Dispatches from the Creation Wars

God Attacks Lutherans!

It turns out that God doesn’t just send really big storms like Hurricane Katrina to express his hatred for gay equality; he also sends smaller storms like almost-kinda tornadoes.

A Baptist pastor and popular Calvinist author says it was no accident that tornado-force winds hit downtown Minneapolis the same week that the nation’s largest Lutheran group was meeting there to debate liberalizing its policies toward gays.

John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, wrote in an Aug. 20 blog that powerful winds that ripped through the city Aug. 19 were “a gentle but firm warning” to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

God seems to have a difficult time calibrating his messages if this is gentle:

The storm, which has not yet been confirmed as a tornado, caused roof and water damage to the Minneapolis Convention Center, where the ELCA was holding its national convention. About 2,200 people were registered for the convention. People inside the building were taken to a safe location, and there were no reports of injury, according to the Associated Press.

Just across the street, winds damaged the steeple and shattered windows at Minneapolis’ Central Lutheran Church, which was also being used as an ELCA meeting venue. About 120 people were inside, a church spokesman told the AP.

Piper cited Bible passages to make the case that official church statements condoning sin dishonor God, Jesus Christ controls the wind and that everyone faces calamity unless they all repent.

Piper said God’s message to Lutherans is: “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.”

This really is just a bizarre conception of god to me (though it does conform to the Bible’s conception of God, which was probably the most important reason why I left Christianity). God as mafioso. I see no reason to worship such a barbaric creature even if it did exist.