Act of Nature or Act of God?

Article from the Washington Post--Submitted by Bob Sands

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I found this article on MSNBC news website where they quote from the
Washington Post:

Here is an excerpt:

*Act of nature or act of God?

Martin E. Marty, professor emeritus of religious history at the
University of Chicago, has written his 55th book, "When Faiths
Collide," which he says should land in bookstores this week.

He's been an ordained Lutheran minister since 1952.

"It's only natural to repose yourself in the will of God," he says.
"If you're a believer, then you must believe that God, somehow, is a
presence in all of this. But God didn't tell anybody that you go
through life without disasters."

Still, talk of religion's role in the disaster irks Marty. Following
the devastation in Lisbon in 1755, priests roamed the streets, hanging
those they believed had incurred God's wrath. That event "shook the
modern world," he notes, changing people's idea of a benevolent,
all-caring God.

"In each act of nature -- your insurance calls it an act of God --
when people are precise in knowing that this is God's will, they're
creating great trouble for themselves and others. You have to say that
God is playing favorites. You're thinking, 'If I were spared this
time, then when disaster comes next time, I'd have to blame it on
God." *

SDAnetters, living here in St. Louis, MO as I do, if you follow
football at all you know the name Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams.
When he took the Rams to the Super Bowl, he gave God the credit, which
I have no problem with, but when he was losing and hurt, then traded
to the New York Giants this last year, was God not with him. I think
in the above excerpt, in the last paragraph, this is sort of the
dilemma that we place ourselves in when we bring God into it, we look
for "who He is trargeting or blessing" but we can "repose yourself in
the will of God".

Just remember the following text in assess it:

*Isaiah 45:7

I form the light and create darkness,

I bring prosperity and create disaster;

I, the LORD , do all these things. *

This would suggest that God created this disaster. However, to say he
is out to punish someone may be a stretch. But I believe that he has a
purpose in His acts. My original statement was a reaction to Gus
suggesting that this disaster was a punishment from God. This verse
says he creates disasters but it doesn't say it is a punishment
always. However there are numerous verses in Jeremiah
(Jer.4:6; 6:19; 11:11,17,23; 14:16; 18:11; 19:3,15; 21:10; 23:12;
24:9; 32:23,42; 36:31; 40:2; 42:17; 44:2,11,27; 45:5; 49:37; 51:64)
where it indicates he certainly can bring punishment.

In Christ,

Bob Sands

Further Commentary by Ron Beaulieu:

God's Retributive Judgments Seen in Vision.-- God has a storehouse of retributive judgments, which He permits to fall upon those who have continued in sin in the face of great light. I have seen the most costly structures in buildings erected and supposed to be fireproof. And just as Sodom perished in the flames of God's vengeance, so will these proud structures become ashes. I have seen vessels which cost immense sums of money wrestling with the mighty waters, seeking to breast the angry billows. But with all their treasures of gold and silver, and with their human freight they sink into a watery grave. Man's pride will be buried with the treasures he has accumulated by fraud. God will avenge the widows and orphans who in hunger and nakedness have cried to Him for help from oppression and abuse. {3SM 418.3} The time is right upon us when there will be sorrow
in the world that no human balm can heal. The flattering monuments of men's greatness will be crumbled in the dust, even before the last great destruction comes upon the world. . . . {3SM 418.4} Only by being clothed with the robe of Christ's righteousness can we escape the judgments that are coming upon the earth.--Letter 20, 1901. {3SM 419.1}

Many Children Will Be Taken Away

Ere long we are to be brought into strait and trying places, and the many children brought into the world will in mercy be taken away before the time of trouble comes.-- Manuscript 152, 1899. (See Child Guidance, pp. 565, 566; Counsels on Health, p. 375.) {Ellen G. White, 3SM 419.2}