Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 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?"Joe Klein wrote an article (which appears in the Sept. 12 Time magazine and here on CNN.com) quoting a group called "Columbia Christians for Life," who looked at satellite images of hurricane Katrina and saw an unborn fetus in the image. Based on this revelation, they sent out a storm of emails proclaiming God's judgement on New Orleans for operating abortion clinics, and their website has two articles praising God for the destruction of the clinics. (Thanks to Eileen for the hat-tip about Joe Klein's article.)
The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake." (Genesis 18:23-26, NIV)
On a lark, I went to SuperPages.com, an online "yellow pages" site, and found that there were more than 1,200 churches in New Orleans, most of which (I would assume) suffered the same fate as the abortion clinics.
I only point this out because the passage I opened with, from Genesis, seems to indicate that God understood the concept of "collateral damage" a lot better than we do. The concept that hundreds, if not thousands, of people would die and hundreds of places of Christian worship would be destroyed so that five abortion centers would be shut down is an obscenity of massive proportions. Not only is it obscene, it's just not Biblical.
The idea of a God who knows us so intimately that God knows the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:6-8) having a Smiting-Target-Acquisition-System that has to take 1,200 churches with it in order to wipe out five dens of iniquity is beyond stupid. It's just a variation on the same crap which I wrote about in January that John Piper was preaching about the tsunami - that the deaths of thousands of believers was an "acceptable loss" to the Almighty for the privilege of sweeping infidels and pagans to their death.
The blog Eve's Apple has a good sample of the backlash from this nonsense.
If there were half as many people preaching God's love, forgiveness, and acceptance as there were people loudly proclaiming that they know who God is going to smite, there would be a whole lot more Christians around.
Just so you know: God does not have a targeting system. This, instead, is what God has for you:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)It's just so damn sad, because the message of Christ is so vastly different than what what these folks are hearing from morons like the so-called "Columbia Christians for Life."
Your actions speak so loud, I can't hear what you're saying. (anonymous)
The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable. (Brennan Manning)