As I write this blog on Wednesday 31st October 2012, Hurricane Sandy (dubbed “Frankenstorm”) has smashed into the American northeast, leaving 16 dead, millions without power and parts of Manhattan underwater. Conditions remain dangerous as this one-of-a-kind storm moves inland bringing blizzard conditions and massive amounts of snow.
While Sandy is still blowing cold air, predictably we have a “Christian” preacher blowing hot. Author and chaplain John McTernan has said God’s judgment of gays caused the hurricane. On this website http://defendproclaimthefaith.org the preacher says the storm must be God’s judgment on gays, and punishing the president Barack Obama for coming out in support of marriage equality. He also believes “America has been under God’s judgment ever since George Bush Senior signed the Madrid Peace Process to divide the land of Israel in 1991.” McTernan said: “Obama is 100% behind the Muslim Brotherhood that has vowed to destroy Israel and take Jerusalem. ‘Both candidates (Obama & Romney) are pro-homosexual and are behind the homosexual agenda.’”
His reasoning for this is that it has been 21 years since the “perfect storm” of October 1991. He says, “21 years breaks down to 7 x 3, which is a significant number with God. Three is perfection as the Godhead is three in one while seven is perfection.” The online preacher also blamed Hurricane Isaac on homosexuals. He said gay festival Southern Decadence was to blame, as God was “putting an end to this city and its wickedness.”
It saddens me greatly that every time there is a natural disaster somewhere in the world there’s always at least one self-proclaimed Christian minister who will get up (after the event) and pinpoint the reason for it – and it’s always God’s judgment and it’s usually because of gay people.
I disagree with these judgment preachers for three main reasons:
Firstly, New Testament prophecy isn’t about proclaiming the reason for a disaster after the fact. In Acts 11:27-30 a prophet by the name of Agabus “predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius).” Armed with this knowledge the Christians gave financial gifts in order to help those who were affected by this famine. Please note that there is no inference in this prophecy that this event was God’s judgment on anyone. In His love, God gave a warning so that His people could be ready to help NOT judge.
Secondly, the Bible teaches that God always removes His people BEFORE He judges the ungodly. Lot and his family were taken out of Sodom before the judgment fell, Noah and his family was safely in the ark before the flood. Abraham got it right when he said to God, “Far be it from you to do such a thing – to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25). I know many Christians who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. It is not the judgment of God.
Thirdly, right now is the time of God’s favor not vengeance or judgment (see Luke 4:19; Isaiah 61:2). There will be a time of judgment in the future, but right now is the time of grace and a message of good news of Salvation to EVERYONE. People like John McTernan seem to miss this truth, and their unbiblical proclamations end up turning people away from God rather than to Him. That saddens me greatly. How about you?