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Why the Chaos and Lawlessness in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina?
What She Said
In this web page we want to examine what Ellen White had to say that might shed some light into
the chaos and lawlessness that gripped New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. First, we'll
look at a statement that connects scenes of strife and anarchy with catastrophes
The restraining Spirit of God is even now being withdrawn
from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire
and flood, disasters by sea and land, follow each other in
quick succession. Science seeks to explain all these. The
signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach
of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the
true cause. Men cannot discern the sentinel angels
restraining the four winds that they shall not blow until
the servants of God are sealed; but when God shall bid
His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of
strife as no pen can picture.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 408, bold added.
The four winds of Revelation 7 themselves apparently represent not only hurricanes and other
natural disasters, but also the evil and violent passions of men:
We feel depressed, greatly depressed, as we see the world and its
wickedness. . . . Why is it that all this wickedness does not break forth in decided
violence against righteousness and truth? It is because the four angels are
holding the four winds, that they shall not blow upon the earth. But human
passions are reaching a high pass, and the Spirit of the Lord is being
withdrawn from the earth. Were it not that God has commanded angelic agencies
to control the satanic agencies that are seeking to break loose and to
destroy, there would be no hope. But the winds are to be held until the
servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.—Manuscript Releases, vol. 20,
p. 269, bold added.
Anyone who has read the first chapter of Ellen White's Great Controversy cannot but see something
ominous in both the above words and in the looting and lawlessness that went on in New Orleans. She describes
in that first chapter the utter anarchy among the Jews that occurred during the Jewish revolt of 66-70 AD,
and then claims that that entire tragedy is a "faint shadow" of the judgments of God that will fall in the
end of time:
The Saviour's prophecy concerning the visitation of
judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of
which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the
fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world
that has rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law.
Dark are the records of human misery that earth has
witnessed during its long centuries of crime. The heart sickens,
and the mind grows faint in contemplation. Terrible have
been the results of rejecting the authority of Heaven. But a
scene yet darker is presented in the revelations of the future.
The records of the past,—the long procession of tumults,
conflicts, and revolutions, the "battle of the warrior . . . with
confused noise, and garments rolled in blood" (Isaiah 9:5),—what
are these, in contrast with the terrors of that day when
the restraining Spirit of God shall be wholly withdrawn
from the wicked, no longer to hold in check the outburst
of human passion and satanic wrath! The world will then
behold, as never before, the results of Satan's rule.—Great Controversy, pp. 36, 37, bold added.
Those who have "rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law"? A connection between
natural disasters, and strife and anarchy? Hmm. This seems to make sense.
|Back of a house in Grand Isle, La.|
What would happen if 5% or 10% or 15% of society were living extremely self-centered, self-indulgent
lives, trampling upon the 10 Commandments, doing whatever they wanted to do whenever they wanted to do it?
What would happen if a significant amount of infrastructure collapsed, and food, water,
sanitation, police protection, and other basic services simply vanished? Would not utter
chaos break loose as that 5% or 10% or 15% began to run amok?
Thus there appears to be a very real connection between natural disasters and scenes of
strife and anarchy. And this whole topic demonstrates that the survival and tranquility of
our society depends on people everywhere allowing the Holy Spirit to transform their lives
through the power of the Gospel.
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