Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shaking Christchurch (4) - Salvation

Another common theme is that God is shaking the people of Christchurch, so they will turn back to him. I am not sure how this is meant to work. People have responded to the earthquake in various ways. Some are working hard to clean up the mess. Most are helping their family and friends. A few have complained and moaned. Many are expecting the government to help. I doubt that many are saying, “I need to sort out my relationship with God” or “I want to know more about God”. Modern people just do not think that way. Despite the crisis, most people are not even thinking about God. If someone came without a shovel to share the gospel, they would be seen as a nuisance.

There is not a lot of evidence of the Holy Spirit working more powerfully in Christchurch at the moment. There is a reason for this. The Holy Spirit can only function where he has been given
authority to act and he has been slowly squeezed out of Christchurch over the past few years, as less and less people trust in God and few Christians are actively praying. I imagine that only a small proportion of the people in Christchurch have a Christian friend actively praying for them, so it is not surprising that the Holy Spirit has been free to act.

The spirit that has been really active in the city is the spirit of fear. Many voices are making us afraid, so thousands of spirits of fear have been able to make their home in our midst. The earthquake has given these principalities and powers a power base in Christchurch and they will not leave until they are forced out of the city.

A few people may have come to faith in God during the earthquake, but another god has done far better. The earthquake built up faith in government. People in the modern world tend to assume that the government will come to their assistance and rescue them from every catastrophe. Their experience during the recent crisis has strengthened that trust.

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