My friend and fellow Japanophile PJ tweeted a link to what amounts to a disgusting display of ugly-Americanism at its worst. Americans letting the Japanese people know - that earthquake and tsunami? You had it coming because of Pearl Harbor. Some of us still haven't forgiven you for Pearl Harbor. God is still angry at Japan because of Pearl Harbor. I wish the tsunami had occurred on Dec 7, not in March. Etc.
What makes this entire collation so ludicrously infuriating is that many of these people are half-right, but they clearly don't know which half. Thus they resort to Yay-America cheerleading. God is pretty much always on our side, and so if you come at us, be prepared for God to throw it back in your face. And yeah, we'll come to your aid because we're cool like that. I mean, hey, we're America. That's what we do.
I'm no blind patriot - I recognise that the US has been by many or perhaps most measures the greatest country ever seen on the planet. I also recognise that the US has many, many flaws. It is not a Christian nation (at least, not anymore). It is most certainly not God's chosen people or nation. What we are or aren't, it is by God's grace alone, and that's the problem with these Pearl Harbor remarks. God/Karma is hitting Japan back because of its past victimisation and unjust treatment of others. They deserve what they're getting.
So, let's start with this question - does Japan deserve what it's getting? No way, no how. Today, tens of millions of Japanese people will wake up from sleep. That's a blessing. They will breathe air. Blessing. Many will eat food and drink water. Blessing. The ambient temperature will be within the range of human tolerance. Blessing. The blessings go on and on, such that I could never name nor count them. They do not deserve what they're getting, which is blessing.
Did Japan deserve the tsunami, specifically, and the painful afterplay? No way, no how. Japan deserves far worse. Japan is a pagan, idolatrous, perverted nation full of pagan, idolatrous, perverted people. Perverted, pagan idolatry is sin, and sin must be punished. God will not be patient with sin and sinners forever. Comparably-minor judgments like these are mere foreshadowings and tastes of the judgment to come. I believe that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a sin as well, in and of itself, and as such deserves punishment and judgment. Even if the attack were justified, it is impossible to argue that it was carried out with 100% pure motives and in 100% pure ways.
Biblically speaking, suffering and other unpleasant experiences come upon people for a variety of reasons. One of them is punishment for sin and foreshadowing of future judgment, as I mentioned above. This is where the ugly Americans get the small part of it wrong. Do they know for sure that God is making what goes around come around? Where did God say that?
He didn't. This is one of the (many) places where Pat Robertson went wrong in the wake of the Haiti earthquake. How do you know the connection exists? Pat R might claim divine revelation, but that's OK - I expect lies, deception, and false prophecies from a false prophet. The biblical narrative of history reveals occasional "tit-for-tat" judgments-for-sins, such as the curse of Adam and Eve and Satan in Genesis 3, the 10 plagues on Egypt, the forced wandering in the Sinai desert, the defeat at Ai, the Assyrian destruction of Israel, the Babylonian captivity of Judah, etc. Other sins go without immediate or directly-connected judgment, and unless God speaks, you don't know what God is thinking.
Such is the case with these Facebookers - they don't know what God is thinking.
Here's the major part where they go wrong. Does America deserve any better than Japan? These ugly-American Facebookers seem to think so. After all, we were the victims at Pearl Harbor. Good thing we fought back and stomped their sorry yellow behinds, right? That's the attitude here.
Yet, America deserves no better than Japan, and probably worse. Japan has never had a significant Gospel witness and is one of the most pre-Christian societies on Earth even today, but America was once a Christian nation and has let that wonderful foundation and heritage slip right through our fingers. Japan is full of ancestor worshipers, but we put our elderly to death or ignore them in their old age. Japan is facing a population bomb because of low birthrates, but we have killed tens of millions of our own children in the womb. Japan springs up cults every week, but America has spawned two of the most successful cults of all time (Mormonism and the Jehovah's Witnesses) and many of its own cults. We'll see Japan's Aum Shinrikyo and raise them a David Koresh, Heaven's Gate, and Jim Jones. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, but was that attack nearly as unjustified as America's aggression in the war with Mexico (1830s) and the war against Spain (turn of the 20th century), to say nothing of the North's aggression against the South in the 1860s and the invasion of Vietnam in the 1960s? Japan tore, raped, and pillaged its way through Korea and China in the 1930s. America didn't treat the Native American Indians all that well, either.
And on and on it goes. American evanjellyfish seem to think there's something special about America, and that that allows us a platform from which to preach our own righteousness. We can spit at each other about which sins are worse, but where will that get us? Jockeying for position over which level of hell we'll occupy.
Should we not rather pray, as in Daniel 9?
7“Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. 8“Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9“To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; 10nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. 11“Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him."
The answer is to repent before God and turn to Jesus. Only in Him can we have forgiveness of our great sin. What good will your birthplace be before the judgment seat of God? Will God accept neo-con values and a Republican voting record as an effective counterbalance for your sins? Jesus died on the cross to give a way of salvation to all those who weren't right-wing Americans (who of course earn their own way to Heaven b/c they're smarter than everyone else and hold strongly to low taxes and freedom of gun ownership)?