An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

My God Is Better Than Yours

It didn't take long for the e-mails to hit the University system and be passed on. This one has made me angry ...
Subject: Christians Survived Disaster

Apocalyptic Invocations While Some 100,000 Perish In Indian Ocean As Christians Survived Disaster - Newscasters and relief workers alike have described the Indian Ocean disaster as one of "biblical proportions." It is most certainly a type and shadow (although on a very small scale) of the apocalyptic judgments described in the New Testament book of Revelation and it demonstrated without a doubt God's protection of His people.

Koenig's Eye View has received reports from around the disaster area were Christians were spared from the disaster and survived where thousands next to them perished.

The Sunday earthquake measuring 9.0 magnitude in the Indian Ocean touched off a tsunami of 20 foot waves traveling at 500 miles per hour crashing into Thailand, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh and even in Somalia, killing over 100,000, leaving millions more homeless without food and clean water. The initial quake was followed by at least a half-dozen powerful aftershocks, ranging in magnitude from almost 6 to 7.3.

This was the fourth largest earthquake recorded and the largest since a 9.2 magnitude quake in Alaska in 1964, a generation ago. It was preceded by an 8.1 quake Friday in Antarctica. Earthquakes have become increasingly more frequent in the just the past 20 years. The United States Geological Survey reports that the number of major earthquakes worldwide from 1990 to 2003, in just the past 14 years, increased from 16,612 to 31, astonishing 88.8%!

The Biblical proportions of this disaster become clearly apparent upon reports of miraculous Christian survival while nonbelievers were less fortunate. Christian persecution in these countries is some of the worst in the world. Eight of those nine countries--Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Somalia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, and Indonesia are among the top 50 nations who persecute Christians. Depending on the list, "Open Door" or "International Christian Concern," Maldives, Myanmar and Indonesia rank among the top ten. One pastor from India said that two churches where he was supposed to speak on Christmas and New Years were swept away into the ocean and thousands went with them, but the pastor at one of the churches reported that not one Christian was harmed.

Instead, a fisherman, who lost his family, received salvation. Another report from the disaster area described buildings that had collapsed under the immense pressure of the waves and the only survivors were Christians. Still another report came from a ministry who has pastors and Bible students throughout the coastline of Southern India and not one Christian member of that ministry was scathed.

God said in Isaiah 43:1, 2,"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you." We are not given to a spirit of fear, but one of faith. These times will cause us to wonder, but do not let your faith wander. You are under His divine protection. John writes in 1 John 5:4, "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith."

A pastor who reported in said that he needed neither verse nor knowledge to prove that God is sparing His people. "I do not come to an idea that God provides PROTECTION TO BELIEVERS BY READING SOME VERSE OR BY LISTENING TO SOME INTELLIGENT ARGUMENTS. I HAVE EXPEREIENCED AND I AM EXPERIENCING THIS...GOD PROVIDES US A GREAT PROTECTION IN THE TIMES OF TROUBLE!"

Typical of the news reports are stories like this: an Indian woman surrounded by bodies on her knees with her arms outstretched to the heavens crying, sobbing, "Why, God, did you do this to us? What have we done to deserve this?" It is interesting in a land where people worship over 330 million gods that when disaster strikes, they turn to the one true God and demand to know why He did it. On a beach in Indonesia, a similar scene where a man mourning the loss of his entire family, looked to the sky and demanded to know from God why He did this to him. He did not make his demands on Allah, but rather God, the one true God. People are either thanking God for their survival or demanding from Him an explanation, even cursing Him. And this is the way it will be in the end.

It is in these moments that there are many believers ... perhaps not many who are saved, but many who now believe that there is one true God. But they make demands of Him after worshiping other false gods. As we enter into the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy of what Jesus called "the beginning of sorrows," there will be many more catastrophes. Man will stand at a crossroads. Man can continue to worship false gods, a blasphemy unto eternal death; or he can continue in his sins-homosexuality, child sacrifice, adultery-and receive judgment. Or he can turn his heart toward the one true God and receive the gift of eternal life.

Insider's Take: There are many men and women of God who sense in their spirits that the year ahead will see many, many Biblical prophecies fulfilled. They sense that there will be world-changing events in epic proportions. The Indian Ocean disaster of '04 could be the beginning.

And there will be many questioning, "Why did God do this?" God does not owe man anything, yet John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

America is not immune from such disaster. And the way she is behaving by accepting the sins against God and by participating in dividing the covenant land of Israel, surely catastrophe lies ahead. Remember that the Lord protects His own, and in this season the harvest is ripe. So many questioning people, and you have the answer, Jesus Christ.

I knew it was coming, but this is really sick. Using a disaster as a piece of religious propaganda. This seems to top the cake in terms of the stuff that I have got through the Uni e-mail system. It really does make me quite angry.

They seemed to have not mentioned the fact that plenty of Christians were in fact killed. I am sure a lot of the Swedes, Germans and other Western citizens in Thailand on holiday would have no doubt been devote Christians. The waves found no distinction between them and anyone else there.

There are some remarkable stories of survival, including a guy found floating on debris and found 8 days after. I am sure most of those people were not or are not now worshiping the "one true god".

This spiel also seemed to forget to mention the Mosque that was the only building left standing in that town in Aceh.

Arggg ...

The worst thing about this e-mail is in fact that it was forwarded on to me by my boss, George, someone who I have had great discussions with talking about all kinds of cross-cultural, spiritual things. He even told me he wants to go and live in a Buddhist monastery in Tibet for a couple of months after reading the Dalai Lama's biography. What gives?

Anyway, I have vented my disgust now. I could say more, but it is pointless. Thank you for putting up with me. Normal programming will follow ... and I promise I will try to restrict my outbursts about the e-mails I get to a minimum in the future.