Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Comments

I recently wrote some opinions about why bad things happen, responding to the tragedy in Haiti and hoping to possibly put the tragedy into some sort of perspective. That post resulted in two comments that I would like to respond to. I don’t want to go into a lot of detail but I do want to reply to them. I thank those who commented because I appreciate getting feedback.

One of the commentators said religion is mostly mythology and if there is a god [sic] then it is impossible to know it [sic]. I agree and I disagree. Let me briefly explain.

I believe that most religions, while having some value, often good moral and ethical codes, proclaiming some truths, are mostly mythology. Much of that mythology consists of attempts to explain the world. However, I do believe that we can know God in a number of different ways. We can partially know God through his creation, the order of the universe, and the intelligent design of complex organisms. We also know God more completely through the Bible, which I believe is an accurate representation of God and shows humanity’s need for God. Jesus is the fullest revelation of God, because God came in the flesh to dwell among us.

Any “mythology” in the Bible is there to convey a truth (similar to the parables Jesus used). Since I believe the Bible is divinely inspired, any “sacred myths” have value to reveal God to us, to reveal ourselves to us, or for some other purpose. Obviously if you don’t believe either in God or in the truth of the Bible, then what I’m saying will be rejected. My advice to those who reject what I’m saying is to read the Bible and see for yourself rather than rely on all the old complaints, such as “the Bible is full of contradictions.”

The other comment stated that God was punishing Haiti for its sin, similar, I assume, to Sodom and Gomorrah. I understand where this commentator is coming from, but I hesitate to say God did this terrible thing to punish Haiti for its false worship, violence, and other sins. While God does have a history of similar punishments in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), I’m not sure God operates that way now. Even though God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, he does change his methods. Look at all the tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters that happen in the most “religious” parts of the United States. Is God punishing those God fearing people? If so, for what?

I’d be very careful about blaming God for this disaster. But thanks for your input.

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