If one thing is clear from our Bush fire crisis it is that Australian’s love to point fingers and find blame. Is our Prime Minister to blame? Past politicians? The greenies? Or as I have heard a bit lately, is God to blame?
Firstly can I just say I find it so sad how our nation is turning to hate and finger pointing at a time of national tragedy. Now is not the time for criticism, especially when it seems out of all proportion.
Probably the bigger question however is – Is this God’s judgement on Australia? Or more specifically the areas affected by the bush fires?
In Luke 13:2-5 Jesus directly refers to this same question when people were killed by the falling tower of Siloam. The assumption of the people (just like in case of the blind man – who sinned, him or his parents?) is that they must have done something wrong to deserve punishment. Jesus makes it clear that those killed were not to blame for the disaster that overtook them. He then goes on to explain that we are all together broken and sinful before God and we need to seek repentance.
We therefore should be very careful about attributing blame to people or people groups when disaster falls. However Jesus does take the opportunity to make the point that we should all begin with ourselves and use these events to remind us of the finite nature of life and to be sure we are right with God.
This is not to say there are not natural consequences for our actions. If you are on a job site and you are injured that doesn’t mean you are necessarily sinful, but it may point to carelessness that led to injury. In that light we can learn from the experiences of the bush fires but let’s refrain from casting blame on people or even on God for that matter.
In the same way, I feel we should be careful claiming that if we repent all our problems go away. This leads to dangerous conclusions that if we are ‘good’ then God must bless us how we expect. That is how the religious Pharisees of Jesus day operated. We simply live in a broken world in which we will encounter natural disasters and injustices.
God has placed us as Christians in that same world to be a light. Let’s keep praying, let’s keep trusting God, let’s keep offering good deeds to those in need. This Sunday at Catalyst Church we take up an offering which will support Samaritans Purse in their expression of Christian love to those affected by the Bush Fire Crisis.