Are Boston Bombings Another Warning From God?

Today, two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Casualties are uncertain, but mounting. It was another horrific shock for America. I pray for those impacted by this bloody violence. Still, I wonder, is it possible that this is another warning from God?

The lion has roared;
who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;
who can but prophesy?
Amos 3:8

In America,

  • we kill over a million unborn children per year, call it choice, but we expect God to save our lives
  • we made Fifty Shades of Grey (trilogy about sadomasochism) the runaway best sellers of the year (all 3 books), but we expect God to not judge
  • we care more about media celebrities and athletes than we do about pastors, teachers, doctors, and other helpers, but we expect God to provide for our needs
  • we think science offers better explanations for life than its Creator, but we expect God to enrich our lives
  • we try to redefine God’s gift of marriage, but we expect God to bless our families
  • we spend money we don’t have, personally and at all levels of government, but we expect God to prosper us
  • we glorify lust, violence, greed, and selfishness, but we expect God’s blessings
  • we divorce for no reason, commit sexual immorality for any reason, and push back God’s limits as out of date, but we expect God to strengthen our relationships
  • we spend our time and treasure on entertainment, but we expect God to solve our big problems
  • we trust in technology, neglect prayer, but we expect God to answer anyway

Why do we think that God’s judgment is not imminent? Amos, a rancher in the 8th century BC, saw similar problems in his nation (Judah) and in the neighboring nations. God sent him to give a warning to the nation of Israel in about 760. It was two years before a powerful earthquake (archaeological evidence suggests it was an 8.2 Richter scale disaster that destroyed several cities). Amos announced that God, the Lion of Zion, was roaring in warning, but the people paid no attention. Within a generation, the northern kingdom, Israel, was completely destroyed. In 722, Assyria removed what was left of its people and decimated the capital, Samaria. America needs to learn from this example or it faces the same perilous judgment from God.

Would God really send a disaster like these bombings as a warning to America? Amos faced a similar question about God’s chosen people. Certainly, God would not allow harm to come, right? God, through Amos, promised the opposite: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” (Amos 3:2)

Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster befall a city,
unless the Lord has done it?
Surely the Lord God does nothing,
without revealing his secret
to his servants the prophets.
The lion has roared;
who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;
who can but prophesy?
Amos 3:6-8

What did that punishment (and warning) look like? What was God trying to do? Listen again to Amos:

I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
and lack of bread in all your places,
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

And I also withheld the rain from you
when there were still three months to the harvest;
I would send rain on one city,
and send no rain on another city;

yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

I struck you with blight and mildew;
I laid waste your gardens and your vineyards;
the locust devoured your fig trees and your olive trees;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt;
I killed your young men with the sword;
I carried away your horses;
and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.
Amos 4:6-10

Natural disasters, drought, famine, warfare – all were warnings from God so that the people would return to Him. And yet, they would not. Is America as ignorant and prideful? What if Katrina, Sandy, droughts across the midwest, the financial crisis, the Newtown shootings, and today’s bombings are all part of God’s warning to America? What happens if we still refuse to turn to Him?

Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel;
because I will do this to you,
prepare to meet your God, O Israel!

For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind,
reveals his thoughts to mortals,
makes the morning darkness,
and treads on the heights of the earth—
 the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

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50 thoughts on “Are Boston Bombings Another Warning From God?

  1. Chris Gorton says:

    Dear Brother Sean,

    I appreciate very much what you have written and want to encourage you to continue. I would suggest just one small modification. If you would modify your list of bullet points by replacing “we” with “they” it would be more reflective of Biblical truth.

    Amos was speaking to the people of God – those who claimed to have and allegiance to Him as their sovereign. The U.S. gives no such lip service, and claims itself as sovereign. Simply read the U.S. oath of allegiance.

    It is to the church, not the U.S. that the message of Amos applies. It is we who need to rededicate ourselves to our king. We cannot call a nation born in rebellion, to return to a king she never new. We can call her suffering subjects out of their bondage to darkness and into the light of our glorious king and His kingdom!

    May our God and king bless you richly my friend,

    Chris

    • Sean Durity says:

      I appreciate the thoughtful comments here, but I do disagree somewhat. Amos had messages for other nations besides Israel. He may have never delivered them directly to Edom, Amon, Tyre, etc. but God had a message of judgment for each.

      If you read chapters 1-2, you will see that these messages are rhetorically arranged to pump up Amos’ primary audience (Israel). However, he saves his harshest and longest criticism for them. Since they have agreed with the judgments on the other nations, they are now pricked by their own guilt.

      So, I think the message is equally for believers and non-believers. Actually, it may be even more pointed at those who say they believe, but do not actually live a life of faith. All face judgment.

      I disagree that America is a nation born in rebellion that never knew Jesus as king. One of the most important cries of the Revolution was “No king but King Jesus!” Freedom from tyranny is a righteous cause as the Declaration of Independence justifies.

      God’s blessings on America are abundantly clear. However, our responsibilities are equally abundant. America is not living up to God’s calling and that includes me. So, yes, it is “we” who continue to ignore God. I do agree that the church, as God’s people, bear much of the blame for what has happened in our society. We can’t blame unbelievers for living a life of sin. The church, though, has followed many of the same lies. And, as you say, we have often failed to call those in darkness to the light.

      • I think the “we” is much better than “they”, because by using we you are clearly identifying yourself as an American. “We” instead of “they” also gives a humbler tone than the condescending tone “they” might give.

        I think some of the things you listed we are all guilty of in one way or another. Makes me want to do better.

        * By the way, my comments are general statement ones unconnected to the killings committed by a couple of losers who wanted an easy way into paradise, so the could get their filthy hands on those unfortunate 70 virgins.

  2. Chris Gorton says:

    Amen Sean! I agree totally with your analysis of brother Amos’ message. As this is your venue, I will be careful not to hijack it, and let you have the last word on the nature of the birth of the U.S.

    Lord willing I will get around to posting on it on my blog and then I we can have it out there in a heated spat among friends. Maybe we could do some joint posting on the subject some time. Unfortunately I don’t have time at the moment.

    In the meantime, know that I appreciate you, and keep on pressing into Him whom we serve.

    Chris

  3. This should be on the front page of the New York Times, but it won’t be, will it. “Unless”, it is to set you apart as a dangerous right-wing extremist! I agree totally with what you have shared. Amos speaks again! Few countries were founded on Biblical principals by God fearing men as this one. America has been thought of as a Christian nation for a long time, until, in recent years, we have a president speaking that we are not a Christian nation. To that, his words have been true. I do not fault him for speaking what appears to now be true. Even that is a message from God. So if God does not punish us, even if he only lifts his hand of favor and blessing, and actually allows what we are “sowing” to be “reaped”? Even just that will bring much pain and heartache to our country. That is, if we continue to ignore God, ignore his word, and ignore his warnings. Each of us need to examine our walk with God, and make sure we are doing what he has called us to do in such a time as this. WORDS can TURN things. To the WISE, WORDS like these will TURN things. And if our country has any hope, God’s people must continue to speak, both in prayers, and also in words of warning. I think there are many who will not “wake-up” to the true power of our faith until their back is against the wall. When we are “cornered”, then we come out fighting! Unfortunately, it will likely be too late by then. We need to wake-up NOW!

    • Sean Durity says:

      It is interesting how people react and think that this couldn’t be a warning from God. They think that evil just does what it wants, as if God had no sovereignty over His creation. Thanks for the enthusiastic response, Cowboy!

    • Maybe I ought not comment on these alternative takes. I suppose I understand why this post was written, I just wish it hadn’t been in connection with the Boston killings. I read it yesterday–although with the hours I keep for all I know it might appear to be the day before yesterday–but in any event, I can honestly say that after reading this it bothered me so much I had a hard time sleeping.

      There is a man, who in my opinion really is like an Old Testament prophet. His name is Noam Chomsky and he has been railing against what America does for decades–not because he doesn’t love his country–but because like the OT prophets because he loves the country and wants it to be all it should be.

      Often he says thing–actually most of the time– he says things that I feel uncomfortable about hearing. I happen to thing Obama is a good president, but Noam says he’s “worse than Bush” when it comes to human rights.

      Noam, a Jew, speaks out against Israel also. And even though he was often beaten up by the Jesuits as a young man, he has the photos of five Jesuit martyrs in his office at MIT. They were martyred by death squads because they tried to get the country they lived in in South America to live according to the Gospel of Christ. (You’d be surprised by who sponsored the death squads.) Anyway, Noam has become a hero of mine, and most of the things you disuses you will never read in our “free press,” because the principalities and powers of spiritual wickedness in high places won’t tolerate the US population knowing about it. I can verify everything Noam says. So could the New York Times, but they won’t.

      • How “Things he discusses” became “things you disuses you will never read” is one of those amazing typos I can make without even realizing it. .

      • Sean Durity says:

        I was not very familiar with Chomsky, so I did a little research. It seems he made quite the impact in linguistic studies. I can’t really understand the revolution there, but it was apparently important. His general bashing of the US and capitalism will not win me over. Capitalism, tempered by Christian charity, is the best method of allocating scarce resources in a fallen world.

        I do thank you for adding to the discussion here.

        • I’ve seen dozens of Mr. Chomsky’s speeches. I mentioned–
          “because like the OT prophets because he loves the country and wants it to be all it should be.” That’s my opinion of him.

          Sean, when you say–
          “His general bashing of the US and capitalism will not win me over.” You make it seem that you have closed off any chance of a deep — or even superficial — evaluation of what he has to say.

          No offense intended, but can you really have it both ways–
          The prophets of the Hebrew Bible are heroes for speaking out against the transgressions of Israel, their own country, but if an American does it, there’s something wrong with him? Aren’t dissenting opinions important, especially if they are factual and well thought out?

          • Sean Durity says:

            I was trying to keep my comments brief, not just dismiss Chomsky out of hand. Truth is vital, and dissenting voices are important. From the little I know of Chomsky, I do not think I would be inclined to agree with many of his opinions. With him being an anarcho-syndicalist (which I had to look up), our views of the world are just very different. However, that does not necessarily mean that he does not present important facts and truth about certain issues. It does mean that in my limited time, I am not likely to search him out. I find compelling critique of our culture from other sources.

          • “It does mean that in my limited time, I am not likely to search him out. I find compelling critique of our culture from other sources.”

            Since we are debating a world-view and what informs it, I think the sources of information is important. I truly believe that it is important to seek out sources that challenge ones view rather than settling for those that reinforce it. For instance, for a long time when I listened to Mr. Chomsky, I had no doubt that his information was accurate, but I thought his world-view was naive. I no longer believe that. I see him as “a voice crying [out] in the wilderness.” Although there is no chance that the he will be listed to his views are consistent and astoundingly intelligent.

            One of my favorite passages in the Bible is “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” I’ve never seen anyone do that for as long as Chomsky or someone who makes as compelling cases for that world-view.

            There are many things that he says which don’t seem “realistic” to accomplish. Still, should that be a reason to remain silent? When he said that we [the US] “murdered” Osama bin Laden, I rolled my eyes. But I have to admit that even that, when viewed as a part of his vision for international relations actually does make sense. He contends that we should have brought bin Laden to the US and placed him on trial for Crimes Against Humanity. I’ve come to believe that he is right about that.

            ________________
            I wrote a brief essay that Mr. Chomsky read and commented on. “i’ll give you the link, if you’re interested.

      • I don’t mean to be ignoring you, but I have had a lot of people I been trying to help in various ways, and been VERY busy. But in very short, Obama disgust me, Republicans desgust me too, I’ve given up on politics to focus on ministry while we still can, and yes, the media is in the tank and does not speak truth. Most media and politicians are afraid to speak the truth. Someone has the goods on them. Nobody is perfect and blackmail is easy.

        • I deeply believe that any religious person living in the United States when they wake up in the morning ought to thank God that the country has no official religion or church denomination.

          The reason for me saying that is because I agree with you about the condition of the country. It is a disgusting — and I would even say there is a treasonous — clash of egos and personal self-interests that are destroying our economy and good way of life. All of the worst that people in a great nation like ours are capable of doing is on display right now. I know enough about history to realize that we live at a low-water mark in the country’s history. One-third of the global economy is “hidden” by the wealthy in secret accounts, off shore and the like. Rather than loving the country, too many people either love money or are caught up in a system that prevents them from doing right even if they want to.

          NOW, here’s the connection and the main point I’m getting at–
          Just consider what this country would be like if all of the religious factions within it were vying for power and dominance. I think the effect on freedom to worship (or not) as one wishes would go right out the window. It would be a mess far worse than what we are seeing in Washington DC–and that’s saying a lot.

          Best wishes to you for the good deeds you want to accomplish, my friend.

          • A true Christian is one who does as Jesus did, and what did Jesus do? Did he try to force people to follow him, or believe his way? Did he threaten anyone? Would he ever have? No. He proved that by not even resisting when his life was at stake. True Christianity is not a threat to anyone other than the devil himself. True Christianity changes everything for the better. Yes, you can give me many examples of things that were done in the name of Christianity that does not fit the example Jesus gave us. So what are those acts? Where do they fit? They are in the same file as man perverting our Constitution today. If there really is any hope of a utopia some day, it is in the hope of Jesus Christ, and the hope that man will quit messing it up. At any rate, I happen to know there are people out there truly following Christ, and they do more good for this world than they are ever given credit for, because the god of this world hates them, lies about them, and destroys them. But Jesus said, “I’ll be back”, and when he does those people are coming with him, and all those who did not think there was a devil they needed to be saved from, will finally be convinced, but a little too late.
            So yes, Jesus would not approve of a “forced” religion either, and it would be a dangerous thing. He does not force Christianity even now, but he tells us there is a devil, and a judgment that will come. He tells us the truth. He tells us this house is on fire and I’m here to save you, if you only truly believe, repent of your sins, and truly follow me. The world could be a better place. What kind of person would not tell you your house was on fire? Because they knew this news would upset you, they just remained silent. What if the whole world was on fire, and there was an escape, but your friend did not try to tell you? What kind of friend would that be? He should even try to force you if that were allowed, but I’m afraid it is strictly forbidden. Interesting, huh.

          • When I first read this, I thought someone else had replied to my comment. It never crossed my mind for an instant that you would have written it. It’s written in an exasperated tone, and does not display the serenity that you are known for, and which is the best attribute you have as a follower of Christ. When someone can look at [or know online] a man and say, “I like this fellow. He’s an agreeable and easy to be around man, comfortable with the way of life he has chosen for himself,” there is a chance that the other person might decide to adopt some of the man’s ideas.

            On the other hand, when a fellow [me] reads it and says to himself, “This is one scary guy,”

            Don, I think you are wise man in deciding to avoid the frustrations of politics.

            As far as the interpretation of scripture goes, we’ve been down this road before. Remember when I had those YouTube videos on my blog of all those preachers condemning each other to eternal damnation in hell fire. (And the other preachers were Christians!) BUT they didn’t have the *right* take on the scriptures. One minister who looked to be eighty began blubbering over it. It was sickening.

            — In 1802, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, a group expressing fear of persecution by the Congregationalists of that town, in which he used the expression “Separation of Church and State”. It is the first known instance of the expression, which contrary to popular belief does not appear in the U.S. Constitution in those words, but is often believed to be present by the combined effect of the establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment. James Madison, considered the founder of the Constitution, used similar language regarding such separation. The letter is on display at the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Danbury. —

            It wasn’t God who wrote the US Constitution, it was primarily a document that James Madison wrote much of it and the process was overseen by him and Thomas Jefferson. (It was an arduous experience that few people would want to endure. Imagine all those city-state type factions they had to contend with to get the document completed—many compromises, etc. In any event Jefferson was a deist, and thank God for that. He believed that there was a God who created the universe but that he didn’t get involved in human affairs. Just imagine how different things would have worked out if he had been a Congregationalist.

            When our forefathers fled Europe, then known as Christendom, it was to get away from the torture chambers, burnings at the stake, and so forth that the religious were doing to each other. In my opinion, there’s just one small step a man has to take – as those many, many YouTube preachers were doing to each other of condemning each other to a fire to come, before they begin burning each other in the here and now.

            Then comes the really fun part, where we get inter-religious warfare, where all three of the Abrahamic religions, and others, have at it.

          • Sean Durity says:

            I think you confuse passion with exasperation.

            The US is right to keep the government out of religion. However, the Constitution was not designed to keep religion (or Christians) out of gov’t. Certainly we should not compel belief by gov’t force. However, as an individual I would certainly assert that Christians and a Christian worldview are superior to all other options.

          • All I can say, Donald, is that when it comes to pure evil, I am not an easy going man. Our government has become full of bribery and blackmail. Don’t let my easy going manner with people fool you. I love people, but I will stand against evil with every fiber of my being. Perhaps that is why I understand your book “Badlands” so well. I liked it even though it was in rough form because my mind automatically filled in any gaps. I’m not an easy going man. I pray hard and I fight evil hard. I ride the horse God gave me hard. I love people but I hate evil. I treat people right because I care, and that is what they deserve as a fellow human being whom God loves, but don’t doubt the fire that burns within me against evil. I hope I’m not scaring you too much. I hope our past history tells you all you need to know about me. I have not changed. Perhaps you did not know just how well you nailed me with that bounty hunter image. I never even thought of it that way before, but when I read your words, I saw it. I thought you saw it too. (Interesting.)

          • My comment was simply one friend having a heart to heart with another friend. What I was aiming at with “This is one scary guy.” is that it read that way. You’re a writer, just like me, So, no doubt you know just how difficult it can be to get the words to mean what you intend for them to mean.

            One of the first rules in writing is “Know your audience,” The Apostle Paul made that very point when he said he considered the audiences he was preaching to. You can say something to one group and it will touch their hearts, while the same thing spoken the same way to another one can get the idea all twisted up and bent of it shape from what you wanted to accomplish. Now, that’s Paul’s advice, not mine. And I think it’s good advice.

          • Yes, Paul riled and scared a lot of people too. I just always try to be honest and say exactly what I mean to the best of my ability. I won’t tell you one thing and someone else something different just to make them feel good. Some one you might like coined the phrase “Inconvenient Truth”? Yes, it usually is. Just goes with the territory I guess, but that is just conversation for me. This is how I talk all the time. It just depends what buttons you hit. (hee-hee.) Sorry about that. I like your hee-hee thing, so I use it. oops! Looks like it is getting past my bed time again. Where does the time go? The heat was 90 degrees and humid today. 3:45 am. sure comes early! At least I got my next article out.

          • I was specifically referring to the tone of the comments you made.

            Paul a Servant to All–

            For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant to all, that I might gain the more. And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. …
            ___________________________________________

            I chose to view Paul’s stated method as someone sincere in his mission and using the method in an ethical way. Now, if I can’t quote the Bible while discussing Christianity, I’m pretty much completely excluded from the discussion. Someone might read Paul’s statements as being those of an insincere charlatan, But even when I took them to be a sincere ethical method, you said: “I won’t tell you one thing and someone else something different just to make them feel good,” as if I’m suggesting someone be unethical, That was not my point at all, and any fair-minded reading of what I said will show it to be about the tone one takes when making a comment rather than the content *in* the comment..

          • I don’t know why your “tone” seems to indicate that you think I am attacking you. If anything, my comments were against Obama and the Republicans. Jesus called the religious leaders of his time a bunch of vipers and snakes. That was not kind language, but it got to the point! I don’t know about “tone”, I’m probably tone deaf. Just take the words for what they say, and don’t try to read anything into it. I will always try to “shoot straight” with you. Just like I do with any one. If I offended you in some way, it was not intended and I apologize. Unfortunately, anytime the subject of politics, religion, truth, even philosophy comes up, there is a very good chance someone will have the chance to be offended. Maybe you’re not offended, I’m not even sure, but I still stand by what I said, and just know I meant no harm by it. It is just the truth “as I see it”, and that is all I can speak is my honest opinion of things. That’s what cowboys do, and I am what I am, I guess. All my friends have flaws and so do I. Maybe this is one of mine, however, some people would see it as a strong point, and not a flaw. If it is a flaw, then it is an intentional one, because I believe in shooting straight with people, even as I am trying to do now, but as I read back over this I can see how a person can take my “tone” in different ways. Perhaps I mean good? Or perhaps I’m just mean? Actually, I’m just me, and if you know me, you know what my intentions always are, and will always be.

          • I know.

            I was just giving you some feedback, for whatever it was worth. You haven’t offended me. Sometimes My tone is “off” without me even realizing. Sometimes I wish someone would kindly say, Donald, do you really need to say it like THAT? Upon reflection, I’m sure most of the time I’d do a rewrite if I could. 🙂

            Anyway, no problem partner. Overall, I think this post of Sean’s turned out to be one that lead to an interesting discussion. I rarely get comments on blog posts I write. 😦 Which is why I don’t write them anymore. No one was even interested in reading my brief discussion with Noam Chomsky.

            So long for now.

          • I tried to skim through some of your conversation with Sean. If only we had time to do all the things we enjoy doing, but alas, we are mortal and are forced to make choices. As far as the Boston Marathon being another warning from God? Scripture is very plain that when a people begin to rebel on God, then he eventually cannot continue to “bless” them and they must begin to reap what they sow. As God lifts his “favor”, evil forces begin to come in. Is that God’s fault? Not at all! Should we consider it to be warnings? Only fools would say no, and the wise immediately recognize. One blessing of walking with God is he promises to work all things to our good. When we walk away from God we lose that promise. Is that God’s fault? Is he doing wrong by no longer blessing us? Little by little we see greater evil creeping in and yet our leaders seem to be blind to it. I do not see the current direction of our country as anything good. Our economy is being propped up to create the illusion that we are fine even as we are a sinking ship called the Titanic. Nothing but more lies from our leaders. I don’t know about my “tone” right now, but this is what I see. Eventually, if things suddenly go horribly wrong, then maybe, it could work to our good because people usually turn back to God at that point, but in today’s world, I think they just might choose to curse God and die, rather than repent. Is God responsible for any of that? He set the laws this creation functions by, but we choose what we will sow, which determines what we will reap. God set the law of sowing and reaping. Personally, I think it is a very fair law. I think God is just and righteous, as usual. That is what I believe, that is my faith, and that is what I speak. From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. It’s actually all very “logical”. That’s my opinion anyway. Even a simple cowboy like me can understand it.

          • I remain unconvinced. For whatever flaws the people of United States have, they are nothing compared to what our enemy’s are doing–

            throwing acid in the faces of girls, raping girls at will and expecting them to remain silent. In Egypt women can’t walk down the street without being groped. In fact they celebrated their newly won freedom by gang-raping an American news reporter. The Chechens massacred those kids in that Russian school. An Islamic cleric beats his five year old daughter to death because he thinks someone has raped her. The list of Crimes Against Humanity that our enemies have committed on the small and large scale are stunning, and yet God is essentially siding with them? Favoring them over us. See, now I’m getting really ticked off.

            I don’t think we should discuss these things. I’ll refer to the section in Ecclesiastes about living amicably and leave it at that. I left a statement on your site before I read this comment.

            Now, I’m sure you mean what you’re saying one way and I’m reading it another, because we both have different life experiences, but I’ll take the God that Desmond Tutu believes in over the one Jerry Falwell did any day of the week.

          • When president Obama said that America is not a Christian country that was so perfectly, spot-on, in accord with the words of Christ that it should be something to rejoice over. Christ made it absolutely clear in no uncertain terms that Christians are forbidden to have a country that his followers are to be *in* this world without being a *part* of this world.
            In general the United States is fortunate to have a majority of its *citizens* as Christians. But that’s a huge difference between Christians *having* a country, which is strictly forbidden. All the quotes you and Sean are making about God’s protection pertain to Israel, which herself rebelled against God—according to the Bible—by having a king/president, something which they were not allowed to do but did anyway.

            Countries, just like corporations are inherently evil—they are of this world. They are easily infiltrated by the principalities and powers of the darkness of the world, and are abounding with spiritual wickedness in high places.

            In the other comment I made, I mentioned “the people of the US”. The United States government itself is guilty of great crimes, worldwide—crimes that Christians ought not to be involved in in any fashion. Take a guy like Romney. I can give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he is probably a good man—but by being part of a corporation he got mixed in with the wickedness of this world. Would an ordinary Christian, or just a plain decent person, be willing to invest in a slave labor camp? Christians are supposed to be the persecuted, and not the persecutors.

            Beautification, the seeing of God in the next life, hangs in the balance over such issues as these, according to the Bible.

          • As you said, we should not talk of these things. (Your suggestion.) Oil and water will never mix. If I respond to your comments, and I easily could, this could go on forever, and you would be very ticked off very quickly. It’s too bad the valley still exist between us, but it does. Such is this friendship we have. There are people I work with that I am friends with on this same sort of level, but I know if I were to ever spend any real time with them, or actually talk to them about choices I see them making, then I would have a miserable work situation to go into every day. So I keep it light. I make a “suggestion” here and there. I make sure they know what I believe and they know I would help them if they ever wanted it. But they don’t want it, at least not yet. So, the valley remains, and this country is in real trouble because they don’t want God’s answers any more either. That’s all I’ll say, because we just can’t talk on these things. I choose to honor your suggestion, anything else is just too depressing. How’s the weather in Florida, Donald? (hee-hee.)

          • About your approach toward your fellow workers, friends, and so on, I couldn’t agree with you more. Letting people know that you are a follower of Christ and you setting an example it seems to me is exactly right.

            A guy doesn’t want to feel like he’s being taken hostage at gunpoint. 😉

            The weather is actually worth commenting on. That storm that came through last week blew part of my siding off. I fixed it, but it was a pain. Otherwise it’s been mostly cloudy, which I like because then it isn’t too hot. Don’t let anyone fool ya, it can be rough in Florida during the summer–too hot and muggy!!

          • Donald, I mentioned to you some new direction in ministry, and that I might leak a little info here and there. I still have my Men’s group, and we are about to take a new step together. We are preparing to “target” people to help them. People in real need. The first one up is a man named Bill, and he has real bad cancer. He is a Christian brother, but he has no income. What it comes down to is that he needs MONEY, just like so many people do. My motely group is mostly older, retired, and have little money. The weather is great here, too. I’m now headed out to work on my barn and get it ready for a weekly Yard Sale that all proceeds will go to help Bill. The church is going to throw things in the back of my black Ram pick-up on Sunday mornings, and be careful not to hit my dog, Shadow, in the process, (LOL), but this will be a summer long event in which my guys will also help. This cowboy is going to work 6 days a week, like the Bible mentions, and rest on Sunday. I have a 1997 Honda Civic that has been broke down and not started in 2 years. I’m not a mechanic, but I’m about to become one. I’m going to work on it in the drive, while I run the yard sales. The yard sale will also advertise my blogsite, and our church. This may be a strange way to attack the devil, but this cowboy is on the trail and riding hard. I have some silver bullets just waiting to shoot. I’m headed out to work on my barn now. Much work to do. Hope to have yard sale going in 2 weeks. Keep you posted.

          • Godspeed on helping your friend. I’m hoping the best for him.

            Yes, make sure Shadow stays well, he’s a fine animal–a handsome and intelligent little chap.

          • —“At any rate, I happen to know there are people out there truly following Christ, and they do more good for this world than they are ever given credit for, because the god of this world hates them, lies about them, and destroys them.”—

            We are friends, and we could get into a Holy War about scriptural interpretation. For instance, Christ, and not one of the interpreters of what he said, is quoted as having made these specific statements:
            “Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

            “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

            Moreover, one take on the words spoken by Christ is that he was clearly against Organized Religion– “[A]s the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets. . .” I think a good argument could be made that he would have said, “Houses of Worship,” if the other two Abrahamic religions existed at the time.

            . . .

            Well, if we’re still friends—and I hope we are—maybe we ought to focus a bit more on the things we have in common, although only one thing is needed to keep us talking: we like each other.

            If you’ve ever seen “Roger Rabbit” and remember the “Shave and a Hair Cut” part that about the way it is with me when it comes to debating a subject–I can hardly resist the urge to say, “Two Bits!”

            Ha! So that’s my two cents worth. 😉

          • I have not seen that movie, and I agree with Christ. In a way, you are confirming what I said. I’m not into organized religion, either. I’m into following Christ. That is why I said I know people who truly follow Christ. we’re not perfect by any means, but we know you can’t force religion. I’m into people. I’m into individuals, such as yourself. A church is just a place we come together to hear the Word expounded, because we love the Word. So I go where God leads me, and I add to the imperfection of that group, but it pleases God for me to go. That’s good enough for me.

        • I think I can agree with you on that much, Sean. The difficulty lies in getting people to abide by a worldview that really is based on the gospels. I don’t know much about Catholicism, but according to Chomsky Vatican Two was a good idea that the powers and rulers of this world didn’t take kindly to.

          Here’s Chomsky speaking about it for two minutes. By the way, he dislikes Obama more than any recent president, so don’t get the wrong opinion because he mentions Reagan.

  4. Who would know better what was behind it than the people who committed it? The Muslims were on a mission from God to pay us back for the Muslims that we have killed. According to them, none of what you mentioned has anything to do with this. If we repent of our sins and accept Allah and his Holy Book the Koran, (according to them) God will have mercy on us. We will get to live by those good old fashioned Muslim values that we read about in the papers all the time.

    Sean, Sean, Sean, why are you looking for reasons that condone this or bring God into it? Two evil religious fanatics killed a lot of innocent people for no good reason. That’s what I see.

    • Sean Durity says:

      I am certainly not condoning their actions. I agree that they were the work of evil men motivated by a false religion. A Christian worldview doesn’t “bring God into it;” He is already there, sovereign over all. I do believe that there is absolute truth revealed in Scripture and ultimately in the person of Jesus. I have evaluated the truth claims of Christianity and other religions (and the non-religious). Christianity stands alone as the clearest, most powerful, and most explanatory of the world we have. I choose to stake my eternal life on it.

      • It seems to me that you did indeed bring God into the Boston Marathon atrocity. The title of the post clearly indicates that– “Are Boston Bombings Another Warning From God?”

        I think there is a direct correlation between our comments about Mr. Chomsky and the post you wrote. Chomsky speaks up about the sins of the world, but he does it consistently, as he has been since the 1960s. He sees it as his duty. In fact that last speech I saw him give about Israel — he’s Jewish by the way — I’m pretty certain the security personnel of the place he was speaking at had him wear a bullet proof vest.

        The “absolute truth revealed in Scripture” is significant every day of the year. Tying something in to a national tragedy or disaster is, it seems to me, bad form. For instance, when Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell said we had it coming and got what we deserved when an enemy attacked us on 9-11, the committed treason. Now, just to be clear, I’m not at all equating your Boston Marathon post with the outrageous comments that they made. But as I mentioned, the facts you presented could be made at any time. Why do it when our country is under attack by our enemies?

        • Sean Durity says:

          I do understand that talking about events like this can be viewed as “bad form.” However, I think ignoring them is worse. Successful attacks by enemies IS a key way that God has warned nations in the past (see the book of Judges). I do not want to minimize the pain and suffering of those affected personally or infer that they had any specific culpability.

          I guess I am not stating my view on bringing God into the discussion very clearly. As a Christian, I think God is always in the discussion. It is a mistake to divide things into sacred and secular. God doesn’t speak just sometimes; He is always active in the world. It is critical, then, to discern what God is doing. So, I ask the question. While I have my opinion, I do leave it as an open question for the reader.

  5. About Liberation Theology–

    The primary architect of liberation theology in the Latin-American and Catholic context is Gustavo Gutiérrez. A Catholic priest who grew up in grinding poverty in Peru, Gutiérrez employed Marx’s critiques of ideology, class, and capitalism as part of his theological analysis of how Christianity should be used to make people’s lives better here and now rather than simply offer them hope of rewards in heaven.

    While still early in his career as a priest, Gutiérrez began drawing on both philosophers and theologians in European tradition to develop his own beliefs. The basic principles that remained with him through the changes in his ideology were: love (as a commitment to one’s neighbor), spirituality (focused on an active life in the world), thisworldliness as opposed to otherworldliness, the church as a servant of humanity, and the ability of God to transform society through the works of human beings.

    Most who are at all familiar with Liberation Theology may know that it draws upon the ideas of Karl Marx, but Gutiérrez was selective in his use of Marx. He incorporated ideas regarding class struggle, private ownership of the means of production, and critiques of capitalism, but he rejected Marx’s ideas about materialism, economic determinism, and of course atheism.

    Gutiérrez’s theology is one that places action first and reflection second, a big change from how theology has traditionally been done. In The Power of the Poor in History, he writes:

    “From the beginning, the theology of liberation posited that the first act is involvement in the liberation process, and that theology comes afterward, as a second act. The theological moment is one of critical reflection from within, and upon, concrete historical praxis, in confrontation with the world of the Lord as lived and accepted in faith.”
    Many are less aware of how deeply Liberation Theology draws upon traditions of Catholic social teaching. Gutiérrez was not only influenced by those teachings, but his writings have in turn influenced what has been taught. Many official church documents have made the vast disparities of wealth important themes of church doctrine and argue that the rich should make more of an effort to help the poor of the world.

  6. Sean Durity says:

    You might enjoy the book of Habakkuk, Donald. He argued a similar point. Why would Go use a pagan, brutal nation (Assyria) to bring judgment on His chosen people? That is His choice. And He promises fair judgment for them, too.

    You seem to waver between the US being evil and not-as-evil as Islamic countries. I will agree that the US has plenty of its own evil, but is still filled with godly people that make a positive difference in the world. I wouldn’t try to judge the evils of one society against another. I can’t do the accounting. I will let God be the ultimate, final, and fair Judge. (I do concur that many of the evils of Islamic countries are under-reported in our politically correct environment.)

    Finally, I would not agree that countries or corporations are evil. They are just collections of people. Some are led or influenced more by evil people, sure, but that does mean that they are all the same. Are some people more likely to follow evil in larger groups? Sure, but that does not absolve them of their personal responsibility. And it puts a greater weight upon leaders. God clearly holds leaders responsible for their influence and leadership.

    I appreciate you continuing a discussion here. I think we have gone far afield (and back), but that’s fine with me.

    • Sean, I haven’t gone far afield, nor have I wavered. Your post directly links the actions of coldblooded Islamists with the question of whether God let them get away with it due to things the people of our country have done. What did our country do?–

      It kindly gave them a place to start a new life. A life away from the horrendous conditions in Chechnya. The US let them worship as they pleased. It funded their education. The people of the US who were around them were friendly, respectful, and polite.

      They paid us back by going on a killing rampage that they believe was sanctioned by God and your post asks whether their cowardly and selfish acts of murder — don’t forget that the one brother is now fornicating with his 70 virgins in paradise for eternity for his “good deed.” — are a warning from God that we (not the perpetrators of this sickening inhumanity and incredible evil were acting as agents of God–that’s your question, directly: “Are Boston Bombings Another Warning From God?” — was God using them as agents?

      I say, if there is a God who would do that — side with (and you know very well what those Islamist countries do to people, especially women) — side with the Satanic forces in this world against a relatively kind and humane population, he is no friend of mine.

      Noam Chomsky has carefully, painstakingly, chronicled the abuse of power that the people in the highest positions of power within the US government have done. Some of the worst are common knowledge, involving the slaughter of millions of innocent and defenseless peasants. You decline to look into that. Furthermore, you seem to dismiss every point I’ve made, even when I refer to the most compelling statements within the Bible that back up my claims.

    • I went to The Online Center for Baptist Studies to find out what Baptists believe with respect to the relationship between the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) and the New Testament.

      This is what they say of themselves—

      “Born in 1609, they began, as all infants, struggling to survive. Today, however, Baptists number 43 million people in over 200 countries in every continent of the world. Hassled, heckled, and persecuted both in England and America in the seventeenth century, Baptists of the twenty-first century have become the largest Protestant denominational family in North America. Baptists have come a very long way!

      “A diverse group from their beginning, Baptists express themselves today in such a variety of ways that many who claim the Baptist name will not claim others who claim the very same name! Baptists differ today—and they did from their beginning—in what they believe, how they worship, their attitudes toward other Christians, and their understanding of what is important in Christian discipleship. A history of four centuries of fragmentation and controversy has only compounded the complex appearance of the Baptist family. It is, therefore, impossible to speak of Baptists as a monolithic group. No single tradition or group of Baptists captures the enormous variety in Baptist life.”

      As you can clearly see, it’s a seemingly impossible task to pin down specific beliefs. That said, an outsider notices what seems to be cherry picking of the Hebrew Bible. In general, many Christians focus on the Christian Bible and state that the primary purpose of the Old Testament was to set the stage for the New Testament. In our discussion, I don’t recall citing a single Hebrew Bible passage.

      If I wrote a post linking the murders of a little boy who made a poster saying, Stop hurting people; a young Chinese girl who came over here to get the best education in the world and had her life and dreams callously taken away from while being welcomed by our decent citizens; a guard who was ambushed while working for MIT, the institution that helped get us to the moon and back and the preeminent technology school in the world—not to mention the people whose legs were blown off at the end of a marathon; I would apologize to my readers, my country, the friends and families of the murder victims and the other casualties. *And* if I was a believer, I’d also apologize to God for implicating him in their treasonous activities and their despicable Crime Against Humanity.

      My opinion for whatever it’s worth.

      • Sean Durity says:

        I will stand on the Baptist confession called the Baptist Faith and Message regarding the Scriptures: “The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.”

        • Okay.

          I’m glad you didn’t get riled up over my take–and criticism of–the post.

          Next time I comment, I’ll look for something with common ground in it. So long for now, Sean. Take care.

          • Sean Durity says:

            I appreciate honest questions and discussion, so I’m certainly not riled up. I think you ask very good questions. You just don’t like my answers… 😉

          • Sean, you certainly have gained my respect. As Cowboy said of me, you do listen to other perspectives. This was an intense debate, and no one could say that all points of view weren’t expressed, or that you aren’t willing to let someone post harsh criticism.

            I like you, without agreeing with you.

  7. Sean Durity says:

    Donald, I grew in Florida (Orlando), so I know what you mean about the muggy heat. Strangely though, I find Atlanta hotter than Florida. I think because the contrast between seasons is greater so it just feels hotter.

    Cowboy, I love your plan for silver bullets! I have often thought that a targeted approach, person by person, is a great plan. Let’s help those in need right around us (or even around the world, as with Compassion International).

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