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Swine Flu! Is it a Punishment from God?
Author/Source: Members of Faith Partnership. Royal County. UK  Posted by: serving humanity
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The world was still trying to straighten their backs after the shock of the recent Global Credit Crunch, when the ugly face of this new deamon of Swine Flu appeared. Swine flu has initiated discussions at various levels including Faith groups. Some of them are quoted below from a local Faith Partnership members.

"I agree with a part of what Reverend Rosahillier
said below. Basically direct punishments and torments on Nations used to come from God at the time when the door of Revelation was still open and the Prophets of the time were denied directly by their people despite having clear & strong evidence of their Prophethood. However various situations in individuals' and Nations' as well as the humanity as a whole will continue to appear as Signs or Warnings from God to keep reminding them about the Right & Wrong attitudes, the attitudes which could harm the Balance upon which He has created the Universe, the Judgement, & to remind of His Sovereignity and Accountability.

This does not at all mean that we do not take initiatives to prevent or protect each other from natural disasters, rather a Believer will be far ahead doing this because again his preference is the pleasure of His Lord, which lies in Serving His Humanity.

As I mentioned the words 'Warnings' & "To sense God" instead of '
'Punishment'; meaning, to try and keep eyes open for His signs and appreciate His presence; of course remain scared as well, although in the state of His Love, as Mr. Pippind says (vide infra) because finally we all are answerable to Him~

Dr.Henna Khan
Team Director
Vice Chair
Faith Partnership Slough

"I find this question difficult to discuss for several reasons. In spite of the fact that Christians, Jews and Muslims worship the One God, (Arab Christians call him Allah as do Muslims), we understand God's nature with different emphases.

For Christians the primary emphasis would be on the statement 'God is Love'. I know that in various ways different Muslim traditions also have this emphasis but the emphasis in these replies seems to be on God's righteousness and judgement. These are attributes of God as Christians believe in him also but the starting point for our thinking is different.

Certainly 'sin' is evident widely in human-nature. It is the arrogant attitude that ignores the wisdom of living according to God's will; being compassionate, considerate, truthful, generous, overcoming our pride, greed and self-delusions as we attempt to reflect the divine love seeking the maslaha of all women and men.

Much of the World's suffering is the consequence of pride, greed and ignorance and some is due to deliberate perversion! This is all in contravention of God's will. I believe those who seek to grow spiritually and are committed to deepening their communion with God will experience the most profound bliss, (and Christian's believe that by faith in the saving work of Jesus we can have this relationship of communion), while those who live lives driven by self-centredness and greed of various kinds and who deliberately deny all relationship with God probably do presently and will ultimately bring unimaginable suffering upon themselves and others.

But sometimes the chain of causality is too complicated for us as humans to understand. We should always respond in compassion to those who suffer and always strive to bring suffering and its causes to an end if it is possible. If there is nothing we can do to alleviate the situation we can pray for those who suffer and, if we are close enough, simply be with them to support them with our love in their suffering. Much suffering is completely 'innocent' , a fact of life!"

Phillip Pippind
Religious Teacher
(Retd: British Army)
(Church of England)

"I have a real problem with the idea that natural disasters and swine flu are punishments form God. Science tells us that we live on a planet which is not gentle as a pussycat, but which is still young in years, and still is changing and cooling internally. Plates are shifting, volcanoes erupt and sunamis happen. That is the nature of tis world; God doesn't send a sunami at a certain time to punish us. the earth is just created in this way.

I have heard it said that God made a bad job of creating this world.

As for swine fever or any other virus being a punishment; this is to me primitive superstition. Whilste we worry that these cases may be the beginnings of a pandemic, I do not feel we yet need to shiver in our boots, or panic.

we should rely on scientists, doctors and governments to work together across the globe to produce vaccines ready for people, and perhaps the priority should not be those with money, but those most at risk; the young, the old, healthworkers, emergency services, police, faith leaders, school teachers.

It is still my hope that this will not be a pandemic, but even if it is we cannot blame God, but pray for the strength of body to resist the illness, and for the strength of character to work for the good of all even in the darkest of times. And may God in his mercy help us to do all that we can for ourselves and our neighbours."

as ever,

Rev.Linda Rosahillier
(Christian Anglican)

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