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Spiritual and/or Moral Articles

Is It Really An Act Of God?

by: Michael A. Verdicchio

Most insurance forms have a clause for an "act of God." That is a legal term for events outside of human control, such as sudden floods or other natural disasters, for which no human being can be held responsible. But why are those things attributed to God, and why do so many people think that those things are punishment from God?

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg last June was quoted in the New York Times, referring to a falling tree branch in Central Park that killed three, as saying that it was "an act of God." He's far from being alone. For years, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters have been called, "acts of God." It is common to refer to a natural disaster euphemistically as an "act of God," but even so, it still implies that God was responsible.

Hurricane Katrina was called by a number of people an "act of God" upon a sinful and rebellious nation. Earthquakes, lighting strikes, and even bridges collapsing have all been called an "act of God." There are those who are quick to point out that each of those events are punishment from God.

While there is a lot more to it, a simple explanation for earthquakes is that the earth has tectonic plates that are always slowly moving; some refer to this as the way earth breathes. But at times, they get stuck at their edges due to friction. When the stress on the edge overcomes the friction, there is an earthquake that releases energy in waves that travel through the earth's crust and cause the shaking that we feel.

To say that an earthquake is an "act of God," is simply not true. There is also constant volcanic activity going on in the earth which can and does contribute to earthquakes. A significant shift in the tectonic plates in the ocean can cause a tsunami.

Unusual heavy winter snow, followed by unusually heavy spring rain can and does cause rivers to flood. Rivers, over cycles of time, flood their banks. Certain coastal areas will, over cycles of time, experience hurricanes. There are known fault line areas that will, over cycles of time, experience earthquakes.

All of these things, and more, are really "natural phenomena;" they are all eventually going to happen. It is ludicrous to call them, "acts of God." To imply that He is orchestrating these things is both arrogant and disrespectful to God.

If I choose to live on a coastal area that can be directly affected by a hurricane, then that is my choice. I ought to know the risks involved. I should realize that if I live there long enough, I will experience some severe storms.

But, God gets the blame. Do people really believe that God just sits around all day long planning His next disaster to punish mankind? Did God decide that it was time to strike in Central Park and kill some people? Was that a punishment for New York?

Those who propound blaming God for natural disasters point out that this is God's punishment for sin and sinners. They believe that this is His way of waking people up and showing them that they need to change their evil ways. They may be entitled to their opinion, but their opinion is certainly not biblical.

God already implemented His plan for sinners 2,000 years ago by sending the redeemer to pay the price for all sins. The Bible says that God wishes for all men to be saved; to accept Jesus Christ as lord and believe that God raised him from the dead. At that moment they receive remission and forgiveness of sins.

In the first century, people did not go around preaching that natural disasters were God's way of punishing people. They did not try to scare people by telling them that if they didn't change their evil sinful ways that God was going to initiate one of His "acts," and wipe them out. No, they went out everywhere preaching Christ.

The Bible states that it is the goodness of God that leads a man to repentance. People can yak all they want about natural disasters being God's punishment and a wake up call to change, but they are not telling the truth. It is God's love and goodness that leads people to a change of heart.

If someone were to spread lies about me, it would not make me feel very good. In fact, I would really want them to stop; in a court of law it would be called slander. Why spread lies and slander God?

In the most popular verse in the Bible, it says, that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him would not perish, but have everlasting life. Love was His motivation in sending Christ, and love is still His motivation today. Those who choose to accept Christ can expect a loving God to answer their prayers and bless their lives.

About The Author

Michael A. Verdicchio offers a FREE eBook, "9 Keys to Answered Prayer!" for signing up for his FREE weekly news letter, "The Pep Letter," at Michael is a husband, father, minister, author, broadcaster and the voice on numerous projects and productions, Get a FREE Lifetime Membership to when you subscribe for FREE to his inspiring blog.

See Also:

Sickness and Disease: The Bible’s Perspective
What is sickness? What is disease? Why are both of these ailments extremely prevalent in a society that is more technologically advanced than ever before? Why has sickness and disease remained an issue since biblical times?

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