When anti gay people start judging the gay community and spewing hateful venom, especially in the form of invoking god's judgment, beware! Think of Matthew 7:3-5.
Finally, when someone says this happens because of God's judgment, think of the Peanuts cartoon and smile!