Sheep and goats

**UPDATED BELOW**

God's ways are a mystery, unless you're gay:

HAGEE: Well, I’m not saying it’s a result of sin, I’m saying it’s a result of God’s permissible will. You cannot say that everything on the Earth that happens is sin. It was carried in a newspaper that there was going to be a massive homosexual rally there the following Monday. Ah, but and I believe that homosexual marriage is sin and I believe that it’s an abomination because Moses said it was. But it is wrong to say that every natural disaster is the result of sin. It is a result of God’s permissive will, but who no man on Earth knows the mind of God…

PRAGER: Right, but in the case, did NPR get, is this quote correct though that in the case of New Orleans you do feel it was sin?

HAGEE: In the case of New Orleans, their plan to have that homosexual rally was sin. But it never happened. The rally never happened.

PRAGER: No, I understand.

HAGEE: It was scheduled that Monday.

PRAGER: No, I’m only trying to understand that in the case of New Orleans, you do feel that God’s hand was in it because of a sinful city?

HAGEE: That it was a city that was planning a sinful conduct, yes.

PRAGER: Ok, so that is the only I think, frankly, it’s the only one they can get you on because people don’t like to hear that sort of thing. But even so, I think that, I’ve always given religious people leeway, religious leaders on saying that we ourselves have sinned, and God has his own judgments. I mean the prophets used to do that, so that’s you know, that’s up to anybody to interpret the way they want. I mean, when the left says that we sin against the environment and we end up getting x or y, nobody says that that’s illegitimate.

HAGEE: Well, I know that in our society, that is what I call politically correct, no one likes to hear that there is a God who has the power to correct man for his behavior that does not fall within the parameters of the word of God. That’s why secular humanists hate the bible because it gives a definite standard of right and wrong. There’s light and darkness, there’s wheat and pears, there’s sheep and goats. You can’t be all things to all people. You either do live by the word of God or you don’t live by the word of God. And there’s nothing in between. And…and our secular permissive society, that’s just a hateful idea.

PRAGER: Alright, I’m going to let you go, but…and I’m going to take calls that are coming in on this.

So, everything is a result of God's permissive will (God knowingly lets it happen), yet no man on earth knows the mind of God.  Seems every man on earth knows plenty: what happens is what God meant to happen.  It seems if you're going to claim you can't know the mind of God, you're going to have to claim that you can't know the mind of God–and when it comes to claims about the mind of God, you'll sit respectfully silent.  There's sheep, after all, and there's goats.  To some secular humanists this logically permissive rhetoric is just hateful.

**UPDATE (7PM)**

No doubt reeling from The Non Sequitur's penetrating analysis, Pastor Hagee has retracted his comments about Hurricane Katrina.  Good for him.  But it certainly took him a while.

“As a believing Christian, I see the hand of God in everything that happens here on earth, both the blessings and the curses,” Hagee said in a statement issued through his public relations firm. “But ultimately neither I nor any other person can know the mind of God concerning Hurricane Katrina. I should not have suggested otherwise. No matter what the cause of the storm, my heart goes out to all who suffered in this terrible tragedy. There but for the grace of God go any one of us.

We'll be looking to see if he retracts his other mind of God comments.

14 thoughts on “Sheep and goats”

  1. ” ‘There are plenty of good reasons for fighting,’ I said, ‘but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. Where’s evil? It’s that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. . . . Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.”
    –Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

  2. You’re missing the point here. Hagee’s white. It’s ok.

    “when the left says that we sin against the environment and we end up getting x or y, nobody says that thats illegitimate.”

    Man, that’s a good one.

  3. The skeletal structures of sheep and goats are virtually indistinguishable, even to zoologists. Just saying…

  4. SteveG, McCain does not go every Sunday to hear Hagee. He does not bring his kids to learn from him every time he has a chance. McCain never claimed that Hagee is like a father to him.
    jcasey, I will not assume anything, and I’ll ask you a quick question: which in your opinion is a stronger connection: McCain-Hagee or Obama-Wright? Which, if any, of them are problematic? I’m asking this because of the link you offer.

  5. Hagee is by far the worse bigot, and is morally reprehensible. Wright is not, though one might disagree with some of his claims about race. As Phil pointed out to me earlier this week, Wright is a distinguished veteran and former medic to LBJ, and Wright has legitimate grievances against the political and corporate elite that dominate this country. Hagee hates queers. One is not the same as the other.

  6. BN,

    The link leads you to the text. That’s it. But then again, McCain has not “renounced” and “rejected” Hagee, so that connection would seem to be stronger.

    Please don’t distract the conversation, however, from the point of the post.

  7. jcasey, I thought that SteveG comment was inappropriate, but I guess since you like Obama so much it’s acceptable.

  8. The little “sin against the environment” part is particularly weak. Category mistake!

  9. BN,

    There’s a difference between tangential observations and trollish behavior. And that has nothing to do with whether I’ve got a crush on Obama.

  10. “It seems if you’re going to claim you can’t know the mind of God, you’re going to have to claim that you can’t know the mind of Godand when it comes to claims about the mind of God, you’ll sit respectfully silent. There’s sheep, after all, and there’s goats. To some secular humanists this logically permissive rhetoric is just hateful. ”

    Without sanctioning his interpretation, that doesn’t sit too well with me, jcasey. Knowing the mind of God suggests a certain perfect understanding of his motivations and actions. What he has, or pupports to possess, is a text, thought to be divinly inspired that can provide insight into the mind of God. Certainly, this is a far cry from the sort of ‘knowing’ that Hagee suggests in this piece. Homosexuality is forbbiden in several parts of the Bible. Could that not be understood taken to be a reflection of God’s mind on the subject?

  11. Steve–

    That interpretation seems not unreasonable to me. But then again, if one grants (a) the perfect omnipotence of God and (b) the inscrutability of God’s mind, then there does seem to be somewhat of an issue. For we do know that everything that happened is what God wanted to happen–so we know that much. But the inscrutability thesis probably insists that we don’t know anything beyond that. We might speculate, but anything that takes us beyond the requirements of (a) would seem to be unwarranted. Hagee, it seems, wants to play on the ambiguity you mention (and rightly point out to me). Thanks.

  12. Augustine will say that God is the “cause of all causes, although not of all choices”. Isn’t Hagee just saying that the answer to why natural disasters happen in general is a mystery? He’s arguing that in some cases, God has revealed why they occur (Sodom and Gomorrah). The key word is “revealed”. God’s mind is inscrutable, however, if He revealed Himself, we can know in part. Now, it’s still a stretch for him to claim for sure that New Orleans was punished like Sodom and Gomorrah. But, if he would say that it’s possible, not certain, I think it might sound reasonable.

  13. BN, would it be reasonable for me to float the idea, the possibility, that God was thinking “Damn America!” as the planes crashed into the towers?
    Perhaps the nation committed acts even more grievous in His eyes than gay parade planning…After all, we don’t know, right?

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