My Original Question for Christians

Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
I thought it might be fun to revisit the original question that brought me to CARM years ago. Now that we've had countless discussions maybe we'll see this differently - who knows.

My question: How did Christians react when the church collapsed during the 2010 Haiti earthquake and crushed the Christians who were praying for help from God?

This was a turning point for me. It seemed to me to be obvious proof that there is not a loving god who wants us to worship Jesus. I could not imagine how anyone could be a Christian after that. How could anyone think that a god that loves us would allow an earthquake to crush people who are worshipping Jesus? How could anyone think this was a good thing for a god to do? I expected my Christian friends to at least be conflicted.

And when my Christian friends did not skip a beat in their faith I was puzzled. So I came here to try and find out why.

So - how do you react when you see a church crush Christians as they pray to God for protection during an earthquake?
 

Ontos

Member
Perhaps something to the effect of what the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 1:20-21

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have complete boldness so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain...
 

SteveB

Well-known member
I thought it might be fun to revisit the original question that brought me to CARM years ago. Now that we've had countless discussions maybe we'll see this differently - who knows.

My question: How did Christians react when the church collapsed during the 2010 Haiti earthquake and crushed the Christians who were praying for help from God?

This was a turning point for me. It seemed to me to be obvious proof that there is not a loving god who wants us to worship Jesus. I could not imagine how anyone could be a Christian after that. How could anyone think that a god that loves us would allow an earthquake to crush people who are worshipping Jesus? How could anyone think this was a good thing for a god to do? I expected my Christian friends to at least be conflicted.

And when my Christian friends did not skip a beat in their faith I was puzzled. So I came here to try and find out why.

So - how do you react when you see a church crush Christians as they pray to God for protection during an earthquake?
Honestly, I don't recall.
My wife and I were having one of our own catastrophes at the time.
The local economy had collapsed, and housing foreclosure was as thick as it'd ever been in Nevada. We were struggling to save our home of ten years from foreclosure.

As to how I have responded to the catastrophes in the lives of others, and in a larger scale, in the lives of Jesus followers who suffer through no fault of their own....
I pray, and I let other Jesus followers know, and ask them to pray.
As this has been a decades long practice, dating back to at least the mid 80's, I'd say I probably prayed for them. I recall hearing later that Hillary apparently had no problem using them pain to make a lot of money off them.

In the case here, I pointed out the cruelties of atheist ideologies by atheists in China.
I found it ironic that instead of joining in with their sufferings, atheists spent the entire thread justifying atheism.
 

Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
Honestly, I don't recall.
My wife and I were having one of our own catastrophes at the time.
The local economy had collapsed, and housing foreclosure was as thick as it'd ever been in Nevada. We were struggling to save our home of ten years from foreclosure.
How do you react now? Do you think it was good of God to answer their prayers by having their house of worship collapse and crush them?
As to how I have responded to the catastrophes in the lives of others, and in a larger scale, in the lives of Jesus followers who suffer through no fault of their own....
I pray, and I let other Jesus followers know, and ask them to pray.
Why? Does God not know people are suffering? God saw people praying to him for help in an earthquake and God chose to drop a church on them. While they were praying.

Why pray if God already knows all?
As this has been a decades long practice, dating back to at least the mid 80's, I'd say I probably prayed for them. I recall hearing later that Hillary apparently had no problem using them pain to make a lot of money off them.
They had already been crushed by God. What do you think your prayer accomplished?
In the case here, I pointed out the cruelties of atheist ideologies by atheists in China.
I found it ironic that instead of joining in with their sufferings, atheists spent the entire thread justifying atheism.
Blaming atheists will not make it sensible for God to crush worshipers of Jesus Christ while they prayed. They have nothing to do with each other.
 

docphin5

Active member
I thought it might be fun to revisit the original question that brought me to CARM years ago. Now that we've had countless discussions maybe we'll see this differently - who knows.

My question: How did Christians react when the church collapsed during the 2010 Haiti earthquake and crushed the Christians who were praying for help from God?

This was a turning point for me. It seemed to me to be obvious proof that there is not a loving god who wants us to worship Jesus. I could not imagine how anyone could be a Christian after that. How could anyone think that a god that loves us would allow an earthquake to crush people who are worshipping Jesus? How could anyone think this was a good thing for a god to do? I expected my Christian friends to at least be conflicted.

And when my Christian friends did not skip a beat in their faith I was puzzled. So I came here to try and find out why.

So - how do you react when you see a church crush Christians as they pray to God for protection during an earthquake?
I react the same with any death, I mourn the loss of friends and family knowing that God has a plan for our good and knowing our sorrow now is only temporary. I guess Westerners have more of a problem with this than developing countries because we are trained to want it all now. It is not often you hear our leaders tell us to sacrifice now so that we can have more later. God says store up treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not exist.
 

Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
I react the same with any death, I mourn the loss of friends and family knowing that God has a plan for our good and knowing our sorrow now is only temporary.
So God's plan was to have the Haitian Christians pray to him and then crush them to death? And there is no part of you that questions the wisdom or kindness of that?
I guess Westerners have more of a problem with this than developing countries because we are trained to want it all now. It is not often you hear our leaders tell us to sacrifice now so that we can have more later. God says store up treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not exist.
I do not want it all. I just fail to see how anyone can rationalize a god crushing his own worshippers in their time of need into a good and loving act. That takes some serious self deception and a complete lack of empathy to pull off.

It baffles me.
 

Temujin

Well-known member
I thought it might be fun to revisit the original question that brought me to CARM years ago. Now that we've had countless discussions maybe we'll see this differently - who knows.

My question: How did Christians react when the church collapsed during the 2010 Haiti earthquake and crushed the Christians who were praying for help from God?

This was a turning point for me. It seemed to me to be obvious proof that there is not a loving god who wants us to worship Jesus. I could not imagine how anyone could be a Christian after that. How could anyone think that a god that loves us would allow an earthquake to crush people who are worshipping Jesus? How could anyone think this was a good thing for a god to do? I expected my Christian friends to at least be conflicted.

And when my Christian friends did not skip a beat in their faith I was puzzled. So I came here to try and find out why.

So - how do you react when you see a church crush Christians as they pray to God for protection during an earthquake?
See also the 1531 earthquake in Lisbon, which happened on All Saints Day. Thousands were killed, mostly by churches collapsing on them while they were praying.
 

Torin

Active member
See also the 1531 earthquake in Lisbon, which happened on All Saints Day. Thousands were killed, mostly by churches collapsing on them while they were praying.
Yeah, that occurred to me when I read this too. Good post.

I like to use the 2011 Tohoku tsunami, personally:

"The official figures released in 2021 reported 19,747 deaths, 6,242 injured, and 2,556 people missing, and a report from 2015 indicated 228,863 people were still living away from their home in either temporary housing or due to permanent relocation."


Horrific.
 

Gus Bovona

Active member
It's not necessary, under Christianity, for that god to be what mere mortals would describe as inconsistent (some people get a tsunami or an earthquake, killing, thousands, while others never do), whereas, without a god, where people are subject to random stuff happening, it *is* necessary that some people suffer and some don't.

When something isn't necessarily required, you can make stuff up and make it fit whatever you want.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
How do you react now?
I pray. Mostly because from several thousand miles away, there's nothing else I can do, and I know that YHVH has it all in control.

Do you think it was good of God to answer their prayers by having their house of worship collapse and crush them?
So, you're asking me if my judgment of God's work in this world is more accurate, and clear than my own?
As I recall, we call that hubris.
This is why God laughs when people deign to act as God's judge, jury and executioner.

Read the bible and find out.
Job suffered quite extensively, and never once was told why. In the end he was presented with God, and had to choose--- whom would he believe!
He chose to believe God.
Does God not know people are suffering?
Of course he does. Jesus said he counts all the hairs on our heads, and knows when a sparrow falls.

God saw people praying to him for help in an earthquake and God chose to drop a church on them. While they were praying.
Yes he did.

Why pray if God already knows all?
He's inviting us to become involved, and let him know.
Jesus said that attitude you describe is a lack of faith.

1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”​
6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”​



They had already been crushed by God. What do you think your prayer accomplished?
that's for God to decide.
I find it amusing that you think it's important to know everything, when you repeatedly demonstrate you know so little.
This is part of what believing God is all about.
He DOES know everything, and his purposes are served. By letting us know, he's inviting us into his purposes.

This is exactly why it states in Proverbs---- the fear of God is the BEGINNING of knowledge.
It's just the starting point.
The very first step to knowledge.
He then states----

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
His praise endures forever.​

Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom. The last I'd checked, Wisdom is the practical know how to do things. It's something that is normally gained through a lifetime of living a life in the real world. Where I come from, we used to call it--- street-smarts. We who keep his commandments have a good understanding, because of our learning to gain wisdom through applying what we've learned.
So, I've learned across the years, indeed, decades, that YHVH hears the prayers of the righteous, and when we who believe in Jesus ask for things that matter to God, he grants those prayer requests.
As I don't know what happens until it is made known by the press, I can't even know that I should pray until then.
After nearly 44 years of learning to follow Jesus, I'm good with not knowing until I need to.




Blaming atheists will not make it sensible for God to crush worshipers of Jesus Christ while they prayed. They have nothing to do with each other.
I'm not blaming atheists. I simply stated the obvious.....
Atheists in the Chinese government seem to have no problem whatsoever with crushing Jesus follower, and they do indeed have everything to do with each other.
So, my question on that op was--- why would you be part of a belief system which has been long known to crush people who refuse to think like them? Why would you think it's a good idea?
 

Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
See also the 1531 earthquake in Lisbon, which happened on All Saints Day. Thousands were killed, mostly by churches collapsing on them while they were praying.
Yes. I think people really need to believe God is real and there is some kind of reason for all this suffering. This need is so strong that they'll put aside almost all logic and reason to cling to that belief.

There is just no reasonable, rational way to think a loving god collapsed Christian churches on Christians while they were praying.
 

Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
I pray. Mostly because from several thousand miles away, there's nothing else I can do, and I know that YHVH has it all in control.
I understand the need to pray to feel like you are doing something. But prayer does not help, right? I mean God already knows. I cannot see how you praying would suddenly have any effect on those that are suffering.

So you pray just to make yourself feel better, yes?
So, you're asking me if my judgment of God's work in this world is more accurate, and clear than my own?
As I recall, we call that hubris.
This is why God laughs when people deign to act as God's judge, jury and executioner.
I am asking what you think when God drops church on Christians and crushes them to death.
Read the bible and find out.
Job suffered quite extensively, and never once was told why. In the end he was presented with God, and had to choose--- whom would he believe!
He chose to believe God.
Yes. This makes no sense.
Of course he does. Jesus said he counts all the hairs on our heads, and knows when a sparrow falls.
So God knows they are suffering and does not help. Do you think God loves us when he does not help those that are suffering?

Love is when you have so much affection for another that you would do anything to make them happy. Ignoring pleas of the suffering is the opposite of love. How do you make it work in your mind that someone can love you and ignore your calls for help?
He's inviting us to become involved, and let him know.
Jesus said that attitude you describe is a lack of faith.

1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”​
6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”​
Does 'faith' mean you simply do not even question anything? If people suffer as a church crushes them you just choose to ignore that and believe what you like?

Do you feel any empathy for those crushed? Or do you just not care?
that's for God to decide.
I find it amusing that you think it's important to know everything, when you repeatedly demonstrate you know so little.
I find it interesting that you have chosen to know nothing. You just believe God loves you and ignore reality around you by choice.

That is a delusion that baffles me.
Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom.
So you fear the God that loves you? That makes no sense. I never feared my parents because I knew the loved me and would never hurt me.

If you fear the one who loves you then you are in Stockholm's Syndrome, not love. It is a psychological disorder - not wisdom.

Prisoners do not love their tormentors.
The last I'd checked, Wisdom is the practical know how to do things. It's something that is normally gained through a lifetime of living a life in the real world. Where I come from, we used to call it--- street-smarts. We who keep his commandments have a good understanding, because of our learning to gain wisdom through applying what we've learned.
And street-smarts tells you to ignore the people crushed by the church and just keep believing God is love? That does not sound like common sense to me.
So, I've learned across the years, indeed, decades, that YHVH hears the prayers of the righteous, and when we who believe in Jesus ask for things that matter to God, he grants those prayer requests.
So do you think God ignored the prayers of the people he crushed in Haiti?
I'm not blaming atheists. I simply stated the obvious.....
Atheists in the Chinese government seem to have no problem whatsoever with crushing Jesus follower, and they do indeed have everything to do with each other.
So, my question on that op was--- why would you be part of a belief system which has been long known to crush people who refuse to think like them? Why would you think it's a good idea?
Atheism is not a belief system. And since you are part of a belief system that worships a god that visits untold suffering on humanity I do not think you can afford to throw stones.
 

Gus Bovona

Active member
So, you're asking me if my judgment of God's work in this world is more accurate, and clear than my own?
As I recall, we call that hubris.
This is why God laughs when people deign to act as God's judge, jury and executioner.
SteveB, can you think of an action that your god might take (or not take) that would make you think something like, "Hmmm, that doesn't sound like my god at all, my god would never do (or never not do) that."
 

Mike McK

Well-known member
I thought it might be fun to revisit the original question that brought me to CARM years ago. Now that we've had countless discussions maybe we'll see this differently - who knows.

My question: How did Christians react when the church collapsed during the 2010 Haiti earthquake and crushed the Christians who were praying for help from God?
All the Christians I know thought it was terrible and mobilized to send aid.

All the atheists probably mocked them.
This was a turning point for me. It seemed to me to be obvious proof that there is not a loving god who wants us to worship Jesus.
Atheists didn't give me a pony I wanted when I was six. That was obvious proof atheists don't exist.

Don't laugh. It's no more stupid than what you just said.
I could not imagine how anyone could be a Christian after that.
Because Jesus called us. Next question?
How could anyone think that a god that loves us would allow an earthquake to crush people who are worshipping Jesus?
So, how would you prefer they died?
How could anyone think this was a good thing for a god to do? I expected my Christian friends to at least be conflicted.
Why? Are your Christian friends really that theologically ignorant?

And, are they really that needy that they choose to be friends with someone who hates them?
So - how do you react when you see a church crush Christians as they pray to God for protection during an earthquake?
I think it's terrible. I pray for the situation and for their families, and then we get to work helping them. Somewhere in between all that, I try to find time to go to NPR's Facebook page to read all of the cruel, mocking comments from the atheists.
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
All the Christians I know thought it was terrible and mobilized to send aid.

All the atheists probably mocked them.
The response to the disaster was worldwide and must have included people from all faiths and atheists. I understand Doctors without Borders was active there and still is. They are a secular organisation.
Atheists didn't give me a pony I wanted when I was six. That was obvious proof atheists don't exist.

Don't laugh. It's no more stupid than what you just said.
It really is.
Because Jesus called us. Next question?

So, how would you prefer they died?
Peacefully, at the end of a long life.
 

Mike McK

Well-known member
The response to the disaster was worldwide and must have included people from all faiths and atheists. I understand Doctors without Borders was active there and still is. They are a secular organisation.
Irrelevant. The question was about Christians, not "Doctors without (sic) Borders".
Peacefully, at the end of a long life.
And then you'd complain because God took somebody's grandmother.
 
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