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
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
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
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
(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