A smiting or not?

I've talked to several people who have recently taken issue with an satirical article on the Advocate's website, written by Karel, referring to the recent deaths in the boy scouts as an act of revenge by God. A co-worker who considers himself a devout Christian asked my opinion on the article.

I explained that thought it was tacky for Karel to make light of the recent deaths in the Boy Scouts. But I didn't think it was any less tacky than the bible thumpers (Falwell etc..) that publicly blamed 9/11 on the Gay population (as he mentioned). At least Karel admits to his article being sarcasm and offers his sympathies to the affected families. Whereas some of the far right, got quite a bit of media attention (and little denigration) when they tried to fire off their own socio-ethnic cleansing scheme.

Playing devil's advocate I asked him what the difference was between the tsunamis from earlier this year and the acts that Karel points out. If you honestly believe God is willing to unleash the horrors of Mother Nature on multiple countries why wouldn't God also make an example out of several scout leaders? All the horrific events are pretty much all open to interpretation, except quite a few on the right feel and have voiced in national media and on blogs, that the reason the predominantly Muslim nations were targeted by an angry God was to teach them a lesson (a smiting if you will). Not very different from what Karel described, except they were dead serious and didn't include the heavy dose of sarcasm he implores, and they damn sure didn't extend their sympathies to the families affected.

My personal view is that smitings were over with when Jesus died on the cross. I can't say God destroyed that many lives to teach a lesson, especially given the number of hurricanes and other natural disasters that have plowed into the eastern seaboard the past several years (even my hypocrisy has limits).

Posted by phineas g. at 03:15 PM on August 05, 2005 | TrackBack

My personal take on smitings is that God only smites somebody if they are making not only bad choices for themselves, but choices that negatively effect others in a massive and unstoppable way. It's His way of saying what you're doing is so heinous that you have to be removed from society for society's own good, like an expulsion from school. Otherwise God just lets us go on about our business, "tsk, tsk"s at us if we are making poor choices, and helps us out if we decide we're done making poor choices on our own and would like to make better ones.

And not every killing by act of God is a smiting. Sometimes that's just God's way of saying, "Good job, now come home quickly!"

Posted by: Wacky Hermit at August 7, 2005 11:02 AM