We have all been horrified by the disturbing images of Bushfires rampaging through Australia.
At the point of writing nineteen people have tragically lost their lives, three of which are volunteer fire-fighters and there are many more missing and unaccounted for. Over two thousand properties have been damaged with hundreds of families displaced.
Ecologists have estimated a death toll of half a billion animals across 11.3 million burnt acres – which is an area the size of Belgium – in flames!
Millions of people have resorted to prayer whilst others have used the atrocity as a platform to promote their atheist ideology.
Social Media is filled with comments such as…
“How can a loving God allow this to happen”
“How cruel and spiteful is God”
“What is the use of prayer?”
“Christianity is B*** s****”
I have received several messages regarding such comments which I will endeavour to answer as compassionately as possible.
I pray that these answers help the Christian defend their faith amidst such tragedy and that the accuser may accept the love of God in their lives.
The Australian Bushfire – is God to blame?
A loving response……
- If God was to prove Himself to you in this instance and miraculously stop the Bushfire would you be in church on Sunday? He has worked many miracles throughout human history that you choose to happily discredit, so why ask God to work a miracle in this case? And what difference will it make to your relationship with God view if He did work in such a way again? (John 12:37).
- If God was to come to earth and act out His perfect justice, eradicating all that is against His will (like the Australian Bushfire), how would you fare against such judgement? Would He not have to eradicate you to? Rejoice that by Grace He stays His hand and loves you despite your reaction of Him. (Matthew 7:2)
- There are many theories about who or what started the Bushfires; A) arson, poor land management, climate-change or B) natural forces. A) If it had been caused by human negligence (or worse), such actions are condemned by the Bible. If we refuse to listen to God’s guidance, we cannot then blame Him for the consequences. (1 John 2:16). B) If the Bushfires are naturally caused then there is absolutely no warrant for any moral response in a merely material universe. If there is no God (as you claim) and we are merely products of random chance then the Bushfire has no significance, it is just another random natural act. The loss of a third of all Koala’s is yet another cold and heartless example of the Darwinian ideology you wish to promote.
- Isn’t it odd that when any horrific event occurs (natural disaster, terror attack etc) millions of people who do not give God a second thought suddenly become theists and “pray” or use the atrocity to attack Christians and blame the God they do not believe in. I am yet to see anyone on social media blame (or petition) Vishnu, Buddha, Krishna or any other god for that matter. Why is it that only the God of the Bible gets it in the neck when things go wrong? Is it because it is only when life gets real, when the horoscopes, the Yoga mat and well-being app are proven to be no help whatsoever, that deep down the truth of who really is Sovereign becomes clear? It is the tragedy of the human condition that it takes such an atrocity to break down our pride to reveal this truth. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
The Australian Bushfires have caused a horrific loss of life, and we all grieve this because deep down we all believe (as the Bible teaches) that life has meaning and purpose. The Australian Bushfires further evidence the Biblical teaching that this world is broken and that bad things can and do happen and our natural desire to seek justice and appoint blame points to the Biblical promise of a better future.
Friends, it is only the Bible that can explain the horror that we are seeing, it is only the Bible that can justify our sorrow and it is only the Bible that can give us the hope we need to get through this difficult time.
I pray that such atrocities will bring you to the Bible for answers and ultimately to the Cross of Jesus Christ, where God turned the pinnacle of human evil and suffering into a gateway of love that will unite all His faithful into a new and better world (Revelations 21:4).
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18