This year the 9-11 terrorist attacks were overshadowed by the hurricanes raging across the ocean. Many lives are now forever changed or ended. Many lost some or all of their material possessions or even a friend or loved one. In the after math, many are left to re-build their lives, hoping and praying they get the help and assistance they need so desperately.
No doubt some that are feeling the loss of a loved one are hoping and praying that they see their loved one once again. Many will question the reality of God’s existence in many ways. Did He cause the storm? Is He judging us? Is my loved one safe in Heaven? Do I even believe in God or Heaven? Most honest people will admit that things like this cross their minds in times of crisis. These questions we all ask out loud or wonder in the privacy of our hearts and minds unite us as human beings. How can we not wonder about these things from time to time?
One of the things that really angers me in times like this is how false teachings are proclaimed from many pulpits that are incredibly misleading to an honest searcher. Too many Christians are afraid to correct another believer, even when they know these teachings are wrong. Don’t let that be said of you.
Here is a recent example of what I witnessed during the recent storms. In the case of a predicted storm, like a hurricane, many are “on their knees praying” no doubt. What do we pray at a time like this? Typically, we want safety for us and our loved ones and that truly makes perfect sense to us. By no means, would I belittle these kinds of prayers, but I’ve seen many Christians that gave a “false idea” of what prayer can really do in these types of situations. Does God have control over the weather? Of course, He does, but I was hearing Christians that were actually saying that THEY commanded the storm to divert in another direction or lose strength.
What was most disturbing was the preacher I heard preach from the pulpit that as long as his church keeps praying and doesn’t stop the hurricane will not hit them, but if they stop, they will get hit. This preacher referenced Hurricane Andrew and “reminded” his entire congregation that this is exactly what happened with this particular hurricane. He literally told them that “Andrew” was heading right toward them and they prayed and it shifted, but then they stopped and it started coming at them again…. They prayed again and stopped it!!!
I was so aggravated listening to this false teaching coming directly from the pulpit! All I could think about is there are always Christians that are praying when every storm approaches and the “storm” still hits them and they lose everything. Many Christians that got hit by the storm were just as “obedient” in their prayers as the Christians that were spared. This preacher made it sound like his congregation was “above” the rest and “chosen” and spared. This couldn’t be more ridiculous, arrogant and quite frankly heartless. Do we want to allow foolish preachers to portray Christianity like this?
Other Christians were in complete panic mode posting things about God’s judgement. Of course, judgement is indeed coming, but why are Christians panicking about that? A real believer who trusted in Christ alone for their salvation, has already been judged in Christ. Some Christians act like they don’t believe it.
Christians, nobody will stop a storm by yelling at it “in Jesus’s Name” and you are making Christianity look quite foolish by doing that. I believe Christians should be calling out these examples as the bad example they are. Every time we don’t point this out these teachings can and do mislead some. It would be wise to remove these nonsensical, non-Biblical teachings from obstructing the Cross. Yelling at a storm, even in the “Name of Jesus” is not a part of the gospel. Whoever is selling you that nonsense does not have a grasp on the foundations of the faith and should not be listened to.
Listen carefully to what your preacher proclaims and compare it to Scripture. Ask questions of those that think differently than your church does and compare what they say to Scripture. The secular world is watching and I’m sure they are laughing at all this foolishness. If you really want to help stop a storm in your loved ones’ life, tell them about how they need to trust in Christ alone and absolutely nothing else. Their eternity will be secure… and that indeed will stop the storms in their minds and hearts.
photo credit: Dunnock_D Bible in St Mark’s Chapel, Brithdir via photopin (license)