The Common Good

Colorado Springs and the Wrath of an Angry God

Colorado Springs really must have angered God.

I’m not sure what the city's residents have done, but He has to have a reason for burning up homes and possessions. One thing we know: God sends messages through natural disasters to certain groups who defy him and peddle evil. How else could we explain what’s happening?

Mark 4 tells us that Jesus controls the wind. And it is the wind, in large part, that has caused the fire to spread. Perhaps we should heed the warning of Jesus in Luke 13 and repent or else face the reality of perishing like them.

Is it possible that groups such as Compassion International and Bibles for the World have secretly condoned certain sins that will, in the end, keep people out of the kingdom of God? What message is God sending to groups like HCJB Global and Biblica?

This fire seems to be warning to them, and everyone to repent. They need to step up and reaffirm the Evangelical tradition. They must turn back from distorting whatever it is they have distorted about God’s character.

Does this sound ridiculous?

This is the exact logic that evangelical leaders have applied to several disasters, catastrophes and atrocities.* The 2010 Haiti earthquake, a 2012 tornado in Minneapolis, and the horror of 9/11 — all of these were claimed as God’s action against certain groups of people believed to be evil.

The truth is these groups of people are not evil. They just happen to think differently on certain issues than those who claim God is judging them. In fact, many within these groups claim to be Christians. Many of the people in these groups do all they can to follow Jesus and serve the world in which they live.

Now we have a disaster that has befallen the city of Colorado Springs. My question is this: Why are the leaders who claim that God acts through natural disasters so quiet?

Perhaps it’s because Colorado Springs is well known for it’s many conservative, evangelical churches and organizations. Surely, if that’s the case then the fire cannot be from God. He wouldn’t ever send a message like this to them, right?

If God sends warnings to repent through disasters, then we have to ask what message he is sending now. Or is it that God only sends messages through certain catastrophes? If this is the case, then how can we know for sure?

It seems that the only thing these leaders who blame others have admitted is that they believe that God can’t possibly put up with others who are not like them. While they seem to enjoy the opportunity to blame and level accusation, it seems they forget that God is not the one who is called “the accuser.”

We always have to remember that we are all the same. Which means that you and I are just like the groups who are labled as evil and like those who cast blame on them. All of us are men and women in need of liberation by God’s mercy and grace.

That God is the one who sends rain on those who practice justice and those who support injustice. He is gracious, compassionate and merciful. As Christians then, let our response be like his.

The wildfires in Colorado are a tragedy. Many in our faith community and many friends have been directly affected by them. It is times like these, and any disaster, where the first response of Christians should be to reflect the grace, compassion and mercy of Jesus.

We are called to care for all who — regardless of their opinions, affiliations, beliefs — have lost everything.

Perhaps, if we do this this, people will see and know that God is not angry.
 
Michael Hidalgo is the Lead Pastor of Denver Community Church, and lives with his wife and children in downtown Denver, CO. He blogs regularly at  A View From a Point .  Follow Michael on Twitter @michaelhidalgo.

Image: Nebraska National Guard crewmembers of Company C 2nd-135th General Support Aviation Battalion dump water from a Bambi bucket onto flames of the High Park fire, in Larimer County, Colo., approximately 15 miles west of Fort Collins, June 18, 2012. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tate Petersen, Company C, 2nd-135th General Support Aviation Support via Wylio.)

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Resources

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)