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Messina: Atheists Challenge God!

What does an atheistic community do on Christmas Eve? The scene is in 1908 in Messina, Italy—a whole community given over to atheism. On Dec. 21st, the town newspaper published a parody defying God and daring Him to make Himself known by sending an earthquake.

On Christmas Eve, the city council passed a number of disrespectful and mocking resolutions, flouting God on behalf of the entire community.

After these defaming actions had been accepted by the people, a strange thing transpired in their midst. The animals of the town—dogs, donkeys, horses and oxen dashed about in evident distress, bawling and neighing and trembling with wild eyes. Both domestic fowl and wild birds flew screaming through the air in great alarm. Even the fish of the sea were affected and rose to the top of the surface and floated there where they were caught in large numbers.

Then, nature began to protest as winds began to howl and the sea to roar and toss. Underground noises like thunder were heard. Only three hours after the infamous "Christmas Resolutions" were passed by city council, there came the warning signs of the earthquake that the newspaper had dared God to send!

Mountains were thrown down and level fields were raised. Streams gushed forth from dry rocks. Chasms opened in the earth and swallowed alive people, animals, and even whole trees. Some of the chasms closed tightly as a tomb upon their victims. The beautiful city of Messina and surrounding districts were completely destroyed—75,000 inhabitants being wiped out!

Is it surprising that there are 100 verses in the Bible that speak of the fear of God?

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