I have read the article published by Jethro Mullen in CNN news. In his report he mentioned the priest Father Edwin Bacaltos of the Church of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in central Tacloban began his work early in the morning to bless the dead bodies. While doing so, he admitted that it was a very emotional experience.
The following day a Mass for Eucharist was celebrated. During the Mass, many people asking how God could let such a calamity befall this predominantly Catholic city.
Father Bacaltos has no clear answers, but only he said “difficult to explain”. So I decided to look for some alternative explanation to answers of the question.
After reading the news I came to one of my pastor friends Vince Ybañez by name trying to seek from a pastor’s explanation if there is really a biblical implication about the massive destruction smashed into the most areas of Eastern Visayas.
I approached him and ask if he has time to talk to me just to explain my question that ponders my mind. As I know that he is very busy in his job and ministry. After thinking for a moment he approved and we sit down and take a glass of coffee while talking about my questions.
I started to ask Pastor Vince by telling him about the disasters that people of the Philippines are now suffering especially in most areas of Visayas regions. From the earthquake that destroyed Bohol and Cebu and the recent super typhoon Yolanda devastating Tacloban city and some other areas of Visayas province. Is there an implication to the bible to explain about the catastrophe in the country? I asked him.
He stared at me with a smile, but I perceived in his facial expression that he is so serious; he took a deep breath and starts answering my questions.
Based on my knowledge in the word of God, God is a God of love, but He is also the God of destruction and calamity. To give you a Biblical answer of your questions, let me start to tell you that God destroy the wicked people (Isiah 13:9). In what way? He is the only one can determine what kind of destruction He is using to destroy the sinner. In the Philippines He was using the natural calamity to destroy the sinners, Pastor Vince said.
So you mean Filipinos are wicked that God destroy them by the earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda? Are we not considered by God as His people? Are the Filipino sinners before His sight? I asked him.
Pastor Vince replied by quoting verse from the bible and said. Somewhere in the Bible passage from the book of Hosea 4:6 it says; “MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR THE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE…” Even though the Philippines is a Christian country and most Filipino are Catholic Christians… Please do not be offended, that majority of Filipino Christians are lack of knowledge. It is very clear in the Bible “MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED” considering that God acknowledge Christianity in the Philippines but because of the “LACK OF KNOWLEDGE” God will destroy his people who are lack of knowledge, Pastor Vince said.
If you are going to read the context of the Bible in Hosea chapter 4, people became ignorant to the word of God because of the spiritual leaders. In the same way, our Catholic brothers, Yes! They are Christians but they are lack of knowledge that God destroyed them with their homes, explained Pastor Vince.
Spiritual leaders are responsible of educating the members. Obviously, if we observed none-Catholic Christians to Catholic Christians we can notice that none-Catholic Christians are more knowledgeable about the word of God, so living according to what they learned and believed, added Pastor Vince.
Does not God consider our Christianity that He destroyed his people? I asked him.
What happened to us is a “Wake Up Call.” I agree that God is calling Filipino Christians to salvation. But salvation has a process. There is a process of justification before one is to be glorified (Romans 8:29-30), he said.
Jesus tells a story in Luke 13:1-5 about the sinful Galilaeans. There was an accident that slew eighteen sinners. He then reminded that EXCEPT people REPENT, they shall likewise perish as they were. Typhoon Yolanda Victims are lack of knowledge that they were perished. One important thing to remember, “That it is impossible for a righteous man to be punished by God”. Noah spared by God because he is righteous, all human being was destroyed by the flood in his time, only Noah and his family were saved.
For us to be saved from calamity and to have salvation for our soul we need the “SAVING SECRET” of Noah, the “RIGHTEOUSNESS“. But before one is to be righteous before the sight of God, we need to REPENT or else perish, Pastor Vince explained.
Pastor Vince is beseeching every Filipino to come to REPENTANCE, turn away from the wicked sins and back to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pastor Vince is a pastor of small congregation in Fortune Towne, Bacolod City. He is unpublished MBA teaching computer and management subjects in a government institution of Carlos Hilado Memorial State College, Bacolod City.