Where's God?

November 3, 2005 -- Posted at 5:30 CST

JONESBORO -- A massive tsunami devastates parts of Indonesia last December.

Dozens of hurricanes, including Katrina, Rita and Wilma ravage the Gulf Coast.

An earthquake in Pakistan leaves parts of the country in shambles with thousands buried beneath the rubble.

"I think this is just God showing us and telling us this is what I can do," said one Jonesboro resident.

"We could be alive and the next minute.....we're gone," said another Jonesboro resident.

A string of natural disasters has plagued the earth over the past year.

Leaving many people asking questions, and looking up to the heavens for the answers.

Dr. Mike Cundall is a philosophy professor at ASU.

"People are trying to look for a justification to save their views about god in a sense....not always," said Cundall.

"Believe in almighty God. That he is the sole creator and the sole creator of every single thing," said the Islamic Center of Jonesboro's Emaam Abdu Rahman.

Dr. Glen Putman is the Pastor at Walnut Street Baptist Church in Jonesboro.

"Does God punish sin? He certainly does. Why does he do that? He does that so we may know that he is God. He is a righteous God," said Putman.

Mike Glover is the Pastor at First Assembly of God in Jonesboro.

"To get back to the basic question, did god allow it to happen? I would have to say in his omnipotence, yes, he did allow it to happen. He knew it was going to happen. The truth of the matter is that God is still good to us, and he gives us the strength and the mercy to get past those things," said Glover.

Dr. Cundall says whether or not you believe God allows these disasters to happen, or if he causes them as punishment for immoral behavior, depends on how you view God's interaction in the world.

"Some of which work with a view that God does not interact with the world straightforwardly. Then, when we have natural disasters, it seems if you have that view anywhere in the back of your head, you wonder why is this happening. If you just say that God is letting the world go the way it is, it's not that difficult to answer. This is part of the world's design....for better or worse, that is how God designed it," said Cundall.

Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, says hurricane Katrina was God's wrath to clean up what the Bible considers to be immoral lifestyles housed in New Orleans.

"There are a lot of people in New Orleans who are hoping God will bring a stronger moral fiber to this city," said Graham.

However, the French Quarter was virtually spared by Katrina's fury.

Professor Cundall says if Katrina was God's wrath then it was misplaced. He says if God is an infallible being, he doesn't misplace wrath.

"Maybe there were things that God was sending his wrath for, and we don't know them, but given that we are his creatures and he created the world and he or she knows what's best....that's how it's got to run," said Cundall.

"I don't think it's simply the wrath of God. I don't think it's a Sodom and Gomorra activity at all," said Pastor Glover.

Pastor Glover does say events like Katrina should make people examine their own lifestyles.

"You know, the scripture tells us to number our days, and take inventory of those days, and how were living them. I think that speaks to that issue," says Glover.

"Sometimes God brings tests, and it may be that this is a test. Why does he bring test? He brings tests to remind us that he is God," says Pastor Putman.

While there is no universal agreement about God's role in our world and the things that happen to us and around us, most agree there are still more questions than answers.