Acts of God

The bushfires down in Victoria have been a huge tragedy. Lives lost, communities shattered, people in mourning all over the world. Every now and then I turn away from yet another news report, another Twitter, another blog post about friends lost, people dead, towns burnt to the ground.

Something I didn’t turn away from was a video from Westboro Baptist Church in the USA. Somewhere. I don’t really care where exactly they are. I’m not going to link to it, because I wouldn’t inflict that on anyone. Apparently the bushfires are God’s vengeance upon Australia. Australia, I heard, has done many horrible things, including spawning Heath Ledger (oh, my boy, I still miss ya, luv), sending the Chaser to visit them, and holding the Gay Mardi Gras. Tellingly, it’s the Chaser visit that seemed to upset Fred Phelps the most.

Want to know what upset me?

The palpable hate spewing out of that video. I’m sitting here in tears at the thought. “God hates Australia,” they said. “God sent this fire upon the nation he hates most of all” (or words to that effect, I’m not quoting perfectly).

I laid down, and I talked to God. I asked him – “This isn’t you, is it? Do you hate Australia? Do you revel in our pain?”

Because this is not the God I signed up to follow. The God I signed up with came in love when I was suffering and told me how much he loved me. The God I signed up with led me to acts of love. The God I signed up with loves the world, he ‘loved us while we were still sinners.” I signed up with a God of love. These people preach a God of hate.

So I said to him, “This guy sounds an awful lot like an Old Testament prophet – so is he? Is he speaking your message while the false prophets speak a fake message of peace and love and harmony?”

He didn’t answer.

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10 Responses

  1. Because you already know the answer.

    Hebrews 8:6-13

    Listen to this passage

    6But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

    7For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8But God found fault with the people and said[a]:
    “The time is coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will make a new covenant
    with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah.
    9It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their forefathers
    when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
    because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
    and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
    10This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
    after that time, declares the Lord.
    I will put my laws in their minds
    and write them on their hearts.
    I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
    11No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
    or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
    because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
    12For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”[b]

    13By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

  2. No, no, a thousand times no.

    Fred Phelps is a venemous, hate filled, homophobe. He uses God’s name to support his vicious agenda.

    God, if I remember rightly, ‘loves the sinner, hates the sin’. And from what I remember, He sent his son to die for our sins. That would suggest to me that the Old Testament ‘smite button’ has been put on hold and He is going to give us sinners a right royal bollocking when we die.

    Honey, you know I don’t believe in the biblical God – but one thing I DO know. Fred Phelps and his band of asshats have nothing to do with God’s word.

  3. What a top shelf post, Naomi. Brilliant.

  4. God doesn’t go stomping on us just coz we do something different – that’s a human trait.

  5. in my church, we have a theory that there are a lot of bad things out there pretending to be god for their own nefarious purposes, and a lot of bad people who like to preface their hateful rants with “God told me…” to avoid being held accountable for their hateful ranting.

    I think the God of the Westboro baptist crew exists only in the mind of Fred Phelps, and it is a hateful little shit that dare not show itself for fear of getting eaten or stepped on by a bigger, badder, more benevolent divinity.

  6. Blog bling for you at my blog!

  7. That’s probably a reasonable conversation to have, if you are a believer (as you know, I’m not). It’s good to question. I’m just sorry it’s brought on by comlpete hate mongerers like that man. Like his nation is so perfect.

  8. I am so with you on this. Phelps and his ilk really upset me with their way of thinking.

  9. What’s worse, some church in America blaming us for the fires, or one of our own countrymen?

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/national/abortion-to-blame-for-fires-pastor/2009/02/10/1234028017844.html

  10. Lamb, to me – the ‘some church in America’. Because there is ONE point in that bloody church’s favour – they have offered (and presumably given) help to the people affected. As far as I’m aware, anyhow. Westboro, on the other hand, would scorn such help as the devil’s work. And that’s what’s sticking in my craw, right now.

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