Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Identifying Acts of Divine Wrath
I wonder if anyone today still believes that God expresses his wrath in empirically identifiable terms.
By all accounts the sodomites at Orlando were executed while revelling in their debauchery, I don’t see why we can’t view the Mohammedans as instruments of the divine wrath. And in all probability they likely perished while indulging their sins. This isn’t to say that they are condemned finally, maybe there is such a thing as postmortem repentance, I am inclined to believe in that. However I think the idea that God’s wrath against wickedness being revealed from heaven would be completely devoid of any content if we cannot identify any particular empirical event with such revelation of wrath. The rush to exonerate the sodomites as victims, from a moral and theological point of view, is absurd. They aren’t innocent victims (except in the legal sense). In the words of Luke 17:28-29:
Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them.
By the way lest anyone says that I’m just picking on gays, I’ve argued, numerous times, that China’s defeat at the hands of the British was also an expression of the divine wrath against China for suppressing Christianity there. I guess my point is simply an a lot more general one, is it possible to identify providential acts empirically? If we cannot, how can we prevent the irresistible conclusion that we’re functional deists?
Reasons for this Reaction
Okay I do not mean to sound like a total asshole with my above theological commentary, but the outpouring of Christian sympathy and standing with Orlando dead, etc, etc, was really starting to grate on my nerves.
First, as I said before, they were shot down, literally, while revelling and celebrating a bout of sinful debauchery. Now, I don’t know whether people still remember that there is a distinction between the moral and the legal, but granted that the law does not, and indeed cannot, proscribe everything which is displeasing to God, it still does not follow that legality sanctifies an act before God or turn them into victims in the eyes of God.
The situation I am thinking of is like that of an adulterous couple who, in the midst of making love, gets killed by a ceiling fan falling down on them. Granted that no one is executed for adultery nowadays, but there wouldn’t be much outpouring of sympathy or empathy or whatever for them. They were caught committing a sin and, providentially, they got killed while doing it. For the sake of the embarrassed and confused widow or widower we wouldn’t want the press the point explicitly and spare him or her the shame, but what we wouldn’t be doing is weeping and moaning in solidarity with the adulterous couple who died in this unfortunate accident or speaking of them as victims. The priest conducting the funeral would be wise to merely confine his words to commending the dearly departed to the divine care and leave it at that. While we wouldn’t want to press the point of condemnation, we wouldn’t be standing with the adulterous couple either.
Likewise I simply do not understand the logic or reason for this rush to be more empathetic than thou or the mortal terror of the judgement of our pc peers for not being weepy enough. Honestly as far as the people pretending to be sensitive to the victims are concerned, humbug I say, humbug. You don’t know any of them and so you’re not being sensitive to anyone concretely affected by it but are merely engaging in piece of pretentious moral posturing before a virtual audience, in every sense of the word “virtual”.
Neither of course do I recommend any form of self-righteous triumphalism over the people who died in Orlando while revelling in their sin. Rather let us hear the words of our Saviour with regards a very similar tragic mass killing:
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.