The recent tornado in Oklahoma that killed 24 people and destroyed or damaged 12,000 homes has stirred up a row on social networking site Twitter.
The day after the disaster, popular evangelical speaker and author John Piper tweeted two references to Job, including, "Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house, and it fell upon them, and they are dead" (Job 1:19). This kicked off a storm of tweets and retweets as people interpreted the verses as either the right thing to say or a veiled way to blame people for bringing the wrath of God on themselves. Evangelical writer Rachel Held Evans slammed what she called Piper's "abusive theology of 'deserved' tragedy" and said, "The only thing we need to tell [tornado victims] is, 'I don't know why this happened but God is good and God loves us.'" A staffer at Piper's Desiring God ministry said Piper was "highlighting God's sovereignty and that he is still worthy of worship in the midst of suffering and tragedy."