Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Tsunami and prophecy

I've have nothing much to say about the tsunami itself, or the suffering it caused: nothing that others haven't already said, and often said better. The sufferers and the helpers are in my prayers.

I'm not happy with what I saw of the TV reporting of it: reporters had no knowledge of history, and I didn't see any before/after satellite shots until several days later, though I'd bet Defense had some in hand within 24 hours.

I'm sad to see the civil wars shining through, and the paranoia and the aid scammers (The UN appears in that rogue's gallery: at last report {yesterday} they'd delivered press releases and claimed credit for other folk's work, but delivered nothing to the victims).

I'm very unhappy with the amateur prophets (Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Christian) busy explaining how this was God's judgment on the infidels/straying. What credentials do they display to show us that they're the voice of God explaining why He's just brought disaster?

From Deut 18:18-22 I gather that it is legitimate to demand credentials: in this case that the would-be prophet must predict something that actually happens. The other requirement is orthodoxy, or to put it another way, consistency with already verified revelation. (And so I ignore Buddhist, Muslim, and Hindu "prophets" right off the bat. And people who announce special prophecies from Mary. Is this narrow-minded of me? Tough.)

This is not to say that I refuse to listen to what people have to say, or that I'm unwilling to agree with as much as I honestly can.

Take another example. Falwell and Robinson passed up a great opportunity to shut up back on September 13, 2001. While they were accurate enough in recognizing evil, they forgot that God's judgments are His own, and they presumptuously claimed to know what God was doing. Without credentials. The usual suspects started howling about "hate speech," missing the point entirely. "Hate speech" of this kind is merely a side-effect of the more heinous offense of false prophecy. As it is in Sri Lanka and Indonesia right now.

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