The Family Research Council’s bigot-in-charge Tony Perkins is one of many Religious Right leaders who always seems to blame natural disasters or other tragedies on whatever social issue he doesn’t like. The
Boston Marathon bombing? That happened because of “abortion, family breakdown, sexual liberalism, [and] religious hostility.” And when Hurricane Joaquin hit the Bahamas late last year, he agreed with a guest on his radio show who blamed it on gay marriage and legal abortion, saying that “God is trying to send us a message.”
That’s why it was incredibly ironic to learn that Perkins’ family (may they be safe) had to evacuate their Louisiana home due to massive flooding. What sin did Perkins commit to make that happen?
Or was it just a coincidence because nature doesn’t care who you are or what you believe?
Perkins finally responded yesterday, with a lengthy press release addressing all those “fallacious internet reports”:
Deceptive claims are being circulated on the internet that put words in my mouth about God’s role in natural disasters and what causes them. Those claims are inaccurate. What I have said, which I repeated yesterday in a sermon at Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, is that I don’t know what was behind this flood or any other natural disaster. However, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe the Bible which makes clear that God is sovereign over the elements of nature and can and does use them for His purposes.
So… which is it? Was God punishing Perkins, or was God testing Perkins’ faith, or was it a coincidence just like every other natural disaster? Perkins can’t seem to make up his mind.
He also allows those same elements to be used as a means of testing our faith and devotion to Him. Is this a test of our faith or a chastisement from God? I don’t have that answer. Regardless of what’s behind natural disasters, our response should be the same — we are to be on our faces before God, giving thanks in everything, and placing ourselves in total dependence on Him. We know that in walking in obedience to Him, God will never leave nor forsake those who search for Him and walk with Him. As we cry out to God, we must also reach out to our fellow citizens who are hurting and need help. We can do this with hope and confidence because God’s Word also tells us that ‘in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.’
That’s all well and good — but just wait until the next natural disaster rolls around. Will Perkins correct his colleagues who blame avalanches on abortion and hurricanes on homosexuality? Or will he agree with them once again, allowing this awful Christian myth to persist that God punishes parts of the world because He opposes civil rights and women’s rights?
We’ll have to wait and see.
(Image via Facebook. Portions of this article were published earlier)