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  1. #1
    Delfim's Avatar
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    Article: SUNDAY-READER: Why We Blame God for Our Problems

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    "Gray and Wegner presented subjects who believed in a higher power with one of four stories. In all four versions, a family is picnicking in a valley when the water level rises. In half the stories, lunch is ruined by the flood, and in the other half lunch is really ruined because everyone drowns. Also, in half the stories a dam worker is said to have caused the flood, and in half of them the cause of the flood is unknown. Subjects then rated how much the story’s outcome was part of God’s plan. God drew much more blame when people died and no one was clearly responsible than in the other three scenarios. The tragedy needed an explanation, and human intervention wasn’t an option."

    So I wonder how many blame the people for having a picnic near a dam?

    "We’ve seen similar stories in the news. Both Christian and Muslim leaders claimed the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed a quarter of a million people in Indonesia was punishment from God. After Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans in 2005, Mayor Ray Nagin said God was “mad at America” for the Iraq war, while a Christian group noted a resemblance between a satellite image of the storm and an ultrasound image of a fetus, suggesting that Katrina came to avenge the “ten child-murder-by-abortion centers” in Louisiana. Glenn Beck called the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in early 2011 a “message” to humanity."

    Maybe my faith is strong, weak, I dunno...but I find it hard to attribute the deaths of innocent people to God. Yes, we love to believe that God has a plan, and that we are all part of it. However I don't believe that God feels the need for taking half a country or nearly a whole state with natural disasters because 10 clinics perform abortions or AIDS spreads throughout a population. Old testament God would use anger to avenge His name, and to that we may attribute the results skewed to congregations that worship using mostly the Old Testament.

    However did Jesus NOT die on the cross for our sins? "For He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whomever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16 (yeah, familiar but not to be dismissed). I believe that Jesus did not die in vain, although todays society seems to want to forget and examine with science and have a solid reason for everything. This study is just one more example.

    In my thinking (and you can feel free to borrow this if you like, or condemn be if you feel the need) God has a plan for each of us. This does not mean that every event in our life is planned out. To believe that eliminates one of His greatest gifts, free will. Our destination may be determined, but the path we take to make it to that end isn't set. Along the way we are faced with choices given by others and situations that we make ourselves. The choice as a Christian is to decide to follow the teachings and ethics of Christ, or to leave that path and follow one that does not."I believe that we are either moving towards God or away, but never are we at a standstill"{Pastor Scott Davis].

    That being said it saddens me that we (society) choose to only refer to God in times of sorrow, times of stress.

    Or do we?

    Today is Father's Day. How many dads out there said "Thank you God" at the sight of the little one once it greeted the world?

    How many times have you thought to yourself as you watched your children play "Thanks God"?

    How many of us in the end thanked God Almighty for the time we have had with a loved one?

    I'll share this. Everyday I thank God for my family, my food, my health good and bad, my friends both near and far (Hi Del).

    /rant
    Last edited by jfcooley; 06-18-2012 at 07:24 AM. Reason: Credit for quote :)

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    Hi Jay!

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    Sorry I got off topic and ended up ranting. Pain makes me do that.

    Add that been wrestling with some things.

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    What Jay says. Seriously though people like to blame plus they like to think they're special. Look at the Oscars or the music awards and the number of people that stand up there and thank God. I personally do not believe that God would specifically decided to give one person a special advantage over anyone else, we have all been given the same talents and gifts we just choose to use them differently. I also cannot and will not believe that any of the terrible disasters that happen in this world happen as a punishment, anyone that wants to spread this sort of teaching is not somebody that should be listened to or followed
    jfcooley likes this.
    Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic. And we will change the world. - Jack Layton (1950-2011)
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    I disagree slightly, maybe even being nit-picky.
    God has given us gifts. Some of us share these gifts, others have different ones. There is a book "Discover Who You Are" by Jane A.G. Kise, David Stark, and Sandra Krebs Hirsh that I studied in small group a year or so ago that goes into it a whole lot better than I could.

    In a nutshell it looks at the different gifts divided into 2 main categories. Life Gifts and Spiritual Gifts. Life Gifts would be sub divided into Realistic (good at fixing things, practical-matter of fact, reliable/steady in crisis, modest, and the skills they fit into), Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional.

    Spiritual Gifts would be Gifts of Heart, Gifts of Proclamation, Gifts of Action, and Gifts of Inspiration.

    In the end the book is designed to help one find their gifts and put them to better use. I can attest that you may go into it believing one thing and end up finding something else out.

    Sorry, just felt the urge to throw that out there.

    I remember reading a chapter is another book "What's The Least I Can Believe And Still Be A Christian" (can't remember author and pressed for time) that tackles something similar to the op topic. Two kids are killed in a car crash by a drunk driver. Is that God's Will?
    Man dies of lung cancer. Was it his time? Did God call him home?

    No on either. The kids died because some idiot chose to get drunk and drive. The man died because he smoked 2 packs a day for years. Neither were God's choice, or God acting, they were choices people made themselves, both with crappy outcomes.

    The mother of the kids started a MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) chapter. She used a tragedy to try and save lives of others. I believe God was at work through her.

    The mans family likewise used his example as an attempt to enact change that could make lives better. God was with both and many more through the tragedies.

    Life happens. Where would faith be if everything was hunky dory? Would we still praise God if He gave us everything we need and want? Some would say yes, but I doubt it. We become complacent and take things for granted. God gave us life, it's a struggle. Throughout that struggle we as Christians need to rely on faith to help us through, and most importantly, help others through.

    Sadly we forget that. Some of us think that praying on Sunday makes us good Christians and we forget the rest of the week. We forget that there are others that need help. I believe I heard in a sermon that your neighbor is anyone that is in need, and you can assist. Anyone. Hard to do sometimes when beliefs contradict, but there isn't a clause that says you're exempt from helping if you don't like the person or what they think. (If you search hard enough in the Bible you can piece together passages to support the opposite, but then again, I can do the same to support).

    So maybe, just maybe, the next time a hurricane wipes out a community, or a tsunami drowns a country, or that guy down the street falls down drunk, or that kid who broke your window struggles in school, we shouldn't blame God for punishing someone. Maybe we should just thank God for giving us the faith and example of Jesus to act where help is needed.

    Lastly, for our posters that aren't believers, thanks for putting up with these rants. We may disagree, but luv u guys 2
    RogerG likes this.

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