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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wrath of God: Ordain Homosexuals and Women... or Else?

The ELCA has approved the ordination of practicing homosexuals. John Piper, a Baptist preacher in Minneapolis, is claiming that God sent that tornado through town this week to register His disapproval. That claim wins SD Humanist's disdain; Pastor Piper's meatheadery also elicits six very appropriate questions and objections from Pastor Shel Boese. [Update 12:50 CDT: Father Tim adds his theological perspective as well!]

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:
Pioneer Lutheran's pastor, Tyler Hepner, adjunct professor of religion and philosophy at SDSU, is also part of a budding Lutheran seminary in Brookings. Pastor Hepner calls honest atheists like me "spiritual parasites."

Ruins of Pioneer Lutheran
[photo courtesy Brookings Register]
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.


  1. Admitting you are an atheist in a Blog. Check more than your insurance on the house....provided you have any worries that gODD has a computer and Internet connection. And how fast is gODD's Internet connection anyway? And what size of a computer would he need to process all of this stuff from everywhere? Only the NSA has such capability...which proves...gODD works for the NSA. I'm more worried about them than gODD.

  2. There's absolutely no logical reason to discriminate against homosexuals. We all know there are things greater than ourselves and an unending amount of things yet understood. It's a personal relationship with no detriment to society (maybe it once did). Some of us are tired of being third class people, physically abused, or at points in history exterminated. Jews, gays, gypsies: send them to the ovens. No wonder we have trust issues!

  3. I believe that Christ was the son of God, and that he died to save my soul. But I think that all organized religions are cults, and this Piper fellow does nothing whatsoever to dilute that opinion.

  4. This is just appalling. If Luther, the late German Christian protester, would still be here…where the denomination “Lutherans” derived from, he would be stunned and completely disappointed in this horrible abomination to the Word of God and the Gospel. I totally am against this election. When God created “man” he created Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and STEVE!!! Hello people. This is a direct form of disobedience to God. And this is happening in a Church, a denomination that professes to know the Word of God???? Please, God will have to deal with you guys…and it won’t be pretty.

  5. Jason (?), is there anything else God didn't create but which is now a part of our culture that represents disobedience to God... like the Internet, cars, or American democracy?

    But whichever way you feel about homosexuality (and hey, some of my best friends are named Steve, so be careful!), Jason, do you agree with Rev. Piper's statement that last week's tornado is just God "dealing with" those darned Lutherans? And if so, what do you make of the fire at Pioneer Lutheran?

  6. Hey, Jason -- not cool with the ad spam on your profile link. Try an actual profile on your link, or at least a blog with your thoughts, not what you're selling.


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