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Gays as roof-rippers: Why won't evangelicals join us in saying 'WTF?'

by Jeremy Hooper

You might have heard that a Minneapolis based pastor, John Piper, recently referred to an area tornado as a "gentle but firm warning" to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for their approval of homosexuality. And if so, you probably 200908210934-1expect any and all of his religious fellows who wish to retain credibility to, at the very least, distance themselves from such nutty rhetoric, if not outright denounce the same. Because let's be honest: The "gays cause [insert natural disaster]" thing is kind of a third rail of ridiculousness, an electric bit o'silly onto which most believers would be reluctant to tread.

But leave it to Baptist Press to defy expectations. In a new article on the matter, the number one Baptist news source has run a completely non-critical, completely one-sided propagation of Pastor Piper's wind-based wackiness. In fact, the BP News piece essentially reads like pro-Piper PR:, even going so far as to recite, in full, the six reasons why Pastor Piper came to his conclusion:

1. "The unrepentant practice of homosexual behavior (like other sins) will exclude a person from the kingdom of God. 'The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.' (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

2. "The church has always embraced those who forsake sexual sin but who still struggle with homosexual desires, rejoicing with them that all our fallen, sinful, disordered lives (all of us, no exceptions) are forgiven if we turn to Christ in faith. 'Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.' (1 Corinthians 6:11).

3. "Therefore, official church pronouncements that condone the very sins that keep people out of the kingdom of God are evil. They dishonor God, contradict Scripture and implicitly promote damnation where salvation is freely offered.

4. "Jesus Christ controls the wind, including all tornados. 'Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?' (Mark 4:41).

5. "When asked about a seemingly random calamity near Jerusalem where 18 people were killed, Jesus answered in general terms -- an answer that would cover calamities in Minneapolis, Taiwan or Baghdad. God's message is repent, because none of us will otherwise escape God's judgment. Jesus: 'Those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.' (Luke 13:4-5)

6. "Conclusion: The tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin. Turn from the promotion of behaviors that lead to destruction. Reaffirm the great Lutheran heritage of allegiance to the truth and authority of Scripture. Turn back from distorting the grace of God into sensuality. Rejoice in the pardon of the cross of Christ and its power to transform left and right wing sinners."

Piper: tornado a 'warning' to Lutheran denomination about approving homosexuality [BP News]

Oh Toto, I don't think we're in Reality anymore.

But we really shouldn't be all the surprised that outlets like Baptist Press are lending credence to what should be roundly pushed to the fringe. Once they lose this LGBT equality fight (and they will, relatively soon), they're gonna need a fallback way to fill the news. Maliciously Make-Believe Meteorology could be a new niche.

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Your thoughts

"men who practice homosexuality"? Something tells me that's not a literal translation of the original text-especially since the word "homosexual" wasn't even coined until the 19th century (Unless I'm misremembering, and it wasn't until the 20th.)

Posted by: Bill S | Aug 21, 2009 9:35:43 AM

Also-since when is a tornado "gentle"?

Posted by: Bill S | Aug 21, 2009 9:37:02 AM

Well Bill, I guess his EndTimes visions make tornadoes look like child's play.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 21, 2009 9:37:57 AM

How many natural calamities have these guys ignored, because they didn't fit into their "god protects us, but smites the infidels" logic. I mean, they ignored the lightning strikes that left boy scouts dead, they ignored the tornado that ripped off the Kohl's roof, they ignored the tornadoes near Oklahoma City last year. 99.999% of the time, they can't lay the "blame" for "acts of god" onto we mere infidels, so they ignore them. Especially when they kill their own - like the bus load of church kids that careened down an embankment and burst into flames - that sounds like pissed off deity to me, but they can't make political points off of it, so they ignore it.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Aug 21, 2009 10:13:10 AM

Dick, that's also my biggest beef with this kind of stuff. If that tornado happened somewhere that hasn't seen a tornado in recorded history or if they were actually hit with a plague of locusts that's never been recorded, then maybe their argument might have some minimal logic to it. But they take common occurences and pick one single incident and suddenly THAT incident (and no others) are the direct hand of God. Like Jeremy, I'm floored that such lunacy isn't immediately pushed to the fringe with no further thought.

Posted by: Ken | Aug 21, 2009 10:59:13 AM

This is frickin' stupid. The only thing in there that can be considered "reasoning" is #4, and its not even a good reason. The Bible says that Jesus CAN control the wind, not that he DOES control ALL wind. Who do these people think they're fooling?

Posted by: John | Aug 21, 2009 11:28:05 AM

Screwed up theology. On the other hand, the tornado happened during the "debate" on homosexuality when some really vile things were said. Shortly after the vote was taken the sun came out. Ha Ha!

Posted by: matthew | Aug 21, 2009 12:03:31 PM

This morning in Seattle homosexual activity is moderate causing possible slight drizzle. Homosexual activity will drop off in the afternoon followed by sunshine and temperatures in the low 70's.

Posted by: SammySeattle | Aug 21, 2009 12:53:51 PM

This is like a watered down version of WBC's belief. And, as many others have already stated, gotta give credit where credit's due, at least the WBC uses ALL calamities as God's smite - whether it be a church van full of boy scouts crashing, soldiers in Iraq dying, Michael Jackson dying, or a farm in Tennessee getting rocked by tornados. Everything to them is the work of God. It doesn't justify the crazy, by any means, but at least they're CONSISTANT crazies. These people (BP) even cherry pick their crazy!

If their God uses things like tornados, hruricanes, bombs, etc, to "gently remind" people how he wants things, he isn't a God I plan on worshiping. I find it funny that they mention Baghdad. I wonder if all of the soldiers that come home in body bags, the IEDs, etc, are all "gentle reminders from God" about sins as well. (In WBC's eyes, we all know they are). I could never imagine an evangelical going up to a wounded war vet and saying "your missing leg was a way for God to remind you to repent and ask his forgiveness. He put that IED on the road so you would remember to worship him and follow only him". Could never see it happening, NEVER.

These people suck.

Posted by: Stef | Aug 21, 2009 1:54:31 PM

OMG SammySeattle, I almost spit my soda when I read your post!

Posted by: Rachel Snyder | Aug 21, 2009 9:11:00 PM

Uhm . . .riiight. So, I have a crush on a girl fom chorus, and that's why it's raining right now. Folowing this logic, the roof of this gay rights-supporting house should have been ripped off, and lightening should have fried the upper story. Oh, well. Good thing I like rain.

Posted by: Chara | Aug 23, 2009 12:05:45 PM

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