Monday, March 28, 2011

Cause of the Christchurch Earthquake (2) - Judgment from God

Many Christians are suggesting that the earthquakes were a genuine act of God. This takes different forms but the most common view is that God has judged Christchurch and is punishing its wickedness.

There are three problems with this view.

  1. God’s judgments are always redemptive, so when he judges a nation or city, he warns in advance through a prophet. The prophet describes the sins that are upsetting God and explains their consequences. They prophet tells the people what they must do to avert the judgment, so they can change their behaviour. When Jonah prophesied to Nineveh, the people repented.

    When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened (Jonah 3:10).
    No prophets warned Christchurch that earthquakes were coming. This event does not meet the criteria for a judgment of God.

  2. Christchurch has plenty of sin, but it does not seem to be any worse than many other cities and it is better than many others, so there is no reason why God should single it out.

  3. If God caused the earthquake, it hard to explain why Christians died. They would be collateral damage, which seems an odd way for God to work.


Mcdadius said...


Mcdadius said...

I have seen at least one prophetic reference to the earthquake in Christchurch being referred to as the beginning of the fulfillment of 1 Peter 4:17. The thought being that the name, "Christchurch" and the phrase, "house of God" are references to the same thing. I would be interested to hear your opinion regarding this.

Ron McK said...

I cover this in the next two posts.

mcdadius said...

God is love!
God is omnipotent!
God is omniscient!
God is omnipresent!
God is holy!
God is righteous!

Do you think God ever suspends any of his attributes?

When does it become presumption for the pot to say about the potter, he will only act in such and such a way?

How does the sovereignty of God and the authority of man to effect circumstances coexist?

2 Peter 2:9 says, "... the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgement." The judgement referenced here seems to be punitive rather than redemptive.

Where am I going wrong?


Ron McK said...



You are not going wrong, you are asking good questions, which is the way we all learn.

I doubt that God can suspend his attributes, because they are part of who he is. However, he can choose not exercise his omnipotence. He did that when he made us free. When he gave mankind authority on earth, he limited his authority to act, but his personal attributes were not diminished.

The pot can only say how the potter will behave, if the potter has said what he will do. God is true to his word. If has said something, we can trust it, without being presumptuous.

I have written more on this topic in Prayer and Authority.. God works to achieve his purposes, by inspiring his people to pray. He is so great that he can accomplish his purposes on earth with the limited authority that his people give to him.

2 Peter 2:9 refers to the final judgement. When I wrote about Prophetic Events, I was thought about adding a fifth category called the Final Judgment. This judgment event is not redemptive, because it is final, and our future destinies are set in concrete when we arrive there. I have written more on this topic at After Life.

I should also have noted that Destructive Judgments are not redemptive for the peoples destroyed, as they lose the opportunity to repent. However, they are redemptive for the community, because the remove a serious evil from society.

mcdadius said...

I just read your article on Prayer and Authority. It was excellent. You have really got me pondering some things which I thought I had settled in my thinking.