Monday, March 8, 2010

Poll

I’m just wondering how everyone is reacting to the recent earthquakes and other tragic news.

1)    Does it seem like there has been a significantly larger number of catastrophic events lately?
2)    If so, what kind of conclusions are you drawing or have you heard from other people?

First of all, on a personal level, I could not begin to imagine or put into words the pain of losing a loved one. I don’t think you can put it on a scale. Grief is grief.

But I want to look at recent events on more of a global scale. I’m not an alarmist and I don’t agree with spreading rumors about judgment or the end of the world. I don’t think it is even necessary to study trends from a scientific point of view. On the other hand, we are called as Christians to speak the Truth. more/-

The Prophets delivered words of doom, but they were called to do that. We have to be careful not to create roles for ourselves that are outside of God’s calling.

Are people living in fear, or are they desensitized to tragedy, or somewhere in the middle? What have you observed in conversations? I have heard people rattle off recent trends as if they indicate the end of the world. But I can’t tell if they really care or if it’s just something interesting to talk about, the thrill of potential danger.

I do think it’s important to use opportunities. If something comes up in conversation, we can comfort fears, or deliver the news of salvation. No, I don’t expect the earth to open and swallow me up tomorrow, but if it does, I know what is happening to my soul. No, I can’t say that God is punishing specific nations, but I do believe that we will all face judgment one day, and possible punishment.

As far as participating in disaster relief, that is something different, and very personal. If you or your church feels moved to intercede in prayer for a specific country hit by disaster; to send humanitarian relief or even a team of workers, that is by all means something that you should pursue, with the Lord’s leading.

4 comments:

  1. Catholics generally, talk and preach more about people's individual judgment rather than "judgment day" or the end of the world. The need to help others is a constant theme, particularly when we KNOW about the need via media. The "Help Haiti" posters in the school have been replaced with "Change for Chile" - two different "houses" in the middle school are setting out to help.

    My own interest has been more in how scientists SAY earthquakes are not related....but common sense tells me they ARE, as it is not just common, but seemingly expected that one earthquake in one part of the world is followed by another.

    FINALLY, the other day I heard a scientist refer to the fact that they are beginning to wonder if there is "some relationship - even when the sites are not on the same fault line". I wanted to laugh. Have scientists been SO concentrating on their "fault planes" that they don't notice these mammoth coincidences?

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  2. I guess part of what I'm wondering is: is it heightened awareness because of the media, or is something actually happening? It's like when someone you know is sick and it suddenly seems like everyone you meet knows someone with the same sickness.

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  3. In terms of what people are feeling, it seems that we are driven by media coverage. Much work was being done for Haiti, but I heard a lot of people say they thought we had too many needs locally that were not being taken care of. In most mass relief efforts there are always uncoordinated efforts and some times a real like of thought. The tsunami in Indonesia was a clear example. People were donating and sending winter clothes.
    Some have been asking if we are having more and worst earth quakes. Here is an online article, which as Christians, will make us smile at some of the parts: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35770132/ns/technology_and_science-science/ .
    I don't think there has been any real concern in my area about the end of the world coming; most people seem too caught up in trying to find jobs/hold on to their jobs, pay the bills, and use financial resources wisely. I think the devastation will need to be much closer to home before most people really take notice. The Northeast is set for an earth quake, but most people do not know this. Oregon is set for a major quake within the next 80 years and it will be massive as it has been waiting like the one in Haiti for several hundred years. Apparently, Tehran is also set for a massive earth quake and the buildings are not built for it. So these events will take place, but if spread over time will not be remembered by most personally. Maranatha!

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  4. Haven't looked at the link yet, but one of my teachers noted the other day that the earthquakes are getting "closer and closer to us." She's a bit of an alarmist, though.

    I think you're probably right that there are plenty of day-to-day needs that often overshadow the need to think about our mortality. But God can use all of these different worries to draw us to Himself.

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