The Null Device

Bushfires "God's wrath"?

As bushfires swept across south-eastern Australia, wiping out towns and killing hundreds, people asked why. Some pointed to climate change, the lack of backburning in recent years or flawed town planning. One man, however, has a different theory. According to Pastor Danny Nalliah, former Family First political candidate and friend of the former Howard government, the bushfires were God's wrath for Victoria having recently decriminalised abortion:
The evangelical church's leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah, claimed he had a dream about raging fires on October 21 last year and that he woke with "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".
He quoted a headline describing the fires as "The Darkest hour for Victoria". "A few months ago the news media should have reported 'the darkest hour for the unborn', but unfortunately the 'Decriminalisation of Abortion bill' went through parliament and was passed, thus making many people call Victoria 'the baby killing state of Australia,' " Mr Nalliah said.
Had Victoria not passed the bill, the bushfires would presumably have been God's wrath for something else, such as permitting divorce, suffering homosexuals to live or wearing clothes of mixed fibres.

Of course, Pastor Nalliah doesn't speak for all Christians or theists; far from it. The Age's religious editor, Barney Zwartz, points out that, actually, that's not what God is about, citing Bible verse to back up his point. Needless to say, he cites different Bible verses to the ones the Pastor does. That's the marvellous thing about scripture; it's so ambiguous that one find things in it to back up wildly divergent positions.

God, meanwhile, could not be reached for comment.

There are 3 comments on "Bushfires "God's wrath"?":

Posted by: Cameron Stewart Thu Feb 12 02:55:12 2009

that family first guy is not really presenting a balanced in the bible also often is spoken about as something that purifies (refines). Although it is painful at the moment, lots of good will come from this (or perhaps even has - community spirit, generosity etc). Christians could do a lot worse than actually being positive, after all isn't that what the bible is supposed to be about - a story of hope???

Posted by: Greg Thu Feb 12 04:56:02 2009

It's ironic that Darwinists are often (and usually wrongly) criticized for inventing 'just so stories' - explaining events after the fact in an unfalsifiable way - whereas the Church is the all-time grandmaster of it.

Posted by: dc Sat Feb 14 15:08:03 2009

Excellent surmising (not to mention writing), as usual on this blog.

Anyway, just wanted to point out the irony of Danny being a pastor of 'catch the fire' ministries; and that the use of the word 'fire' as a positive analogy to the spreading of the word of Christ is far from unusual in evangelical circles.

This all serves to remind me of a rather bizarre conversation I once had with my evangelical brother. It was that essentially God made a mistake in his initial dealings with humans, and that Christ was sent to rectify this mistake. To make assumptions from such a statement that question the omniscience or infallibility of God is to, sort of like that rebuttal in The Age mentioning Job, miss the whole point that 'The Jewish God' is not some 'perfect ideal of human'.

But like you say, both posts pick and choose what they like. The rebuttal clearly ignores Christ's own comments that, to paraphrase, 'the old law still stands', but more importantly, both fail to wish Darwin a happy birthday.