Who’s to blame for natural disasters – us or God?

Natural disasters are usually blamed on God – but why would God purposely create disasters? A lot of religious people, however, believe that’s exactly what God’s doing because, they say, he gets so angry at times at the way we’re behaving that he simply can’t contain himself any longer and he has to vent like a volcano and hit us with another disaster.

“But what else should we expect from God?” religious folks ask, “We deserve God’s wrath. Look at us: we ignore and resist God. We don’t tell him we’re sorry when we mess up. We don’t look to him for help when we’re in trouble. Instead, we look to empty, useless gods of our own creation and we couldn’t care less what God thinks. So how would you feel if you were God – especially after you’d created these amazing beings to share your life with – and all they do is spit in your face? No wonder he gets angry. The way we treat him, it’s no wonder we get hit with all these disasters.”

Scripture seems to support this view too, because in Romans 1:18, God does get angry with those who thumb their noses at him, and he expresses his anger visibly by giving people over to the lifestyle they’ve chosen, verses 26, 28. God is not mocked. He lets us swim up to our necks in the mess we’ve created. We made our bed, we lie in it. We reap what we sow. Resist him, then put up with the consequences.

But does that include God purposely creating disasters? These verses don’t say that. They speak only of God giving us over to the natural consequences of our warped minds.

But these natural consequences also play a huge part in natural events taking on disastrous proportions. An earthquake, for instance, becomes a major disaster because we build ramshackle, dangerously weak buildings on known fault lines. Floods become killer floods because we destroy the forests that soak up the water. Tornadoes become extremely dangerous because we create cities in tornado alleys. Volcanoes become deadly because we live close to them.

Common sense alone surely tells us there are obvious places on this planet it would be wiser not to set up shop in, but we do it anyway. We’re idiots. But it’s no wonder we’re idiots because in wanting nothing to do with God our minds have become so twisted we can’t think straight and we don’t care. Result? Millions of humans die unnecessarily.

The unfortunate question we have to ask, then, is: Is God the cause of major disasters, or are we?

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