Texas Baptist Forum

God & natural disasters

I have pondered “Does God punish through natural disasters? Most Americans say, ‘No’” (April 11).

Polls taken of many religious groups state a large percent don’t believe God would use natural disasters as divine punishment, a test of faith or some other sign from God. Scripture indicates otherwise.

Job 37 speaks of thunder, snow, small rains, great rains, the whirlwind out of the south, the cold out of the north. It says by the breath of God frost is given; the breadth of the waters is straightened.

Verse 12 says these “elements” are turned round about by God’s counsels—they may do whatever he commandeth them. Verse 13 says he causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.

Texas Baptist ForumJob 38:22-23 speaks of snow and hail that God has reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war.

Here are some other passages that indicate God’s activity through nature:

• Haggai 1:10-11—Because of Judah’s rebellion, God brings drought on the earth.

• Genesis 6 and 7—Because of wickedness, God sends a flood.

• Genesis 19—Because of wickedness, God rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah.

• Leviticus 26:4—“I will give you rain in due season.”

• Matthew 5:45—God sends rain on the just and the unjust.

Polling the Bible, we find God can’t stand sin and will chasten those he loves (Hebrews 12:6).

Keith Scott



Favorite Bibles

I agree with you 100 percent on two-thirds of your favorite Bible translations/versions (April 25). I love the King James Version and the New American Standard. If I had to pick three favorites, I would add the New International Version, which would be a distant third.

I looked at some sample verses of The Message, and I would have to say the only thing missing is a bunch of “you knows” and “like.” That, I’m sure, would make it even more relevant for today.

F.A. Taylor



Control of church

I am appalled by Tom Ehrich’s statements about “the need to wrest control” of church from the “active elderly.” Is he advocating a man-made religion? I see no reference to God the Father, Son or Holy Ghost.

What does he mean, “the active elderly are cursed with memories”?

Apparently, he has not experienced the blessedness of the fellowship of believers in Jesus united in worship in a sanctified facility, studying God’s holy word and singing hymns based on Scripture. Sunday still works here. The churches in Red River Valley Baptist Association are busy outside the facility doing things in Jesus’ name for the glory of God.

Under this “fresh vision, radical diversity, faith overhaul, not yet defined” set up, I am curious as to what resource will be used for the “experimental learning in a cross-denominational setting” out there in the “community market place.” Will it be the Bible now used by Southern Baptists?

In worship, Jesus read from Isaiah. Can we as Christians do less? Can we presume to improve upon what Jesus, our Lord, customarily did?

Ruby Whitten




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