Monday, October 08, 2007

Is This Man God's Preferred PM?

Danny Nalliah of Catch the Fire Ministries has recently released a "prophecy" claiming that God told him to go and anoint Peter Costello as Australia's future prime Minister. I kid thee not. Read the "prophecy" at Crikey.com. Last time I looked we went to Holy Scripture for guidance and not to extra-biblical revelation. Danny Nalliah likens himself to the biblical Samuel anointing the next king of Israel. Give me a break! He claims, "I will boldly declare that Prime Minister John Howard will be re-elected in the November election (if the Body of Christ unites in prayer and action) and pass the leadership onto Peter Costello sometime after." Notice the way he worms out of the implications of his prophecy NOT coming to pass (which by Old Testament standards would be his being stoned to death). It is only "if the Body of Christ unites in prayer and action" that the prophecy will come to pass! So in the end it is all about Pelagian self effort. Apparently we must "be willing to pay the price to see Australia come back to Jesus." Come on folks, we can do it if we just get together, pray hard enough and vote Liberal!

Is it the supposedly "Judeo-Christian values" of the Liberal Party that are behind our involvement in the war in Iraq which has seen conservatively 70-80,000 innocent civilians killed? We certainly should support the right to life of unborn children but what about the right to life of living children in Iraq and Afghanistan? Are they of less value? More die every day and the coalition government refuses to withdraw the involvement of our troops. Why do we persist in thinking that "Judeo-Christian values" only relate to matters of personal morality? To state that 60-70% of Labor Party members hold to "totally anti-Christian, extreme left wing ideologies" is outrageous. What planet does this guy live on? Is he saying they're all Communists? The Labor Party is about as centre-right as any party can be without being the Liberal Party!

As for Labor "supporting homosexuals" what are we supposed to do? Hate them? Marginalise them? Why shouldn't gay people have the same civil rights as other people? Perhaps we should put them all in special enclosures or make them wear a little symbol so we can identify them and single them out for special treatment. Rudd has made it clear that under a Labor government there will be no change to the Marriage Act that defines legal marriage as a union between one man and one woman for life. The Christian community does not believe that homosexual practice is in keeping with Christian moral and ethical teaching. That is our affair, and we have our own house to keep in order, but we can't enforce that teaching on the general population, any more than we can make it a law that all Australian citizens must attend church! Let's face it friends, we live in a liberal democracy, not a theocracy or a Puritan commonwealth!

I'm prepared to go on record to say that, in spite of Pastor Nalliah's "prophetic word," I for one will not be voting Liberal in the federal election and I certainly will not be spiritually blackmailed into doing so by a self appointed prophet. I cannot vote for a government that supports an unjust war, that refuses to engage in a genuine act of reconciliation with indigenous Australians, that places economic prosperity ahead of justice, and imprisons refugees in contravention of international law, all of which are contrary to "Judeo-Christian values."

For those who think I am slandering Pastor Danny with this post, you need to know that I have already made all of these comments on his website.

6 comments:

anniemareerose said...

given that centuries accepted prophets such as Hosea, Amos and Daniel's appointment by God have been written down in the bible we today, now also accept this to be true... given that a bible is not being written continuously this very day, and given that i assume we both agree that God is NOT dead, by claiming that Danny Nahlia, or any other person claiming to be a prophet are self appointing, are you not then writing off the mysterious and extremo supernatural being we so readily profess to be alive and well today as not being a participant in humanity in the same ways he has previously... Does not God remain true to His character. perhaps he just got boreddd of speaking though prophets then... i dont believe so.

anddd, given that I recall certain words exiting your mouth that spoke of preaching being the voice of God speaking prophetically today, i then feel intrigued for a definition of preaching in your mind's eye. would you consider danny nahlia a preacher?

Glen O'Brien said...

In preaching God speaks through a human voice under the anointing of the Spirit as a biblical passage is expounded. If a preacher were to say "vote Liberal because God told you to" I would say that was an illegitimate use of power. No claim is made in preaching that everything spoken is directly from God with canonical authority. The Old (and New) Testament prophets spoke prior to the completion of the canonical Scriptures. Now that we have those scriptures there is no need for extra biblical revelation. A "prophet" cannot tell us anything we don't already know from reading the Scriptures. What God has spoken in Jesus Christ is his final word to us (Hebrews 1). If you are interested in further discussion on prophecy see elsewhere on this blog under the "prophecy" tag.

Ross McPhee said...

Them's harsh words, Glen. I received an email containing Danny Nalliah's prophecy with strict instructions not to circulate it outside Christian circles, so I wonder how the mainstream media got a hold of it?

We don't want the American situation here, where pastors actually use the pulpit to tell their congregations how to vote, or proof text Scripture in support of a given party's election platform, although I wonder how far off we are from that happening in Australia.

Glen O'Brien said...

Yes Ross, I also noted that the "prophecy" called for a press embargo. How surprised was I then to see that Pastor Nalliah had posted it on Crikey.com which is an online alternative news service covering the lead up to the federal election! He must have lifted his embargo I guess. When I first received it in an email I just ignored it. My response was sparked off by the fact that it was sent to all of our Wesleyan pastors in the Southern District.

James Garth said...

A thought provoking post. When one claims to be speaking prophetically in God's name, this is an extremely serious matter. I do believe it happens today, but I also believe there is a whole lot of faking going on, which dilutes the efficacy of the genuine manifestations of prophecy that do occur.

As I see it; prophecies tend to fall into one of two broad categories: The first is predictive prophecy (eg. Isiah's prophecy concerning Cyrus, or Daniel's seventy weeks, etc.). The second is prophecy which involves 'speaking truth' into someone's life, for the purposes of encouragement, calling to repentance, providing divine instruction, and so forth.

To me, Pastor Nalliah's use of weasel words like 'such-and-such will come to pass IF we unite and pray' seem to me to indicate that he is at some level slightly unsure of the outcome of the election himself, and needs to hedge his bets 'just in case' the prophecy - which he seems so certain of - doesn't come true in the end. Therefore, to me, his remarks do not carry a 'thus saith the Lord' seal of authenticity, and his weasel words negate any claim that this is a predictive prophecy.

Alright then, what about the second category? Is God giving Pastor Nalliah an insight that could be used to encourage, admonish or instruct Peter Costello himself?

Well, if that's the case, then to me it seems to be highly inappropriate from a pastoral view to circulate this to anyone beyond Mr.Costello himself.

At best this may be political meddling (ironically, both Howard and Rudd agreed at the ACL debate that neither party has a monopoly on God), but at worst I believe Pastor Nalliah risks using God's name in vain, something we should all be extremely wary of.

I await the outcome of the election with great interest, and will be watching the Catch the Fires website closely should Rudd be re-elected, to see if those 'weasel words' end up getting invoked after all.

James Garth said...

Well, it looks like Rudd has been elected in a landslide. Perhaps it's time to head over to Catch the Fire's website to see if Pastor Nalliah can muster a humble response to his erroneous prophecy. Perhaps it is just as well that he had those 'weasel words' up his sleeve...

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