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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

31 January 2014: Mike Knee, St Mary Magdalen, Sheet

The rain falls on good and bad people alike

As I write this, I am “enjoying” a daily soaking as my bike negotiates axle-deep rivers of flood water in the Hampshire lanes, while many of our friends and neighbours have suffered far greater inconvenience. At the same time I'm managing a wry smile at the politician who has claimed that these floods are God’s judgement for allowing gay marriage! Like many Christians, I disagree with him on the marriage issue, but there is other food for thought here too.

That politician made the same mistake as some misguided friends in the book of Job in the Bible, who judge that Job’s many misfortunes must be the result of some wrongdoing he has committed. Christians do believe that God is just, but his justice is not as simplistic or contrived as our politician or Job's friends would have us think. The words of Jesus are very clear: judgement of that sort is not for us to attempt. Jesus' teaching should steer us away from making arbitrary, almost superstitious connections between sexual morality and the weather, or any other links we might be tempted to make to reinforce our prejudices.

Our highly interconnected world is one we can measure and observe. Science has enabled us to find links we might not otherwise have guessed, providing a better way to interpret the recent floods for example. But passing judgement on others is God's work, and meanwhile we can remember Jesus' words, that God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust”.

MenUnited will be having breakfast together tomorrow, Saturday 1 February at the United Reformed Church - all men are welcome

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