Did God Sink the Titanic?

It seems that anytime there are terrible disasters in the world, someone attributes them to God. It is probably no help that our insurance companies have always referred to natural disasters as “acts of God.”

“God Himself could’t sink the Titanic,” is perhaps one of the most infamous historical comments regarding the famous ship. It is unclear whether this comment was ever really spoken by an employee of the White Star Line or if its utterance is just legend.

The fact is, though, that many people get a kind of grim satisfaction when reciting the remarks of the Titanic’s unsinkability. The message we like to convey seems to be, “Don’t challenge God or He will kill you.”

It seems that every disaster in recent history, whether it be the AIDS pandemic, the Indian Ocean tsunami, the earthquake in Haiti, or the tornadoes in the Midwest, gives us a prominent Evangelical  leader who connects the horrendous events to the judgement of God. (Then he usually apologizes a few days later for his insensitivity.)

It is strange to me that so may of us wish to portray God as loving and merciful, yet also full of violence. We preach that the wrath of God was satisfied by Jesus’ death, but then we embrace the God of wrath when other people suffer. We can’t have it both ways though. Either God’s judgement was satisfied by Jesus or it was not.

I believe that Jesus is the fullest revelation of the character and passion of God that exists. When we look at the way Jesus is portrayed in the Gospels, we see God. Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”

Jesus taught His followers to “turn the other cheek” and “love your enemies.” Jesus was the ultimate example of choosing sacrifice rather than violence. He showed us that victory is won through live-giving sacrifice, not through vengeful domination.

When we believe that God sunk the Titanic just to prove a point, we make God out to be petty and jealous. When we believe that God brings disasters as judgement for sin, then we are claiming that God abandoned the way of humble sacrifice in exchange for violence.

Jesus will not abandon the cross in favor of the sword.

About JasonWiedel

Jason is a writer who want to help others understand the best way to live. He also works for Habitat for Humanity.

6 Responses to “Did God Sink the Titanic?”

  1. No offense but your view of God is simplistic (at it’s politest).
    You must not forget that we are dealing with not only a God of love, but also a God of Justice, Balance, and Judgement.

    God will not be mocked and if indeed, it was said that He could not sink the Titanic, It is not beyond the Lord to make an example of what we should, and should NOT do in relation to him.

    The bible itself has terrible and awesome examples much much worse than the Titanic, of how God has dealt with pride in the past. Just because Jesus came does not mean we are not dealing with the same God.

    Please remember; innocent people have been killed before in the process of God showing His disapproval of things. We cannot understand God’s sovreign decisions because His thoughts a are much higher than our own.

    • Amen! It’s more about if your thoughts are in alignment with God’s values or not.

      We have had several situations were we have come close to starving but God always kept us one step ahead due to listening to our better judgements.

      I think we have hard times in order to appreciate good times or good times would be just *normal* and not held sacred.

  2. Beginning a sentence with “no offense” does not reduce unkind comments. No offense.

    I have always accepted the important idea that the thoughts and ways of God are beyond the understanding of human beings. Creation can never fully understand the creator. I also believe that we have been guilty of defining God in human terms and creating Him in our image – especially the area of God’s judgement and justice.

    No matter what we believe about the expression of God’s wrath before Christ, we must see that Jesus’ death and resurrection changed God’s relationship with humanity. Jesus’ death deals with the effects of sin for the entire world. Either Jesus died for the all or He did not.

    While a Calvinist perspective can promote the idea that Jesus blood is applied to only certain, “elect” individuals, I reject this idea. I believe Jesus died for all.

    I believe that it is very important that we embrace Jesus as the most complete revelation of God. Jesus is not the softer side of God. He is the complete expression of God. Through Jesus our understanding of God as merciful and compassionate is confirmed. Through Jesus we see that God’s route to power is suffering, service, and sacrifice.

    • I feel sorry you’re brainwashed jason. Hopefull you will understand what judgement really means.

      I think it’s most likely the people brought the karma upon themselves as it equally says in the bible what you reap is what you sow so if you reap negative thoughts not aligned with God you will eventually harvest them when Autumn comes.

      I think he wanted to save the ship but he cannot control the people except to influence them to make right choices which they choose to ignore over and over and over and over and over and over again.

      Did I say over again?

      Most people sadly use the KJ bible which is poorly translated from Hebrew because the churches at that time period wanted control over property as coverage for *sin* and the churches and kings were at war with each other over property rights.

      I’ve recently learned the Salem Witch Trials were more about the judges obtaining property from widows who’s husbands have died leaving behind large plots of land up in what is Maine today so the judges were more then happy to take the property.

      Most of the people picked on were widows who lived in isolation right to the very end when well known people started getting hanged since the judges got power hungry using only a portion of the bible to manipulate the masses and finally the people stood up to them.

      I see this in the not too distant future only it will be Conservatives they come first then Republicans second.

      “They came first for the Communists… but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews… but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Unionists… but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Unionist. Then they came for the Catholics… but I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then
      they came for me…and by that time… there was no-one left to speak up for me.”
      – Rev. Martin Niemoller, commenting on events in Germany 1933-1939

      Or how about.

      “Wake up and smell the tyranny; your pockets are full of paper and your minds are full of lies.”
      – Unknown

      My personal favorite from A Bugs Life.

      “You let one ant stand up to us, and they all might stand up! Those “puny little ants” outnumber us a hundred to one. And if they ever figure that out… THERE GOES OUR WAY OF LIFE! It’s not about food. It’s about keeping those ants in line.”
      – Hopper, A Bug’s Life

      • Kyle, I agree with some of your sentiment. That quotation from Martin Niemoller is a brilliant one. You can’t begin your remarks by insulting me, though, and then expect me to take you seriously. To criticize my theology while trying to communicate your own speculative and unorthodox ideas is arrogant and immature.

        If you’d like to have a respectful conversation, I would enjoy that, but I won’t entertain your one-sided ranting.

    • There is all sorts of examples in the bible about God favoring the elect but I believe it has to do with past lives and karma so some of us have to go thru tougher times to become closer to God then others.

      Being equal does not mean you’re sins were equal as you’ll be punished and the reason why you are punished is because once you’ve felt God then not having God is like…………………………..donuts! Have one and you gotta have more except the sugar does not kill you!

      I personally think Job was an incarnation of Christ to see if he would remain loyal in a world full of illusions and lies.

      It doesn’t talk about his daily life but I believe Job likely yelled at God some days when he was feeling let down and even used swear words for their time period but never truly said or meant he didn’t believe in God.
      After all he is only human and not ready for Christ Ascension yet which this was just a warm up for things to come later.

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