Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lloyd-Jones on the Aberfan disaster

I was at Westminster Chapel on the evening of Sunday 23rd October 1966. It was two days after the disaster at Aberfan. On the morning of 21st October 1966 in the small mining village of Aberfan an avalanche of colliery waste slipped down the mountainside, swept through houses, and overwhelmed Pantglas Junior School.  It killed 144 people, 116 of them children. Here is an excerpt from my notes on the sermon.
"Creation groaned in Aberfan. Creation subjected to vanity because man sinned and all creation was involved in the punishment for his crime. There were no calamities in paradise. Part of the explanation for Aberfan was greed of man for moneymaking. Why does God allow war? Man produced it. God allows him to reap the consequences of his rebellion and sin against God. Why did man ever sin and destroy a perfect world in which such suffering could not happen? God's permissive will is seen in this.He is the God of providence, in control yet allowing certain things to happen. God allows coal tips to fall because man built them in greed. They have turned their backs upon God.The cause of the church in Aberfan has declined since the war. God allows the consequences."
This was a most forthright reflexion.It was also remarkably prescient as to the physical cause of the disaster.  The subsequent public enquiry said the National Coal Board had knowingly built the slag heap over a spring of water

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