Assigning Reasons to Tragedy

disasterFundamentalists take great pleasure in divining the hidden reasons behind tragedies. Everything from car crashes to cancer are found to have hidden causes of great significance. And usually it means someone is being punished.

Perhaps the most famous examples come from the sermons preached in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina as preachers thundered their message that New Orleans suffered God’s wrath because of its great wickedness. AIDS is obviously God’s judgment on homosexuals and Vietnam was caused by American’s hesitation to intervene in the Holocaust. Whether every person ever killed by a hurricane, volcano, plague or pestilence was also equally wicked is unclear.

One has to wonder how many sermons were preached about the tornadoes in Murfreesboro, TN last week. Were the sins of Middle Tennessee Baptist Church responsible? Only fundamentalists know for sure — and they’re not saying.

26 thoughts on “Assigning Reasons to Tragedy”

  1. “And usually it means someone is being punished.”

    That or it’s a sign that the Rapture is coming soon.

  2. Well, I will admit that most of the talk I heard about Katrina was on TV and being flung around by Charismatic preachers. I’m sure some fundy’s jumped on that wagon too.

    I hadn’t heard a good “they died because they rebelled” sermon until I was in the youth group of our last church one night. The young youth pastor, a grad of a very IFBx college, related a detailed story of a friend who strayed and was killed.

    I have had several friends die over the years. The very first friend that I lost was a young woman who loved and served the Lord with all her heart. She lived an outstanding life. Why did she die young? I guess I’ll only know when I meet her in heaven.

  3. God does allow tragedies in our lives to get our attention and to draw us closer to him. This is not funny, it is the truth..

    1. Can someone give me a verse for that? Because Romans 2:4 says that His GOODNESS leads us to repentance.

      1. Thank you Natalie…I’m so tired of blanket fundy assertions repeated by fundy pastors, fundy parents and just plain fundies over decades without any critical thought…they’re just repeated so much they make sense, with or without Biblical consideration…

  4. If you can find some sin or behavior to blame for the misfortune of others, you don’t have to show compassion. Very convenient, and guarantees that you’ll always have your evenings and weekends free!

  5. For me i find much more comfort in thinking the tragedies in my life were random accidents that were under no ones control than to try to figure out why god would allow them to happen. If god wanted to get my attention why wouldnt he just tell me instead of allowing my loved ones to get sick or die and leave it up to me to interpret that as him “reaching out”. If that is how god operates i don’t want to serve him at all. I feel better knowing that there the tragedies in my life were happenings of chance and that there is nothing I could have done to prevent them.

  6. I even heard someone in my Church (not a Fundy Church)say that she had been told bu a fundy-type friend that Katrina was sent to stop a Gay Rights march, which was suposed to take place the very next day. Phew… Katrina arrived JUST in time….

      1. They are both equally important topics, Natalie. All sexual perversion is wrong and sinful. Nowadays the pedophiles and child molesters are arguing for recognition and “equal rights” just like the homosexuals did. And now there are people in the American Psycological Association trying to abolish age consent laws and gain official recognition for pedophiles and have pedophilia removed from the list of mental disorders just like homosexuality was. We as Christians must stand against pedophilia and homosexuality equally.

        1. Gays & child molesters are equally reprehensible, huh? It’s a wonder that no one trusts fundies moral compass since it’s completely lacking…

        2. I am not an IFB. I am simply a conservative Baptist. Do you believe homosexuality is a sin as the Bible says?

        3. Problem is, pedophilia is a crime. Homosexuality is not. Pedophilia affects innocent people. Homosexuality does not. Being gay doesn’t hurt anyone else. On the contrary, people who are gay take a lot of abuse on themselves.

          So, no, we as Christians, shouldn’t “stand up” against them. God Himself can take care of that Himself.

          But, we as MANKIND, should defend innocent lives that are hurt.

        4. I’m not going to give you a yes or no on whether homosexuality is a sin. You made a despicable moral equivalence argument with gays & child molesters. I don’t think you deserve an answer to a lame question after that kind of behavior/statement.

        5. Never said you were IFB or even Baptist. I know a fundy when I see one picking out a group to inappropriately disparage though.

  7. Like everybody else, I have been watching the horrifying events unfold in Japan. Some of the images of the relentless distruction of the tsunami are still replying in my mind. I wonder how long it will be before some Fundy preacher claims it is God’s punishment on the country for some past sin. Japan needs our love and help at this time, not a pointing or wagging finger.

    1. Yes, I’m wondering the same thing. I’m waiting for Pat Robertson to weigh in on this one.

    2. I found myself hoping yesterday that Pat Robertson doesn’t find out that a tragedy happened. I don’t wanna know what he thinks is the reason for it.

  8. I had a miscarriage shortly after I got married and one “very godly” woman told me (along with other things) that it was probably because God knew I wasn’t ready for motherhood and that I should wait to try to have kids until I was older. I don’t know where they come up with this stuff, but now that I think about it, the best comfort I got at that time came from my Baha’i step-mother-in-law.

  9. Everything has a reason Darrell. God foreordained all things. It is just that we cannot always know what God’s purposes are for everything that occurs. God leaves nothing up to chance.

  10. I agree that the Lord has my best interests  at Heart.  I also believe that, since His ways are so much higher than my ways, I may not always know why a tragedy occurs.  In fact,, usually I will not.  The older I get, the more easily I weep over the news.  I am disgusted by anyone claiming to know the mind of God on tsunamis, bombing, hurricanes, etc.  I lost my minister- husband while my three children were small.  My eldest was diagnosed with leukemia on his nineteenth birthday.  My middle child nearly died in a car wreck four years after that.  And my baby girl, aged twenty, was robbed at gunpoint last night, along with her boyfriend.  In this world, I WILL have tribulation.  But I am told to be encouraged, for there is One Who has overcome it all.  Doubtless there are  fundies who have an opinion on why these things came into our lives.  Their opinions are as meaningless to me as their rules and regulations.  I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.  This includes not only my eternal soul, but this life I now live in this flesh.  He loves me, and hastold me these things somehow work together for my good.  Judge on, fundies, but remember: you will be judged, then, with the same level of judgment you dole out so ponderously now.  👿

  11. We will not know on this side of heaven why tragedy strikes.

    God is good.

    His mercy endures for ever.

    Jesus Christ is altogether lovely.

    Faith sees beyond suffering and will not try to define or attribute blane.

    I could be wrong.


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