Where Was God When California Burned?

In this Nov. 14, 2018, photo, Phillip Harvey embraces his daughter Arianne Harvey as they stay warm beside a fire in Paradise, California. The family lost their home in the Camp Fire. Afterwards they moved into an RV on the property and then moved to stay with friends.

By Michael Brown Published on November 20, 2018

The magnitude of the recent California forest fires tragedy is staggering. As of this writing, the confirmed number of dead is more than 80 and the number still missing almost 700.

That means at least 80 people were burned alive in the blazing inferno. Wrap your mind around that for a moment, if you can.

And it’s possible that number could double. Or triple. Or quadruple. Or more. Much more.

Young and old wiped out in a moment of time. Families torn apart forever in this world. Your very worst nightmare replayed over and over again.

Where Was God?

What a terrible, terrible tragedy. What an unspeakable disaster.

And along with the loss of life, there is the loss of property, with thousands of homes totally destroyed.

Where was God during this season of devastation and loss?

While we grieve with the survivors and their families, how do we explain such calamities?

I humbly suggest that this is not the time for cheap answers or frivolous speculation. Do you agree?

God’s Desire?

There are some devout people of faith (including Jews, Christians, and Muslims) who believe that everything that happens is ordained by God for a purpose, however mysterious that purpose might be. Nothing that happens is random, and even acts of human evil have some level of divine rationale, since God does not, in fact, stop the acts.

While this is not my own perspective, I do respect this as a posture of serious faith, echoing the plaintive words of Abraham, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (See Genesis 18:25.)

If you are a religious Jew, the first thing you say upon hearing of a death is, “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, the righteous Judge.”

You acknowledge that only God gives life and takes life, hence your first response is one of worship.

Similarly, Calvinist Christians would readily echo the words of Job. He responded to the loss of all his possessions, and, infinitely more importantly, the loss of all his 10 children, with these words: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21).

Committed Muslims as well would acknowledge that whatever happens is Allah’s will, be it a forest fire or a glorious sunset.

Again, I respect this faith perspective, and I understand the scriptural arguments behind it. I’m just not ready to say that these terrible forest fires happened simply because God decreed they would happen.

After all, there was a terrible storm one day when Jesus was in the boat with His disciples, but He rebuked the wind and the waves, saying, “Peace be still!” Did Jesus rebuke what His Father willed? That makes very little sense. (See Mark 4:35-40.)

God’s Judgement on Sin?

Some Christians see all natural disasters as acts of divine judgment, quickly pointing the finger at the sin of California.

If that is your personal view, may I ask if you’d feel the same if your church-going grandparents were among the dead? Would you be so quick to pronounce judgment if your best friend was killed?

I fully accept that God does send judgment into the earth, right until this day. And I recognize that, when a nation sins, the innocent will suffer as well. And surely our sins, as a nation, are great.

I simply urge you to think twice (or, perhaps twenty or thirty times) before deciding that you know the will of the Lord in this situation. Sometimes silence really is golden.

The Devil Who Kills?

Others believe that it is the devil alone who kills and destroys, pointing to his murderous acts in Job 1 and 2 (although with divine permission), saying that he is the one behind tragedies like this (see John 8:44, which speaks of his evil nature).

But it is an odd theology which believes that Satan has this kind of power and yet depicts the all-powerful God as merely sitting idly by. Is this the God of the Bible?

And that brings us full circle to our fundamental question: What was the Lord doing when California burned?

A Man-Made Disaster?

Some would say this is a human issue, not a divine issue, since the Lord has given us free will and our choices have serious consequences.

Accordingly, some on the left would blame the right for not paying attention to man-made climate change, pointing to the negative effect this is having on the environment. As one story claims, “As the world warms, we can expect more wildfires.”

Conversely, some on the right would blame extreme environmentalists for blocking the proper treatment of the forests, leading directly to the tragedy. In the words of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, “I will lay this on the foot of those environmental radicals that have prevented us from managing the forests for years and, you know what, this is on them.”

So, is this a man-made disaster rather than a God-ordained (or Satan-inspired) disaster?

Putting Our Hands Over Our Mouths and Praying

Barring definitive information on the ground or divine revelation (including indisputable scriptural insight) from above, I recommend putting our hands over our mouths and praying. The losses are just too great and the agony too acute to sit in the comfort of our homes and speculate.

But that doesn’t mean that we have nothing to say, and it is Jesus Himself who shows us the way to move forward.

We read in John 9 that, when Jesus’ disciples saw a man born blind, they asked Him who sinned, the man or his parents. (In some ancient Jewish teaching, it was believed that you could sin in the womb, explaining how the disciples thought that, perhaps, the man was responsible for his own blindness.)

How did the Lord reply?

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:3-5; see also John 11:1-4 for a parallel perspective.)

Do you grasp the significance of His words?

God Can Be Glorified

While Jesus does say that neither the man nor his parents were responsible for his blindness, He does not give a clear explanation of why the man was born blind. Instead, He states that this happened “so that God’s works might be displayed in him.”

The blindness was an opportunity for the Lord to be glorified. Sickness, whatever its cause, was an opportunity for divine healing to be displayed. The darkness of human pain only highlighted the light of God’s grace.

I can’t tell you why this happened, but I can tell you that, in the midst of the agony and devastation, God can be glorified.

And so, we can look into the eyes of the suffering and grieving and say, “I can’t tell you why this happened, but I can tell you that, in the midst of the agony and devastation, God can be glorified. Let’s work together with Him to bring light out of darkness, life out of death, and hope out of despair.”

As impossible as it seems, as acute as the pain may be, and recognizing that nothing will bring back those who have perished, with the Lord greater good can come out of these tragic fires. Let us pursue that greater good with Him.

(For a radio show devoted to this topic, go here.)

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Rick

    Just a thought. If the Lord had not, upon Adam’s fall, changed reality as to make pain, suffering and death possible, then there would have been no way for Jesus to bear the cost of our sin with His own life. Nor would man have understood it, if it had been allowed just for Him.

    • God did not change reality.

      • Rick

        Of course He did, which is why a new heavens and new Earth is necessary to undo the curse of this reality. But it was not originally created cursed as it now is. We have no clue how God could create something incorruptible or imperishable today, because our current reality says such things are impossible. Entropy reigns here, and all things decay and eventually perish. But not so, in the world to come.

        • I don’t know what obscure gnostic claptrap you got your views from, but it is pagan and not Christian.

          Heaven is eternal, earth is just temporary.

          • Rick

            Well, no, a Gnostic would say all matter is bad, and a pagan that all matter _is_ god, but I’m saying our spiritual Father, God, will eventually provide us with incorruptible, physical bodies when he re-creates the heavens and Earth.

            I agree that the eternal heaven does not change, but almost all references in scripture that state “heavens and Earth” is just a pre-science way of saying, “all the universe”. Another similar analogy for “universe” would be “all creation”.

          • Well if you know better, then why say the wrong thing?

  • Paul

    I’ve been to the town of Paradise prior to the fires, and I recall thinking of how at risk the area was to being wiped out if a serious fire got going. They are not alone, many Sierra communities are similarly at risk. Places like Auburn, Placerville, Jackson, Sonora, Oakhurst and the dozens of other towns nestled among the trees that are drying up and/or dying from drought and disease. The question we should be asking ourselves is why is anyone surprised when a combustible house located in a dry forest is burned to the ground when a fire rolls through.

    The lessons people need to think of now is how would you prepare to deal with recovering from a disaster like this in your own life? Do you have copies of vital documents in a bank safe deposit box? Are the copies you have at home in a well rated fire safe? Do you have an evacuaton plan including rendevue locations and “go bags” on the ready with important supplies? Same goes for other risks like floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, volcanoes, tsunamis and earthquakes, whatever happens to be most likely for your location.

    Too much theological pontificating and too little preparing.

    • stan schmunk

      Drought, Santa Ana/Devil winds and too many people are the main causes. Supposed ‘forest mismanagement’ had nothing to do with either fire. I keep wondering why people hate us so much. According to Scripture that’s a rather intense spiritual/character issue. Agree?

      • Paul

        Drought all over and Santa Ana winds in SoCal for sure, and while it is called forest down there it is mostly brush. You’re right about the population spreading into all the areas frequented by fires, but that’s where better management comes in, especially up north, I know people who wanted to thin down the trees on their land to reduce the fuel only to be stopped by bureaucrats. There’s millions of dead trees that just sit waiting to burn instead of being harvested. In many places we need more controlled burns during better weather conditions but that doesn’t happen like it should. Most of this is blocked by the radical environmentalists who have too much sway in our lib govt.

        I think Cali is hated so much due to the Hollywood crowd and the likes of Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris, Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters, Jerry Brown and now Gavin Newsome. Heck even the RINO Arnold Schwarzenegger was a bad joke. These folks get all the airtime and make Cali a laughing stock. And lets face it, our politicians have enacted some seriously stupid laws.

        • Hmmm…

          Someone, just a person, thanking Pres. Trump for coming to the fire aftermath and being so supportive, considering California hadn’t treated him very well – words to that effect. There are some very strong churches there throughout the state, lots of Christians. Some of them just stood up SUCCESSFULLY to the proposition to make it illegal to try to change homosexuals. About 30 delivered and transformed homosexuals were coming to testify on the chamber floor about their restoration. The bill was withdrawn. That is VERY impressive. Yay, California Christians! You gave us an outstanding example.

  • There is something I have been training myself with, for just such a disastrous time, should one hit my own life. I engage it often, when people ask me, “How ya doin’?”

    “Better than I deserve,” is the reply I choose. (Remember, this is about my own life and not an effort to comfort another.)

    How do I get there?

    Romans 3:23: For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

    Romans 6:23: The wages of sin is death…

    So, we have all sinned, and therefore, we all deserve death. But what is the conclusion?

    I’m breathing! It’s better than I deserve!

    How is this possible, though? Again, from Romans 6:23: “but the gift of God is life eternal through Christ Jesus, our Lord!”

    So the result is this: I can tell myself these things, that whatever happens to me in this life is better than I deserve, because, most truly, I DESERVE DEATH, but I don’t have death, and, in Christ Jesus, I WILL NOT have death at all, but eternal life, in His presence, by His mercy, His glory, His grace, through His sacrifice, for us, on Calvary, confirmed the dawn of the third day, when that stone flew away from the tomb (check the Greek of the testimony of the one eyewitness who wrote about it, John the Apostle), and this I find uplifting and overjoying, and even, at times, THRILLING!

    It’s better than I deserve!

    • Chris in NC

      I agree with you.
      When people ask me how I’m doing my reply is, “Do you want the facts or the truth?”
      The facts take a while. Triple bypass, two cancer surgeries, radiation and chemo – all in the past three years.
      The truth — I’m Blessed.

  • tz1

    Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt. That is in the Torah.

    I’m actually nervous about going into the SATANIC areas of this country that have been allowed to sprout and grow.

    How do people feel about their 3 pack a day smoker grandparents with lung cancer?

    Are you suggesting God needs to apologize to Lot’s wife and Sodom and Gomorrah? Or that Christians living in the culture of death zone – where is it more pro-abortion, pro-blasphemy, pro-persecution, pro-LGBTQ?

    If I had anyone I loved in California I would do EVERYTHING I could to move into somewhere, e.g. The American Redoubt, where God and his law is honored and there is constant prayer to stop the existing lesser level of evil.

    My state has ZERO abortion clinics. Zero ACLU offices. Not that bad things can’t happen, but I’m well away from ground zero of God’s judgment. I can also leave my doors unlocked and my keys in my vehicle overnight and not worry. We are also well armed but I have all but ZERO fear of being shot here than in one of those blue gun-control areas where a cop might “fear for his life” and shoot me.

    Feel free to live in and stay in Babylon. When the earthquakes and tsunamis and volcanoes destroy everything and kill you or your loved ones, remember I will have been praying for you to reform your ways and vote with your feet and come out from among them.

    Jews stayed in 70 AD – how did that work out?

    • Paul

      Last time I checked Cali is still part of the USA, with some of the best ag land on the planet, great weather, and many natural wonders. Running away just hands it all over to the enemy.

      • tz1

        You have already handed it to the enemy. Can you avoid vaccinations, LGBTQ indoctrination, Homeschool, or otherwise raise a traditional family in peace while owning guns to defend yourself?

        You prefer great Ag, great weather, and natural wonders even when they come with a Faustian bargain to Jesus and his righteousness.

        I would not hand any of it to the enemy but see clearly that the enemy owns all that, and I don’t see any effective action or even plans to take it back. Or are you waiting for a 9.5 earthquake and tsunami to fix everything?

        • Paul

          “Can you avoid vaccinations…” Yes

          “ LGBTQ indoctrination…” Yes

          “Homeschool…” Yes

          “or otherwise raise a traditional family in peace…” Yes

          “while owning guns to defend yourself?” Yes, even CCW

          Too many folks think all of California is San Francisco and Hollywood. I’m not delusional that everything is great here in Cali, quite the opposite with some seriously stupid liberal politicians running the show in the state capital. But there is another side to California that most folks outside don’t hear about, folks who don’t fit the liberal stereotype. Farmers, ranchers, hunters and fishermen, gun enthusiasts, blue collar workers, people who work hard, care deeply about their family, help their neighbors and eagerly participate in their church community. There are more of these folks in Cali than the entire populations of states like Idaho, Montana, Nevada, thd Dakotas, etc, but unfortunately are outnumbered by libs in Cali, in large part because too many conservatives left to other states.

          • Athena771

            I agree i am in California, lots of things i don’t like, also lots of things i do like.

            I have never felt my rights to worship or believe as i please ever being interfered by anyone.

            The cost of living is high that is difficult to deal with, otherwise i have had no problem.

          • Considering most of your posts on here support abortion, I don’t think you are helping Paul’s case here.

          • tz1

            I can cite laws which apparently with great effort you can jump through some hoops to avoid – can you own large clips or an AR-15?

            I know the east side over the coastal mountains is red. LIke Oregon. Or Washington. But it doesn’t matter when they wish to harass or come after you.

            Give it a year or two.

          • Paul

            Yes, there are some stupid gun laws here no doubt, many signed by Republican governors. My bigger frustration in that regards is the SCOTUS who has actually backed them up. We’re all still in the USA with the same 2A that is often being ignored by the highest court of the land.

    • Juan Garcia

      Then you,sir, are a coward! There are 10 counties in California that are blue. 48 that are red. Blues have the population. But those of us in the reds are choosing to stay and fight the enemy. We Christians in the fire areas are rushing in to help and demonstrating God’s love. People like you who run and hide at every appearance of the enemy would forsake the USA to save your own cowardly skin.

      • tz1

        Stay and fight with what exactly? They insist you teach your early school age children about LGBTQ. They have taken your guns, or are you REALLY going to shoot, and which of the hundreds of lines have you drawn will be the one that you will finally act upon when crossed? Your areas are being flooded with illegal immigrants, Opioid prescribers, and Meth labs, while being denied water since they need it to preserve some fish or for LA.

        There is the “State of Jefferson” secessionist movement which I support, but apparently you’ve never heard of it and rather remain in the same state as Sodom and Gomorrah and whine.

        There is a critical difference between staying and fighting and staying and whining. I can’t even enter California across a US border without being arrested if i byapss inspection but they welcome and give sanctuary to everyone entering illegally from Mexico including MS-13.

        Worse, many moderates (are you one or not) move to Idaho, Montana, Colorado or even Texas then try to Californicate those states with regulation, lefty laws, higher taxes, and SJW virtue signalling like removing monuments. You are staying and failing to even slow the tide, while those who don’t like the fruits of their poisoned tree take the seeds and plant them here.

        • stan schmunk

          You need to listen to the great Joe Louis. He said you can run but you can’t hide. You’re a coward and probably don’t know Christ. He told us to shine our light, not hide in lily-white states. I love California. God loves California. Christ died for California. There are millions of evangelicals here because God planted them here. And if we’re as bad as you think then that means that California is a fabulous mission field. But we’ll still shine our light here while you hide your’s in a northern haystack somewhere. BTW, are you as upset with those in the South and Southeast who keep building their houses on the sand in direct contradiction to what Someone once said?

          • tz1

            Christ died for Darwin, Margaret Sanger, Mao, Pohl Pot, Hitler, and their henchmen. Stay until they come to load you into the cattle cars or feel free to join the EFFECTIVE resistance.

            I don’t hide in the lily (St Joseph?) righteous areas. I’m helping create a redoubt you will probably not retreate to until it is too late like the Jews in 70 AD.

            The island where someone was killed with arrows was also a mission field.

            And yes, the South/SE should’t build upon sand – in floodplains, below sea level, or where storm surges will be guaranteed to destroy ordinary buildings. There were a few buildings with special architecture that survived.

            But to try to understand, assume I moved into your neighborhood, what would you have me do – which you are already doing – to fight the darkness?

          • Christ died to pay the debt of Adam.

            Again, you need less libertarian dogma and to actually learn your previously claimed Faith.

          • stan schmunk

            Share the love of Christ, love your neighbors as yourself, do good to all men but especially believers…

        • Juan Garcia

          Our area is 76% conservative based on recent election. The public high school is less than half the size it used to be with most kids going to private charter schools that are not required to teach state curiculum. But even the public high school is filled with teachers and administrators who support traditional values. They teach state curiculum by debunking it. Half the county are NRA members and almost all, including women, hunt. The most popular sports team in high school is the skeet shooters, who compete in nationals. Every household has guns. The Sheriff aggressively encourages concealed carry. And yes we are “Jefferson” country. Don’t believe everything you read in the fake news about “liberal” California. Because of redistricting the Brown syndicate has created a super majority in the legislature. But make no mistake there are lines in the sand and there will be a fight if it comes to that.

          • Juan Garcia

            Oh, and BTW the description you just gave fits about half the states in the nation with major metropolitan areas that are geographically small, but politically dominating the entire state. That’s what needs to change.

          • tz1

            And they will come for you just like the Nazis came for even the most pacifist Jews. At what point are you going to shoot back or are you just going to go into the (perhaps virtual) cattle cars?

            I shall pray you can endure and that God shields you and protects you and that the wickedness and judgment not befall you. But you are in your county, and Orange county just turned completely blue.

            I pray that God’s judgment fall only upon the wicked and soon so that you may be left to restore and redeem California.

          • Juan Garcia

            Thank you! I believe the only hope for America is supernatural intervention from God. There has never been a nation in history that has turned against God and survived. God also declares that His judgement falls on the unrighteous and the righteous. But he also shows us that he honors prayers for the righteous. So again, thank you and may God protect and bless you.

    • Hmmm…

      God’s will is the safest place to be. He may have his people in dicey places as salt and light. One needs to know on the inside what he is telling them about that. Grace is sufficient for all in God’s plan. God’s will is the Ark, not a place or circumstance. You can’t secure yourself from anything. Trust must be squarely in God, not places or circumstances. The devil is smarter than you and your “secure” zone, but not God’s. Affirm God’s will for your life and rest in him. Put no confidence in natural “security.” It cannot provide that. You can’t possibly ensure yourself against all evils. But the devil cannot come through God or get to him or us when we are in Him. Follow soundness, good sense, but in the main, rely on God and follow his instructions.

  • The Dove

    When we ask God, “Why did you let this happen?”
    He answers,”What are you doing to help those people?”

    • Hmmm…

      Men and women let things happen. It is not all up to God. God warns, draws, puts up signs, sends people …We ignore at our own peril. We are the ones who need to draw near and stay near, to seek and listen and obey. God is never at fault or remiss in any way.

  • Patmos

    Where is God in situations like this? He’s out there comforting by his Spirit any who will turn to him, for blessed are those who mourn, they shall be comforted.

  • Hmmm…

    Where are we with God – that is the question.

    It is not God’s position toward us that is in question; it is ours toward him.

  • Anthony Cieszkiewicz

    The problem of pain for which there is no elevator speech to summarize……for the Christian pain and suffering is a means, the means by which we each prove of fidelity to God. Who do we say God is when we are struggling with pain and suffering? Our counterparts the moderns, the secularist, the atheistic consider pain and suffering something to be avoided at all cost. In their world, the proponents and sustainers of the world gone wrong though they reject the notion of God they blame God for the evil that they have chosen to pursue.

    • Athena771

      Prove fidelity to God? so we have to prove ourselves to God?

      I would rather think that we can use our pain and suffering to comfort others. We cannot understand other people’s pains without experiencing it ourselves, i speak from experience.

      • Anthony Cieszkiewicz

        You may think what you wish which is really a side bar to be compassionate for others while maintaining our fidelity to God in our pain and suffering. The Passion of Jesus surpasses all pain and suffering that each and all of us have ever experienced. The point in that we as Christians address and mitigate our pain and suffering in faith and hope and trust while those not of faith, hope or trust avoid pain and suffering at all costs. One one side of the table we have no hope without Jesus while on the other side no hope without dope.

        • Chip Crawford

          Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isa. 53:4-5

          People rejoice and give glory to God when Christians partake of this redemptive work of Jesus and get rid of these things. Jesus bore my pain, suffering and sickness so I wouldn’t have to. He never told us it was a witnessing tool or those many who came to him for relief in his ministry. Instead, HE HEALED THEM ALL. The redemptive work of Jesus stands alone. We cannot emulate it. Instead, we are called to partake of the results, minister this good word and lay hands on the sick for their healing. The world has all the pain and suffering they want. They are not impressed with a God who just helps them bear it. They are looking for a way out of it. An actual follower of Jesus takes God at his word and receives it and passes along the good news.

          • Christ bore the debt of Adam that all people had on them from being born of Adam. That is all.

            The pain of your sins is all on you. your belief in self-salvation leads one place, dear heretic.

          • Chip Crawford

            Oh poor lost Nigel. Will you ever get out of the weeds and get saved! You are unregenerate still and the louder you shout your blind folly the more it is apparent. You are not God, fool no one, and clearly not OF GOD. We remember here, you know. We saw you finally drop all vestige of belief in the Bible (while goofily saying your sect wrote it) because you could not defend against the fact that your church departed its pure milk and meat centuries ago.

          • projection of this kind is despair.

            The Church wrote the Bible, so where does the Bible contradict the Church? Even the edited prot “bibles” that took out every mention of the Church (taking out entire books to do it) does not contradict the Church.

          • Chip Crawford

            It’s your absurd statements and the doings of your “church” which contradict the Bible. You are so arrogantly deceived. Your sect ADDED BOOKS TO THE BIBLE charlatan. You are in desperate need of redemption, as the folly you trust in is not God. He is a spirit whom you must come to and relate to directly. Your sect is taking you and the rest of the lemmings in your camp along their trail of deceit. Drop your talking points. You are spiritually dead. You must be born again from above. Your vain substitutes and OT knockoffs have no power. How gullible you are. And don’t tell us how indefectible all that is, making yourself the arbitrator of something about which you are so amazingly ignorant. Pity you. Your eternity is chosen here by making Jesus Lord, not automan plugins. So vain. You are lost as a goose; come to God and find reality.

          • Yes, we did add books to the Bible, called the New Testament.

            God is the uncreated, uncontingent Prime Mover. spirits are created, contingent beings.

            If you are talking to “spirits,” then you are talking to demons.

          • Chip Crawford

            John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

            Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

            1Thess 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

            These are only a few of the verses rightly demonstrating spirit. Again, you are continually contradicting the bible “we” presented in your assertions and very unloving in the Pharisaical your presentation of ignorance. It is the nature of lost, religious zealots.

            If you are not talking to the divine Spirit, you are not talking to God.

            Your skirting the truth of the Holy Spirit and man’s spirit is one key to your errors. If the Bible be inspired by God through men, then obey it, believe it. If only men wrote it at the time you claim to be associated with, then it is the work of mere men. You can’t have it both ways. I

          • God is the subsistent act of being Himself.

            spirits, beings with Rational Souls and without bodies, are created, contingent things like you are. We know the spurts now by their two factions: Angels (who seek to reunite man with God) and demons (who seek to further divide man from God).

            If you are talking to a “spirit” in your head, you are talking to demons.

            The Bible was written by the Prophets. The NT by the last Prophets of the Old Covenant (Isreal) and first Bishops of the New Covenant (the Church, the perfection of Isreal): the Apostles.

            What was written by mere man was the heresy of the 1500’s you belong to written by the german government looking for power, and popularized by the first reich propaganda minister named martin luther.

          • Chip Crawford

            No verses. Do you not think enough of the words you claim to have written to even reference them at all? Sir, you have made history and secular learning your God, replacing truth. By ignoring the Bible, which you claim to have written, you demonstrate you have moved on to what others have written since. So, since you wrote the Bible and now obviously deem it inferior, then stop bragging about it. Unless you turn to the living God and give him place as Lord in your life, you will not enter into his eternal salvation. It is not obtained by mere men studying other men’s words. No divine spirit entering your own spirit – no Heaven for you. Much learning has made you mad. Give God his place and due and he will make you of sound mind.

          • How is the Church that wrote the Bible unbiblical? The Church wrote the Vible and the Bible is an intrinsic part of the Church.

            I don’t think you read anything I wrote, like pointing out the absurdity of calling the Church manmade when your heresy was made by the german government. Also your worshipping of a “spirit” that is clearly a demon, a demon you mistake for God for some reason.

          • Chip Crawford

            You are astonishing. So, what do you call God since you set aside the clear and unambiguous words of the Bible? I read your screed and tell you what the bible says in contradiction. You don’t like that, apparently expecting to be believed and the oldy, mouldy tomes and records and opinioning by very fallible men you prefer somehow. You are just deceived and in no place to be giving advice and certainly not calling the words of God’s word concerning him demonic. So, again, tell us, oh idolator, what or who is your God? A statue, the RCC? The Pope? Church history? The latest trend from the last Council or the Vatican? One of those jokers whose stuff you are ever pasting here? Throw some cold holy water on your face and get a grip, man. This is eternity you are betting your life on.

          • It seems you cannot understand God as He actually is, and insist God is a created, contingent thing.

          • Chip Crawford

            God’s Word is clear on all of these things. You continually push it away and proffer your own ideas, commandments of men and doctrines of demons. Because you cannot defend against God’s word and are a last word person, you come back with these lame personal accusations. Your inability to defend with credibility and the trash you swirl around in withers in the light of God’s Truth. What do you really have to lose in just accepting that God is right, that he is smarter than you, and has a real life for you outside of being a religious bully trying to run the table alone and always failing? You have nothing to lose. Your church is imploding on its crumbling foundation of sand. Only what God planted will endure. That includes you. I cannot imagine anyone arrogant, deceived, foolish enough to presume to enter the next world on their own, having refused God’s plan of salvation. May grace abound toward you that you may be empowered to receive the living God of Heaven revealed in the Bible.

          • The Church is the only thing God has given us as that is all we need.

            The amount of projection you use here shows a guilty conscience though.

          • Chip Crawford

            Take heart, oh infidel. When and if you finally yield to the living God, he can deliver you of lying and denying. May your soul be saved in the day of judgement.

          • Is this from the demon you claim is the “spirit” in your head?

          • Chip Crawford

            I never claimed a spirit in my head, dope. You know what to do if you ever decide to get in reality. Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

            This is what happens to those who give what is precious to those who do not value it.

          • Clearly you do the very prot thing of talking to something in your head, and you claim it is a spirit.

            that is demonic oppression or worse, not genuine Faith.

          • Chip Crawford

            2 Corinthians 4:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
            15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
            16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
            17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
            18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

          • So you are either:
            – absurdly taking that passage to mean you personally have the Holy Spirit, the third Person of God, in your head as your servant. Therefore claiming the full Authority of the Church onto yourself, because the Authority of the Church was granted by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
            – you are talking to a literal spirit in your head, which I guarantee you is a demon.

            The former is the sun that cries to Heaven for vengeance of blasphemy. This incurs special punishment.

            The latter means you are well on your way or already are possessed. This is not a situation you want to be in.

            Not unexpectedly, only a Bishop of the Church (who actually has the Authority granted by the Holy Spirit) can get rid of either.

          • Chip Crawford

            My words and scripture are clear. You know what they say and mean. You write irrelevant, crazed statements in response. If you are indeed as nuts as you write and can’t comprehend the wholesome word of God and how it applies to believers today, then why should anyone listen to anything you publish.

          • Not at all:
            – are you blaspheming?
            – or are you possessed?

          • Chip Crawford

            I present the word of God which somehow has this strange effect on you. I provide scriptural authority, then you babble inanities.

          • Try reading what I said. I asked you something.

          • Chip Crawford

            It is spirit to spirit, oh carnal, ignorant one. Without moving in one’s recreated spirit, one functions like a dumb animal, oh dog pig. Man is a higher being even without being born again, not just a body and mind and emotions. You’re the one under the devil’s influence with such consummate ignorance. You wear a veil like a woman before God because of the blindness of your heart. The heart in scripture generally refers the same as the spirit. Man is a spirit, has a soul and lives in a body. The mind, will and emotions are part of the soul. Only the body is temporal; the other two are eternal, hereafter in one place or another, depending on whether one came alive to God before death by yielding to Jesus as Lord of their life. Physician, heal thyself. However, you actually need the help of others, oh proud one. But keep wearing that veil over your eyes, staying blind and stumbling over that rock.

            Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
            Romans 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

          • Are you projecting? Because it doesn’t seem you make any effort to read my messages.

            Also, why do you keep calling me a “pig dog?” So I am a terrier?

          • Chip Crawford

            Are you projecting? It doesn’t seem you read my response providing Matthew 7:6 where you are thus illustrated.

          • So you are projecting your projection now.

          • Chip Crawford

            More babbling …

          • Answer my question.

          • Chip Crawford

            Don’t come here grunting and barking at people! Down dog. The scripture is the answer to all, but you “trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” – whomever references it. And I want to caution you about ascribing the work of the Holy Spirit to the devil. There is serious warning concerning that. You traffic in religion and trample and demonize the genuine word, plan and work of God. Again – caution. You needn’t be jealous of all that we have in Christ. It’s not our fault your pride and your false religion won’t let you come to Him.

          • If you are talking to a “spirit,” even to the point of confusing God for a spirit as the pagans do, it is a demon.

          • Chip Crawford

            Get scripturally literate. I have never heard anyone who claimed to be a Christian so outside the basics. You have ignored the verses I provided which would help you get this straight and lunged toward putting me in your demon pagan box according to your own vacant truth data base. Okay, mind guy, to whom do you pray, if you do, and how? Again, your ignorance and/or rejection of Word and Spirit render you outside the authentic Christian world in any discussion. People accept the soul they cannot see or feel, thoughts of the mind, emotions, using their will, but only born again Christians know the spirit realm properly because they have partaken when they received the Lord. We are speaking of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, who is God. He is who opens the understanding to the Word of God and relationship with him. Being born again is a miracle from God, the awesome deposition of himself inside a responder’s human spirit. That is the assurance of salvation, that deposit. The only way out is to reverse how he came in — to reject him whom you have previously received. No born again Christian who knows and loves God wants and goes anywhere near that. They instead seek to grow in God in all of his facets. You are tragically missing out.

          • So it is both. A mix of blasphemy and the demonic.

          • Chip Crawford

            You are not opposing me. I rest my faith and life in the living word of God and his Holy Spirit. They are whom you are opposing. You better hope God is love as he says, because you are on very bad ground. I would think good Catholics everywhere would be ashamed of your positions. Many of them truly know the Lord. It is amazing that such assertions are so foreign to you. God have mercy on you, like Apostle Paul and all who so vigorously oppose God as he is and his people.

          • I am opposing the demon you unknowingly serve, which causes you to attack me with projection out of unresolved guilt.

            This is tiresome. Long since past the point of me to block you.

          • Chip Crawford

            Yes you might as well quit, because you’re not getting anywhere and won’t.

        • Athena771

          I agree with you most of what you are saying, I don’t know that i believe that God tests us by causing suffering.

          I believe God suffers with us, and i agree Jesus suffered greatly, so he surely understands our pain.

          • This is because you do not know the weight of sin, especially your own sin.

  • None of us whatever our theological convictions knows exactly how things happen and why they happen. It’s all inference and conjecture, and not wise to speculate about it. We know God is sovereign and the ruler of all things, and we know human beings are free and accountable beings. Whether we incline more toward the former or the latter as the driving force of history, we can all agree on these words of Moses from Deut. 32:

    3 I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
    Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
    4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
    and all his ways are just.
    A faithful God who does no wrong,
    upright and just is he.

    If we don’t believe this and trust God, we will end up hating him.

    • Paul

      It is neither speculation or conjecture to understand the basic science of combustion and that structures made largely of combustible materials among a forest of dry trees are at serious risk of burning to the ground if/when a fire gets started, which in California in 2018 saw over 7,000 fires consuming over 1.5 million acres. Drought, disease and mismanagement have consequences.

      • Oh, of course they do, but you obviously completely miss my point.

        • Paul

          Not really. I fully trust how God made things to work and I’m not surprised when things like this happen.

          I consider the whole question of “where was God when California burned” to be kinda pointless. God made wood. Dry wood burns. When a building made of dry wood in a forest of dry wood in an area that often gets forest fires ends up burning to the ground, why are we even asking where was God? He offers us wisdom to make better choices because our choices have consequences. The more useful and relevant discussion is in two areas. 1: How can people give meaningful aid to those affected, and 2: The many aspects of wisdom that were lacking in civic and personal planning that contributed to the human tragedy that has happened in Paradise California and elsewhere. In other words, how can we help and what can we learn.

          • Thank you. This prot nonsense always forgets that free will exists and that they are so assured of automatic salvation that they forget consequences exist also.

          • OK, Paul, you did miss my point, but you are totally right, and I couldn’t agree more. But the problem is that people always tend to blame God when bad stuff happens. That’s what the article is addressing. My point is we can’t know the cosmic, divine reasons things happen, and God is the sovereign rulers of all things. Nothing happens outside of his will, nor takes him by surprise. But if you read the first part of Luke 13, Jesus’ response to what appears to us as senseless human suffering, is that we in the face of it ought to take account of our own mortality, and the ultimate question of our status before a holy God. As he says, “But unless you repent, you Too will all perish.” The question may be pointless in one sense, but in another it is totally appropriate. Will you acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or will you perish in your sins. Death is the great, pressing question of our brief, mortal lives.

          • Trilemma

            If, as you say, “Nothing happens outside of his will, nor takes him by surprise,” does it bother you that God willed people to burn to death in a wildfire? Does God will people to suffer to be a lesson to others?

          • There are two Wills of God: Permissive Will and Divine Will.

            With God’s Divine Will He creates. God created you with His Divine Will.

            With God’s Permissive Will He let’s His creations be. God will lets you damn yourself with His Permissive Will. God doesn’t like that you damn yourself, but He created free will and your misuse of free will is allowed because there is a way to discard those who misuse it.

            The only time God denies His Permissive Will and steps in to actively stop evil are the sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance:
            abortion
            sodomy
            blasphemy
            denying a man his fair wage

            Things you unthinkingly support as a matter of your pagan religious belief.

      • Hmmm…

        It is neither/nor …

        • Paul

          LOL, thanks for the grammar fix, I’ll leave it as is so others know what you’re talking about.

    • Athena771

      I don’t usually agree with you, but i do agree with your statement here.

      I always have issues with people thinking they know the answers to everything that happens.

      • you mean like those who say what happens to those who support and commit the sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance of abortion?

      • Thanks! If you’d like, you can read my response to Paul below to better explain my thoughts.

  • apollo

    Why? Because fallen man/woman has dominion over the earth. And their acts seldom if ever align with God’s.

    • Chip Crawford

      You are correct. It will only be in the Millennium when Jesus will take direct rule. Psalm 115:16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

  • Trilemma

    God loves hurting people.

    • Jim Walker

      Satan has dominion over this Earth, ask him to stop hurting people.

      • Why would trilemma ever question his dark master when he tries to serve his dark master so diligently?

    • Do you try to blaspheme as a matter of compulsion, or is this just one of your coven initiation rituals?

      • Trilemma

        How is it blasphemous to say God loves those people who are hurting in California?

        • God does love them. That is not what you said.

  • judgeroybean

    Wealthy, arrogant, and sinful, California liberals have been waving their middle fingers at God way too long. Surprised this chastisement is so mild. Gotta hunch things are going to get worse. Those people are slow learners.

    • Trilemma

      None of those people deserved to burn to death.

      • I’m sure some did, knowing fallen man.

        Really you aren’t talking about any victims of a wildfire, you are talking about you claiming that you don’t deserve the punishment for all the evil you promote daily.

        • Trilemma

          So you think some of them deserved to be burned to death. Was it God punishing them by burning them to death?

          • Sure, fallen man tends to be evil.

            No, it is clearly a manmade fire for political ends. This rallying against God is you worried about a more eternal kind of fire, hoping to play chicken with God.

          • Trilemma

            What evidence do you have that the fire is arson?

          • That it happened the same day as a shooting that did not pass the smell test. 60+ people there were also at the Vegas shooting and many were telling details that whoever wanted the Thousand Oaks op to go down did not want revealed. The handlers for the survivors during the tv interviews were angry and sweating bullets.

            It also raged in the middle of an election that was called for the d governor before any votes were counted. Then r seats throughout the state were lost after clearly won though “found” votes.

            The first op clearly was not enough of a distraction, and doing the same op twice means people could more easily pick them both apart. They then had a failed shooting op on their hands and an election they were stealing, so they needed a bigger distraction.

            trilemma no doubt approves of the evil as you now get to co-opt the fire to call God cruel for your own fate that you freely chose for yourself.

          • Athena771

            don’t let these people get to you, i also struggle with such questions, All i know is that one day God will make everything right.

      • Royce E. Van Blaricome

        “None of those people deserved to burn to death.”

        There’s the narcissistic, psychotic, self-imposed god-complex exercising it’s faux-omniscience again.

        • Trilemma

          Do you think some number of those people deserved to burn to death?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Is that your way of saying you have NO clue whatsoever Grace is, what the Holiness of God is like, or who God is?

            If so, there was no need, You’ve repeatedly displayed that here.

            I think I know why you ask and what you’re up to. So I’ll play your game., The answer is no, Not “some”. ALL. The only one’s that one could argue are exempt from “deserving” to be burnt to death are those who have been saved by the Grace of God. And if there were Believers who died then only God knows why or how.

          • Trilemma

            Why did they all deserve to burn to death?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            “The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Cor. 2:14)

            Would you like to surrender your life as a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ as your new Master so that Self, Sin, and Satan no longer are and you’ll be able to then discern the spiritual truths of Scripture?

            If so I’m happy to explain how and lead you to Jesus.

            If not, like I’ve told you before, see Matt. 7:6. I pray the Holy Spirit will illuminate your mind to the truth there.

          • I’ll waste my time with a response. The wages of sin is death, and no human being is guiltless. So all will die because all deserve to die (in case you weren’t aware, all people will die), sooner or later. If you don’t like that, who cares. You will die too, and then you can make your case to your creator. Good luck with that.

          • Athena771

            This is exactly what is wrong with religion, these kinds of answers is like saying God is hates humanity.

            I would rather just say that ” I don’t know” and that i don’t understand the ways of God, then to say something like this.

            None of us has the answers to these questions, i would still rather believe that God is not so cruel and that he will make everything right after this life and in eternity.

          • Shoot! It looks like we’re going to have to disagree again. I have what I think is an honest question. Where do you get your idea of God, and what he thinks and does, etc.? There are really only two options, but I’m curious to see what you think.

          • Athena771

            I actually believe in Universal Reconciliation, i believe God will reconcile ALL to himself, their are scriptures that support that belief and many early church fathers believed that. On example is

            Colossions 1:19 states “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross”

            I am not 100% sure obviously, but i certainly hope that it is true.

            My hope is in Jesus work on the cross to accomplish that.

            Now i know that their are verses that support other doctrines, that is why i say that i am “hopeful” not dogmatic of this belief.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            No, there are NO Scriptures that support Universal Reconciliation. And no there were NOT “many” early church fathers who believed such. They were few. The most prominent perhaps being Origen who was condemned in 544 and then that condemnation ratified by the 5th Ecumenical Council in 553 which pronounced 15 anathemas against him for His Universalist teaching as well as the pre-existence of the soul, saying plants & other inanimate objects have a soul, a heterodox Christology, and the denial of real and lasting resurrection of the body. There were others as well but, again, very few.

            Until the 19th century the vast majority of Christian theologians taught the reality of eternal torment in Hell. Occasionally someone would spring up that was outside the theological mainstream who taught Universalism but these were even less in number than those who taught another heresy with their Annihilation/CI. All have always been outside the norm of Orthodoxy.

            Wrt to Col. 1:19 one only need to use a bit of basic Hermeneutical 101 principles and simple Exegesis. For example, one MUST start with the Word of God being what it says it is in 2nd Tim. 3:16. When one accepts that then it stands to reason that God’s Word is inerrant, infallible, and timeless. Accepting that one then must know and accept that God does not contradict Himself.

            Now, starting with that as a foundation there are numerous passages that state there are 5 categories/groups that will suffer “eternal torment” in the Lake Of Fire. According to your belief to which you hold to in Col. 1:19 then Satan and his demons will be reconciled to God as well. That is a direct contradiction to numerous verses (i.e. Rev. 20:10).

            Sam Storm’s perhaps said it best in an article he wrote about Hell when he said, “So I can honestly say that to the degree that you and I struggle with the concept of hell and eternal punishment is the degree to which we don’t understand God’s holiness and honor, on the one hand, or the horror and depravity of mankind’s sin, on the other. In other words, if hell strikes you as unreasonable or unfair or disproportionate, it can only be due to the fact that either you don’t believe the Bible is inspired and true, or you don’t believe that God is infinitely holy and just, or you don’t believe that mankind is morally depraved and has committed cosmic treason and is thus deserving of eternal condemnation.”

          • Athena771

            Actually i do believe God is infinitly holy and JUST and BECAUSE only HE can reconcile all things to himself. Since God is not like you or me, he is infinitely MORE just than YOU or I can ever be.

            In Jesus Christ, he reconciled sinful humanity to himself, so YES God is infinitely MORE just and then YOU and I or anyone can be.

            Humanity’s depravity is great that ONLY a HOLY and JUST God can reconcile wicked humanity to himself.

            Since their will be no more death and sin one day, their can also be no hell either.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Your opinion is duly noted and summarily dismissed for, well, what it is – YOUR OPINION.

            Jesus Christ Himself has said otherwise. You wanna go on standing in opposition to Him ya go right ahead. It’s your eternity. Mine is settled.

            Meh? I’m sticking with what Jesus has said.

          • Athena771

            How do you know your eternity is settled? do you have “saved” marked on your forehead?

            Interesting how every person that i speak to on this subject, are so SURE that they are excluded from eternal damnation, yet they have no problem with everyone else going there.

            Very telling sign of religious indoctrination,

            It is always this “in group’ verses the “out group” mentality.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            I know because the Bible tells me so. And thanks for publicly displaying for all to see that you aren’t a Christian. Took you long enough to get around to it. Though the signs were there from the start. Like I said, get back with me when you’re ready to drop the self-imposed god-complex and surrender your life as a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ and beg Him to save you. I’ll help lead you to Him then.

            Btw, speaking of your reference to “religious indoctrination”, you’ve shown your true colors again. Jesus Christ spoke on “this subject” and He was ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that He was “excluded from eternal damnation” and He has NO PROBLEM sending those who reject Him to the Lake Of Fire. You speak of “religious indoctrination” as it is somehow a bad thing and yet that is EXACTLY what Christ COMMANDS His followers to do. It is, in FACT, what Jesus did while He was on this earth.

            For anyone else who might be reading this what you’ve just witnessed is Satan’s typical “Did God really say?” Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Attempting to rob one of their faith in Christ and God’s Word is what he does. God’s Word is chocked full of passages that tell Christians how they can KNOW and be assured they belong to God. Athena has once again shown her Biblical ignorance and that she does not know Him.

            If she were to die today and her funeral be held on, oh say, Saturday. If during that funeral she were to come back to life and sit up in the coffin. Would anyone at the funeral have to tell her she had come back to life? Would she have to tell anyone there that she had?

            The Bible says that when one is Born Again they have passed from Death to Life. When one passes from Death to Life they know it and so does everyone else around them. When the Holy Spirit regenerates the spiritually-dead by quickening their spirit, placing them in Christ, and indwelling them there is NO question whether they know. They ARE a New Creation in Christ.

            Sadly, it is apparent that Athena chooses to cling to her sin and be her own god. But, like I said, it’s her Eternity. Mine is settled.

          • CLOWNSKILL

            Royce wants his club to be as exclusive as possible because it makes him a big man on campus. He’s somebody in his club. He’s special. Without his feeling of superiority over others, he would crumble. He’s really a litlle, little man. I feel sorry for him.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            You live up to your moniker well with your exercised faux-omniscience. Wanna know what I want? Try climbing down off the throne of your self-imposed delusional god-complex and ask instead of thinking you can read my mind.

            But hey, thanks for the public display of projecting. Pretty easy for all who have eyes to see who has the feeling of superiority and who’s really a little, little man.

            And for the record, I don’t belong to a “club”. I belong to a Lord & Master. A King of kings. God Almighty.

            Oh, and btw, HE is the One who sets the rules and HE is the One who said the Narrow Path is VERY narrow.

          • CLOWNSKILL

            You are a cliche.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            LOL. Thanks for showing the best ya got. And for proving my point. Now run on back to your daddy, Satan, and get another flaming arrow to sling. Might wanna tell him to do a better job of giving you something that can hit its mark because that one fell WAY short. LOL

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            “My hope is in Jesus work on the cross to accomplish that.”

            Can you elaborate on that? What do you mean by that? Do you believe/think that “hope” will save you? Do you think that those referred to in Matt. 7:21-23 had that hope as well?

          • I meant to get back to you sooner. I think you answered my question. If you read the Bible carefully from Genesis to Revelation, universal salvation is simply wishful thinking. You can’t get there from Scripture. As Jesus was given his name by the angel Gabriel in Matt. 1, Joseph was told that he was to give him the name Jesus “because he will save his people from their sin.” Salvation has always been for God’s people, and not everyone. And in Scripture, all doesn’t always mean all. I could make the case, but don’t have the time, and you likely wouldn’t care. So we agree to disagree.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Your last sentence says it all. That’s as clear an evidence of idolatry as one can give. How foolish to sit in judgment of Almighty God.

            And you’re dead wrong, spiritually-dead wrong, about none of us having the answers to these questions. God has given us the answers. You just choose to ignore them. At your own peril.

            Get back with me when you’re ready to surrender your life as a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ and beg Him to accept you as your Lord & Master because you no longer wish to be your own god and a slave to Self, Sin, & Satan. I’ll lead you to Him then.

          • Athena771

            What does it matter to you what i believe, If i believe in Universal reconciliation what doe that have to do with you?

            nothing, absolutely nothing,

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Why do you ask a question if you are only gonna listen to your own answer that you go on to give?

            All you’ve done is show your Biblical ignorance again. God’s Word clearly tells the answer to your question and it is NOT what you claim it to be. So once again you are at odds with God.

        • Royce, this Trilemma dude, or whatever it is, is truly a waste of time responding to. I think it may be a robot that says stupid, pointless things on demand.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            I’d agree with you if it weren’t for Isa, 55:11. That said, it’s pretty easy to see him for who he is and what his game is. I play it for only so long. Never holding any high hopes that he has any inclination whatsoever to surrender His life to Christ. And so I use his evil ways to expose how Satan works for others to see and be edified. Always remembering that he’s only doing what his Flesh, the World, and Satan compel him to do. His stubborn disobedience and rebellion given them free license to do as they please.

            Aside from that he’s worth an honest, good, actually belly-busting LOL ever now and then, I really get a kick outta it when he starts talking about how he’s read the Bible so many times, how much theology he has, and then says stuff like he did above. LOL

          • Yes, Royce, the verse in Isaiah is powerful, and true. You make two very good points. Thanks!

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Thank you, Mike. My hope is that some would come to realize it and see that we must all take special precaution not to create a god in our own imagine according to our own ways, will, & wisdom but to take God for who He is.

            The internet is a phenomenal tool and there is much growth that can come from it to the Christian. However, it is also a tool that allows for so much misuse. Not the least of which is the misuse of God’s Word. In many ways it is a mirror held up to reveal the Biblical ignorance and anemic condition of The Body of Christ. To borrow a phrase from Leighton Flowers, we live in a society today where shallow seeker-sensitive namby-pamby easy-believism chicken soup for the soul Pop Psychology is being passed off as real church and the vast majority of self-professing Christians have a theology that is about a half inch deep and a mile wide consisting of a handful of cliches they’ve heard which they bandy about.

            How many times have you heard/seen “Judge not”, “Cast the first stone”, “God loves everyone”, “God doesn’t hate anyone”, “Christianity is a Relationship not a Religion”, “God never gives up on anyone”, “We’re all God’s children”, and on and on and on.

            There truly is very little fear of the Lord these days. A result of those who sing “I am a friend of God” while clinging to their sin. I have little doubt that there will be those who will read what I wrote, stiffen their neck, set their jaw and say, “Well, MY God would never (fill in the blank – i.e. take pleasure in the death of anybody)” and go right on misrepresenting and preaching their falsehoods about God. False prophets who have NO clue how seriously God takes that or what He said in Deu. 18:20 and Pro. 30:5-6.

            But my hope is that some will, with great fear and trepidation, approach God’s Word with great reverence in an earnest desire to seek God for who He is. And not what we want Him to be.

          • Athena771

            Yes i agree everyone makes up a version of how we would like God to be, how about the fact that we have a glimpse of God in Jesus?

            Jesus prayed for his enemies and forgave then, Jesus harshest words for the religious leaders.

            What is your version?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            There’s that self-imposed god-complex again. Not everyone makes up a version of how we would like God to be. Some of us have died to ourselves and become slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ as our new Master so that Self, Sin, & Satan no longer are.

            That you state Jesus’ harshest words were for religious leaders again shows your Biblical ignorance, And yes, Jesus prayed for His enemies. Forgave them? No. In fact, He actually thanked the Father that some things had been hidden from them and Jesus told his disciples that He spoke in parables so that they would not understand.

            Show me just me one verse in the Bible where a God-mocking, rebellious sinner clung to their sin, celebrated and reveled in their sins and tried to lead others to Hell with them was ever given audience or even the time of day by Jesus?

            And ya wanna know why there is not more in the Bible about God speaking to the Haters, mockers, blasphemers, etc.? Wanna know why there is not one verse in the Bible where a God-mocking, rebellious sinner clung to their sin, celebrated and reveled in their sins and tried to lead others to Hell with them where Jesus ever gave audience or even the time of day to them? The answer is because He didn’t.

            In fact, there are no recorded words from Jesus even on Judgment Day to them. But there are for the Posers. Albeit they are few as well. See Matt. 7:21-23. God does not waste His breath on the disobedient, rebellious fools who choose to remain sons of disobedience and children of wrath.

            Jesus showed love, grace, mercy, and compassion for the Deceived but His harshest, most severe rebukes were for the Deceivers. NOT “religious leaders” as you claim. In fact, Jesus told the People to listen and obey the Religious Leaders but to not follow their example AND God’s Word tells us today to submit to & obey to our godly leaders. It is the spirit of Jezebel and rebellion that attack “religious leaders” just because they are.

            I can’t be dogmatic about it but I tend to believe that the hottest place in the Lake Of Fire with the most severest punishment and where the greatest torment will be experienced is reserved for those who practice their sin and attempt to lead others into the fire with them in the name of God, using His Word, while claiming to be a follower of Christ.

            What is my version? The Biblical one.

          • I had Internet issues since last night, just as I was trying to send you a response. I had to switch companies to get back up and running by late this afternoon. And I work from home, so no Internet, no work, no money:(

            We are on the exact same page, brother. I’ve been spending the last four and a half years reading and writing my way through the Bible which forces me to really engage the text. I’m just finishing Luke, and I’ve been amazed, although not surprised, how different the Jesus of the gospels is from the popular cultural conception of him. Or from all the religions that want to borrow the popular sage, the prophet, the wise man, etc. The lovey-dovey Jesus is a figment of human wish fulfillment, or Rob Bell’s imagination. If you’ve never read the great George Marsden’s Fundamentalism and American Culture, it’s a must read. It’s no surprise the contemporary Church is the way it is. When revivalism won the day in the early 19th century, it was inevitable (along with the influence of the unique American character of pragmatism) that subjective, anti-intellectual, subjective moralism would become the reigning paradigm.

            I don’t know if you’re familiar with the great 19th century Princeton theologian Charles Hodge, but in his magisterial three volume Systematic Theology he wrote these prophetic words:

            Few principles . . . have been so productive of false doctrine and immorality as the principle that all virtue consists in benevolence, that happiness is the highest good, and that whatever promotes happiness is right.

            Do not the comments here prove the truth of these words?

            BTW, I have a book coming out any day (self-published) called The Persuasive Christian Parent. Anything you could do to promote it, if you think it worthy, would be much appreciated. You can do a search to find my site. God bless!

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            I can relate. I work from home too. And while it’s not the internet for me I am having problems with my laptop. Which I spent most of my day on the phone trying to get it fixed. It’s looking like it’s time for a tax write-off!

            I can also relate to your reading and writing your way thru the Bible. I think it’s was 4-5yrs ago that I actually started journaling my way thru the Bible. I’ve gone from quick, short entries as I did the Bible In A Year a couple of times to real in-depth study the third year where sometimes I might not even get thru one chapter.

            Loved the “The lovey-dovey Jesus is a figment of human wish fulfillment, or Rob Bell’s imagination”!! All I can say to that is “Amen!!” and “Here here!”

            I’ve not read Marsden’s book. The name rings a bell though. I’ll look it up. And yes, the comments here and elsewhere do prove Hodges words true.

            Best wishes with your book. God bless you too,

          • Athena771

            having compassion for people that burned to death is not stupid or pointless, i understand Trilemma and where she is coming from. I also struggle with such questions.

            I think God can handle our questions and struggles. It is not wrong to question God.

          • I’m sorry if I missed it, but who said we shouldn’t have compassion on people who suffer so horribly? If a person doesn’t struggle with such questions, such a person isn’t truly human. What I love about the Bible is how real it is. God’s people, and some who are not, are constantly wondering what this inscrutable God is up to. If you haven’t read Luke 13, I would encourage you to read it. Jesus’ response to senseless death doesn’t appear real compassionate. He says our response should be that we repent, or that we too will parish. The eternal is more important than the temporal because it is forever. Outside of loving victims of suffering in whatever way we can, getting our souls right before a holy God is the only proper response, and that can only happen by trusting in the Lord Jesus as our Savior.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Very well said!

          • Thank you! God’s revelation in creation, Scripture, and Christ is powerful beyond compare.

        • Athena771

          God take no pleasure in the death of anyone, but you seem to.

          You are the one with the God complex for you seem to think that certain people deserve a certain suffering.

          You have no love or mercy in you.

          You are no different then the sadistic inquisitors of the 17th century that burned people and tortured people for what they considered a heresy or if you were just suspect of believing something different then what they said, or simply because they did not like the person.

          Your type of religious hatred is not new.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            LOL. Thank you for that wonderful public display of what a Giant Sequoia Tree sticking outta one’s eye socket looks like!!!! Talk abouit a god-complex! LOL

            I imagine you feel better now that you’ve climbed up on your throne and had your rant. Sadly, the only thing you accomplished is showing that you are an abomination to God.

            There are six things that the LORD HATES, seven that are an ABOMINATION to him: haughty eyes, a LYING TONGUE, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a FALSE WITNESS who breathes out LIES and one who sows discord among brothers. (Prov. 6:16-19)

            “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape.” (Prov. 19:5)

            “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will perish.” (Prov. 19:9)

            “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, FALSE WITNESS, SLANDERS.” (Matt. 5:19)

            Now run on back to Satan and get another flaming arrow to fling. Be sure to tell him to give ya a better one because that one fell WAY short.

            You did, however, pique my curiosity with your self-righteousness. Do you actually profess to be a Christian?

            Now, putting her emotional tirade aside, let’s take just a quick look at how well she did at speaking for God. Before doing so it’s important to say that it should be a terrifyingly fearful thing to speak falsely for Almighty God and misrepresent Him!!

            “God take no pleasure in the death of anyone”

            This is a good example of folks spouting off Scripture without any regard for what God has said, the holiness of His Word, and the fact that one actually misrepresents God Himself when falsely using His Word. Twist not Scripture lest you be like Satan who quoted Scripture to Jesus for his own purposes too.

            The quote is from Eze. 18:32 and/or 33:11. But is that an absolute? NO! See Deu. 28:63 and Isa. 53:10. The Lord God does not do anything that does not please Him. For a more expository reading on this I’d refer folks to Piper’s Desiring God and his “Does God Delight In Destroying Sinners” interview,.

          • Athena771

            Really, so i am an abomination to God, did God tell you this personally?

            You just proved to me that YOU have a God complex, for you seem to think to know what God thinks of me?

            Are you able to see into my heart, do you know everything about me? did you know me before i was born?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Yes, you are. God not only told me personally but He has told all His children and those who are not that the Holy Spirit illuminates their minds to that truth. I gave you the specific Scriptures. They are right there in black & white to see, For all that have eyes to see.

            It is interesting, however, to see you backup a bit and this time instead of making definitive claims you add “seem to”. That is telling.

            Am I able to see into your heart? Well, sort of. Evidently you’re not familiar with God’s Word at all. The answer to that question lies in Matt. 15:18, Mk. 7:21-23, and Lk. 6:45.

            Do I know everything about you? Why do I need to? All I need to know is what God says. When God says you are an abomination to Him that’s good enough for me. And it should be for you too, You’d do far better worrying yourself about what God says than what I do.

          • Athena771

            I think we will all be pleasantly surprised of what really God thinks in the end, It will probably be very different then YOURS or anyone’s version.

            I will continue to hope and believe in a God that is more merciful then human beings are.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            That would be what is commonly called “stinkin’ thinkin'”. Quite the opposite, Another visible, public sign of Biblical ignorance. I suggest you take a little look-see at Matt. 7:21-23. THOSE FOLKS are NOT gonna be “pleasantly surprised”. They’re gonna be shocked to the very core of their being and terribly horrified at what follows shortly after Jesus finishes speaking.

            And what you’re really saying is that you will continue to hope & believe in a God that is of your own making. How tragic.

  • Trilemma

    If God ordained or willed these fires and the associated suffering and deaths, then God is a sadistic monster. If God is omniscient and omnipotent and did nothing to avert the suffering and deaths, then God is uncaring and unloving. I believe God is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. He does what he can to guide and to comfort people.

    • God is God. God is not a created, contingent thing like you are, and the fire given is far less extreme of the fire in the out that many people (even those caught in the wildfires) beg for with their evil.

      Take note of that. Especially with all you say.

      If God decided to destroy all of mankind, it would not only be deserved it would be necessary as God is God. All exists and continues to exist solely at the Divine Will of God.

      you believe God does not know all and can do all because you want to compete and usurp Him.

      • Trilemma

        Do you think these fires in California is God punishing them for their support of the LGBT community such as same sex marriage?

        • No, they were started as a distraction from election tampering, the whole area is flammable material and your “comrades” needed to cheat more than usual.

          • Trilemma

            Why do you believe Republicans needed to cheat more than usual?

          • When do they ever cheat? They even explicitly refuse to even call out the obvious cheating of your coven-mates.

            Honestly, of all your gnostic delusions, why do you think projection will absolve you?

    • Royce E. Van Blaricome

      “If God ordained or willed these fires and the associated suffering and deaths, then God is a sadistic monster. ”

      So says the one who repeatedly comes on here to demonstrate his self-imposed god-complex. Putting aside just how arrogant and narcissistic the statement is, it’s quite striking that one would make such a public display of just how shortsighted and narrow-minded they are.

      “I believe God is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. He does what he can to guide and to comfort people.”

      Evidence of the above. As if anyone really cares what he believes. I doubt that’ll keep him from coming back and continuing to put his narcissism and self-imposed god-complex on full public display again though.

      • Trilemma

        How farsighted and open-minded must I be to think burning people to death is morally acceptable?

        • Royce E. Van Blaricome

          A LOT more than you are now. More than that you’d need to be Born Again and regenerated from your spiritually-dead condition. For that to happen you must first die to yourself and stop being your own god where you foolishly in your delusional state think you can actually judge Almighty God,.

    • I guess God is a sadistic monster because he ordained that the second person of the trinity would become a man, and die a horrific death on a Roman cross for the sins of his people. What you or I believe about God is irrelevant. What God is actually in his being is the only relevant thing. And by what standard are you able to judge the author of all standards? I’d really like to know how you pull that off.

  • Royce E. Van Blaricome

    Sage & sound words. I particular think the “barring…divine revelation (including indisputable scriptural insight)” is the most insightful and edifying words to take away from this and other catastrophes. Most certainly God either causes or chooses to allow anything and everything that ever occurs. However, beyond that I don’t believe we can speak for God.

    Personally, I believe we live in a Fallen World which is under a curse and because of that curse stuff just happens.Does God actually direct some things that are extremely painful to happen? Absolutely. Does He allow others? Absolutely? Why? I have no clue and I don’t believe it’s my place to ask. You can when you meet Him.

    Lastly, Dr. Brown doesn’t mention it in the article, I particularly liked the way he handles the question in the early stage of his YT video where he talks about the Holocaust. Again, sage and sound words.

Inspiration
He Cast Himself in a Surprising Role
Al Perrotta
More from The Stream
Connect with Us