Pastor Danny Exceeding his Spiritual Remit Again
With the narrow Labour win confirming Julia Gillard as Australia’s first woman Prime Minister, finally and thankfully, Danny Nalliah has been caught out. By now notorious for his dreams, especially of '09’s forest fires declared to be divine judgement for permitting abortion in Victoria, Nalliah, a one man Aussie version of the American Right with dramatic visionary input, had a vision of “godless” Gillard ceding defeat before media. He has also been telling people to pray she would lose this week and has been wrong. It wouldn’t be surprising if Nalliah will now declare the Victorian floods are a judgment for endorsing Gillard and that Christians should be repenting they didn’t pray hard enough to fulfill his dream which expressed less prophecy than God’choice and intention. There are interesting questions here re prophecy (does it exist?) and divine will (can it be known?).
Personally I am delighted with today’s close result which is likely to force Australia into a more consensus politics and a whole raft of reforms the Independents have successfully bargained for. I also feel enormous relief and justification as someone who myself lays some claim to prophetic insight and had reasons to doubt Nalliah’s dream as soon as I read it. Recently recovering from the shock of a disturbing prophetic dream that proved true (but which I didn’t rush to the press or even my Blog to discuss though it is covered in a new book I’m editing) I believed God had told me all one needed to know the night before the election.
DANNY NALLIAH, A HEALER WHO SHOULD GO EASY ON PROPHECY
But I’ll say first, despite his eccentric streak, unlike some people I don’t consider Danny Nalliah bad or mad. He is well intentioned in his way and I think he has real gifts for especially healing. I also believe he did Australians a good turn challenging anti-vilification laws for which he suffered a long drawn out court case defending his right to free speech as regards ability to criticize Islam. But when it comes to prophecy, which is supposed to be gift and a vocation, the healer and rights campaigner exceeds his remit and brings himself and religion into disrepute.
Yet even as Nalliah rushes in where angels might fear to tread, he is slightly more correct than church leaders who currently have nothing more "prophetic" to say to their congregations on the fate of nations and leaders than that atheists can be good persons. That’s hardly the point, especially if there is any kind of divine fate, will or “choice” at all involved in leadership - a tricky subject raising questions about the absolute as opposed to merely permissive will of God. Conservatives like Nalliah believe God always has a “choice” for leadership we should discern and pursue. The belief ignores that while undeniably God is depicted as choosing such as King Saul - who serves God’s purpose of driving back Philistines but is otherwise useless - he is “chosen” only after Yahweh has democratically conceded to Israel’s decision to have the monarchy God doesn’t want. Also Israel is covenanted to God and other nations aren’t.
On August 31st Danny Nalliah put out a message that in a dream he had seen Ms Gillard conceding defeat. The message was meant to be definitive as it was accompanied with a list of other supposedly true dreams - we were informed, once again, he had foreseen the Victorian bushfires – he left out how he had seen prior shooting mayhem in central Melbourne that never occurred. I have questions about one or two other vision claims but we can pass over that.
A couple of days later Nalliah was not quite so convinced by his dream as not to issue another missive telling the faithfu how he had felt physically sick and been up half the night beseeching God to prevent the horror of a Labor/Green alliance giving Australia into the hands of a sinful atheist and “a practicing homosexual” (Bob Brown). He wanted fasting and prayer to prevent this disaster and on the basis that what we bind on earth can be bound in heaven (Matt 16:19). He even perceived the political situation as direly similar to when (the supposedly Christian) Bush narrowly beat the New Age Gore in Florida, through the power of prayer allegedly. (As it was a matter of narrowly disputed vote count this might have been like asking God to cheat numbers in a Republican interest).
NALLIAH TRYING TO BIND AND LOOSE EVENTS
Nalliah’s position makes no sense. If you believe that anything you bind on earth can be bound in heaven by prayer, how and why did early Christians suffer the evil and persecuting emperors St Paul so controversially said must be accepted from God as part of the authority that is his will? If your stomach is too weak to accept an atheist and “a practicing homosexual” in power, how would you manage emperors at orgies or Christian kings throughout western history openly living with mistresses?
While obviously God would not approve the likes of Nero, God is still understood to support organization over anarchy (which even the imperial systems can represent) and democracy or at least what reflects the people’s mind because:
a) as per Ps 115:16 “The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to human beings”. So humans must make their choices and,
b) because as per Mk 12:17 we are supposed to accept the division of church and state basic to democracy and thus render to Caesar what’s his and to God what’s God’s.
Granted this might make it seem God has no will as regards rulers (unless for covenanted Israel) or that all things can’t work together for good as St Paul insists (Rom 8:28). But this is to be unaware how things may always be working sooner or later for God’s plan as indicated presently. As to believers “binding” and “loosing” things, this has more to do with healing and exorcism. It’s not carte blanche to organize national politics for unbelievers. What Nalliah believes can be claimed for nations is based on OT statements made in the context of Israel being covenanted to God in a way Australia isn’t (even if some people do believe Australia is or should be “the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit”). If Nalliah thinks otherwise then it’s close to the Dominionist heresy of some American churches which assumes Christ can’t return until all nations are under laws instituted by a politicized Christianity.
With and without visions, Nalliah regularly treats current party politics as though a presidential race built on personalities - “ungodly” Gillard, versus “godly” Abbot - not whole parties with their mixture or believers and unbelievers. Like Abbott, he also regards politics as confrontational, not realizing what Australia needs and which the present crisis may help precipitate, is a more consensual, flexible system.
GOD AND GODLY POLICIES FOR AUSTRALIA
Granted there are policies to consider and – marginally - the Coalition has represented more specifically Christian positions especially re chaplaincy for schools and prayers in parliament. But not only did Gillard’s atheism concede to chaplaincy, no matter how important such matters regarding faith might be, other matters like reform of health care, hospitals and schools, issues from homelessness to broadband do count. Also it was Labour not the Coalition that said the necessary “Sorry” to Aboriginals. It hardly serves God if one arrives at the equivalent of a “Tory party at prayer” situation, good for organized religion but little otherwise than big business or the cities. Though Christ is neither left nor right, a parable like the workers in the vineyard ( Matt 20:1-`16 ) is basically socialist.
I don’t say that as a committed socialist – I tend to be a pragmatic swinging voter -and in the recent difficult poll have suspected with the eccentric Bob Katter the decision may be between “the lesser of two evils”. And I do think the Left wastes money. The fact remains the Coalition has been very conservative by modern standards. The regions have been ignored, welfare has been below European standards under the Coalition, higher education half killed off under it – the religious studies dept where I obtained my doctorate and which was once deemed one of the best in the world, now shares its reduced curriculum with several other depts due to radical cuts. The mind of the people, if one thinks it counts for anything, was not being expressed on many things under the Coalition. That includes gay marriage on which the Greens may impel Labour to a conscience vote.
This leads me to mention three subjects to which Nalliah and conservatives are hysterically opposed but on which it could be that they don’t have the mind of God at all.
1). If they increase electricity charges by four, I agree the Greens would be unmentionable, but for the Christian Right and Nalliah are unmentionable for other reasons. They regard the Australian version of Green as controversially godless which it seems to be (though the movement itself was founded in Canada by a Quaker) but we need to recall that saving the threatened Barrier Reef is a policy priority for Greens. Supposing it were an important issue for God? As mentioned in my Cosmic Father, I had been shocked to be told by God to pray for the seas. It has taken the Gulf oil disaster for anything like that idea to cross most Christian minds.
2). Gay Marriage. “Godless” Gillard doesn’t support it, but may be forced to a conscience vote by the Greens. Regardless of various contemporary theological and psychological perspectives on the gay subject, if one were to argue solely within Nalliah’s framework, one can well ask what if God might actually want gay marriage passed? Married gays are less likely to be involved in unsafe sex. God doesn’t want gays dead of AIDS; the longer they live the more time to change their ways and beliefs. Health and soul surely count for more than the formality of whether marriage belongs solely to straights or not. And Jesus’ bride, the Church, is composed of both sexes. If Nalliah can’t and won’t see that simple point, then perhaps privately he’s like the Ugandan churches that want gays jailed or executed under the law. Like many religious conservatives I doubt Nalliah is completely open about his position on this subject or just doesn’t know what it is but has knee-jerk reactions anyway. Just to see Bob Brown embracing (not even kissing) his partner made Nalliah feel ill and rushing to God in distressed prayer. Ever heard of homophobia?
3) Abortion. Nalliah’s position is the Catholic one - it’s all always wrong. Doubtless there’s too much of it and late term abortion will always be controversial, but the negative position doesn’t enjoy the unanimous agreement of even early Christians. Tertullian believed the child must be sacrificed to save the mother’s life. (One of a list of reasons writer Anne Rice recently rejected Christianity was after a Catholic nurse in Arizona was excommunicated for recommending abortion to save a mother’s life). Augustine refused to say early stage abortion was murder. It is this intransigent refusal to countenance any grounds for abortion, and the indifference to the often difficult situations into which doctors are put – would Nalliah like doctors fined and imprisoned in Victoria for using their discrimination? – that has put Christians outside the pale in most people’s discussion of this subject and been a pretext for secularism to argue for abortion on almost any grounds.
DID GOD WILL “GODLESS” GILLARD’S ELECTION WIN?
Can we hope to know God’s will in these matters? Would God, contrary to Nalliah’s assumptions, “choose” an atheist and should we? The answer is a provisional yes, it’s perfectly possible.
First, let’s remember God does as he wills for his purposes and “even the wrath of man will praise you” (Ps 76:10). Without compromising human will God can oversee events in a way that will assist the larger picture in the long run. There is some scope for individuals to do wrong and make evil choices, but they cannot fully go against the tides which will force correction later if not sooner. Ecclesiastes famously writes of a time to break down and a time to build up, to plant and to pluck up. (Ecc 3) What does this and more of such statements signify? It means there is a hidden cyclical factor which the rabbis knew of and it’s the cycles of time and astrology that religious conservatives reject as the abomination of divination Jews don’t understand it to be. It’s a reason astrology could feature in even Christ’s birth. I have often said that Christian prophecy and prophets could well be checked for probability and accuracy of claim against it. The more egregious errors could be avoided by this means.
The fact is Australia is in a cycle which requires it to change and what is now happening will help propel it towards that. Gillard herself was always going to make it. I will concede that I wouldn’t have cared to forecast it, astrologically at least, before last weekend when finally I discovered Gillard’s birth time and even then it was still difficult because we didn’t know Abbott’s to make comparison. However, when I saw that tomorrow’s lunation would be conjuncting Gillard’s Midheaven (her career/destiny) it seemed sufficiently unlikely she would lose for me to start writing this article ahead of the announcement. Now that I know the result and its timing and can see the full birth pattern, it is devastating just how fated transits and Gillard’s pattern are for her stepping into history. She was always fated to win. It is most unlikely Danny Nalliah or anyone’s interventions would not have stopped it and Abbott was always fated to lose too. The prior eclipse, always a good gauge, had been negative to his pattern.
There is much more one could say about these patterns, some of it quite technical, but my main religious point is that these tides and cycles reflect God’s will. They exist and can be traced because they parallel God’s will. Elections have never much concerned me religiously or in any other way, but this election was confusing, tightly fought and potentially historic, so that for once on the night before polling I put it before God, trying to clear my own mind. I still remember the strange sense of relief and wonderful clarity that overcame me when the message I received was simply to pray that Julia Gillard would “make the right decisions”. It wasn’t a forecast, but it might as well have been so because if it was decisions she has had to make and will be having to make and they will be difficult ones, so I did suspect I had been told the answer. Why would her decision-making matter if she would shortly lose? Even if she retired tomorrow or the consensus won't work already she has made many decisions with the Independents which will help change politics here and redirect some needed attention towards regional Australia.
We need to remember that Christians are told to pray for those in high positions (1 Tim 2:2). That is the task under any circumstances. Trying to influence voter patterns by prayer is dubious and if you think that kind of thing is right, then perhaps you will be rewarded with false visions.
I hope this election is a wake up call to Danny Nalliah who is not a person easily persuaded from his position on anything. I have several times written without response from him or his secretary and as this included paragraphs in a book of mine which mention him, clearly he is not a man to hear anything but what he wants. Contrary views come from the devil, I fancy. I shan’t be trying to contact him again. I just hope what he is gifted for is not damaged by his vainly getting into what and where he is not meant to be. I haven't made this an open letter but I would say: Leave it to others who may not have the spotlight you are given and possibly seek, but who now and again may know more.
PS. DANNY NALLIAH'S SEMI-RESPONSE TO ME
Following the election result Danny Nalliah put out an invitation to send "thoughtful" responses to the puzzle of his Gillard vision. (His own opinion is that he must still be correct, but that he got the timing wrong). Although I said I wouldn't be writing to DN again as he just won't reply, in the circumstances I did send the address of this site and article. Amazingly, within around 10 minutes of emailing it I actually received a reply, pointing me to all the positive responses to him on his site that would disagree with my position (People were indeed writing in to assure him he is inspired and must be right really).
If thoughtful responses were required then considered replies to them would be appropriate. It is impossible my article had been read, absorbed and replied to in such a brief interval. In fairness, since the article wasn't written for or to Ps Nalliah, the opening wasn't too flattering, but the rest was more fair and deserved his consideration. I imagine he read the opening lines and not desiring the negativity of criticism just dismissed it. This recalls to me some of the correspondence sent to this Blog about my false prophet articles. They mention prophets in California living in unreal worlds where their every word is hung upon and admired, every success built up, the failures ignored.
I still believe Nalliah has gifts, even if prophecy isn't their prime feature, so I just hope he won't now be spoiled by his followers turned from a pastor to an infallible guru buoyed up on an revivalist roll. It's also the fact that according to St Paul,(Rom 11:29)the gifts or God are irrevocable, and thus it is quite possible that even genuine divine gifts can continue to manifest even when the person has developed some wrong attitudes and policies in relation to them. The big problem with Danny Nalliah is he is narrowly opinionated on a whole slew of political and ethical issues and because God's gifts seem to accompany him (most recently the papers have reported he has raised a dead woman) followers feel obliged to imitate his every view, rather than seeking out the truth for themsleves.
Finally by a bit of Net research I now see Nalliah misforecast the 2007 election likewise, though this time blaming people for not praying enough to make the prophecy a certainty. See
However I also see there seems to be some kind of Toronto Blessing and similar connection where Nalliah's Catch the Fire ministries is concerned. That should make anyone suspicious of his gifts and just what he represents.