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The Ellen White Research Project: Exposing the Subtle Attack on the Bible's Authority
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Why More Hurricanes Now Than in the Past?

Murder

But it wasn't only sexual immorality that New Orleans was known for. Take for example the following article, which appeared across the country just eleven days before Katrina hit:

New Orleans murder rate on the rise again
Homicide rate nowhere near 94 peak but still 10 times national average

NEW ORLEANS — Last year, university researchers conducted an experiment in which police fired 700 blank rounds in a New Orleans neighborhood in a single afternoon. No one called to report the gunfire.

New Orleans residents are reluctant to come forward as witnesses, fearing retaliation. And experts say that is one of several reasons homicides are on the rise in the Big Easy at a time when other cities are seeing their murder rates plummet to levels not seen in decades.

. . . in recent years, the city's homicide rate has climbed again to nearly 10 times the national average. . . .

There had been 192 this year by mid-August, compared with 169 at the same time in 2004. Adjusted for the city's size, those numbers dwarf murder rates in Washington, Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. . . .

Only one in four people arrested in the city for murder is eventually convicted, according to a recent study by the New Orleans Police Foundation, a private nonprofit group.

According to the study, 42 percent of serious crime cases reviewed by prosecutors — about 22,000 — were turned away between 2002 and 2004 because the cases were not deemed suitable for court.

District Attorney Eddie Jordan said the lack of eyewitness testimony was one reason for the dropped cases. New Orleans has had such a problem with retaliation against witnesses — including murder — that the district attorney's office took the unusual step of starting a local witness protection program.

Witnesses may also be reluctant to talk to police because of the department's struggles with allegations of brutality and corruption. . . .

But recently, complaints about police brutality have surfaced again.—Aug. 18, 2005.

The situation had obviously gotten extremely out of hand, in neighborhoods other than just the French Quarter.

Hurricane Katrina destroyed Copa Casino
in Gulfport, MS.—GulfCoastNews.com.
Gambling

New Orleans was spared a direct hit as Katrina veered east. Not that it mattered much, as things turned out. But that veering didn't help the Mississippi Gulf Coast any.

When we lived down that way there were no casinos in Gulfport or Biloxi, but in the years that have passed casinos in those cities have turned into a $2.7 billion-a-year industry. 14,000 workers in 12 or so casinos, generating half a million a day in ill-gotten tax revenue for the state of Mississippi. And Katrina wiped it all out.

Were those involved in such vice taking all this as Providence's cue that it's time to pursue another line of work? Undoubtedly some were, but not everyone. State gambling officials and casino executives, just days after the hurricane, talked about getting the Mississippi legislature to enact special legislation to keep their "industry" alive. Wouldn't it have been smarter to at least wait until after hurricane season before tossing around such ideas?

Come to think of it, if as a society we want to live dissolute lives, why do we build our Sin Cities below sea level, our Sodoms on fault lines, and our casinos on the Gulf Coast? Does it not appear that we are daring God to destroy us when we purposely build our centers of sin in such obviously vulnerable places?

Worst Sinners? "Nay."

Some might be tempted to think that the party-goers of New Orleans and the casino operators of Gulfport and Biloxi were worse sinners than anyone else. Not so, suggests Jesus Himself:

And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Lk. 13:2-5)

According to Ellen White, because men do not recognize that God has been mercifully holding back Satan's destructive power, in a "limited degree" he is being "permitted to destroy":

The same Hand that kept the fiery serpents of the wilderness from entering the camp of the Israelites until God's chosen people provoked Him with their constant murmurs and complaints, is today guarding the honest in heart. Were this restraining Hand withdrawn, the enemy of our souls would at once begin the work of destruction that he has so long desired to accomplish. And because God's long-continued forbearance is not now recognized, the forces of evil are already, to a limited degree, permitted to destroy. How soon human agencies will see blotted out of existence their magnificent buildings, which are their pride!—Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, p. 281, bold added.

And quite clearly, the "honest in heart" are not always spared. Even some of the followers of God will perish in the calamities that are beginning to befall our planet:

How often have those in danger of being destroyed by terrible outbreakings of winds and waters been mercifully shielded from harm! Do we realize that we have been spared from destruction only because of the protecting care of unseen agencies? Although many ships have gone down and many men and women on board have perished, God has mercifully spared His people. But we should not be surprised if some of those who love and fear God were to be engulfed in the tempestuous waters of the ocean. They would sleep until the Lifegiver comes to give them life. We are not to cast one word of reflection upon God or upon His manner of working.—Ibid., bold added.

With all this in mind, the following counsel seems especially pertinent:

Let us turn our attention away from unimportant things, and give ourselves to God. We scarcely dream of the destroying angels that already are permitted to bring disaster and destruction in their path. Shall my life be spared to act a part in the closing scenes of this earth's history?—Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, p. 437.

Mighty sobering.

Give Us Your Opinion

What do you think about why we're having worse hurricanes now?
I find it intriguing that she thought we would have had more hurricanes before now, except for the protection of God's angels.
Garbage. Absolute garbage. God isn't concerned about what people are doing down here. He pays it no mind.
I think I hear the warning voice of God in all of this. I've decided to dedicate/rededicate my life to God and let Him have full control.
It's none of your business what people do. Gambling, immorality, murder, so what? It's a free country. Keep your religion to yourself.
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