Let's test Pastor Piper's claim against a South Dakota story:
Pioneer Lutheran Church up by White used to be ELCA. According to the church history page, "Since the ELCA has drifted from its Lutheran and evangelical roots, Pioneer has associated more over the past five years with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ." Their June 2009 newsletter indicated that a call to missions pastor Tom Walker was predicated on his willingness to leave the ELCA and join the LCMC.
The church's website offers a number of resources. Among them:
- an article by Greg Lockwood arguing scriptural support for excluding women and homosexuals from ordination (Lockwood also digs male headship and denies it is "oppressive or demeaning to anyone.")
- Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, called a "useful resource," even though only one author in it is Lutheran. Co-editor of that book, and member of that council: Pastor John Piper.
- an article that says the Rapture is non-Scriptural bunk.
Pioneer Lutheran burned down in the wee hours of April 19, 2009.
So if, as Pastor Piper claims, God goes snapping off steeples to indicate his displeasure with the ELCA's vote on human sexuality, what does he make of God leveling a church that leaves the ELCA, preaches male headship, links Piper's book, and hires a pastor who takes pokes at atheists?
Given enough time and Google, I could find some statement or action by pretty much anyone that I could portray as a sin that explains some misfortune rained down on them by a wrathful God. But is that really a worthwhile rhetorical game? And is it really something with which an ordained pastor should waste his time?
I don't know... maybe we should all check our home insurance policies.