Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Just Kidding

In the USA, there was a strong earthquake that shook even Washing DC, and while I write this blog people on the East Coast of USA, including the Big Apple have been very adversely affected by Hurricane Irene (ironic name since Irene means peace). Really quite frightening stuff. In two weeks time, NYC and Washington DC and the nation as a whole will be commemorating the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Centre and damaged the Pentagon ten years ago and took in excess of 3000 lives on the day, to say nothing about the thousands of lives lost since in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most people, most decent people realise that cracking jokes about these things is not appropriate. However, you have some individuals, who steam right ahead and they make what they refer to as jokes that are in such bad taste. British Comedian Frankie Boyle is one such person. He somehow thinks that ridiculing people with Down Syndrome, AIDS, etc. 

Frankie Boyle is not the one to have got my blood boiling this but one of the Republican "Tea-party" would-be Presidential candidates, Michelle Bachmann. I do not actually believe that when she made her offensive comments she was of the mind that it was some kind of joke, and certainly at the time, she did not let on that she saw a funny side to earthquake and hurricane - she seemed very much in earnest, about her belief that God was sending a message, but when she realised just how unpopular her comments were - or maybe when her advisers told her that she was suffering from verbal diarrhoea that she issued a statement that she was only kidding.

She obviously has no clue how implausible that is, and even if that were the case, how in appropriate to be cracking jokes about things like this when people have lost lives and people's homes and businesses have been utterly destroyed. Is this something that we can all laugh about. Hardly! So why was she kidding? No, i watched the clip where whe was saying these things that she said she was just kidding about, and she clearly believes that these geological and meteorological events were God's megaphone telling the President that he is getting it all wrong. 

Being a student of theology, I am aware that when a person claims to speak for God they are taking on the role of a prophet. Now in the Bible and today their are two kinds of prophets spoken about. There are the true prophets, like Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, John the Baptist, and many others, but they were and sadly are vastly outnumbered by FALSE PROPHETS, who claim to speak the words of God, but are not. 

If you, in speaking try to represent what you are saying, as coming from the throne of God, and it turns out you are wrong whether you deliberately lied, or simply "got your wires crossed" you still fall into the category of False prophet. The Old Testament prescription for those found to be false prophets was severe - death by stoning. Now I would not advocate that Ms Bachmann get stoned (though with some of the far-fetched things she is said have uttered, it would not be to hard to believe that she is stoned (in the modern sense of the word.)

If, as I suspect, she genuinely believed what she was saying about these events being God's message to America, why was she so quick to retract this when she realised that it was not well received by her audience. The prophets of Old often had to speak out against corruption in high places, and in society in general, and it never was popularly received. Back then, as they do now, people only want to hear happy platitudes about everything being okay, and your behaviour no matter how vile and beneath contempt, being completely acceptable. Often speaking the Word of God into a situation will make you very unpopular as a prophets and can be very costly, and I mean it can even cost you your life. Just ask Jeremiah and John, the Baptist. Being a prophet is diametrically opposite to being a politician. In order to be a politician, you HAVE to seek popularity. That is the only way to get into office (unless of course you have a way of corrupting the voting system. The prophet on the other hand will speak out what he/dhe believes t be Go'd word in a situation, and will stand by what he was saying even when the highest authorities, including religious leaders, and society at large threaten dire consequences if one doe not retract the comment. Martin Luther, spoke vehemently against the abuses of the Church and it came down to the Pope at that time demanding that he disavow his statements on threat of being excommunicated (th most serious sanction a church could impose, his response was "here i stand, I can do no other" and he was summarily dismissed from his high office in the Catholic Church. 

I would not suggest that her words were malicious lies spoken to generate hate and resentment towards Mr. Obama, but a genuine conviction that the storms were God's messenger think that she genuinely believed what she was saying. However, I do not believe that that these sorts of catastrophic events are used by God in this way. They are just part of nature. I do believe, as the Bible says, the judgement day will come and every individual will face judgment. We are told in the Bible that ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD and the wage for sin is death. However we are talk that God so loved the World, that he GAVE his only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believes on him with not perish but will have eternal life,and that the GIFT of God is eternal life. We are told in Scripture that we are to go into all world and preach the GOOD NEWS. So, ultimately, every individual must give account and then repent of wrong doing. Thus even though she believed it to be true, Michelle Bachmann has been a false prophet by representing our God and bring His name into disrepute. 

The "I was just kidding" bit was an effort to withdraw her comments but it is still making God to be a liar. If she lacks the courage of her conviction, albeit weird convictions, how can she lead a country?

I'm sure there's more that could be said on this topic of misappropriated humour, and false prphesy, I shall end now and invite comments from my friends, whether you agree or vehemently oppose what I have said. I publish comments that are on topic, and deviod of unseemly language or personal attacks.