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Is God to Blame for Weather that Kills People?

god in control of the weather

Is God to blame for weather that kills people? If you are a Christian and you believe the Bible is truth then the answer to this question is an emphatic YES. People killed by tornadoes? God’s doing. The people killed by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy? God’s doing. Mudslides, floods, tsunamis, lightning, thunderstorms, blizzards, ice storms . . . all of these come from the hand of God, and he is ultimately responsible for any death or injury caused by these weather events.

The Bible is clear:

  • And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt. Exodus 10:19
  • And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. Numbers 11:31
  • For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven; To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure. When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: Job 28:24-26
  • But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Jonah 1:4
  • But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.  Jonah 4:7-8
  • He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.  Psalm 78:26
  • These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.  Psalm 107:24-25
  • He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries. Psalm 135:7
  • And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! Matthew 8:25-27
  • Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. Exodus 9:18
  • And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. Exodus 9:22
  • Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. Isaiah 29:6
  • And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.Genesis 6:17
  • Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou driedst up mighty rivers. The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Psalm 74:16
  • For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 2 Peter 2:4-6
  • For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. Genesis 7:4
  • And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Deuteronomy 11:13-15
  • That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:45
  • For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.  Job 37:6

If you are a Bible-believing, born-again, Jesus-loving Christian, there’s no doubt about who’s in control of the weather. The Bible makes it clear that God is the divine weatherman. If God controls the weather, then HE is responsible for the devastation and death that come when bad weather comes our way.

Not happenstance.

Not Mother Nature.


Not any God, the Christian God.

Dear Christian friend, the next time you are bitching about the weather please turn your bitching towards your God. He’s the one to blame.

Several years ago, a Christian commenter left this gem:

The thing is you want a God in your own image. You are justifying yourself and bringing him down to a human level. Complain, mock all you want. Like a crybaby. He is God and is right and as God can make the rules, not you. He is truth, whether you like it or not. The creator has the right to impose what he deems correct on His creation according to His standards. I am sorry for whatever has brought you to the point that you have set yourself against Him so, but it is just pitiful that in the end you are going to find out that the reason He does what he does is for your good and final happiness also, not because He is a tyrant like you think. But you will have missed out, because all you think of is “poor me.”

According to the Bible, this commenter is correct. Basically, God is God and he can do whatever he wants to do. How dare any pimple-on-the-ass-of-God human beings say anything about what God does. As the Apostle Paul said in Romans 9, shut the fuck up

Every day, somewhere in the world, the Christian God is using his control of the weather to bring devastation and death.

Who are we to complain?


Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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  1. Avatar

    Wasn’t it Pat Robertson who talked about that? The tsunami, hurricanes… because of the eeeebil gays, wasn’t it?

    Sometimes I think people can’t get any more stupid, then someone posts his latest video.

    What a dumbass.

    As for the commenter who left you that comment, the more I read the serious responses here and there around the internet, the more I marvel. The comments seem to be less literate in proportion to the amount of stubborn, obdurate, ‘yes huh ’cause GOD!!!’

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    If God is to blame for all the bad , whom is responsible for all the good assuming you believe there is any good in the world

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Well, I don’t believe there’s a God. I wrote this piece from the perspective of a person who says they believe in the Christian God. If one believes the Bible is true then there is no possible way to escape the conclusions I’ve come to in this post.

    • Avatar
      John Arthur

      Hi Marfin,

      Do you think that God is responsible for the good and bad weather? Would you put your reliance on your holy book when it comes to the weather or on atmospheric physics?


      John Arthur

  3. Avatar

    I know that James Kugel and other biblical historians have suggested that YHWH started life as a god of storms and weather. In How to Read the Bible, Kugel pointed out that when YHWH’s “blessings” are mentioned in the Hebrew Testament, they frequently seem to mean rain or the resulting crops.

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    Well Bruce, if the commenter truly believes “but it is just pitiful that in the end you are going to find out that the reason He does what he does is for your good and final happiness” is true then they are likely not a Calvinist, because the Calvinistic god does not give two flying pancake flips about the non-elect’s well-being and happiness, as they were created simply for God’s judgment and to specifically provide God the glory he craves in that fashion, which fills me with all kinds of warm happy fuzziness.

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    Daniel Wilcox

    Bruce, you say, “If you are a Christian and you believe the Bible is truth then the answer is an emphatic YES.” And you added in a comment, “If one believes the Bible is true then there is no possible way to escape the conclusions I’ve come to in this post.”

    I think you need to clarify this with a statement, ‘if you believe the Bible is literally, fundamentalistically factual and that the Bible is a flat book with no progression’…

    Because none of the Christians I grew up with, or countless millions of other Christians thought God causes tornadoes, etc. There are plenty of Christians who think the “Bible is truth” who totally reject the Calvinistic-Augustinian view that horrific natural evil is caused by God.

    At least my parents (my dad was a fundamentalistic Baptist pastor) and everyone I knew didn’t. And later when I became a youth pastor, I know the head pastor didn’t believe that God causes disasters.

    It wasn’t until I encountered a Christian youth leader (who I later found out belonged to something called Calvinism) that I was introduced to this idea that God causes all tornadoes, hurricanes, cancer, etc.

    The main difference is that the fundamentalistic background I grew up didn’t take the Bible as a flat book. We tended to look at the Old Testament claims of God doing natural evil (even the demonic possession stories of the New Testament) as “accomodations/errors” of earlier times.

    We believed the Bible’s Good News, not its every statement.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Well, if Christians are anything, they are inconsistent. They pick and choose what they want to believe, molding the Bible into a narrative they can accept. Liberals and fundamentalists do this.

      The Bible truly is a book that can be made to say most anything.

      • Avatar
        Becky Wiren

        I wonder. Knowing what I know, I can’t be a Christian. But if biblical perfection is taken out of the picture, couldn’t others define their beliefs differently? Perhaps as a foundation of Jesus’ love? After all, the Bible is usually the foundation. But if Jesus and his love were the foundation, wouldn’t that change everything?

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    A lot of Christians think their God uses weather catastrophes to punish sinners for abortions, gay people, porn, not praying enough in schools, electing Democrats, etc…..

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      OC, that ends up being kind of funny when weather events happen to good Christians, and not all those evil gays and socialists. Oops.

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    Brian Vanderlip

    The Kool-Aid allows Christians to say it is God’s Plan, no matter what occurs…. no matter what occurs.

  8. Avatar

    I’m aware that the issue of terrorism is complex, but it is typified by an approach that mandates indiscriminate damage, including death, for a goal that is frequently unclear. By this definition god is a terrorist, but even worse than the human variety. At least most human terrorists target a general enemy, be it a nation, a race, or a human trait. God doesn’t even do this when it comes to the weather. He kills and destroys property without any thought for a target. If he was so powerful one would think he could target people much more precisely…but, of course, then there’s the problem of why on earth would he choose to do this, as surely the whole point of heaven and hell is to allow people freedom in this life to make their choice?

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    Kind of stuff I wonder about. I came across this new book addressing the subject. Haven’t had the opportunity to get it yet, but hope to read it before the year is over. I don’t believe the author gives answers, just writing about how American Christians have viewed violent weather through the centuries. Do any of us really know why? I know I don’t. Violent weather just is.

  10. Avatar
    Richard Portman

    If there is a Christian God, he is a fool and an enemy. He’s pretty good at smiting people and accepting adulation from his dupes. He’s pretty good at sending plagues and wars and famine and suffering. I liked our other gods better. We had a relationship with them.
    We could talk with them sometimes. We could never be sure if we imagined them, or they imagined us. It was a conversation.
    That’s how i feel about religion.

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Bruce Gerencser