No doubt if you’ve watched the news you heard that on march 11, 2011 a earthquake that measured 8.9 in magnitude on the Richter scale producing gigantic oversized waves, leaving an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 people missing or dead and destroying cities. This catastrophe has left Japan in the alarm state of a level 5 nuclear meltdown, causing evacuation in major cities like Tokyo, Japan. Inevitably the question will be asked “If there is a God why would He allow this earthquake to happen?” According to Japan’s Kyodo News the Governor of Tokyo, Shirtaro Ishihara is quoted as saying the tsunami was needed “to wipe out egoism, which has rusted onto the mentality of the Japanese over a long period of time.” He went on to say “I think [the disaster] is tembastu (divine punishment), although I feel sorry for disaster victims.”On March 15 Governor Ishihara recanted his statement and said that he was sorry for making such a statement. I’m glad that he retracted his statement. We don’t know all the details of why God allows these things to happen, and to a give blanket statement like that, which may include some who were not being dealt punishment, would be inaccurate, but we know that when these natural disasters happen we began to ask questions and sometimes even blame others.
There are an estimated 2 million Christians in Japan out of a population of around 127.5 million. Most of the population is Buddhist, Shinto or Atheist. My prayer is that in the wake of this pain and destruction that the worldview of the Buddhist, Shinto and Atheist in Japan will change. Seeing that the way people behave, what they value, and their belief systems all comes down to one question. One world changing, life rearranging question, are you ready for it, here it is, “What do they say about God?” What a person thinks about God will tell them how to believe or how to react when faced with the hardships of life. For example, an atheist may answer the question by saying “there is not a God, there is only science.” This atheist’s worldview may explain that a natural disaster is just nature’s way of balancing the universe, that is, until it happens to them. When a natural disaster invades their world hopefully they will realize how hopeless that way of thinking is, and the list goes on of ways that people would answer the question, “What do you think/say about God?” Some would ask the question “Who is God?” or just say “There is no God.” Some have said that, but they can’t answer the questions to follow; “Where does morality come from?” or “What or who is the first cause?” These questions become hard to answer when you do not know who the true God is, so let’s pray that the Japanese people will begin to question their worldview, praying that God will empower the Christians there in Japan to be spread the gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:17). So when they ask “why” they can be introduce, those who are hurting, to the “Who”.
The day has started, and we just conduct our lives like any other day, doing what is right in our own eyes. Never really giving serious thought to who God is or what are beliefs should be in relation to our God. That is until some instability happens in our life, a natural disaster, death, major illness, cheating partner, loss of job, or some situation that threatens our so-called happiness. Once some unwanted semi-major or major event happens we began to ask questions, especially when what we believe does not seem to hold water at the time of crisis. Wisdom would suggest that we ask certain questions about God and find answers in the word of God, today instead of tomorrow, so here are the questions to ask “What do I say about God?” “Who is God to me?” By answering questions like these, correctly, we will be able to form a worldview that is built with the strength to sustain us through the natural disasters and joys of life.