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Editor's journey


Was Katrina God’s judgment?

 

SPRINGFIELD, MO. — I recently met a businessman from Louisiana who was still reeling over Hurricane Katrina. He couldn’t come to grips with the destruction and loss of life. Resentment spewed from his lips.

“If there’s a God,” he asked harshly, “then why did He allow this to happen? An angry evangelist on television claimed this was all God’s judgment. What do you think?”

“Well, I don’t particularly like it when people flippantly portray God as hostile,” I responded. “For those who don’t know Jesus as their personal Savior, Katrina is certainly a wakeup call. They need to get their lives right with God. But, as a follower of Jesus, my responsibility isn’t to go around pointing fingers at people. My duty is to extend a helping hand to relieve their suffering and share with them the way to salvation.”

I proceeded to explain that “angry” Christians aren’t representative of all believers. “Hundreds of thousands of Christians have given of their time and money to reach out to victims in the Gulf,” I said. “They’re out there demonstrating Christ’s love rather than spreading messages of vengeance.”

As our conversation came to an end I was reminded of the harm that is done when disasters like Katrina are arbitrarily ascribed to God. Certainly people need to be confronted with the reality of eternity and the consequences of their unbelief. But most people, like this businessman from Louisiana, are more likely to receive Christ if exposed to Christians who, through their words and deeds, reflect a loving and merciful Savior.

Hal Donaldson

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