(BVI PLATINUM) – Since the passage of two category 5 hurricanes in September, church members from various denominations have been vocal in the community, warning people that the disasters were clear signs of the coming of God.
However, one member of the Christian community believes that such warnings can be frightening to members of the community, and don’t have much impact on others’ behavior.
Reverend Franklyn Manners from the Methodist Church said he is not inclined to believe that Irma was part of “end time prophecy”, adding that his church prefers to emphasize the positive messages in Christianity.
“I don’t believe myself in frightening people to salvation. I believe salvation must come as a conscious awareness that God has spoken to you and you have made a response. Nobody should frighten you into it,” Rev. Manners said.
When asked if his fellow Christians were frightening people with their end time prophecy warnings, the Rev. said, “That’s the effect it can have. If you ask me I’ll call it boogeyman Christianity.”
He said such warnings are not the best way for Christians to accomplish their duties, adding that instead, Christians should cultivate a positive regard for the gospel as this is more effective.
“Yes you have to warn people when the situation warrants it. But people must be be brought to realize that right is right and wrong is wrong. We had a catastrophic storm and people were out there looting the morning after. So the frightening didn’t get through to some,” Rev. Manners said calmly.
Reverend Manners said practical lessons for the storm concerns our building codes and the need to strengthen infrastructure. He said one spiritual lesson is that people should be prepared for the unexpected in life. However, he said he is not sure if we are living in the “last days” as Christians have said.
Members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church last month told BVI Platinum News that Biblical evidence proves that Irma and Maria were end-time signs.
Last Sunday, some church leaders who spoke at the National Service of Thanksgiving and Unity also called on the BVI, saying the storms are a direct warning from God.