Acts of God


#1

So in the Bible, God does all these huge things where he basically has an active role in the world such as making the huge flood in Noah’s Ark, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and of course the Plagues of Egypt are all examples where God does things on Earth, usually in some sort of punishment.

Am I right in thinking that because he comes to Earth as Jesus and spread his message as a human, he seized having a divine role in the same way he did in the Old Testament, causing destruction here and there, because his truth was told.

I’m just saying, because God doesn’t do this anymore, right? When was the last time or even in modern times, that God did something like that. I don’t believe for one minute that all these bad weather, hurricanes and typhoons and such is the same thing, I put that down to the environment or building societies in bad terrain, it’s very different to things described in the Bible.


#2

We need to remember a couple things.

God sustains and allows ALL things.

There would be nothing, but God allows there to be something.

Therefore his hand is on all things.

There is much allegory or potential allegory in the Bible. Some stories such as Job or maybe Jonah may fall in this category.

Other stories like the Exodus, the flood, Sodom, Jericho. Most likely happened.

So you need to look at the frame of reference of the authors too. The Bible was written by men for men to understand God as they are capable of at the time. So some things may be more grandiose in the story than reality, others may be explainable by natural disaster mixed with revelation from God.

An example could be the story of Noah. I will share my opinion in this, but there is lots of different speculations.

Most societies have a flood story which gives credence to it being true. The epic of Gilgamesh would be one example but even Native Americans have a similar tradition.

At the time of the flood the “entire world” was the known world. Possibly a large valley in Mesopotamia or even a larger region but still localized geographically. As polar ice melted coming out of ice age, and sea levels rose dramatically, eventually they would cover large swaths of land. This would most certainly create what seemed to be a global flood.

There is lots archeological and geological support for such an idea.

Couple the natural event with the divine revelation given to Noah and you have a very plausible story even by rationalist standards.

So that is one way to look at it.

In broader senses, it seems like God still reveals himself to us in different ways. All the Marian apparitions, and divine revelation given to Saints can be examples of this, it just is recorded and treated differently than Old Testament times. In the Old Testament God spoke publicly through the prophets. Now he speaks publicly through his own voice in Christ and the Apostles, and in a way His church.


#3

Ive wondered about this alot too. It doesnt make sense to me that God would do all that back in biblical times, but stop altogether in modern times…? If he did such things, I truly think alot more people would turn to faith and the world would be a much better place for all of us. Surely God is aware of this.

Another strange fact is that the bible mentions many times and in many ways, God has always been the same, and will always be the same, he does not change, but in this case, he has changed, in that he doesnt interact directly with us in todays world like he did back then.


#4

That’s why I’m thinking it was walking amongst us as Jesus that caused this change in God, because no matter if one believes or not, something obviously happened at that time which has sent shockwaves rippling throughout history which is still relevant today.
The only logical conclusion I can think of is that it’s because he got his message across, to love one another and weather people believe or not is up to them but at least it’s there.

On the contrary, people talk about the end of the days, the rapture or whatever you wanna call it. I don’t know if these are Catholics but you know the types who stand in busy city centers and preach that we’re all sinners and the end is coming but people have been saying the end is coming forever and the world just keeps on going.
What I’m getting at is, do Catholics believe that God will do some kind of intervention again? I hear about the Final Resurrection, the soul reunites with the deceased body?
To me sounds like we’re all going to become zombies and that kind of zombie apocalypse is the fan favorite these days!
What if you were cremated, how can the soul be reunited with the body then?


#5

Seriously, if you are discerning the Christian Faith, pick up 3 books written by someone from your side of the pond, C.S. Lewis:

Mere Christianity
Miracles
The Problem of Pain

Miracles specifically deals with your question, BUT you should read Mere Christianity first!


#6

I am going to try and have some fun here. I am going to take a modern story of significance. Perhaps the Pope intervening in the Syria conflict and turn it into a Biblical Epic. :slight_smile:

My hope is it will help you see that we have very little info (sometimes just a paragraph or two) describing these biblical events. The authors worked with what they had and made the important point of God helping man the center point while many details are probably left out.

"In the days when Obama was President of the USA and Putin the regent of Russia, a great conflict arose in the nation of Syria. For many months fighting and bloodshed took the lives of thousands of men women and children. God saw the turmoil and it pained his heart.

Alas, as the great nations of the earth saw the destruction of the land of Syria, in hopes of pouncing upon its abundance of resources and wealth, convened their armies upon the land. And great warships descended into the offshore waters. The people of the world were fearful of a great global conflict that would kill many.

And God was deeply concerned for his children on earth.

At this time Francis became Bishop of Rome and was favored by many people of the lands. One Day the Holy Spirit of God came to Francis and spoke to him saying, “I have seen the hate and fear in the heart of my people, and I have heard the cries of Syria. Instruct mankind to spend a day of prayer and fasting for the people of Syria, and I will hear their petitions and answer their cries.”

So Francis, who was righteous in God’s eyes instructed all the people of the world in prayer and fasting for Syria. And The Lord heard their petitions and the great Armies returned by the road they came. And the warships departed for another land, and their was much rejoicing.

Then Francis convened a delegation of the powers of the world to settle the remaining conflict. And The Lord removed the conflict from the land as an answer to their prayer. "

Ok that was sort of fun :smiley:

Hopefully you can see what I mean about Biblical literature. Imagine writing a story now about Our Lady of Guadalupe, or Padre Pio, or St Martin de Porres, or Mother Theresa, or st Christopher, etc…etc…etc…


#7

If we are talking about the dead coming to life, I don’t think cremation will cause much of a hurdle for God!


#8

That’s one thing I enjoy about this forum, even as a non-religious person, the fresh way of thinking about things that other people so often. Religious people have a mysterious wisdom I think and Atheists too often don’t see that.

But as you were saying! I suppose, when it comes to faith, you never know when the next Biblical event is round the corner, if that’s how you see things that may already be happening.
Take modern history for example. Would you consider God’s work during World War 2?

Forgive me if I’m wrong here but Tolstoy wrote something in War & Peace such as history doesn’t come down to this thing or the other, not one great person of the time influencing all these events, he wrote that history was a force of it’s own and I think from a religious perspective, you could sat that that driving force was God?

Indeed! Very good point!


#9

I would consent that the driving force of history is a mix between the free will of man and God’s sustaining our very lives.

I would not say that God does evil or creates evil in someway like a world war. I would say that is all mankinds doing, but for reasons unclear to us, God allows pain and suffering and wars and disasters to occur

IMO this os because mans sin nature creates the problems and God uses man to work on bettering ourselves and returning to a state that is closer to what we were created to be. This would be culminated in the Final Judgement and the New heaven and New Earth.

It seems that God chooses to use us as instruments of his plan. That is why he spoke to Noah and That is why he came as a man to save us and gave us a church made of men to instruct us, etc…


#10

Sorry, what I was trying to say was not that Gods create these things, mankind brings these wars on themselves but in the case of World War 2 would God have favored the Allies and made sure it all worked out for the best?


#11

I don’t think God necessarily chooses sides, but is always on the side of justice, love, and mercy.

In my understanding of World War 2 the allies seemed to in general hold to those truths as opposed to the axis which favored injustice, hate, power, pride, and tyranny .


#12

That’s what I’m saying, the Nazis represented tyranny and oppression and all bad things like that. Now I know, the average German or Japanese soldier might not be an evil person but then neither was the average civillian killed in a bombing raid or the Jew hunted and murdered, innocents die in wars, I think that also includes soldiers. I suppose what I’m getting at here is that the Allies were meant to win, be it poor decisions of free will from Hitler such as invading Russia during the winter.
But these kinds of things, I’m wondering if you can find God in the most ugliest parts of human history?


#13

You can definitely find God in our ugliest times! That is most definitely where we see him most! When we are vulnerable, our own self pride and ego slips away and we can see God personally and the same is true in our actions as a culture and world.

You may find this story a good read from WW2.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilian_Kolbe

There are many examples of Gods profound witness during ugly war time situations.


#14

Wow, that’s a wonderful story, I love this kind of thing about religion, it’s truly powerful.


#15

I would like to quote for you a great response on this subject on another thread from a poster named RPRPsych.

Please continue to next post -


#16

Continued from above post -

I would also like to share with you a small extract from the booklet ‘From Sinai to Calvary’ in which Jesus dictates to a lady named Catalina, in which will shed alot of light on suffering I believe, for more information on this please read this short pdf. youshallbelieve.com/A-plea-to-humanity.pdf and for more please go here youshallbelieve.com/

From Sinai to Calvery - loveandmercy.org/Eng-FSC-Reg.pdf

This book contains the Roman Catholic IMPRIMATUR

I added some small notes of mine in the extract which are in (brackets).

Here Jesus shows the two ways that men carry their crosses. Our crosses are inevitable, we will all have to carry them at some stage in our life, (e.g. Death) some heavier than others, but I certainly know which cross I will prefer to carry, and that is Dismas’ cross, humbly recognising himself as a sinner and asking that though his sufferings, mercy remembers him. It’s in this way that warrented such a reply from our lord “I promise that today you will be with me in paradise.” and allowed the condemned theif Dismas on the right side of Jesus to steal paradise - Luke 23:26-43

Rest assured that the Devil can be easily defeated through the experience of the cross.

“Humility opens the doors to the kingdom of heaven.”

Thank you for reading
Josh


#17

In relation to Noah’s Ark, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Plagues of Egypt, I believe the reason why these are divine punnishments is because they were prophesized as such and that’s what separates them from other natural disasters and sufferings.

Thank you for reading
Josh


#18

So how come there are no divine punishments these days? Because nobody prophecies things or because there’s nothing to punish?


#19

I don’t know. But we are certainly not innocent thats for sure. Id say those places in the Old Testament got pretty bad before calling down divine punnishment.


#20

IDK, In my opinion, our modern times are much worse, we have legal murder of unborn babies and this has been going on for decades now! Homosexuals are only gaining more and more rights, eventually they will have all the rights of a regular man and wife, look at San Fransisco!!! I dont know how long God allowed the sexual sins to go on in Sodom or Gomorrah, but I would bet it was not decades upon decades.

I am truly amazed there is no divine intervention in modern times, this is the time people really need that kind of thing!!!

As Billy Graham once said “If God does not destroy America, he will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah”.


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