The first I heard of the Pacific Tsunami today was an email from a dear (but anonymous) brother in Christ.
A tsunami is headed towards NZ what do you think of that? I am praying for the people of NZ and even you though you don't believe in God.
How thoughtful! Sadly, I didn't initially publish it to the comments section, but on second thoughts I decided I'd share it anyway. In fact, that email was the final straw that led to the previous post on moderation.
The only COG blog to mention the tsunami so far is COGwriter, where Bob sagely notes: "This has been a rough week in the South Pacific, and its only Tuesday. Ultimately, the Bible tells of a time there will be no more islands (Revelation 16:17-21)."
Well, that's cheery. No more islands? Are you kidding? Tasmania, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, what about the British Isles? Bob may have a PhD and a ThD (ahem) but, well, gimme a break! It's another example of the need not to be completely wooden and literal when you read the Bible. "And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found." Bob's transformation of poetic metaphors into a gray utilitarian paradise doesn't sound too attractive to me; not only no islands, but no mountains. Maybe his god has no concept of natural beauty.
The travail in Samoa and American Samoa is real, and while the anonymous brother's heartfelt prayers would doubtless be appreciated in a very religious nation, I'd have thought a donation to a relief agency might be more practical. As for arguing with this genius about his opinion that I "don't believe in God," well, it'd be a waste of breath. The guy is obviously a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.
For the record, the tsunami thankfully skipped New Zealand's shores. But what kind of Christianity is it that uses a disaster to slap around someone who has a different theological perspective, or play Internet doom-caster to illustrate a proof text?