Tuesday 10 February 2009

Prime Minister Mr Rudd has likened the arsonists who lit fires in the past few days to mass murderers. When I was thinking about that, and about how angry it makes me when I think of morons deliberately lighting fires in those conditions, I got this image in my head of a suspension bridge. You know the type that have that scary sort of "give" in them so that when you walk across them it feels alarmingly unsafe? And yet it is the very give and the bounce in the bridge that makes them safe.

Maybe the "give" in a society for the bad, evil elements of it is something we don't feel as comfortable with. It feels too permissive. It feels like we should be punishing those elements. No free lunches, right? It will only encourage people if things are lax and they think they can get away with it. I agree with that to an extent, in a way. There's always freeloaders who try to get away with stuff, even if they're not going around lighting fires. But then I think, so what? Let them. It may feel lax, but it also creates a certain sort of breathing space in a society that isn't overburdened with laws and rules and signs, signs everywhere signs. It also gives people the breathing space to be able to see better the results of their misdeeds as they affect their experience, rather than because they have broken some law against some institution out there.

Let the fields have enough left over after gleaning so that the desperate can go in the dark of night and get themselves something to eat. I would argue that any societal punishment dished out needs to have some sort of justice associated with it. Justice, not vengeance. I'm particularly enamoured with perpetrators being made to face their victims. Just as long as the victims are not in turn allowed to funnel their anger wells out into convenient vengeance. 'Cause once you start kicking into someone and the black inferno descends - well, I imagine it would be hard to stop. The only way to put an end to violence imposed is to keep kicking them until you kill them, or forgive them and take your foot off their neck.

I see Catch the Fire Ministries has come out claiming that the bushfires are God's judgment for the lax abortion laws in Victoria. Abortion - it's God's favourite pet hate, isn't it, along with homosexuality. God doesn't seem to get upset with those who are destroying the earth (even though there are verses to that effect in the Old Testament somewhere). And it's never judgment that gets played out in sin being its own punishment - it's Zeus judgment that comes whirling out of nowhere to incinerate people in their cars. Danny Nalliah says this:

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.

We at CTFM have spent the last few days in prayer and weeping, watching the news and learning that more than 170 people have perished and more than 750 houses have gone up in flames with much property and personal belongings of people all wiped out within hours.

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.

You know, I understand the rationale, I understand how they came to those conclusions, I understand how they see it this way. (I can't understand how they see Australia as a nation of Judeo-Christian values, and I argue about its "inception" but I digress). I completely and utterly see it differently these days, however, and it scares me, the way they see it. I understand how they believe that they are standing on the walls for God. Perhaps they are. I am starting to understand the extent of it not being my ability to get or agree with or even like the disparate elements of Christianity that makes them valid in God's eyes. Validity in God's eyes seems to have an awful lot of suspension bridge "give" in it. He seems to be quite happy to be present in and through people who have stupid dumb ideas about him and who do horrible things. People like me! :) And while I disagree with the way Catch the Fire sees things, I admire their ability to stand for what they do believe, and they are getting really involved in helping out the people who have been affected by the bushfires.

But I reserve the right to heartily disagree and feel really saddened that this ministry would think it was a good time for such a media release as this one at this time. Christians are so good at pouring salt into fresh wounds, at ramming it home like a sledgehammer how much we've stuffed it all up. As if we don't already know that. Sheesh, everybody knows that if we're looking at ourselves honestly. We carry it around in our guts and drink it away and hold guns to each others' heads. We visit our sins on the children we do bring to birth. Do we really honestly need God to incinerate half the state for us to realise how horrible it is to treat humanity with such disregard? I would think at this time it would be the kindness of God that leads people to repentance when they're wandering around while their world is reeling.


  1. I feel sick and sad and angry all at once. Cant really believe that they wrote such things I have just left a comment on their site. I can not understand how they reached such conclusions unless they believe in a God who hates us and who wants us to suffer

  2. I can understand how they reached those conclusions. It's the horrible freedom we have. I can totally read the Bible and see how they have those thoughts about God.

    It just hasn't been my experience that God is anything like that, and the longer I go on the more I see that he just doesn't work like that.

    But sheesh, I dunno, Lou. Maybe we're kidding ourselves. Maybe God really is a big bastard and we're the pathetic left-wing idiots who are going to stuff up the world (along with Obama) because we're just making God too nice.

    But I don't think so.

  3. if they had said something about it being the result of climate change and us stuffing up the environment I would have been able to agree with that but not this.
    I am disgusted and told them so but they will prob delete my comment

  4. OK so it's good to see they are working to aid the victims...but that's no excuse. It really burns me...even if they do hold such convictions, it's absolutely unacceptable to speak of it now.

    I know how miserable it feels. When we had 9/11, various ministries had to announce that it was God's wrath for abortion and homosexuality. Bullshit.

    I guess I don't believe in that God. Thank God.

    Anyhow, I am praying for the situation, like Heather said, simply "Dear God..." because I don't know what else to pray. Though some rain would be a good thing.

  5. Actually, it's the wind that's the problem at the moment. There are fears that the two large fires could join up, which would in turn threaten Melbourne's water supply AND our gas supply.

    Happy happy joy joy

    So pray for those things, if you will. I keep thinking of Jesus calming the wind. "what manner of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him." Sometimes i wonder how much power we actually have ... I don't know. Maybe those things are for another time, I'm not sure. I'm not sure about much at all right now :(

  6. Lou - I'm singing Hello Mary Lou now. Every time I talk to you I start singing that song :)

  7. PS: I must stop rabbitting on about weird supernatural stuff. I'm very mindful of how weird I must appear to so many people.

    Still, why would that be any different than out in the real world? :)

  8. Hi - I'm new here, over from Tess's blog and with dear friends not too far from you probably.

    About that group who says the fires are retribution from God because of abortion laws, I'm reminded of a quote from Annie Dillard (I think):
    "You know you've made God in your own image when God hates everyone that you hate."

    Praying for rain - in the needed amounts, in the needed area, and at the needed intervals to keep all safe.

    Blessings -

  9. I remember praying for the Pastor of Catch the Fire minstries when he was being vilified in the courts for saying something about Islam.
    Now Im disgusted! Once again a whole bunch of people can think they are quite justified in thinking Christians are crazy hateful zealots.


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