John Piper, pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, wrote a blog post today interpreting a recent tornado in Minneapolis as a sign that Jesus Christ, who "controls the wind, including all tornados," sent down a twister because the Lutheran Church is considering lifting restrictions on gay clergy at a convention there this week.
The tornado damaged portions of the convention center where the Lutherans are meeting as well as the steeple of the Central Lutheran Church.
Concludes Piper: "The tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin. Turn from the promotion of behaviors that lead to destruction. Reaffirm the great Lutheran heritage of allegiance to the truth and authority of Scripture. Turn back from distorting the grace of God into sensuality. Rejoice in the pardon of the cross of Christ and its power to transform left and right wing sinners."
Shortly after the storm hit, the 1,014 Lutherans passed a social statement by a one vote margin:
"The social statement is a long document that essentially says that the church will agree to disagree on the issue of same-sex relationships, but will neither punish congregations that decide to bless such relationships nor force congregations that reject blessing same-sex couples. 'This church also acknowledges that consensus does not exist concerning how to regard same-gender committed relationships, even after many years of thoughtful, respectful, and faithful study and conversation,' the statement says in part. “'We do not have agreement on whether this church should honor these relationships, uplift, shelter and protect them, or on precisely how it is appropriate to do so.' But LGBT Lutherans are hailing the vote, which came in at 676 to 338, exactly the 66.67 percent margin needed."