Acts of Nature

Acts of Nature

Hurricanes, eclipses, tornadoes, lightning, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, landslides, droughts, blizzards and floods are all acts of nature. We understand scientifically how they occur and in some instances we can even predict when they will occur. In most cases, we have developed early warning systems to help us prepare for the chaos that results when one of these natural disasters impacts the world around us. Hundreds and thousands of years ago, such natural events were believed to be the activity of the gods, or as Christians have claimed, acts of God. According to most insurance companies, certain of these natural disasters are uninsurable as acts of God, as if God is still deliberately manipulating the physical world. The Bible records such events with vivid images in prose and poetry: blood moons, eclipses, columns of fire and smoke.

About the eclipse which occurred last Monday, it was total (almost) and we knew it was coming. We know that another one will happen in 2024. Science can predict these occurrences with a high level of accuracy. So imagine my surprise when I saw that Jim Bakker had a totally different take on the event. I’m speaking of the former televangelist who with his then wife, Tammy Faye, hosted the PTL Club and later the Jim Bakker show. He preached a Gospel of Prosperity not unlike that proclaimed by Joel Osteen. He also founded Heritage USA and Heritage Village Church before fading from prominence.

Mr. Bakker was convicted of numerous counts of mail fraud totaling $158 million dollars and served eight years in prison for those and other crimes. During his incarceration, God told him of the coming nuclear Apocalypse and the fallout from the Eclipse. Upon release he founded Morningside Church and Community, remarried and established the Jim Bakker Show. As a part of their preparation for the coming end of the world, he and Lori sell freeze dried food packets with a 30 year shelf life so their followers will survive the nuclear winter. I am not one to say he could not have received word from God about this coming nightmare, but I will say this: the impact of the nuclear winter following a nuclear apocalypse will not be over in a mere 30 years. I trust science and scientists over self-proclaimed religious fanatics. However, on Monday, during the coverage of the eclipse, Mr. Bakker resurfaced, proclaiming that the eclipse was God’s judgment on the past administration of the United States. Yes, really he did! Never mind that the eclipse passed through other countries and has been expected for YEARS.

We live in a time where facts, science and truth are often scoffed at and even discounted because of religious intolerance, ideological rigidity and just plain greed, a desire for power and disdain for other humans. Sadly, some will follow the darkest visions of the future instead of looking to and working toward a future which reflects a hopeful future for all of God’s children!