IS HE OR ISN'T HE? PART 4. The debate continues. ABP Press reports taht Henry Blackaby believes the tsunami ws God's punishment for persecuting Christians. Blackaby is the author of the famous "Experiencing God" book and materials, among other things.
In an article dated today, Ken Camp reports that "Blackaby told a Kentucky pastors' conference workshop he recognized God's hand of judgment in the tsunami after he saw a map published by Voice of the Martyrs showing areas of intense persecution of Christians worldwide. " He also referred to the Old Testament stories of God destroying those who persecuted his people.
Disagreement came from Tom White of "Voice of the Martyrs". The article reports that White said "We do not agree with Blackaby's suggestion regarding the tsunami". "We do not agree that God was behind the deaths. Our Indonesia staff is rushing to deliver material and spiritual aid to the Muslims in that region. God desires all men be saved."
In support of Blackaby, Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, says it is a Biblical concept for God to use "natural" disasters as punishment. He also said we cannot know if the disaster is divine wrath or not.
Others weighed in on both sides. You can read all the comments on their web site.
None of these people really focused on the sovereignty issue. It was implied by some, such as Blackaby. We certainly cannot know the reason for God's actions. But, I do believe they are God's actions.