In response to an infamous out-of-context clip from Brian Tamiki, which is no longer available. Slanderously entitled like “Brian Tamiki blames our quakes on the gays”
Contrary to the title of this clip, Brian does not mention homosexuality, but simply “certain sins”. Leviticus 18 demands the avoidance of the sexual practices of Egypt, which God had just destroyed and the Canaanites, whom God was about to destroy. It very explicitly describes actions to prevent loopholes from the definitions of words. The sentiment of Brian’s message is reflected in Romans 8:22 “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
Some claim that Brian blamed the Kaikoura quake on homosexuals. I find it curious that Brian preached this sermon the day before this earthquake. Such headlines imply that Brian is a prophet of God that maybe we should be listening to. I’m not convinced of this. I think if God is in this, he is drawing our attention to this issue.
I think God has totally blessed us with our September 2010 quake occurring at a time where no life would be taken. This brought to our attention the fact that our land is “grumpy” and it decommissioned buildings that would have been a death trap in the February quake. The loss of life in February could be because we didn’t take this warning as seriously as we should. Such hindsight can be applied to this new quake, again occurring when loss of life was minimal. We must take this as a warning that another quake and tsunami could bring great devastation – at a more critical time and location – because nature is doing its thing. I am encouraged that Wellington is taking a serious response to this warning regarding the safety of its buildings, but fear it will be limited by greed and complacency.
We all have that one family member we’d rather sacrifice to the lions to preserve ourselves. 1 John 4:20a “If we say we love God, but hate our brothers and sisters, we are liars.”. I find the church often takes the easy way out regarding Brian Tamaki, of whom I too am greatly concerned. About a week ago, I was targeted by someone, digging for dirt to denounce Christians for hatred. When I stated my inclusive, but non-PC opinion, he went off and misquoted the latter bit he’d been digging for and then felt attacked when I defended myself by commenting the full context on his post. I see something similar going on here. People hate Brian Tamaki’s stance on purity and will misquote him to further their hatred for him. They love to discredit the bible’s strong stance on purity because of his exorbitant income from donations. They use this to generalize that all Christians are hypocrites and thereby conclude that the Bible’s message is a bunch of lies. Such an attitude completely disregards the charitable works that are the fruit of Christianity and the root of our society.
I think Brian’s way out of line attributing Christchurch’s sin for the earthquakes.
In Luke 13, Jesus said “Because those Galileans were killed in that way, do you think it proves that they were worse sinners than all the other Galileans? 3 No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did. 4 What about those eighteen people in Siloam who were killed when the tower fell on them? Do you suppose this proves that they were worse than all the other people living in Jerusalem? 5 No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did.”
I find some churches quoting this to denounce Brian, but they leave off the offensive bits.
This contradicts the story of Job, possibly a contemporary of Abraham, who lost everything. In his misery, his “friends” pressured him to confess sin, for which God was obviously judging him and God would restore him. Finally, God steps in and scolds Job for presuming to understand God and attributing his troubles to God’s whim. After restoring Job, he scolds his friends and advises them to ask Job to pray for their forgiveness.
I think God allows bad things to happen to good people so that these good people can bring compassion to others suffering with the fallen nature of our world. Jesus promises we will have trouble in this world in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In response to such claims, I do not think that Christchurch is more sinful than, say, Auckland. Where God has judged people in the Bible it is in response to a great outcry against their offences to others: Noah’s generation, Sodom and Gomorrah, Egypt, Canaan, Israel, Assyria, Judah and Babylonian. In 2010, there was some outcry against the decadence of Auckland, but not Christchurch. On the other hand it is a curious coincidence with Jeremiah 25:29 “See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name”. Is God warning us of things to come? In each case, God’s judgement was preceded by clear and specific warnings. Jonah was pissed off with God because Nineveh (Mosul) responded to his warning of Judgement and averted destruction.
Many Christians denounce Brian: “My God doesn’t judge like that”. I don’t think these guys have read Revelation. The whole story of the Bible is about God’s dilemma that our sin has separated ourselves from him, which will lead to our destruction. The “law of sin and death” is as valid of the laws of gravity, thermodynamics and biogenesis. Even naturally, we must admit that our selfish actions lead to destruction, while charitable actions build up. That’s the whole point of Jesus. Jesus death does not cause God to forgive the entire world, but rather provides the means through which we may seek forgiveness. John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him need not perish but have eternal life”. This very verse affirms that some will perish. In fact only those who take Jesus seriously will avoid destruction.
The old testament history demonstrates cycles when the nation turns to God and prosperity ensues. When they turn away from God, symptoms of sexual decadence precede destruction. False prophets would foretell that the nation will prosper. They denounce crackpots like Jeremiah who preached an impending destruction. They preach that our loving God does not judge us like that – that only happens in the old stories. Jeremiah lived to see the Babylonian invasion and the eviction of his people from the land in fulfillment of the Levitical warnings.
Beware of the person who only speaks comfortable words.
Proverbs 27:5 “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”