* Bob Apologizes to Jim: Correction! Bob apologizes to Jim for thinking that as a caller he had not read the word "whisper" when he was reading Romans 1:29. Bob was looking up the verse while Jim was reading it, and wasn't sure if he had heard Jim read whisper. Then when Jim wasn't sure either, Bob assumed the caller had missed the word. Bob's point was this: when the Bible lists whispering and debating in a group of sins (KJV: debate; NKJV strife), it does not mean that any whisper and any debate is a sin (Jesus, the prophets, and the apostles engaged in varying degrees of whispering and debating). The warning against whispers refers to quietly spreading harm as in backbiting, and the warning against debate refers to creating strife toward an unrighteous goal. Jesus Himself said that He did not come to bring peace but a sword, to divide. For the truth is unavoidably offensive, and the Lord taught that if people hated Him, they also would hate those who followed Him.
Jim loves the Lord. We love the Lord. And we love Jim. We disagree with his claim that Hurricane Katrina was a judgment from God. Katrina was a terrible storm that killed about 2,000 people. Christians often confuse superstition with spiritual maturity. God does not crash cars and planes in order to show how loving He is by saving some of the passengers. God is not a biblical version of the pagan Zeus who aims every lightning bolt, for if that were true, the evidence is that lightning rods have severely limited that form of divine retribution. And if a sailor broke out with scurvy as punishment for his wayward life, then the vitamin C in a lime now eliminates that wrath option. When God actually does miracles, like the parting of the Red Sea, drowning Pharaoh's army, restoring sight to the blind, and the raising of Lazarus, countless unbelievers acknowledge the miracles. Today, alleged supernatural events are claimed by true believers only. Drunk drivers often survive while killing innocent young victims, and research would show that Christian passengers have no greater survival rate than atheists in plane crashes. If a plane came straight down at a thousand miles an hour and was demolished, and four hundred passengers survived standing unhurt at the crash site, that would be a miracle. Of course God can do miracles, but the "miracles" flippantly claimed by so many discredit the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And what's worse, those who speak for God without authority and wrongly attribute murder, disaster, and judgments to God are ignoring the warnings against such in Scripture.
Christians who attribute specific tragedies to God, without authority from God to do so, behave like Job's accusers Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, and like the religiously superstitious men whom the Lord corrected in Luke 13:1-5. In the Bible (and out), God does not appreciate being misrepresented by those who attribute death, mayhem, disease and confusion to God, as though they have free rein to speak for Him regarding particular events. After Job's calamity, God rebuked those who misinterpreted that man's misery as a punishment from God. (Bob is currently teaching through the book of Job on Sunday nights, and you can get a copy of those fascinating Job Bible studies in progress by calling 1-800-8Enyart.)
* Today's Resource: Enjoy listening to Bob Enyart's Bible study on miracles! It's titled Details Galore! Also, you can read the same information in Bob's life's work, the best-selling manuscript, The Plot!