Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Bushfires: Blame or Judgement?

Until now I had heard it only in whispered conversations - spoken by people who knew what they were saying was not only politically incorrect but probably theologically incorrect too, and yet for whom the logic was so tight as to be convincing. [Update clarification: "convincing" to them, not to the author of this blog.]

Well now Victoria's most "incendiary" preacher, Rev. Danny Nalliah, has said it loud and in public with a press release from the (ironically named) "Catch the Fire" Ministries.
Abortion laws to blame for bush fires?

[After condolences to the suffering and offers to help, the press release continues:]...CTFM leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah...said these bushfires have come as a result of the incendiary abortion laws which decimate life in the womb. Besides providing material assistance, CTFM will commence a seven day prayer and fasting campaign for the nation of Australia tomorrow Wednesday the 11th February.

CTFM has called upon all Australian Bible-believing God-fearing Christians to repent and call upon the Lord Jesus Christ for His mercy and protection over Australia once again.

“Yesterday (Monday 9th February 2009), the front page of the Herald Sun newspaper reported “The Darkest hour for Victoria”. A few months ago the news media should have reported “The darkest hour for the unborn” but unfortunately the “Decriminalization of Abortion bill” went through parliament and was passed, thus making many people call Victoria ‘the baby killing state of Australia,’” Mr Nalliah said.

He said on November 7 last year we had sent out an email to our national network...following a dream he had on the 21st of October 2008, which he shared with his team on 22nd October.

...“In my dream I saw fire everywhere with flames burning very high and uncontrollably. With this I woke up from my dream with the interpretation as the following words came to me in a flash from the Spirit of God. That His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb.”

...”Australia is based on Judeo-Christian values. How far have we as a nation moved from these principles instilled in our nation’s inception. How much does it take for a nation to return to God? The Bible is very clear, if you walk out of God’s protection and turn your back on Him, you are an open target for the devil to destroy.

“Can we stop the fires? Yes we can! But it will take God’s children to rally together and repent and cry unto Him as in 2 Chronicles 7:14 (The Holy Bible).

...CTFM calls on all Australians to declare the 18th February as a National Day of Prayer, Repentance, and Mourning.
Whatever you make of the theology behind Pastor Danny's statement, it has to be said that to the prophets of the Old Testament 2500 years ago - or even for the preachers of the Christian Church only 200 years ago - the connection between the passing of the abortion laws and the bushfire disaster would have been a no-brainer.

We today, of course, know better. We are confident that God is not like that. Yet what do we really know of God's ways? Did his own prophets not tell us: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, saith the Lord" (Is 55:8). That, of course, cuts both ways. On the one hand Peter Costello is right when he says that "to link the death and the suffering of bushfire victims to other political events is appalling, heartless and wrong." On the other hand, what do we really know of "God's thoughts"? If we find the call to repentance whispering in our hearts and minds, then "for him with ears to hear", let him heed that call.

Nevertheless, whatever we may say about divine judgement, there is no shortage of those who are ready to cast blame about. Everything from "climate change" to "tree-change" to the "stay or leave" policy has been blamed for the disaster. Pastor Danny just takes the "blame game" a step to far and with a great deal more certainty than he has a right to claim.

35 Comments:

At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 10:28:00 am , Anonymous matthias said...

Perhaps it is God's judgement,who are we to know the Mind of God. judgement upon Brumby might fall at the next election. God is also calling Christians to 'dig deep" and to be His Hands during this crisis. I agree with his call for a National Day of Prayer,Repentance and Mourning ,however i have long had an impression that he is spiritually arrogant.If he wants to rank himself as a prophet ,then perhaps I could too,as last week-Friday and Thursday,Kinglake was on my mind.

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 11:48:00 am , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

. . . it has to be said that to the prophets of the Old Testament 2500 years ago . . . the connection between the passing of the abortion laws and the bushfire disaster would have been a no-brainer.

Except for Job, obviously.

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 12:45:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Yes, I was just having a discussion about this with one of our auxiliary bishops, and he raised the issue of Job too.

Job, of course, was not really a "prophet". The long poetic book we have today as "Job" can be seen as precisely the kind of reflection upon the connection between sin and suffering that I am getting at. The book ends with God demonstrating very vigourously that "his thoughts are not our thoughts" and we cannot know his reasons.

The connection between personal sin and personal suffering is also addressed right at the beginning of John 9, when the disciples asked Jesus concerning the blind man: "Rabbi, who sinned? This man or this man's parents?" Jesus answered, on that occasion, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him." And he healed the man.

The big difference between John 9 and the book of Job from our current question is that John 9 and Job question the connection between individual sin and the consequent (?) suffering of the indivual.

Neither passage really addresses the other grand theme of the OT about God's judgement on the injustice of whole societies. Can we the question: "Rabbi, who sinned? This Nation or this Nation's Government?"

Do Christians still believe that God is still active in the events of nations - whether wars or famines or plagues or natural disasters - and if so, what meaning there is in this?

This is of course a huge question, but is it totally beyond our modern comprehension that God might still act in history to bring judgement, not only upon individuals, but upon whole societies for great evils?

It is easier and less controversial when we make an observation that runs "The Goverment of X did this; the Government of X loses the next election; God has judged the Government of X", than when we try to make the observation that "The Goverment of X did this; the nation of X suffers this catastrophe; God has judged the Government of X".

But that still doesn't answer the question of whether the latter is a legitimate narrative for Christainity in the modern world.

Perhaps John 9 is still the better narrative for the suffering of our society. "This happened so that
the works of God may be revealed". Those "works" would surely encompass the healing and help and acts of heroism and mercy that we have seen in the last few days.

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 12:54:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

L.P. Cruz has a good text on his site, which shows that this question about the justice of God is not a new question. It comes from a very ancient story in the Jewish canon, Abraham's intercession for Sodom and Gommorah:

Genesis 18:25
That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 1:26:00 pm , Anonymous matthias said...

If we no longer believe that God is active in the affairs of nations then we are relegating Him to a Deistic God. God acted in history with the Incarnation, Cricifixion and Resurrection,and although it might be beyond our modern comprehension,i believe with the Apostle John in the chapter you have quoted Schutz as being a good description of what we have seen these past few days.

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 1:34:00 pm , Anonymous matthias said...

Bill Muehlenberg has a very thought provoking article on his website around this issue.
http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2009/02/09/on-wild-fires-and-other-tragedies/

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 2:25:00 pm , Blogger Terra said...

Thanks for raising this issue because it is one we do have to face up to.

I'm not quite sure why Peter Costello is probably right? In terms of likely reaction to this point being made??? But if so, this is precisely the time when hard reality does need to be faced, so that repentence cna follow.

The problem is that truth hurts. People reject the idea that it might be punishment firstly because they don't actually believe in a (real) God who acts in history in the first place, and secondly because they don't want to be told that what they are doing is wrong.

The lesson of Job and John is, I agree, that we can't necessarily impute draw a link between who died or lost their homes and who didn't, and individual sin (although I did like the snippet on one ABC story with a woman saying 'it was as if God put a ring around the house' (that was saved).

But the link between what societies do - what the politicians who we voted for do - and what God allows...surely a slam dunk! The consistent message of the Prophets is that when the people worship false Gods (the holocaust of abortion?), put their trust in things other than God (science as a religion?), disaster follows, giving man a chance to repent.

Personally, its one of the reasons why I'm inclined to accept the idea of global warming...

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 2:40:00 pm , Blogger Louise said...

I don't think God wanted the innocent babies and children who perished in the fires to suffer, but He also doesn't want thousands of innocent babies to suffer abortion either.

I don't normally think in terms of Divine punishment when these bad things happen and I hadn't thought of it until you posted this, David.

However, it does now strike me that Victoria now has the most hideous abortion laws in the land and it's now suffered the worst bushfire in our history.

As the blessed recipient of God's mercy, who - by definition - does not deserve it, I can fully empathise with the bushfire victims and I'll say that I don't think they necessarily deserved this tragedy in a personal sense. But does Victoria deserve it? Yes. Does Australia deserve it? Yes.

And as for God... He's not a tame lion, you know.

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 2:42:00 pm , Blogger Louise said...

And who cares what Peter Costello thinks? For Heaven's sake! This is a man who voted to cannabilise babies for spare parts (ESCR).

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 4:13:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

I have a real problem with this notion that God “intervenes” in history to punish this or that act – or, for that matter, to reward it.

There’s an obvious problem with seeing something like the bushfires as punishment for something like the recent abortion legislation. You can make a case that a God who rains down fire on (say) Brumby to punish Brumby for the way he cast his vote is a just God. (There are some difficulties, but you can make the case.) But I struggle to accept that a God who rains down fire on someone else, some mother and child suffocating under wet blankets in a shelter, to “punish” Brumby for his vote is just (or loving).

But others have already pointed to this problem. I see another, and in a way more fundamental, problem.

The problem is that it presents God’s intervention as exceptional. The winds blow where they blow, and the lightening strikes where it strikes, and this is not seen as divine intervention. This is the natural order unfolding itself. God is only involved where the wind blows or the lightening strikes in a way that helpfully underlines some moral point we wish to make.

Yet, for a Christian, God is always intimately involved with his creation. The entire material universe, and everything in it, exists because, and only because, God continually wills it to be so. Everything works as it does because God always wills is to work that way. This applies to everything, from the composition of Handel’s Messiah to the outworking of the Ebola virus. Even when we sin through the exercise of our freedom, a necessary condition for our doing so is that God is continually willing us to exist as free and wilful beings. The notion of God intervening in the unfolding of the universe in response to the way in which the universe is unfolding implies God intervening to prevent the expression of his own will– in other words, God contradicting himself. And God doesn’t do that.

As Matthias points out, we have the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection. Is this not God intervening in the created universe in an exceptional way? Well, yes, if by “exceptional” we mean startling or astonishing. But it is only a divine “intervention” in the sense that the creation itself is a divine intervention – the ultimate, most fundamental intervention – in the universe. And the creation is not exceptional, in the sense of being a departure from a norm; creation is the norm, in the sense that it is of the nature of the universe that it is created. It is equally of the nature of the universe, I suggest, that divinity is incarnate within it, even if that incarnation only took material expression at a certain point in history. Thus the incarnation is not to be compared with God causing this fire which would not otherwise burn, or turning the course of that battle which would otherwise have been lost.

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 6:50:00 pm , Anonymous Mike said...

"On the one hand Peter Costello is probably right . . . On the other hand, what do we really know of "God's thoughts"?"

Exactly. What does Danny N really know of God's thoughts? Granted - it's possible - but it's a whopping big call, and it's not for Nalliah to go putting those words into God's mouth.

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 7:07:00 pm , Anonymous matthias said...

When God acted in History ,it was not in the manner as Pastor Danny puts it.One example is the Birth of Christ. He was born in the normal manner in surroundings probably not as posh as pastor danny's church or office-Good analogy Peregrinus and Mike I have always had a problem with people who presume to know the Mind of God,but i firmly believe that the Judge of the whole earth judges rightly,but not in the way that we think,or as pastor D thinks.As a colleague -a Lutheran-pointed out today ,Pastor D's call for a day of repentance ,should be every day for Christians.Perhaps hsi call for repentance should start with his own church. As regards prophecy,which is the least of the gifts, i once was taken by my dear aunt to a pentecostal meeting where an elder of the church prophesied that some one in the congregation had kidney stones and could they come forward for prayer before the pain hit. Pain is the first clinical manifestation of kidney stones!!!

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 10:06:00 pm , Blogger Tony said...

Until now I had heard it only in whispered conversations - spoken by people who knew what they were saying was not only politically incorrect but probably theologically incorrect too, and yet for whom the logic was so tight as to be convincing.

I have to say I'm a little gob-smacked by this David. You're almost close enough to smell the smoke of burning bodies for goodness sake!

It looks like the death toll may get up to 300 and, I presume, a significant proportion of those would be Christians (or others) who opposed the recent legislation.

Just try to imagine running this 'logically tight' line to their loved ones.

I also heard this crap at the time of the Tsunami and Katrina, disasters that mostly hit the poorest and least powerful people in the US and Asia.

Once again I'm forced to ask, 'What kind of God is this?'.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 7:58:00 am , Blogger Terra said...

Peregrinus - It is true that God acts in every single moment of the Universe. When we talk about special intervention, what we are really doing is acknowledging that in this particular instance we can see why God has made the wind blow the way it does. Normally he acts in accordnace with the laws he has set up for the operation of the Universe, and normally we can't hope to see the paths of causality - but remember also that through Original Sin and our continuing free will, we have upset the way things were meant to be, so that evil exists in the world. Evil that leads to global warming, decisions favouring greed rather than balance, arsonists to operate...

If we lived in harmony with God, these things might not happen, or God might intervene outside the operation of his normal laws (miracles) to save us. But the Old Testament tells us over and over again that sometimes God allows evil to take its course in order that at least some might learn the lesson. And God of course finds way to let good come out of that evil.

In terms of the argument that why didn't God just punish Brumby. Firstly, we put him there. He didn't elect himself, and he made decisions knowing he wouldn't be chucked out of office for them in all likelihood. He is not just one person, but represents the people! Secondly, although it often seems unfair to us, the innocent suffering for the sins of others is the way this world operates, part of the mystery of evil. We all suffer for Adam's sin; we all live in a world created by our ancestors, with our health, life expectancy and life choices circumscribed to some degree by the choices they made. And of course the culmination of this suffering of the innocent for the guilty is the redeeming sacrifice of Our Lord.

Pity we seem determined to forget his suffering and inflict fresh stripes on him through abortion and the pursuit of power and wealth rather than the good, true and beautiful.

But we do have a chance through this horror to see the truth and start again.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 8:39:00 am , Anonymous matthias said...

What type of God is this asks Tony.
One who suffered at Calvary. One who was so angry at the presence of death,that He wept at the grave of His friend Lazarus.
One who was moved to tears at the plight of Jerusalem.
One Who's creation is currently imperfect but one day will be made perfect ,when death and evil are defeated.
But until then ,He expects us who are called Christians, to be His workers.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:10:00 am , Blogger Tony said...

I agree with you Matthias, but what concerns me is that some speculate that 'this God' intervenes in the world to teach the guilty a lesson by punishing the innocent.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:11:00 am , Blogger odgie said...

Once you've invented God in your own image, it's easy to make him responsible for anything you like. If any of you are deluded enough to believe that whatever force or entity created this entire Universe is also capable of killing hundreds of innocents to prove a politician wrong about an abortion vote, then you have completely lost track of what being a human being (and hence being given imagination and choice) is all about. I will pray for your deliverance from such an horrific self-deception.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 10:02:00 am , Anonymous matthias said...

Hark an enlightened one-Odgie- has come amongst us and will pray for us (as they face their mirror) so that we have our self delusions removed.
However Odgie real Christians know what being human is,as evidenced by the fight against Slavery ,leprosy . wilberforce founded the RSPCA so if you think we are deluded then that is fine,but if Christians were to walk away from the Welfare sector-then watch it fall in a hole.Who is helping real humans-just Christians.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 11:30:00 am , Blogger Louise said...

What does Danny N really know of God's thoughts? Granted - it's possible - but it's a whopping big call, and it's not for Nalliah to go putting those words into God's mouth.

True. I don't think anyone here is doing so, we're just speculating. And we're speculating because of the horrific loss of innocent life, caused by the deliberate destruction of "unwanted" babies, which happens in Victoria, every working day of the year, every year.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:54:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

Matthias - odgie has not accused Christians in general of delusions about God. He is making the point that those who see the bushfires as evidence of divine disfavour wiht Victorian abortion law are imagining that God takes innocent human life in order to remind us that taking innocent human life is intrinsically wrong. If such an image of God were not so incredibly stupid, it would be offensive to the majority of Christians, who beleive that God is good. Odgie is right to attack such an image of God, but that is not an attack on Christians at large.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 2:45:00 pm , Anonymous matthias said...

I disagree with you Peregrinus and detect in Odgie's comments a form of Gnosticism/dualism ,especially around the comments'whatever force or entity created this universe',which makes God impersonal.
I however do agree with your Negative theology- that we do not know the image and Mind of God -except as Him being Good ,Righteous,Holy and Just Personal God. Which also my argument with pastor Danny-spiritual arrogance as he presumes to know that Mind.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 4:25:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

Odgie uses those terms with reference to other people's beleifs, not his own. Furthermore, he tells us that he prays which, while not conclusive, certainly suggests taht Odgie's conception of a God who is in a communcative relationship with his creation, and is not therefore an impersonal force.

As for Pastor Nalliah, my objection is not simply that he presumes to know the mind of God, but that the imgae of God he creates for himself, and preaches to us, is of a God who is inconsisted, mutable and capable of intrinsic evil.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 4:27:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

PS: Yes, I can spell and I can construct coherent sentences in English. But sometimes my fingers don't know that.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 7:02:00 pm , Anonymous matthias said...

I have teh same problem Peregrinus.I think also with pastor d is that there may be -and I am making an observation in my second profession as a sociologist- a degree of some cultural arrogance associated with this. If i am correct ,he came from either pakistan or sri lanka ,where Christians are a often persecuted minority;where being faithful means life is hard and death often is the price.He comes to Australia and finds what he thinks is a church and a Christian country less faithful in practising the faith. Being a pentecostal he believes that he has to speak out as he has the gift of prophecy,and he needs to get the message out. But the message he has ,is the same one that faithful pastors,priests and ministers expound every Sunday.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 7:30:00 pm , Blogger odgie said...

Dear Matthias (and all), My posting was not an attack on Christians, it was simply based on my personal opinion that it is quite dangerous for anyone to presume they know the mind of God (or The Creator, or the Unversal Mind, we can all choose our own terminology), since often it is then far too easy to insert your own predispositions. However, I do believe in a generally benevolent Universe, albeit an incomplete (as yet...) one, with a sentient (and communicable) Life-force that keeps it in place. I also believe once you arrive on this planet as a human being, that very fact limits your ability to grasp more than the merest fleeting glimpse of what God really is. Yes, there are many natural disasters - but often the root cause of the greater loss of life is mankind (building on flood plains, insufficient building regulations in earthquake zones, regimes that keep aid for themselves rather than distribute it to the people, rich countries who don't supply enough aid, the list goes on...), and my understanding (from a very long way away it must be said), is that there were those who ruled that bush clearance and anti-fire protection systems (similar to those in NSW) would be going against nature, and hence restricted it. If that is the case, then there may well be politicians who share a degree of the blame. But to latch onto a tragic natural disaster and call it 'God's Judgement' as a way of trying to promote your personal causes, no matter how firmly you hold those beliefs, seems to me to actually belittle or even somehow legitimise the tragedy and the suffering.

 
At Friday, February 13, 2009 1:38:00 am , Blogger Peter said...

I'm afraid I feel rather strongly about this sort of speculation. Strongly that is, about it being dangerous at the very least, and nut-case material at worst.

Even if it is theoretically possible that God enacts a specific disaster in response to specific sins, until we get some authenticated verification boomed in a loud voice from heaven we simply WONT KNOW for sure.

Until such time we should exersize prudence enough to take these kinds of ideas and flush them till they go away.

Honestly, this is the kind of speculation that plays right into the hands of the hostile media painting Christians as vindictive sore losers in a culture war.

There are serious enough consequences of abortion laws being passed. Seared consciences, slaughtered babies and rich murderers are consequences horrific enough, even without the devestating demographic, psychological and spiritual effects of these. To even suggest (without credible authoritative sources) that the disaster is a form of God's specific intervention is .. well.. frankly... inflamatory

 
At Friday, February 13, 2009 6:45:00 am , Blogger Tony said...

We know ... don't we??? ... that God loves us beyond our utmost (insert the literally hundreds of expressions of God's love).

That's all the proof I need that God would not do what the speculation suggests.

I'm trying to imagine how we would view a fellow human who punished the innocent in order to teach the guilty a lesson. You'd view that person as either evil or warped.

How can we even speculate that God might be like this?

Again, I find this speculation illogical and obscene. It demeans God. If we think God is capable of such evil, why bother with Satan?

 
At Friday, February 13, 2009 6:49:00 am , Blogger Terra said...

Peter,

What's more important, the salvation of souls or the image of the Church in the media?

I'm not actually suggesting God literally did some smiting, just that he may have allowed an evil to occur which could have been averted. An evil which, if taken seriously might help halt the carnage of abortion that continues across Australia.

But it can't have any effect unless we speak up and say, yes, what goes around comes around. If there is one thing we do know it is that actions have consequences, both individually and collectively; both now and hereafter.

If we believe in a God who acts in history, we have to believe that he does not simply allow societies that go off the rails to continue unchecked forever.

 
At Friday, February 13, 2009 7:27:00 am , Blogger odgie said...

I really cannot believe that there are people who can even conceive of the notion that a supposedly all-powerful and loving Deity contrived in any way shape or form to let innocent families suffer the most horrific deaths in some sort of penance or judgement for (supposed) evil deeds done by others. By all means let's have a philosophical or theological debate about the abortion issue, but please please don't demean the Creator by ascribing typically 'human' vices to Him. Really, to promote the idea that God may have allowed the fires to happen because of the abortion issue is so nonsensical as to render any ensuing argument totally invalid.

 
At Friday, February 13, 2009 11:19:00 am , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

I'm not actually suggesting God literally did some smiting, just that he may have allowed an evil to occur which could have been averted. An evil which, if taken seriously might help halt the carnage of abortion that continues across Australia.

Let’s see know. The evil that God “may have allowed” to occur was an uncontrolled bushfire. You’re saying that if the problem of uncontrolled bushfire was taken more seriously, this might help to halt carnage of abortion?

I don’t mean to be sarcastic, but I’m afraid that about as much sense as you are making to me. Your argument goes off the rails right at the start when you say that God “may have allowed” evil to occur as though this were exceptional, and must be presumed to have been done for some special purpose. But the occurrence of evil is not at all exceptional; God allows evil to occur all the time. Evil is an absolutely constant feature of our common experience. The reality of evil is a standing challenge to Christian faith, and we fail that challenge miserably – in fact, we are trying to avoid it - if we start off by treating a particular occurrence of evil as something requiring a special explanation.

Explaining the bushfires is not difficult. It had nothing to do with abortion and everything to do with temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, tinder, lightning and possibly arson – all of them, except the last, the normal outworking of God’s creation, and the last the result of human will, not divine.

Explaining how the ordinary outworkings of God’s creation can result in such suffering is a much bigger challenge, but that’s the one we have to face.

If we believe in a God who acts in history, we have to believe that he does not simply allow societies that go off the rails to continue unchecked forever.

He certainly does. It’s called “free will”. If we choose to sin, God will not prevent us.

 
At Friday, February 13, 2009 11:49:00 am , Anonymous matthias said...

Excellent Points peregrinus:
-climatic conditions contributed
-evil is present "the creation groaneth ' says St Paul,because of evil being a present as a result of the Fall
-Free will is our plight or our joy,because God created us as free will agents and not as robots,and it is us who make the choice to live in sin or to live a life of faith and repentance.

 
At Friday, February 13, 2009 2:41:00 pm , Blogger Torquemada said...

Kevin Rudd may well say that those who lit the fires are mass murderers but it is only a few short months since the "good people" of the State of Victoria, through their elected representatives in Parliament, finally chose to legalise the killing of their own children in the womb. Here we have today, perhaps, the timely chastisement from a just God where last weekend's fiery toll equates to a couple of days of slaughter in the bloody abortion mills of Victoria. The silent holocaust! Wake up Victoria! On your knees, beg for mercy and forgiveness. God will not be mocked when Man attempts to play god himself and destroy God's own creation. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

And stop blaspheming by suggesting that God has to fit in with your notions of justice or fair play. Stop telling him what is right or wrong or just or evil. He is not a creature but the Creator! "Where were you when I created the heavens and the earth?"

 
At Friday, February 13, 2009 4:01:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

If you don’t believe that the taking of innocent life is intrinsically wrong, why are you opposed to abortion? If you do believe that the taking of innocent life is intrinsically wrong, how can you suggest that God does it? This is plainly blasphemy.

And as for your suggestion that the bushfires are “the timely chastisement from a just God”, does advancing such an idea not make it somewhat difficult for you to accuse others of “blaspheming by suggesting that God has to fit in with your notions of justice or fair play”. Evidently you feel it is right for you do to this, but wrong for others. My, but the tyranny of relativism rears its ugly head in the oddest of places, doesn’t it?

 
At Saturday, February 14, 2009 11:51:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Tony said:

"I have to say I'm a little gob-smacked by this David. You're almost close enough to smell the smoke of burning bodies for goodness sake!"

I want to make this quite clear to absolutely everyone and anyone reading this blog:

What has taken place here in Victoria is a tragedy of unimaginable proportion. My heart and sympathies and prayers and support goes to all victims - living and dead. I and my family grieve with them and with all Australians at this terrible loss of life and property.

I do not know the mind of God and do not profess to. I do not understand why this tragedy happened - although it is becoming clear now that some of the fires were the result of human evil and not an "act of God".

I raised this issue on this blog for the simple reason that after any tragedy people ask the theodicy question, the justice question. I wished to allow that question an airing. And I believe it has had a very good airing.

I also wrote the blog to remind all readers that "God's thoughts are not our thoughts". This little message appears to have been lost in this discussion - with far too many claiming that they can indeed speak for God and say exactly what God was or was not thinking in this case.

I myself - like Job in chs 38 and 39 - stand mute and dumbfounded before the power and mystery which we name God.

 
At Sunday, February 15, 2009 8:48:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

I left this clarification on another blog, when Tony accused me of saying I was "convinced" by Pastor Danny's "logic":

When I wrote: "... and yet for whom the logic was so tight as to be convincing" I meant for THEM, ie. Those to whom the "logic" seemed "so tight", not me.

Read the sentence again: "FOR WHOM the logic was so tight as to be convincing". I do not include myself in the "for whom".

Lord, help me. for the record, this "logic" doesn't convince me one bit. It mystifies me. It leaves me wondering. It leaves me with questions. So I asked them.

 

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