I’m re-reading Christopher Wright’s book, The God I Don’t Understand.
It’s a deep book about evil, suffering, and other complex subjects.
Wright explains, “we cannot and must not go on to assume or affirm is that the actual people who suffer the effects of natural events like earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, floods, and so on … are worse sinners, and therefore stand more under God’s judgment, than those who are fortunate enough to live somewhere else than where the disaster struck.
It is one thing to say that there may be elements of God’s judgment at work in the natural order as a result of prolonged human wickedness. It is another thing altogether to say that the people whose lives are snuffed out or devastated by a natural disaster are the ones deserving that judgment directly.
Yet, in the wake of the tsunami in December 2004, that is exactly what some people actually did say, (italics added) leaving me wondering whether I was more shocked and angry with God or with the appalling things some Christians jumped up to say.”
I couldn’t agree more. And, sadly, I’ve been one of those ignorant people too.
Wright continues, “I was profoundly sad when a grieving pastor from Sri Lanka, where whole churches were washed away, emailed me to ask if it might be interpreted as God’s judgment on the Christians of Sri Lanka. Why should he even begin to think that it was, or that they were any more deserving of such judgment than Christians in India, or Britain, or America?”
“Please God help me not to perpetuate lies when I’m ignorant,” is mysilentscream.