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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

AP: 'Miracle' at Castle Rock, church defies arson









The members of Castle Rock United Methodist Church and the Associated Press are calling it a miracle, and they aren't even Catholic...







"The pastor of the United Methodist Church in Castle Rock (pictured above) says it's a miracle her church survived an attempted arson in which fires were set in six places in the building.

Fires were started early Sunday on artificial flowers, a table cloth, cardboard boxes and the pastor's desk. All burned out without spreading.

Pastor Vonda McFadden told The Daily News it seems the century-old church was divinely spared. One fire burned up to an old Bible but left the book untouched. Another fire was stopped by a framed picture of Jesus.

The Sunday service for about 70 worshippers was held amid the strong smell of smoke. McFadden preached forgiveness."





Of course, the strict materialists that stop by here would never accept such a thing as a 'miracle' to explain such an event. At what point of lighting fires would the term 'miracle' apply in a case like this? If he had set seven fires? eight? Twenty?










Let's just all rejoice, believer and non-believer alike, that this didn't go horribly bad and have a much worse outcome. Can I get a 'highly improbable' people? How about a 'statistically unlikely'? How about an A-men?

8 comments:

Stormbringer said...

Perhaps the church was miraculously spared because it is one of the few United Methodist Churches that actually believes the Bible (the majority being appallingly liberal and enthusiastic members of the ecumenical "back to Rome" attitude). Yes, I can say that. My father was one of their pastors.

GentleSkeptic said...

Arson is a crime, and I"m very glad that it was unsuccessful.

Is a crappy arsonist a miracle? I guess that's a matter of opinion.

Hunter said...

Two abortion clinics here have survived bombings and arson but I wouldn't call that a miracle.

Even the Westboro Baptist Church has survived more arson.

Shirley Phelps-Roper of Westboro spoke on the fires in 2008 saying:
"It's a wonderful token, that the Lord God will permit us to have this lot in the last hours of the last days of all."

Curtis Cartier's article of Wed., Nov. 9 2011 interviews a fire chief who attended the scene.

What actually happened is something a little more commonplace, Cowlitz County Fire District 6 Chief Eric Koreis tells Seattle Weekly.

"There are multiple factors why the fire didn't spread," Koreis says. "It mainly came down to the fact that the fires were built too small and the locations of the fires didn't allow them to burn long."

In explaining why one of the fires had burned up to a framed picture of Jesus, but then gone out, Koreis says that the fire had been lit on a desk and the framed picture was on top of a bunch of papers, leaving little air space for the flames to grow--same with the Bible.

"Because the frame was on the desk and didn't ignite it pushed flame and hot gasses away from other combustibles," he says. "All the fires were self limiting."

In short, the reason that the United Methodist Church in Castle Rock didn't burn down appears to simply be because the arsonist who tried to burn it down is terrible at arson.

Stormbringer said...

Hunter made a point very similar to a principle that I believe in. (Surprisingly, I first read this principle in a "UFOs are real"-type of magazine.) In my words, get the information, exhaust natural explanations before resorting to the supernatural.

People get embarrassed:
"I caught a UFO on my video camera!" ... "No, that's a lens flare".

"This place is haunted. That door moves by itself!" ... "There's a wind tunnel effect when someone opens the door down the hall, and the air current moves that door as well".

"It's a miracle that the place didn't burn down." ... "Nope. Inept arsonist".

"Jesus rose from the dead!" ... "Other explanations fail, the resurrection is the best explanation."

GentleSkeptic said...

"I caught a UFO on my video camera!" ... "No, that's a lens flare".

"This place is haunted. That door moves by itself!" ... "There's a wind tunnel effect when someone opens the door down the hall, and the air current moves that door as well".

"It's a miracle that the place didn't burn down." ... "Nope. Inept arsonist".

"Jesus rose from the dead!" ... "Other explanations fail, the resurrection is the best explanation."


One of these thing is NOT like the others. lol.

JD Curtis said...

Two abortion clinics here have survived bombings and arson but I wouldn't call that a miracle

Were fires set in six different areas?

GentleSkeptic said...

JD, what is the magic number of fires that draws the line between a supernatural and a natural explanation for failed arson?

If you can't put a number on it that we can test, then no-one can answer your question, and your implied claim is unfalsifiable.

Remember: "Christians do not typically seek supernatural explanations for events that occur in the physical world." And you are, allegedly, a Christian, although your search for a supernatural explanation here is causing me to doubt it.

Stormbringer said...

"And you are, allegedly, a Christian, although your search for a supernatural explanation here is causing me to doubt it."

Wow, you have strange ideas on how to define a Christian.