Blog Post

5th March 2023 – Minister’s Letter – God and Disaster, Part 2

Minister’s Letter – God and Disaster, Part 2

Last week I wrote how human sin plays a part in making natural disasters worse than what they might otherwise be, but there is a more fundamental part that sin plays.

The Bible tells us that the difficulties and dangers of natural world exist because of human sinfulness. Paul writes that “the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it” (Rom 8:20). Paul has in mind the events of Genesis 3, where God cursed the natural world in response to human sin. Paul says earlier in Romans 5:12 that Adam and Eve’s actions should not be seen as isolated behaviour; we each repeat the same conduct that brought about a broken world. This explanation of why the natural world is so dangerous lays responsibility upon our own human race.

Apart for human sin being responsible in a general sense, the Bible does provide examples of suffering brought about by specific sins (Acts 5:1-11, 1 Cor 11:30). However, without a specific revelation from God, it’s impossible to link modern disasters with discrete sins, either of individuals or of societies. Jesus clearly taught that some suffering has nothing to do with personal sin at all (John 9:1-3).

But while humans bear much responsibility, the above verses make it clear that God’s hand is active in all events. What is God playing at with such disasters? Next week.

Martin Kemp