Tuesday, 4 May 2010

There she blows again

Woke up this morning to the news that the volcano in Iceland has started spewing out ash again, resulting in the grounding of air traffic in Ireland. As a Manchester United fan Ivolcano’m used to occasional volcanic eruptions emanating from the bowels of Old Trafford and the cause can usually be traced to Sir Alex Ferguson. However, there is much speculation as to the cause of the Icelandic volcano’s awakening.

There is an explanation doing the rounds on Twitter courtesy of Armando Iannucci (@AIannucci) and others who have observed:

Every time David Cameron looks like he might win, the volcano gets angry....Just saying.

More seriously comes the pronouncement of Pastor John Hagee, of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, that the cause of the eruption is Britain breaking God’s covenant. Hagee has noticed that the day after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the Western Wall could not be used in Israeli tourism adverts because it is considered occupied territory, the volcano blew, shutting down Britain’s economy in one day. He went on to say:

That's coincidence, like the flood was a coincidence. That's coincidence, like the Red Sea was coincidence. That's coincidence, like the earthquake and the Resurrection was coincidence.

Hagee was speaking in the Lancaster County Convention Centre on Thursday 22nd April to an audience of some 3,200 people attending his John Hagee Ministries’ Rally and Prophecy Seminar. Meanwhile, a group of local residents were outside the rally seeking to draw attention to the plight of Palestinian Christians. One of the residents commented:

We have Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East that are encouraging us to take their concerns seriously. They are suffering a lot in the occupation.

Now a few things occur to me on reading about Hagee’s prophetic insights. Firstly, as far as I am aware the British economy didn’t shut down thanks to the volcano; aircraft were prevented from flying for a few days, but the banks were open, the stock market continued trading and I was able to do my shopping. Yes, some holiday makers and business people had their travel plans interrupted, but many others were rejoicing in the absence of aircraft noise. Secondly, a volcano seems a pretty poor way of dispensing judgement since most of northern Europe’s airspace was shut down while playing host to the ash clouds. Thirdly, what has Ireland been up to, given that they have been given another dose of the volcanic punishment?

I hadn’t heard of John Hagee before so I had a quick look at his website which proclaims the following mission statement: The mission of John Hagee Ministries is to aggressively fulfill the commission that Jesus Christ gave to his followers to go into the world and make disciples of all people. Well I’ve gone back to my New Testament and I’ve hunted through the pages, particularly the Great Commission from Matthew 28:16-20, and I can’t find Jesus telling us to ‘aggressively’ do anything in his name. Not surprising really given that Jesus’ modus operandi was to love his enemies and to bless those who persecuted him.

I don’t know why the volcano blew its top over the last few days; I’m attracted by the Cameron theory but confess I never did pay much attention during geography and science at school. However, I do know enough about theology to know when someone is spouting nonsense.


Anonymous said...

Being a bookseller, I have heard of Hagee. Don't stock his books, mind, just order them on request. Nutjob, 100% certifiable.

Kevin Lewis said...

Great post, very balanced summary of the loony fringe and how they pounce on these events when it suits them. And the stuff you wrote about Hagee. Ha ha...