September 14, 2005 ©Homer
Commentary — From the Margins
Katrina: An Act of God?
Primitive human cultures are, by
description, superstitious. They usually perceive otherwise unexplainable acts
of nature as acts of the gods, a correlation exploited in the comic movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy, in which a glass
Coca-Cola bottle was pitched from an
airplane window and fell among Bushmen. In the movie, what was initially
considered a divine blessing became a curse that must be returned to the gods;
thus, an epic journey was undertaken by a chosen Bushman. The movie was a
parody of informing Greek myths that support the foundational constructs of
Western civilization. European emigrants in
Immediately following Katrina’s landfall, I received e-correspondence that claimed the hurricane was both created and guided by scalar electromagnetic wave technology, that globalist Illuminati leadership was wreaking havoc on an unsuspecting public to achieve a New World Order, that for the past thirty years this elitist leadership has caused to occur death, devastation, and disease from storms that would not have otherwise occurred, that Katrina is the stuff of which God’s Judgment of a nation is built. This past week, I received e-correspondence claiming that Katrina was the Most High God’s means of punishing disobedient children, that Christians should not interfere with God’s punishment by extending to the hurricane’s victims reasonable and customary human compassion, that certainly God’s tithes and offerings should not go to aid any of the victims, that moneys spent helping victims would be directly fighting God’s purpose. Also this past week, on an in-class writing assignment, I received from a Muslim student an essay claiming that Katrina, like the earthquake in Turkey, was Allah’s revenge against the enemies of fundamental Islam…it isn’t the gods that are crazy.
From the position of apparent sophistication, American (and worldwide) audiences enjoyed the humor created when the heroic Bushman ventured to the end of the earth to throw the Coke bottle back to the gods. We were at least amused by the juxtaposition of Western culture and technology with the Bush peoples’ values, with their uses for the Coke bottle, and with the disturbance caused by its possession. But this juxtaposition also indicts Western culture, which won’t give back its “Coke bottle” technology that retains nuclear annihilation as the preferred, politically viable defense strategy.
using electromagnetic technology to control weather and thereby circumventing a
direct nuclear exchange that is, ultimately, survivable? Was Katrina created by the Russians, and
then steered to where it would do maximum damage to this nation? Is God using
elite globalists in His punishment of the
mythology is critically examined, the reader realizes that mortals control the
actions of the gods: Athena sprung from the forehead of Zeus, but the entirety
of the Pantheon sprung from the foreheads of men—sprung as solutions to the
difficulty of orality discussing hypothetical,
or unassigned actions. In oral cultures, all action must be assigned to a
referent. The mythical “they” can do nothing. So to discuss what hasn’t yet
happened, or to discuss the consequences of bad behavior without actually
experiencing the bad behavior, the invention of fictional characters was
necessary; thus, a trickster figure,
such as Raven or Coyote or Muskrat, entered Native American narrative. Prior to
the Medieval period, North and West Germanic language
users introduced the concept of faerie,
a mythical landscape in which usual relationships and usual rules of behavior
were suspended, to explore the hypothetical. Greeks constructed the Pantheon.
And herein lies the explanation to the enduring existence of mythological
technologies (such as the
When a culture
moves from being primarily oral to primarily inscribed, trickster figures and
mythical landscapes are recognized as fictional constructs of earlier
superstitious, generations. This recognition is only partially true, for these
fictional constructs were made necessary by other social limitations, such as
widespread illiteracy. Superstitions, however, don’t go away; they merely
reform around different, restricted concepts. Thus, the person who could not
read or write generations later becomes the person who cannot vote out of
office a president from
In an era when
everything is believed possible and is often seen as factual (certainly, the
“impossible” can be produced through special effects that blend computer
animation with newsreel footage), electromagnetic control of the weather has as
much believability as weather forecasting. In 1960, the Olympic site at
The rationale of Christians who believe the Beast and his antiChrist will come through the machinations of secret societies originates in the social constructs that cause the political disenfranchisement of all fringe ideologies. These Christians may love each other, but they have no love for the politically empowered, an attribute of their theology that should give them a clue about whom they worship: their deity wrestles with these supra-mortals who are secretly trying to establish a New World Order. They are certain their deity will prevail, but only if they help by warning the “unsuspecting” masses of what is “really” happening. And it is here where the vital message of David C. Pack’s Restored Church of God enters the disenfranchised spectrum. Pack wrote, “[I]t is not the purpose of God’s true Church and Work to ‘repair’ or ‘fix’ a world cut off from God”.
Who cut the world off from God? Did God not consign all of humanity to disobedience so that He could have mercy upon all (Rom )? The Apostle Paul certainly taught that He had. So whose fault [if this is the correct word] is it that the world needs to be repaired or fixed? Jesus said from darkness comes life. He said He came to sinners. He said He didn’t come to judge them—they already had a judge, the words of Moses. And their judgments will be revealed at the proper time, and in their proper order.
David Pack delivers a “warning” message about what God is doing, and where humanity is in the plan of God without either understanding what is being done, or what will happen. His warning is to explain why God is punishing sinful human beings, who know nothing about Pack’s deity.
When the Lord
appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre (Gen 18),
Isaac was not yet born. Abraham’s only son was Ishmael, the son of Hagar, a
woman of bondage and allegorically comparable to present day
How many firstborn Egyptians survived the liberation
of the physically circumcised nation of
God doesn’t have to warm up by destroying a city here, or a
nation there before He recovers a people, or slays sinners. Therefore, to
assign to God the partial destruction of any city, or
of any peoples is blasphemy, especially when the separation between who is of
God and who isn’t was made at
Isaac was the
second born son of Abraham, and comparable to the
Because the Church remains in bondage to the law of sin and death that dwells in its members, the Church is as Ishmael was; i.e., it is presently the firstborn spiritual son of Abraham. The second son that is of promise will be born when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh (Joel ) halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation. What happened on that day of Pentecost recorded in Acts foreshadows what will happen to humanity when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon everyone.
Christianity is also the younger sister of present day
The promise of Scripture is that everyone who endures to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13). This promise is made to the son of promise, the third part of humanity (Zech 13:7-9) that will be born anew when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh, thereby changing even the predatory natures of lions and bears. Therefore, when Christ Jesus returns, every person will have been born from above for at least three and a half years. There will be no non-Christians. Islam as a religion will no longer independently exist, but will have become another sect within Christianity. Thus, the unenlightened belief that Allah is today punishing sinful nations will have given way to the acknowledgement that the prophet Jesus of Nazareth really was the one whose feet Abraham washed under the oaks of Mamre. The two who were then with the Lord represent (and are) the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord (Zech ), the two olive trees.
The promise of
Scripture also is that those human beings who take to themselves the mark of
the Beast [chi xi stigma], the mark
of death, the tattoo of the Cross, the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse (Rev
6:8), shall be killed by Christ Jesus and his returning army. No exceptions. No
partial slaughtering of wrong-doers. No evacuations to the
spiritually the Church is as Ishmael was…Ishmael dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran, halfway or so between
Disciples should do as Abraham did: they should reason with God to save sinners for the sake of the righteous who dwell among them. These sinners will, someday, be born from above and will become the great harvest of God. In particular, if these sinners live to the middle of the seven endtime years of tribulation, they become the featured great harvest that is silently ripening even though they are not now part of the Body of Christ. They will become the Body when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh.
The Lord is
today doing a mighty work apart from the efforts of the greater Church. This
work is being done with a remnant of those spiritually circumcised disciples
As the two who
met Abraham brought forth
Cain would have been accepted if he had done well (Gen 4:7), for his offering did not cover the sin that lurked at his door. The same will apply to the Church when the Son of Man is revealed. Every disciple will be accepted by God if the disciple does well, which means keeping the commandments of God. The mantle of grace will be removed to reveal the naked body of the Son of Man—disciples’ only covering for sin will then be their obedience to God. And the completeness of the slaughter of uncovered physical and spiritual firstborns at the hour of this long night of watching will remove any question about whether storms such as Katrina are of nature, or are of God.
The Lord will not again destroy human beings
with water: it wasn’t the Lord who caused people to die by drowning in the
Southeast Asian tsunami last December, or in
Destruction that is of God will not leave a wet city able to rebuild itself. Katrina isn’t of God, which is not to say that God cannot use the disaster for His purposes. Indeed, He can, and He will. And one of His purposes is to see who will argue for the salvation of all for the sake of ten righteous individuals. God is not crazy. We are if we will not plead for the life of the sinner who will someday be offered salvation.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."