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En el desfile cotidiano de imágenes que las televisiones nos ofrecen sobre los mil rostros de la tragedia de Haití, apareció una señora a la que presentaron como Janet, pastora de la Iglesia de Cristo, a la que siguen 3.000 fieles en el este de Puerto Príncipe. Su iglesia se derrumbó y bajo los escombros quedaron seis feligreses. Afirmaba con toda naturalidad que, a las pocas horas del seísmo, el Señor le habló para pedirle que siguiera con los servicios de alabanza, y por eso estaba allí con su comunidad rogando al Señor para que restaurara a su nación para mostrar la luz de Cristo.…  Seguir leyendo »

On the morning of Nov. 1, 1755, one of history's worst sequences of natural disaster struck Lisbon, Portugal. First, with its citizens at Mass, Lisbon was shaken by an earthquake that toppled most of its buildings. Then, an hour later, a tremendous earthquake-induced tsunami crashed into the harbor, followed by two more giant waves that rushed up the Tagus River, drowning thousands who had fled the rupturing roads for the safety of their boats. Further inland, fires broke out that raged for nearly a week.

As many as 90,000 people (in a city of 250,000) perished in the natural catastrophes that destroyed 85 percent of the city, including nearly every major church.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the 18th century, the genre of “earthquake sermon” was good business. Two small shocks in London, in 1750, sent the preachers to their pulpits and pamphlets. The bishop of London blamed Londoners’ lewd behavior; the bishop of Oxford argued that God had woven into his grand design certain incidents to alarm us and shake us out of our sin. In Bloomsbury, the Rev. Dr. William Stukeley preached that earthquakes are favored by God as the ultimate sign of his wrathful intervention.

Five years later, when Lisbon was all but demolished by an enormous earthquake, the unholy refrain was heard again — one preacher even argued that the people of Lisbon had been relatively fortunate, for God had spared more people than he had killed.…  Seguir leyendo »