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20 Comments

  1. Steve Ferguson
    24 July 2014 @ 1:23 pm

    My prayers and the prayers of all Australians are with all the families that have been affected by this.  However, Netherlands was hit hardest (we Australians made up the second largest contingent of lives lost), and everyone is pretty angry and upset down here, so we can imagine the feelings in the Netherlands.  In my own city, we have two parents whose three children were travelling with their grandfather on MH17.

    I pray not for vengence but for justice.  The Australian Prime Minister has said some very blunt words to Putin, and whilst I am not normally a fan of his, in this moment I think he is representing the mood of our country well.  50 Australian Federal Police (FBI) are about to land at the crash site, as part of a multinational force, and my prayers are with them in the difficult task they have to perform in an ongoing war zone.

    We can all hope for the time when there will no longer be wars, where death itself will be defeated.

  2. Ella M
    26 July 2014 @ 12:48 am

        I am thankful Australia is doing something and speaking up. A great country!

    • Steve Ferguson
      26 July 2014 @ 12:55 am

      The Dutch rightly deserve most the credit.  There has been this amazing 'coalition of the grieving' formed between the countries who lost people, with major emphasis from Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia, and then supported by Germany, Indonesia, Britain and the USA. 

  3. cb25
    27 July 2014 @ 6:55 am

    There are senseless deaths happening around the world on a daily basis, but I have found this event one of the hardest to come to terms with. I find it hard to read the news reports without deep emotions kicking in. Every life a story, a family, a terrible loss. Almost too much to comprehend, and so many Aussies.

    My struggle with this was only made worse when I attended a church the Sabbath after the event and it got zero mention. After a prayer was prayed to God about his blessings, and how wonderfull he is, along with a bunch of other SDA cliches, I turned to my wife and muttered "I wonder how the people on MH17 would feel about that prayer if they were here?"

    I felt sick that somehow, an event that brings tears to my eyes, could pass by without a care. But worse, people so wrapped in their own little religious world they could pray to God with accolades of how wonderful he was – and forget such an event.
     
    I confess it did no good for my view of God. It is not hard to find humans with better ethics and more courage to intervene….

    Nice to hear all the churches in the Netherlands made a special effort..
     

    • Edwin A. Schwisow
      27 July 2014 @ 11:52 pm

      In the old days of my Adventist life, the airliner tragedy would have been dismissed among most of my older fellow members as ultimately "just another sign of His soon coming, now let us sing 'Lift Up the Trumpet'." That may well be true, but as Christians it is also our privilege and calling to grieve with the widows, orphans and families of those who have parished and do all we can to telegraph and imprint that caring on their lives and in their lives. Terrorists achieve their highest return on investment as their acts bring out the latent brutality and self-destructive, anti-social behavior in their targeted peoples, and terrorism fails directly in proportion as rational, empathetic, caring voices are lifted up to denounce violence and to concentrate not so much on revenge (for this is natural human nature) but on ministering to the families so terribly affected by inexplicable, incomprehensible loss…

    • Eremophila
      31 July 2014 @ 11:44 am

      Is it possible that the apparent apathy towards this event may be related to the fact that there were no Adventists on the flight?

      The above may sound harsh, but it is a part of human nature to "care" more if somebody that we know is involved.

      Not all churches are the same. Certainly at our church (Melbourne, Australia) there was a lot of mention of the tragedy and heartfelt prayers for the families and friends of the victims.

      I think, too, unless people were checking internet news frequently during the Friday (Australian time), the first that they would have potentially heard about it would have been the Friday evening news, which would have been within Sabbath hours (middle of winter here now) and thus a lot of Adventists may not have been aware yet.

      • Edwin A. Schwisow
        31 July 2014 @ 4:19 pm

        I do not believe that Adventists by nature lack empathy and humane perspective. In fact, I think we have come a long way in that department since the 1950s, when at least in smaller churches, the congregations were held in some isolation from the larger world, and we were presented with a gloss on current events in an occasional sermon from the pulpit, in which the minister often dwelt on such terrible concerns as the dangers of metastatic spiritualism, the dual threat of atheism and Communism, and that big one, the persistent desire to implement Sunday legislation as a precursor to the Death Decree.

        These were sensational and absorbing topics, but each failed in its own way to draw the Little Flock into empathy with the tragedies of the larger world community. These tragedies were often dismissed as simply "Signs of the End Time." We now seem to better understand that while tragedies may indeed be signs of the end, we must as Christ's followers respond personally to these tragedies by extending consolation of every kind (however inadequate our efforts) to the bereaved in these calamities….While some may see this as a bow to liberalism, I see it as a bow to the Master who at times seemed unable to pull himself away from the needs of the suffering people of his time….

  4. milton hook
    27 July 2014 @ 11:26 am

    Despite the fact an international investigation is apparently underway strong evidence has already emerged that the plane was downed by Russians or Russian separatists, both parties under the control of Putin.
    In the name of justice, not revenge, I hope that Western governments will increase the economic pressure on Putin. I am appalled that my own government, the Australian government, is so slow to ban Putin from the important G20 meeting here in Australia later this year. The downing of the plane was an outrageous crime. To welcome Putin to our shores would, in my opinion, be offensive.
    The SDA church is not in the habit of making political statements for fear of persecution from political thugs. But I hope this site will keep my personal protest in full view.

  5. Serge Agafonoff
    28 July 2014 @ 1:49 am

    Evidence thus far available strongly indicates that this appalling tragedy was a huge mistake on the part of the separatists mis-identifying that civilian aircraft.  It is highly likely that the missile was supplied by elements of the Russian military, but far from certain, or even likely, that Putin was aware or approved of such supply.  It is also likely that Putin feels the embarrassment of this hideous mistake and may have already taken steps to deal with the offending fools who had control of the missiles for those few fatal hours.  Some here may not want vengeance, but chances are that Putin will not be so restrained.

    But whilst folks are here registering their dissent, I would like to add my outrage to the situation in Gaza.  THAT is no 'accident.'      

  6. cb25
    28 July 2014 @ 2:29 am

    Serge,

    It is indeed no accident that militant, terrorist organizations like Hamas will try to present themselves as the victim through the UN and such. That is no accident imho..

    If such religiously fanatical groups did not entertwine themselves into the lives of Palestinians and people in Gaza, peace processes may be much more successful..

  7. Serge Agafonoff
    28 July 2014 @ 2:54 am

    Surprised that you should hold such a hardline opinion, Chris.  Gideon Levy, in a recent editorial in Ha'aretz has a differing explanation.  He says, of the Netenyahu government in Israel:

    "All the seeds of the incitement of the past few years, all the nationalistic, racist legislation and the incendiary propaganda, the scare campaigns and the subversion of democracy by the right-wing camp – all these have borne fruit, and that fruit is rank and rotten. The nationalist right has now sunk to a new level, with almost the whole country following in its wake. The word 'fascism', which I try to use as little as possible, finally has its deserved place in the Israeli political discourse."

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/israels-rank-and-rotten-fruit-is-being-called-fascism-20140724-zwd2t.html#ixzz38jARC9tJ

  8. cb25
    28 July 2014 @ 3:01 am

    Yes, serge, no suprise you came back with that…

     

  9. Jim Hamstra
    28 July 2014 @ 12:22 pm

    There is a fair case that neither the current Israeli government nor Hamas actually want peace.  They have been locked in this cruel charade of provocation and counter-provocation for many years now.  They actually need each other to justify their own existence and tactics.  The Palestinian people are mere "collateral damage" to these leaders playing their own games for their own reasons.

  10. Johann Thorvaldsson
    01 August 2014 @ 7:35 pm

    That plane crash did not take place on a Sabbath. The Church Elder of a Rotterdam church changed her flight because she would not make her final destination until Sabbath on her connecting flights.

    • Elaine Nelson
      01 August 2014 @ 11:00 pm

      That would be no problem when flying over the International Date Line–going one direction, Sabbath disappears!  I'm sure (?) that none of the many G.C. folk ever fly during Sabbath hours no matter where they go?  How do they know when there will be flight delays and sundown has come and they cannot yet board their flight?  Anyone know?

  11. cb25
    01 August 2014 @ 10:24 pm

    Serge,

    Here's a must read for you on the Israel & Hamas:

    http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/why-dont-i-criticize-israel

  12. Elaine Nelson
    01 August 2014 @ 11:01 pm

    It seems like it was a short (2-hour truce and they're back at it again.

  13. Serge Agafonoff
    02 August 2014 @ 12:05 am

    Here is an article by international lawyer Robertson on the futile expectation of justice in Gaza.

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/gaza-law-of-war-needs-testing-at-international-criminal-court-20140801-zzaxa.html 

  14. cb25
    02 August 2014 @ 12:23 am

    Thanks Serge. A good read, with good points covering the legal aspects and interactions of the events, but it still fails to address the fact that Hamas are militant islamists with only one agenda. Destroy Israel.

    As Harris points out, Israel in a large part is responding to this situation and would prefer to live in relative peace if it were not for this threat. Hamas it seems seeks destruction not peace.

    We are, as Harris points out, all in Israel, some of us just don't know it yet. Radical Islam has a global agenda, and while your agenda may be peace, theirs is destruction of all you know of freedom and secular tolerance.

    There are little similarities with this plane and the Russian/Ukraine event, but if Islamists get their way, it will pale into the shadows.

     

    • Serge Agafonoff
      02 August 2014 @ 1:56 am

      Chris, I agree that Hamas is a violent terrorist organisation with the stated aim of destroying Israel. (Mind you, they learnt the art of terror from the early examples taught them by the likes of Ben Gurion et al back in the fifties).  But how did it come to this?  Are all Palestinians equally violent?  No.  But the majority of them did vote for Hamas.  Why?  After 60 years of occupation and slow but steady whittling away of their rights and freedoms, the Palestinians have been driven like rats onto a miniscule plot of land called Gaza and for the past ten years or so have been blockaded there so that even essential suppies are not allowed through by Israel.  The remainder of their lands in the West Bank have been steadily taken over by 'illegal' Israeli settlements.  Violence is all that is left to them.  

      Don't treat them like animals and then ask them to react like humans.  

      Israel, on the other hand, holds all the cards, and still finds it ok to bomb civilians sheltering in UN schools.  The Israeli response is out of all proportion.  But then, they are reaping what they have sown these past 60 years.  Israel is just lucky that the Arab world is fractured into a thousand shards which often hate each other more than Israel.