Does Sin Cause Natural Disasters? A New Climate Change Narrative

We always hear in the news about how our carbon emissions are causing drastic, world ending changes to the climate. In fact, a short review of old news articles would show that these world ending changes have been being predicted for decades and should have already consumed the earth. We should have depleted our reserves of several elements and fossil fuels, have been all starved to death by overpopulation, and be living in a world 10 degrees hotter than it currently is. The fact is, we have not run out of the list of resources, have declining populations across western countries (if you neglect immigration), and have not achieved life ending climate changes. There have been numerous and many failed Climate Change prophecies which should be held as such. Yes, such science is difficult and hard to predict, but it is never presented as such. It is presented as fact, a consensus among all credible scientists and something only idiots would disagree with. Of course climate science and conservation is important. I do not mean to reduce the need for environmental concern, just point out that it should not become a secular religion of sorts. I also think a larger and more biblical understanding of human life on earth needs to be accounted for which accounts for more than the current climate narrative does.

To be clear I am not here saying that sin is causing Climate Change in and off itself, nor am I saying that natural disasters are caused by sin. I am calming though, that some Climate Change and some natural disasters are caused by humanity’s sin. Humanity does not understand the Climate nor all of the interactions of the oceans, moon, sun, and the earth’s core sufficiently to claim that climate predictions should be taken with a high level of certainty. On top of our lack of understanding of the heavenly bodies, we must also account for the very fabric of the supernatural and immaterial in the world.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph 309, there is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not part of the answer to the question of evil. There is no escape from the fact that God used natural disasters as punishment in the Bible. Nor is there escape from the fact that although God is slow to patience and merciful, sin does get punished on occasion in this life. There is just no way to read through the Bible and come to a different conclusion. The existence of evil is ultimately a mystery.

Should we have a new climate narrative? One that allows for the possibility that God is allowing natural changes in the sun, moon, and earth’s core to alter the climate due to the sinfulness of humanity. A climate narrative which is humble would be refreshing. One that realizes its limitations and lack of full understanding of how the oceans operate, volcanos come to be and retreat, and earthquakes are formed. That climate narrative would be something much more human and spiritual indeed.

Below is a list of particular calamities collected by St. Alphonsus Liguori at the end of his work titled “Six Discourses on Natural Calamities”.

  1. Earthquakes
    —– “The earth shook and trembled: the foundations of the mountains were troubled and were moved, because He was angry with them.” Ps. 17:8.
    —–” The earth shall be moved out of her place for the indignation of the Lord.” Is. 13:13.
    —–“With shaking shall the earth be shaken as a drunken man.” Is. 24:20. On these words Cardinal Hugo makes the following comment: —–“The earth shall eject sinners.”
    —–St. John Chrysostom says: “The cause of the earthquake is God’s anger; but the cause of the Divine anger is our sins. But do not fear the punishment, but fear sin, which is the cause of the punishment.” —–De Lazaro, conc. 6. —–“The Lord shook the earth not to overthrow it, but to convert unto salvation those that lead wicked lives.” —–Serm. de S. Basso Mart. —–“The city is shaken, but your mind remains unmoved.” —–De Laz. conc. 6. —–“The earthquake has preceded like a herald announcing God’s anger that we may escape by penance the punishment that we have merited.” —–Ibid. —–“Behold, there came an earthquake; what have riches profited thee? The possessor has
    perished along with the possession. The city has become for all a common sepulchre, which has been built, not by the hand of the artificer, but by calamity.” —–Ibid. —–“The hearts of men are first disturbed, then the elements.” —–Ibid.
  2. Drought
    —–“If you walk in My precepts, . . . I will give you rain in due seasons. But if you will not hear Me, . . . I will make to you the heaven above as iron, and the earth as brass. Your labor shall be spent in vain, the ground shall not bring forth her increase, nor the trees yield their fruit.” Levit. 26:3, 14, 19.
    —–“How long shall the land mourn, and the herb of every field wither for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? The beasts are consumed.” Jer. 12:4.
    —–“Thou shalt case much seed into the ground, and gather little.” Deut. 28:38. Commentary: “Therefore the fields are sterile, because charity has grown cold.”
    —– “Thou hast polluted the land with thy fornications and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers were withholden.” Jer. 3:2.
    —–“You have not returned to Me, saith the Lord. I also have withholden the rain from you when there were yet three months to the harvest.” Amos 4:6. St. Basil: “Let us learn that because we have turned our backs upon God He has inflicted upon us calamities.” —–Hom. in fame et siccit.
    —– “. . . Let his roots be dried up, . . . and his harvest destroyed.” Job 18:16.
    Solomon, when dedicating the Temple to God, thus spoke to God in prayer: “If Heaven shall be shut up, and there shall be no rain because of their sins, and they praying in this place shall do penance, . . . hear Thou them in Heaven.” 3 Kings 8:35.
    The Lord says: “I will command the clouds to rain no rain upon it.” Is. 5:6.
    —–“Because My house is desolate, . . . therefore the heavens over you were stayed from giving dew, … and I called for a drought upon the land.” Agg. 1:9.
    St. Augustine: “Punishments continue, because sins continue.” Serm. 46, E.B. app.
    St. Basil: “We see the heavens closed, and are saddened by their serenity. The earth is already dried up, is horrible, and on account of the dryness is full of fissures; the water fountains have left us.” —–Hom. in fame et siccit.
  3. Scarcity and Sterility.
    —–“He hath turned . . . a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.”
    —–Ps. 106:33. Cardinal Hugo: “What does sin do? It turns fruitful land into sterile land.”
    —–“Cursed is the earth . . . thorns and thistles shall it bring forth.” Gen. 3:17.
    —–“A curse shall devour the earth, and the inhabitants thereof shall sin.” Is. 24:6.
    —–“The heavens shall reveal his iniquity, and the earth shall rise up against him.” Job 20:27.
    —–“I gave her corn and wine, . . . which they have used in the service of Baal; therefore I will return, and take away My corn.” Osee 2:8. There are some that abuse the goods that God has given to them; they make idols of them, that is, objects of sin. St. Augustine says: “Why are you suffering hunger: Why do you experience want? Because your guilt also increases daily. Be ye converted to God, and leave your idol.” Serm. 46, E.B. app.
    —–“Honor the Lord with thy substance, . . . and thy barn shall be filled. —–Want is from the Lord in the house of the wicked; but the habitations of the just shall be blessed.” —–Prov. 3:9, 33.
  4. Hail and Lightning.
    —–Fire, hail, famine, and death, all these were created for vengeance.” Ecclus. 39:35.
    —–“His lightnings have shone forth to the world; the earth saw and trembled; . . . the heavens declared His justice; . . . let them all be confounded that adore graven things.” Ps. 96:4. Alphonsus Tostatus says: “When we hear the thunder, we should remember that God wishes to admonish us to cease committing sin.”
  5. Hurtful Animals.
    —–“And I will send in upon you famine and evil beasts unto utter destruction,” —–Ezech, 5:17. On this point St. Jerome remarks: “It is manifest that hunger, pestilence, and wild beasts are sent on account of our sins.”
    —–“I will bring seven times more plagues upon you for your sins; and I will send in upon you the beasts of the field to destroy you and your cattle, and make you few in number, and that your highways may be desolate.” Levit. 26:21.
    —–“Thou shalt cast much seed in the ground, and gather little: because the locusts shall consume all.”Deut. 28:38.
    Dauraltius says: “There is no animal so small that it cannot be a most powerful enemy of the sinner.” Flores Exempl. c. 6, tit. 2, n, 9.
    And St. John Chrysostom: “So long as Adam preserved his countenance pure, the animals obeyed him; but when he defiled it by disobedience, they hated him.” In Ps. 3.
  6. Sickness.
    —–“I will stretch out My hand to strike thee and thy people with pestilence.” Exod. 9:15.
    —–“He that sinneth before his Maker, shall fall into the hands of the physician.” Ecclus. 38:15.
  7. Calamities in General.
    —–“And the earth is infected by the inhabitants thereof” . . . and few men shall be left.” Is. 24:5.
    —–“Evil-doers shall be cut off.” Ps. 36:9,
    —–“He will arm the creature for the revenge of his enemies.” Wisd. 5:18.
    —–“I have seen them that work iniquity, and that sow sorrows, and reap them.” Job 4:8. He that sows sins shall reap sorrows and pains. “Because thou hast forgotten Me and hast cast Me off behind thy body, bear thou also thy wickedness and thy fornications.” Ezech. 23:35.
    St. Cyprian says: “Why should you wonder that God’s anger is growing when what is punishable is every day growing?” Ad Demetianum.
    St. Basil: “No one troubles himself about inquiring why drought, lightning, hail, are sent down upon us; they are sent us on account of our sins, and because we preserve an impenitent heart.” In cap. 9 Isaiae.
    St. John Chrysostom: “We must repress sin, the fountain of evils.” In Ps. 3.
    St. Gregory: —–“Rightly is everything hostile to us that has gratified our passions.” In Evang. Hom. 35.
    St. Anselm: “By offending God we not only excite His anger, but the anger of all creation.” De Simil. c. 102.
    Salvian: “Why wonder that we are chastised? Miseries, infirmities, are signs of evil. We force God to punish us.” De Gubern. Dei, 1. 4.
    Cardinal Hugo: “Every creature complains of those that abuse it.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: