Upwards of 150,000 people were killed in the recent earthquake-induced tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Video camera technology made the awful sight of people being swept away like so many pieces of straw available for the whole world to see. In the early stages of reporting, a number of people bemoaned that fact that there was no warning system in place. Many of those lives could have been saved, they said.
Here in Oregon, for instance, many coastal towns have marked tsunami evacuation routes for leading people to higher ground. In addition, there are warning sirens installed.
In reality, however, there are already warnings in place � natural warnings. Simple knowledge that tsunamis do appear would lead the wise not to build in low-lying coastal areas, or to build on sandy soil. Peoples who have lived many generations in such areas know this. They also know that when the sea retreats from the normal shoreline, that it is time to run for the hills. Many such people also note the sudden agitation in the animal life and take warning.
Yes, it would be nice to have sophisticated sirens, evacuation routes, and satellite warnings, but that does not mean that there were no warnings.
More developed peoples acknowledge these general warnings by setting up such systems. In addition, they have building codes in places were tsunamis (or hurricanes) are more likely. Such measures are preventative. In those resort locations in Southeast Asia where large, multi-story hotels were built to high standards, lives were saved by simply moving to the �high ground� of one of the upper stories.
�Okay, deParrie,� you are saying, �All this is very interesting, but what�s your real point?� If you are saying that, then you have caught me � again � trying to use real life in the physical to illuminate real life in the spiritual.
As I watched those gut-wrenching videos of men, women, and children being swallowed by walls of water, I couldn�t help but think about the Flood � the Flood in Noah�s time. As horrifying as what those videos showed was, it was a mere fraction of the Flood. No heading for high ground, building high on strong foundations, escape routes, or warning sirens would have helped anyone escape the Flood in the end.
Well, that is not entirely true. Noah was a �preacher of righteousness.� (2 Peter 2: 5) He preached to the people warning them for decades. His ark-under-construction stood as an ensign and a sign pointing to the evacuation route.
As I looked at the map of the affected area of this tsunami, it was clear to me that there were two characteristics of the worst-hit locations: 1) they were areas where there is severe persecution against Christians by fanatical Moslems (mostly) and fanatical Hindus and Buddhists, and 2) there were many luxury, sex-tourist resort areas included. Phuket, where many of the media talking heads wound up, is supposed to be the child-sex industry capitol in Southeast Asia.
It may not be a popular saying, but this was definitely a judgment from God Almighty. (This is not to say that Christian charity does not utterly demand that we assist them.)
However, such judgments are not new. Jesus was asked about just such things.
1 There were present at
that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate
had mingled with their sacrifices.
�Maybe these people were great sinners,� Jesus points out, �but so are you. Do you think you are better than they? Will you not suffer the same if you do not repent?�
Jesus took the physical deaths of these people and used it to amplify the warning of the spiritual deaths hovering over those to whom He spoke.
In like fashion, I think the tsunami in Southeast Asia should be considered as a warning by those of us here in the U.S. Paul once warned the Gentile believers not to get smug about the judgment brought upon Jewish unbelievers because of their lack of faith. He said, �Be not highminded, but fear.� (Romans 11: 20) A similar admonition is directed to us.
I pointed out that there were a number of sex-tourist hot spots in the affected lands. Consider, though, that these luxury resorts were not designed for the native populations � they were geared mostly toward American and European clientele. All the outpourings of generosity now will never erase the destruction that preceded the tsunami with the inundation of the world with the smut produced in Northridge, California, Hollywood, and New York � all of which paved the way for the sex-slave industry over there. None of our Mercy Corps, Red Crosses, and Northwest Medical Teams will ever heal the wounds brought on by our porn culture and made it acceptable for poor families to sell their children into prostitution and abuse at the hands of a largely white-Western customer base.
Backing up to the persecution, I ask the questions: Is it possible that the U.S. tsunami of smut was, at least in part, responsible for the fanaticism that fueled the persecution? Did the Western �value� of �freedom,� expressed as sexual libertinism, divorce, and abortion, that permeate even the �help� we offer the less-developed nations feed the disease of terrorism in these places?
There is a tsunami coming. This is the warning.
Jesus said, �And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?� (Matthew 16: 3)
There are several preparations you can make. You can start by constructing buildings up to code for such disasters.
Matthew 7: 24-25
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
That is part of the warning to those who say they are God�s people. The rest of the warning is, once having made these preparations for yourselves, that you then become part of the warning system yourself.
The job is always open. God continually reaches out to a lost world warning them of the disaster to come in their individual lives as well as to the whole world. It is the believer�s job to warn them of the coming tsunami of God�s judgment.
Ezekiel 3: 17-18
17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
It is a double-edged sword. Either be a tsunami warning, or suffer the fate of those you failed to warn. That is a warning also.
Ask yourselves, �When will the Church in America stand up and confront the evils we have allowed to take root in our nation?�
Now ask yourself individually, �When will I begin to openly preach the truth and call people to repentance?�
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Paul deParrie is a 17-year veteran of anti-abortion street activism, a preacher, and a social critic. He is the author of "Dark Cures: Have Doctors Lost Their Ethics" (Huntington House) available at NewsWithViews Online Store Front. deParrie may be reached at: [email protected].
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As I watched those gut-wrenching videos of men, women, and children being swallowed by walls of water, I couldn�t help but think about the Flood � the Flood in Noah�s time.