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Where was God?

Uniting Church President Rev Gregor Henderson
Controversial Victorian Catch the Fire Ministries leader Pastor Danny Nalliah said he was not surprised by the Victorian bush fires following a dream he had last October relating to consequences of the abortion laws passed in Victoria.

"In my dream I saw fire everywhere with flames burning very high and uncontrollably.

“With this I woke up from my dream with the interpretation as the following words came to me in a flash from the Spirit of God.

"That his conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb.”

Mr Nalliah said Victorians could stop the fires if they repent the passing of the decriminalization of abortion laws of Victoria.

Uniting Church President Rev Gregor Henderson said now is not the time to lay blame and expressed abhorrence towards any claim that the devastation caused by the Victorian bushfires was the caused by a vengeful God.

“The God we worship is a loving, peaceful God who is slow to anger and demonstrates forgiveness and love through Jesus Christ.

“To suggest that the loss of life from these bushfires is the reaction of God towards the Victorian people for decisions made by Government is not only ludicrous, it misapprehends the nature of God, the giver of life.

“God is not punishing the people of Victoria, so many of whom lost their lives, and so many more who are working day and night to fight fires, support the victims, and provide food, clothing and shelter.

“God is, in fact, there with the people, in the middle of their suffering; God is made known through the love that is extended to those most in need.”

Mr Henderson said that in the weeks and months to come, it would be vital for the Australian community, including churches and other faith groups, to continue to band together to support the people of Victoria, offering comfort, service and love.

“It is through the generosity of organisations and individuals who are working hard to protect and care for the many victims of this devastating event that we see God at work.

“We believe that God embraces all those who are suffering and those working to alleviate such suffering, with love and peace.”

Catch the Fire Ministries hold annual Australia Day prayer rallies in Melbourne which have been supported by former Prime Minister John Howard and Liberal politician Peter Costello.

Mr Costello delivered a televised address to CTFM’s 2009 Australia Day prayer meeting but has labelled Mr Nalliah’s abortion claims as indecent.

"To link the death and the suffering of bushfire victims to other political events is appalling, heartless and wrong," he said.

In January Mr Nalliah said he hoped Mr Costello would lead the Liberal Party to victory at the next election after accusing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull of having anti-Christian agendas.

Mr Nalliah was the second candidate for the Family First Party on the Victorian Senate ticket at the 2004 when now Senator Steve Fielding was elected.

Senator Fielding has rebuked Nalliah saying his comments are an insult to the families who perished in the Victorian bushfires and their grieving friends and families.

Mr Nalliah’s February reporting of his October dream was selective and he only reported the fire aspect of his prophesy conveniently neglecting to mention his original dream had commenced with a “man firing randomly with a weapon at people on the streets and many were falling dead.”

Religion reporter for The Age newspaper Barney Zwartz said it was colossal arrogance to presume to speak for God in this way.

“As a young Christian exploring the denominations, I met many Pentecostals who claimed to prophesy ("Thus saith the Lord …") and was struck by how unfailingly God’s word through them precisely mirrored their own obsessions,” Swartz wrote.

“I don’t doubt Danny Nalliah is sincerely disturbed by the Victorian abortion law. I don’t even doubt he means well. I do very much doubt that his vision is from God.”

Photo : Uniting Church President Rev Gregor Henderson