Natural Disasters--Are They a Sign or Punishment from God? on Technorati.)
The recent earthquake/tsunami/nuclear nightmare in Japan is certainly not your everyday occurrence. The incalculable toll on the people living there continues to mount. The outlook becomes more grave by the day. Ever wondered where is God in all of this? What is He saying to us through tragedies like this one or Haiti’s killer earthquake last year?
While most Americans believe in a personal God who is in control of what happens in our world, most do not believe that natural disasters are a sign from Him or that He sometimes punishes nations for the sins of its citizens through such disasters. These are among the findings of a survey designed and conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, a non-profit, nonpartisan research and education organization. The survey was conducted between March 17, 2011, and March 20, 2011.
According to the survey results, seven out of ten Americans believe that a person can have a personal relationship with God, and 56 percent believe God is in control of everything that happens in our world. Based on these findings, it would appear that the only logical conclusion to draw from events like the recent Japan tragedy or the killer earthquake in Haiti last year is that the hand of God was involved. However, according to the findings, most Americans do not believe that to be the case. Only 38 percent see natural disasters as a sign from God, and only 29 percent believe God sometimes punishes a nation for the sins of its citizens.
The majority of Americans, almost 6 out of 10 (58 percent), attribute the severity of recent natural disasters to global climate change while 44 percent attribute it to the end of this age, as taught in the Bible. To reconcile the findings of the study, I conclude that most Americans believe that a person can have a personal relationship with God, that He was in control during events leading up to the Japan disaster, but though He did not intervene to spare Japan of this misery, He was not making a statement regarding the people of that land.
The current death toll in Japan has been estimated as high as 18,000. Over 200,000 died as a result of the Haiti earthquake. Interestingly, only about 18% of Americans say that seeing innocent people suffer shakes their faith in God, according to the survey results.
Copyright ©2011 by Frank King. All rights reserved.