So very interesting

Pulled from Relevant Magazine’s newsletter:

In a speech on Martin Luther King Jr. day, New Orleans’ Mayor Ray Nagin said that this last year’s hurricanes were a sign that “God is mad at America” for community violence and the war in Iraq. At least it wasn’t Pat Robertson who said it this time…

God mad? Quite possibly. I’m not going to declare it, but I’m not going to say it’s impossible either…despite Relevant’s commentary that would suggest otherwise. God does still get mad. Remember, he’s the same God as the one you read about in the Old Testament. He poured out his wrath then and he still does. And he will to the ultimate extreme when the fullness of time has come.

Jesus seems to be the wildcard that causes people to think God has abandoned the “just” part of his character. But when Christ returns with fire in his eyes, riding a white horse, I think we’ll be reassured of God’s justice.

Sadly, prophets have been saying the country needs to repent for years. Not that mainstream America, or even mainstream church-goers in general, give ear to prophets…

God mad about community violence? Certainly. War in Iraq? Maybe.

Mr. Nagin: You didn’t stop there, did you?

Full article on Nagin’s speech can be read here: New Orleans Mayor Says God Mad at U.S.

Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a blogger, marketer and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

7 Comments

Nathan

about 12 years ago

I have to respect Mr. Nagin for the speach, it makes even more sense when you read the whole transcript. He did seem to speak for God a lot, which was not so good, but he seemed primarily to be extoling the black community that it is time for them to solve thier own problems instead of relying on others to do it for them. Which is good, because whether or not you believe it is the government's job to solve the problems, you cannot deny that they are not doing it. It's a shame that Mayor Nagin had to do some backtracking the next day. I personally would think God would be most mad at our national urge to think of ourselves as the chosen nation to do his will, but then again I think that's a problem most nations get when they get powerful.

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Joel

about 12 years ago

Nagin's comments kinda reminds me of the time Bill Cosby called out his people. It wasn't pretty...but calling people out never is. I've been learning a lot lately about owning up to the problems I bring upon my own life. Taking yourself out of the problem-equation often goes a long ways toward a happier life. And you're right in that the speech is much more "holistic" when your read the whole thing, and comments in context. I don't think it's the government's job at all to take care of people's problems. I think it's the churches'. The church should be the greatest social-service organization in the world. Christ-incarnate was all about helping people in practical ways as a means of getting at their hearts; Christ's body (read: "we") should be all about the same thing. And I'd agree that national pride--which of course is comprised of personal pride--is pretty much at the top of the list of things steeping God's judgement.

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april

about 12 years ago

hey. So I agree with many points...esp about how it is the church's job - have you read Renewing American Compassion by Marvin Olasky? Good read. Also, I don't really blame the country because of the fact that we were founded on Christian beliefs. I taught the Declaration of Independence last week to my Eng III kids and of course I used a little bit of National Treasure to emphasize my point--the specific line being thus: But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing ivariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. I think America has transformed this statement into an application not only for the oppressed people of the world to take action - but anyone who has that ability. We feel this responsibility and therefore act upon it. Of course, this would be quite righteous of us (even if it isn't our job) but unfortunately I don't believe our motives are so pure. Rather than freeing an oppressed people, we seem to look at it in regards to smothering a possible future threat to our own safety, which is why in the past we have always withdrawn our troops so speedily and often left the country in disrepair. Sadly, our interventions made here at home against the oppressor 'poverty' seems to only perpetuate the problem, not offer any real solution to it. If the church cared for the poor, those on welfare or disability, if we took in our elderly and cared for them, sheltered our youth, maybe a difference really could be made. But instead people draw welfare which, at times, only teaches the lesson that it pays NOT to work. My grandmother worked hard to feed her children but could barely afford milk or eggs and when she tried to apply for "aid" they said she made too much money while, at the same time, her neighbor did not work and lived better that my grandmother did. I do believe God is angry about it. As awful as I may seem to say it--when New Orleans was destroyed it did seem like the hand of God. A modern day Sodem and Gamorah (sp). There is a really stupid movie (but I like it) called Dracula 2000 by Wes Craven. I like this version b/c Dracula is really Judas. As he walks the streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras he sees the sin, the blasphemy, the sensuality and he is amazed. He calls it "genius" because he no longer has to try so hard. And of course, his bitterness towards God sprang from his own guilt and the fact that he could not forgive himself for betraying the Son of God. We make it too easy for the Devil to gain a foothold in our lives. Even those once called "righteous" seem to have sunk to a worldy level where "salvation" has become equivalent to "happiness" which implies that as long as we are happy we are Christian. Churches preach about feeling good rather than sacrifice and knowing what a just, righteous, holy God we have, we cannot doubt that it not only infuriates him to see the wasteland we have created, but it breaks his heart to see us so disillusioned and so willing to be complacent in everything. oops - I ranted...sorry:-)

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Joel

about 12 years ago

Wow! She's got a fire in her, folks! Some real, real good points. Love the Dracula 2000 reference. I haven't seen it, but you're totally right about the devil not having to work very hard in some areas of our culture to get people to serve him. Just going with the flow and living la viva loca will work just fine! I'm still feeling out the whole "founded on Christianity" thing regarding our forefathers. I need to read more about it, but from what I understand, many of our forefathers were diests: they believed in God, and referenced him quite often, but the Christian "God" they served was in their mind far removed from present day earth and simply "wound the clock" and walked away. He didn't concern himself with the everyday matters of his people. To steal a point my friend Jayson Combs made, that sounds a bit more like idolatry than true faith. If we worship God but don't understand who he really is...then we aren't really worshiping the true God...and therefore are worshiping an idol. Ouch! Time to read my Bible and make sure I really know who God is!

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april

about 12 years ago

yeah - it is so sad that people can believe He is distant from us. My heart aches to think of the many people that never 'feel' His hand in their life, never experience who He is. I dont think it would be physically impossible to get out of bed if it weren't for His living and intimate presence. and christianity today has been watered down so much...idolatry (among many sins) is so prevalent and seemingly so undetected...how do we fight against such a surging tide of false christianity? ... on another note - glad to hear the surgery went well...mine was a nightmare but asi es la vida...take care

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Christy Randall

about 12 years ago

So I've been reading this book "Awakening to Prayer" by Augustine Ichiro Okumura, a Buddhist-born Japanese who became a Catholic priest. He has a chapter on just this topic. He agrees with your pastor, that just because Jesus said, "Thy will be done" does not mean we should be passivist in our prayers. He says this: "It is less important for us to strive to discern the ways of Providence than to maintain an unalterable trust in God's love. In the many trials of life it is often hard to believe that God loves us. And yet it is especially at such moments that faith is strengthened in proportion to the darkness of the shadows." So keep praying fervently, and leave off the "Thy will be done."

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april

about 12 years ago

ok - i have to bring this up then...what about Jesus' prayer on the Mount of Olives "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." (luke 22:42) Do I always have an attitude of fervent prayer? no. Sometimes I only pray for something once. Sometimes I pray every day. But I wouldnt discard the phrase entirely. I have to pray for God's will b/c I know that my own desires do not always match up. I dont think it is passive, or disbelieving. I have no doubt that if God wished to heal my nephew, he could and would. He hasn't so far, and I will continue to pray for it until the day I die. I also pray that His will is done which might contradict my request in the first place. hmmm...

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