Posts Tagged ‘Jim Berkland’

So yesterday I was bombarded by good meaning people (including my mother) who are responding to Jim Berkland who is an Earthquake expert who is predicting another quake here on the west coast (most likely LA) in the next week or so.

I love our family and our crew of friends. Its important that you hear my perspective on these types of issues if you are involved with us because it will help you know how my heart relates to disaster and crises.

I think this is timely information and it is good for us to be aware so we can be prepared but I have a few observations:

1) Humanity was never supposed to experience these disasters so its impossible to be completely prepared for them. Meaning: The Earth was never meant to groan and be dysfunctional but because of the fall it has been a mess. There are whole camps of Christians who overly prepare and have an inordinate focus on this preparation. No one predicted on time the New Orleans Hurricane or the Japan Earthquake….they happened. Preparedness is very important but it can’t be at the expense of peace.

2) The sources (whether prophetic or natural) of prediction are mostly wrong. Jim Berkland (who is the lastest source for the Earthquake in America) has tried to predict Earthquakes for decades and was right within 4 days of the San Francisco quake but that’s because his group has reported the possibility of over 200 Earthquakes…eventually you will get it right even if the public doesn’t look at the hundreds that did not happen. I applaud his efforts because seismology is such an unpredictable field, but the way the media has ran with this is ridiculous.

3) Christians are amazing in the days of adversity because we can move in the compassion of God and care for people that we would normally want to run from or cities we would rather escape from. The modern examples are profound: Haiti, New Orleans, and now Japan, etc have their best relief efforts from Christians. We have been involved in disaster relief, red zone missions, war zone missions, etc and you see Jesus on another whole level when you participate with Heavens solution to these terrible disasters and wars. Just like Doctors in Emergency rooms kick into another gear, Christians have the Spirit of God inside of them and if they are participating with Him they will find themselves capable of amazing heart attitudes and abilities during trauma. Christians who teach that we are to hide away or horde in those days of adversity and trial have a limited theology on the nature of Jesus who came to bring His government of peace and restoration. One of the greatest failures of the Roman Empire in its end was hoarding food, finances, resources, etc. People became so fearful they began to hoard and its proven that most the regions that fell first had the resources to maintain the region but those resources were being held back by Christian (and some none Christian) hoarding leaders.

4) You can prepare in more effective ways then hoarding and seperating. Your local fire department or police stations have programs like C.E.R.T. Which is an emergency disaster preparedness to help your city in times of trial. They are desperate to get churches involved. You can have some of your members become chaplains to police forces, fire depts, sports teams, prisons, so you will have access to disaster relief locations if things do happen, you can find out your cities disaster relief plan for different types of disasters which is public domain….find out the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars your state has put into its disaster plans because America is not as stupid as the news media makes it sound. Find out what has worked in the disasters that your city is threatened with in the past and do basic education. Your average joe doesn’t need to focus on impending doom, but they need to be prepared for potential disasters. You can be part of private and public food banks to find out how to funnel foods to them so that there is an abundance.

5) One of the most important issues: Be part of a Kingdom and relief effort now. If you are becoming fearful about running out of something in the future, be part of your cities solution now and begin to find out the statistics of hunger in your city and become an answer. LA has about 15% malnutrition and we only feed maybe 17,000 meals a day to our poor and homeless population. Our food banks are low on quality food, and we need thousands of pounds of food and water now. If we could make this a well oiled process now we would be WAY ahead if a disaster hit because these food banks which work for the homeless in these days will work for the whole city in disaster days. In New Orleans, our friends Blood and Fire were feeding like 3500+ meals a day to relief workers and it was because they were already feeding people before that so it was easy to jump into helping. Bottom line is Christians can be ridiculous at hoarding resources when in a city like ours (LA) there isn’t enough food being stored for our current food crises right now. Be a part of healing your current food crises in your city and you will begin to understand how to handle a disaster (there is probably one already going on but its covered up by normalness). PS this is one of the areas that the Obama administration shines because they are amazing at disaster plans and social justice.

6) Modern History proves that disasters have not grown the church. The churches get full for a few weeks after, but its the goodness of God and the Kingdom of life that make people want to stay involved in their faith. I remember these Christians who were like “Katrina will force revival, New Orleans will know they have to turn to God now.” But you know what? Although God moves powerfully in peoples hearts when they are in disaster, it is not a healthy thing to say “This is the revival agent we have been waiting for!” The reality is all of Africa is in disaster all the time that is like in the days that most Christians think the end times will look like. Africa’s revival is not in response to its destruction, it is in response to seeing there is a GOOD GOD who restores all things and gives purpose beyond human survival. We have unrealistic expectations as western world Christians that think when it gets worse around us the church will grow and that God needs us to suffer in order to apprehend us. This hasn’t worked for Africa and its not the solution for America, humans do good when the original plan of God is at work: Peace, rest, love, life, goodness, fulfillment, these draw people into eternity more then destruction because they feel like eternity.

I like what Joe from my facebook friend status said: Jesus paid the price for the sins of the world and the Father is not imputing the world’s trespasses against them, why do some insist that the physical calamities our God’s judgments? Too many think God’s dealings with us are based on the Law, not on the grace of God in Christ. Or Bill Johnson: The insurance companies blame a lot of bad things on a good God.

7) You are part of the solution that the world is waiting for….Romans 8 says the whole earth is groaning that sons of God would be revealed because what happened when Jesus came? He brought the potential to restore all things. He started His whole ministry with Luke 4:18 which was to bring GOOD NEWS! Wow what a concept that we are supposed to bring good news even in the day of adversity like He was in…..it was a bad day when He came but He showed a GOOD God!

I love you guys and I love my city. I am here for my city when it is doing well or when it is suffering like right now……LA is at a terrible crises of hunger, 20% child homelessness, 10,000 slaves, 80,000 homeless adults, 2000 people being released from prison every night, 18% unemployment, and we have many other problems. An Earthquake is not going to bring revival, we are. We want to stand with our city in the day of adversity and love our city, not pull away and hoard resources because of weird prophetic perspectives that come from bad theology. Any word that makes you feel separate from the city you live in is not from the heart of God.

Lots of love

Shawn Bolz

Expression58

http://www.expression58.org

i love this photo from 911 because it was such a picture of these champion men & woman risking all to save lives