what does a modern day sign from God look like?

We had tornados here in the Twin Cities yesterday, including one that touched down no more than 3 blocks from where I worked in downtown Minneapolis.  Alhamdulilah, the storm only caused some damage, a few injuries and no deaths.

The downtown tornado hit the Minneapolis Convention center.  Meh, no big deal right?  Ah, but the convention goers that day were the ELCA general assembly who were just about to consider church doctrine on homosexuality.

Now, I tend to be live and let live on the whole homosexuality/gay marriage thing here in the US.  So long as the government allows me to practice my religion fully, I don’t see why I should have to impede on others who do not share my religious perspective (coincidentally, I just listened to this piece on my ipod today, very interesting).

Of course, each religious organization can make decisions as they see fit.  But doesn’t it seem kind of like a sign from above that this would happen right before it was debated?

Two close calls marked the third day of the General Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on Wednesday. The nearly 2,000 Lutherans, media and activists assembled at the Minneapolis Convention Center took cover as a tornado nipped one side of the building and damaged the steeple of a Lutheran church across the street. A short time later, the 1,014 voting members would pass a social statement relaxing church doctrine on homosexuality with a dramatic vote that was exactly a two-thirds majority. One vote against would have killed the measure.

“We trust the weather is not a commentary on our work,” said the Rev. Steven Loy, who was chairing the committee on the social statement.

The coincidence was not overlooked by those present:

Later some of us were discussing in the pressroom whether the Almighty had sent a tornado to send the Lutherans a message. After all, one of the reporters said, the ELCA endured an electrical storm during one of their previous conventions — where human sexuality was also on the table – in Orlando.And if God was speaking, was anyone listening?

Looks like I’m one of those wacky religious right nutso now for having this thought even cross my mind.

Of course, it could also just be that God is a Packers fan, and was expressing His displeasure at Brett Favre.


In the interest of full disclosure, I was an ELCA Lutheran prior to my christian deconversion, subsequent universalist religious wandering and eventual acceptance of Islam.


7 thoughts on “what does a modern day sign from God look like?

  1. I truly believe that God was expressing his displeasure at Favre. After all, they Packers have the Pope on their side:

    (maybe it was the chick in the cheesehead bra that was the Packers undoing?)

  2. Heh, I remember him. The pastor of our church as a child was a Texas transplant and *gulp* a Cowboys fan, but even he got into saying a blessing for the packers every sunday during football season.

  3. السلام عليكم

    Is it OK to express a sceptical view here? This was a case of someone else’s convention centre, which the ELCA had hired, suffering minor damage, not the earth opening up and swallowing the place and/or the attendees. Why is it that, every time there is a disaster, some religious people (not always Muslims) think they know exactly why it happened? 9/11 was a punishment for homosexuality, Katrina was a punishment for not supporting Israel enough or for the fact that there was to be a gay festival there, and the tsunami was a punishment for just not being Christian or whatever. Does anyone consider that these might be punishments for sins people don’t really think about, or warnings or signs, not necessarily linked to one church having a convention? Has anyone noted how many disasters hit the Episcopal church, which has a far more liberal position on homosexuality?

    A couple of weeks ago I found this list of blasphemous things that various famous people (half of them in Brazil, which probably shows were the list originates) had supposedly said about God or Jesus (peace be upon him) before meeting untimely deaths. One of them was John Lennon, who made his famous statement about being “more famous than Jesus” (‘alaihi as-salaam) in 1966, 14 years before he was murdered. The list also mixed up his quote with an equally ridiculous one from Noel or Liam Gallagher some 30 years later. Another was Marilyn Monroe who apparently sent Billy Graham packing a week before she died.

    I’m not saying these things don’t happen sometimes, and for those reasons, but nobody knows why someone died other than that it was written.

  4. wa alaikum assalam,

    Of course, so long as people remain polite, there’s no fault in disagreement.

    I tend to think everything happens for a reason. I can’t say for sure what x, y or z is for, but we are suppose to reflect on Allah’s (swt) signs, and a storm certainly is one of them. If we can use a disaster as a chance to set ourselves back on the straight path, then some good can come from it.

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