Divine Disaster Plan
Daniel Propson on Learning the Difference Between Judgment & Mercy
Every so often a high-profile Christian will explain a natural disaster like last year’s hurricanes in the following way: The victims were sinning, so God sent down punishment upon them. It is not—in most cases—particularly wise or discerning men who make such comments, and most rational people (Christian or otherwise) dismiss this explanation as absurd. Sending such punishment upon groups of people is the work of a wrathful God, and surely God is not wrathful.
This reasoning works inasmuch as it is convincing to us. The reasoning fails to work, however, inasmuch as the Scriptures, quite simply, do not support it. The New Testament might appear to temper the tempestuousness of Yahweh—but on closer analysis, we find no such thing. The story of Ananias and Sapphira seems to be a story of gentle apostolic correction, but then—pow!—the couple are destroyed by the wrath of God.
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Daniel Propson is an English teacher at Lincoln High School in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He and his wife attend St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Detroit, and are members of the Word of Life community in Ann Arbor. They live with their two young children in midtown Detroit.
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