Thank you, Ed for providing the City Pages' article on the ELCA assembly's Wednesday vote in favor of the Social Statement on Human Sexuality, which approved a social statement that, among other things, acknowledges the validity of same-sex relationships that are "chaste, monogamous and lifelong." Here is why I think Pastor John Piper is correct when he says that the Wednesday afternoon tornado was a simple, yet clear message of God's displeasure. And you probably saw the news reports, yesterday they also approved allowing homosexuals in committed relationships (unrepentant) to be Pastors in ELCA Churches.
The ELCA assembly vote on the Social Statement came up on Wednesday, August 19th at 2:00 p.m. Outside of the Convention Center, beer vendors in tents were selling their libations to the Convention attendees. And across the street of the Center is a liberal Lutheran Church called Central Lutheran Church. This is the Church where the homosexual assembly attendees would gather last week. At this time a "curious" tornado hit downtown Minneapolis. Here is the way one eyewitness described the storm:
This curious tornado touches down just south of downtown and follows 35W straight towards the city center. It crosses I94. It is now downtown.
The time: 2PM.
The first buildings on the downtown side of I94 are the Minneapolis Convention Center and Central Lutheran (Church). The tornado severely damages the convention center roof, shreds the tents, breaks off the steeple of Central Lutheran, splits what's left of the steeple in two...and then lifts.
Central Lutheran Church is a liberal Lutheran Church, and the picture of the Cross that was torn down by the tornado, literally tearing it off of the steeple is mystifying. (See the picture at Pastor John Piper's Blog, entry for August 20, 2009 - http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/). The beer tents were shredded. And the roof of the Convention Center was severely damaged. And the 2:00 p.m. time of the storm was the same as that of the ELCA scheduled vote. The assembly passed the Social Statement by a single vote (two-thirds majority required – the vote was 676 to 338, 66.67%).
And so, Pastor John Piper said this tornado was God's condemnation of the ELCA assembly's approval of the Social Statement. Here is his statement: The tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin. Turn from the promotion of behaviors that lead to destruction…
So is Pastor Piper right? Was God sending a message to the ELCA because of its vote? Of course He was. It is nearly too obvious to provide support for, but allow me to connect the dots:
- The storm came out of nowhere. I don't know of any weather forecasters who called for severe storms on Wednesday;
- It was raining heavily on Wednesday. Tornados and rain don't go together;
- Tornado in a downtown area;
- It happened at the same time of the vote;
- Central Lutheran Church was also damaged. This Church was the meeting location for the homosexual leaders attending the convention;
- The Cross on the steeple of Central Lutheran Church was torn from the steeple;
- The tornado hit the Convention Center and the Central Lutheran Church, and then disappeared, as if it was directed to a single target;
- The beer seller's tents outside of the Convention Center were also destroyed.
And finally, why do I believe the tornado was sent by God? Because God's Word says so. Every calamity's message is the same, we are to repent and turn from sin (Luke 13:1-5).