Another feather in the cap of Christianity

Some bloke paints a painting which some other people don’t like, how should you respond?

Let’s ask Nazareth Baptist (Shembe) Church spokesman Enoch Mthembu, shall we?

A person who committed such a serious sin deserves to be stoned to death.

And why?

That is according to the church constitution, the Bible, which guides us.


Cue outraged comments that Enoch doesn’t speak for every Christian.

Oh. OK. Just the ones that are guided by the Bible then, yes?

Did the earth move for you in 2005?

The chatter in Gauteng is (possibly) all about last night’s Gauteng earthquake/tremor which, it turns out, wasn’t in Gauteng at all. It measured 2.8 on the Richter scale and twitter was instantly ablaze with the thought that the Daily Star’s prophecy might actually have come true, although of course a quick look at this page would tell you that Southern Africa is actually hit fairly regularly by small earthquakes.

There’s no way of actually predicting where or when an earthquake might strike. If there was – like there is with volcanoes – then evacuations could take place and the number of casualties would be drastically reduced. Obviously there are areas which are at higher risk than others, but you’ll find that SA is pretty safe in this regard.

Which makes Chris van der Walt’s prediction that:

an enormous earthquake is going to hit the Rand (Greater Johannesburg area) very soon…

somewhat bizarre. Even more so when you hear the details of this enormous earthquake:

The earth opened up like a massive chasm with buildings toppling over. It stretched from the east and south of Johannesburg and came together in the city centre. From there it continued to the West Rand.

Yikes. And who told Chris that all this was going to happen?
Well, that would be the Holy Spirit. Yep – a voice from upstairs.

But look, it’s not all bad news. Chris points out that you might get away in time (but terms and conditions apply):

Again I say what the Lord said: “An enormous earthquake is going to hit the Rand (greater Johannesburg area) soon and it is unavoidable. It is going to be disastrous. I will protect My children who listen and take them away in time.” 

Which to me seem to be a bit of a threat to sign up to christianity or die a horrible death in Johannesburg in late 2005.
Chris continues:

In me there is no doubt about the genuineness of this word of God and it will also be proved the day when the earthquake occurs.

Which, of course it never did: casting some doubt on the “genuineness” of the big man upstairs.

All in all, I feel hugely let down by this god thing again. Just like when he topped those 5 kids last February. Instead of saving people in Haiti, where a real earthquake really happened and killed about a quarter of a million people, he’s wasting everyone’s time by talking to Chris in Gauteng and making a mountain out of a minedump.

Chris says:

God does not say these things as a merciless, cruel God. On the contrary, He gives this word to warn people unto repentance, irrelevant of their culture or religion. 

I don’t see it that way. I see a god who is going to kill many thousands of people by a non-existent earthquake tearing open a massive chasm through the city, complete with toppling buildings. And the only people who are going to be saved are, conveniently, those in his religion.

Which all sounds pretty merciless and cruel to me.

Good Old God!

I’m an atheist. A very happy one at that. You won’t sway me, so please don’t even try. Equally, I won’t try to tell you who or who not to worship. Other than me, obviously: but that’s a given, anyway.

What I don’t understand (and probably never will) is reactions such as those of “Bruinman” to the deaths of three children (since updated to five) in a horrific car accident near Pretoria.

It is always sad to read news like this, especially when there are children involved. My condolences to the family and friends of the children.
May the Lord be with you and give you strength in this time of bereavement. God Bless.

Look, I’m completely with him about the “sad news” bit. And, for what it’s worth, perhaps even the condolences bit, too. But then it goes horribly wrong, because I’d actually have liked the Lord to have been with the kids in the back of the car, looking after them and maybe preventing them from plunging 15 metres (45ft) off a road bridge and onto the freeway below; not turning up a day later with a bashful apology and a pat on the back for the grieving parents, like the murderer bringing flowers to the funeral.

Perhaps someone can explain to myself and my readers as to why the “loving”, “omnipresent” God wasn’t there to stop these five innocent kids dying in such a horrible way.
While you’re at it, help me out with the rape stats in South Africa (52,000 pa) – can “He” not  do something to sort that out at all?
Cholera in Zimbabwe? 80,000 infected, 3,500 dead. Why would “He” let that suffering occur? And while we’re there, why do “He” and his followers tolerate Robert Mugabe swearing himself in (again) on the Bible “in the sight of God”? Not the sort of message I’d want to be sending out, but “He” allowed it to happen (again) this week. 

I could go on and on, you know. I often do.

It’s unfathomable to me as to how Christians (and those of other religions) can so easily turn a blind eye or make excuses for those things which don’t fit conveniently into their religious demographic.
If you think you’re different and you can tell us how and why these things happen with such regularity and apparent impunity right under “His” beard, please leave a comment.  

Note well: The first person to use the phrase “God works in mysterious ways” will be banned. Immediately.