Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
God is so real. I know that may seem like a silly statement to make, especially for a Christian. After all, the reality of God is our livelihood, right? But let's be honest and admit that there are moments in our lives when we question, maybe not the reality of God, but the involvement of God. Well, I think a brief look at yesterday's news can show us just how involved God is in our world. It can also show us how angry He is with our blatant sin. Finally, it can show us how God still offers us warning signs before we wade too deep into sin.
To listen to the mainstream media (namely, Fox News since that's the station I was listening to this morning) you would think that yesterday in Minneapolis a typical Midwest tornado appeared and wreaked it's typical tornado destruction. But yesterday's tornado was anything but typical. First, it wasn't predicted or expected at all by weather experts, taking everyone by surprise. Second, it seemed to wreak it's destruction on a very specific building at a very specific time. The place? Central Lutheran Church. The time? 2 pm.
So what is the significance of this? Hopefully all of you are aware of the ELCA convention that is meeting in Minneapolis this week to discuss the ordination of homosexual clergy. (Surely you are keeping up with this blog and have read What Does ELCA stand for?) They chose to use Central Lutheran as their church. And at precisely 2 pm yesterday, the agenda indicated that the session to take place was entitled: "Consideration: Proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality.”
Coincidence? No. Was it coincidence that the tornado split the church's steeple in half and knocked down the cross on that same steeple? No. I would readily argue that this was a deliberate act of God demonstrating His disappointment, dissatisfaction, and even judgment on an apostate, sinful, even blasphemous gathering. Unfortunately, I fear that those participating in this ELCA convention did not see this as such a deliberate act. The ELCA still voted in favor of changing their Sexuality statement. Of course, there is still time for them to repent and walk away from this sin. The final vote is on Friday, and I believe that, no matter how hopeless some of us may think the ELCA is, we as Christians should still kneel in prayer and pray for them to repent.
I've been studying in Daniel and seeing how this great man of God who found favor in the eyes of our Lord still possessed the humility to pray for the forgiveness of the sin of the people of Israel. Intercessory prayer can be a mighty thing and is not limited to our prayers for our loved ones. I would urge you then to pray for the members of the ELCA to repent of this sin and to turn from it and to turn back to the holy statutes and Word of God.
For further reading on this topic and for a more educated opinion on the events of yesterday, please visit John Piper's blog and read the article, The Tornado, the Lutherans, and Homosexuality.
While yesterday's tornado is a drastic illustration of how visibly God can move in our lives, there is a personal lesson in those events for all of us. God is real. God does punish. But best of all, God will warn us. Look back at some of the mistakes in your life (yes, I know they're there!). In hindsight, can you see how God was warning you ahead of time to stay away from choosing that path? God knows that we will stumble and even fall, but He is not sitting back with His arms crossed waiting for us to go it alone. He is active, He is involved, He is alive. The closer we walk with Him, the more clearly we will see His warning signs before we wade too deep into our sin. He may not always send a tornado, but even a sprinkle or two of rain should cause you to raise your umbrella (or the shield of faith)!
God does not compromise on sin. If you are dabbling, or considering tip-toeing into something that you know is against God's will, look at the warning signs around you (I guarantee they are there) and repent and turn back to God!
A picture of the steeple of Central Lutheran Church after God had His say: