Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Archive for the ‘Theodicy’ Category

Theodicy Dialogue With Pastor Matt Wrickman

Posted by Job on January 26, 2012

Matthew Wrickman, a pastor and blogger with whom I have corresponded in the past, wished to discuss How The Penn State University Child Molestation Case Demonstrates The Existence Of God and did so in a comment, which he reproduced as a post on his site (which I encourage you to patronize). The objections – er dialogue points – that he raised are good ones as always, and my interaction with them is as follows. Pastor Wrickman’s words are in blocked quote format, and mine follow. Thank you.

“ Interesting response. Most commentators for the last 200 years at least have used evil in the reverse sense as the greatest problem for the existence of God. The line of logic would be that Sandusky is evil. If God was really good, really powerful, and really existed then He would have intervened and stopped the action. He didn’t so either He is not really good, really powerful, or does not really exist. As a line of logic it seems rather convincing. I, of course, would argue (as you hinted at) that God has intervened through the person of Son. That the cross of Christ represents Christ’s solidarity with the victims of Sandusky, as well as, his offer of healing to both victim and victimizer. Mix that with classical free will theory and I feel that the question has been answered; perhaps not superbly but answered nonetheless.”

Alas, you are of the Remonstrants, I am of the Synod of Dort! (Actually I am Particular Baptist after the manner of Charles Spurgeon, William Carey and Paul Bunyan and you are not classical Arminian or Wesleyan as you to not believe that one can lose his salvation, but otherwise you get the picture.)

“You once stated that you enjoyed boiling down arguments to the logical extreme”

Well, my love of reductio ad absurdum was in my angry, immature phase. (In what many might consider to be an irony, it was becoming a “5 point Calvinist” – or again more accurately a Particular Baptist – that helped me get past my anger, which I ultimately discovered was truthfully coming from within and was directed inwardly also.) I now rarely employ this debate tactic, though I hear that it is a very good tool for computer scientists and mathematicians.

“and that is where pointing from evil to God fails. At it’s extreme it allows for no differentiation between evil and God.””

I agree with you to a point, as a multitude of false religions (as I understand them) have deities that are dualistic, amoral or even malevolent. But that extreme is precluded by the holy scriptures. Though I do dabble in classical and evidential apologetics from time to time – to the extent that I am able – for the most part I adhere to the presuppositional apologetics school of Cornelius Van Til and similar, which takes the truth and authority of the Bible to be a non-negotiable starting point and proceeds from there. (I further build on that school by presuming a basic “rule of faith”, or a normative interpretation of the Bible, belief in its inerrancy/inspiration/authority, and application of its doctrines to the church).

So, inasmuch as the Bible differentiates between evil and God, I presume this to be true also. My purpose for authoring the above piece was intended not to much to be an exercise in philosophy, ethics or similar, but for evangelism and encouragement. Thus, it presumes some degree of faith – and please recall that faith is not produced by man but is given by God – and is not intended for the purposes of debating the likes of Sam Harris, Charles Dawkins or the late Christopher Hitchens.

“One might state that if evil has a positive outcome such as pointing to God; then committing evil cannot be entirely wrong (as it creates some good outcome). Therefore committing an evil act cannot be considered wrong and cannot then be evil.”

What you speak of is outcome-based religion. The problem with such religions is that man, lacking perfect knowledge and morality, is incapable of properly evaluating outcomes. Only God can do so. What we perceive to be a “good” outcome according to our perspective might actually be evil according to God, and the converse is also true. Consider an example: a small leak in a dam. A person might make an improper repair to the leak that for a time stops the water from running, but makes the dam weaker, or at minimum ignores the root cause of the leak. Now though the fix is flawed, it might last a long time – during the duration of that person’s life. And for that time, that person will be considered to have done a great good in fixing the leak, and will go to his grave with such estimation.

But suppose that the dam ultimately breaks and catastrophically floods the town! Was this a good deed? No, because in the most extreme case, where the leak would have been at most a minor annoyance but remained, the fix made the dam weaker and caused it to suddenly burst where it would not have had the fix not been applied. In even the most favorable possible case, the fix caused everyone to BELIEVE that the problem was solved, and hindered them from seeking a real solution, or from evacuating the town if no solution was possible or practical.

Such is the result of false religion: it creates self-righteousness and blinds the sinner from his need for God. And false doctrines in Christianity can similar impede the spiritual growth of a Christian. So, the measure of “good acts” are not by their outcomes (“the ends justify the means”) or their intentions (“he meant well/his heart was in the right place”) but rather the fidelity of these acts to the commandments of Jesus Christ as revealed by the Holy Scriptures regardless of their apparent outcomes. God and His Word are the standard, not the outcome or our perception of it, and by the definition of God as determined by His special revelation to us in the Bible, fidelity to God and His Word cannot be evil.

That is why the people who obeyed the commandments of God to commit genocide and fratricide in the Old Testament were not evil, and those who committed what might have been considered good in sparing, say, a Canaanite baby out of what seemed to be mercy upon the innocent who posed no threat when when God commanded to utterly destroy all the Canaanites would have been evil. Where of course we would say that killing a Canaanite baby is evil, and sparing the baby and raising it up according to the Jewish religion would have been good according to our own understanding, we have to accept by faith God’s statements when He says that His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts, and obey God according to that same faith.

If we do otherwise, and obey God when it conforms to our own sense of good and evil and abandon God’s commandments when they contradict them, we are following our own religion and morality and not God’s, and we have made ourselves into gods in the place of God.

“On another level it also implicates God in evil; because it seems to make God a participant in the evil action. Therefore one might question the goodness of God.”

Well, the psalmists and prophets seemed to regularly question the goodness of God, no? Yet they remained faithful. It is not blind faith, but faith in God’s self-revelation to us through His Son. The role of the Holy Spirit is not to answer all of our questions, but to reassure us, comfort us and keep us in the faith despite them. Or to save us from our faithless condition despite them. The Bible declares oft that we cannot understand God and His ways, and that we are not to even try to. We are to merely – as the old hymn says – trust and obey Him.

But let it be said that God does certainly use evil to accomplish His ends. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose, and this includes evil things. And God most certainly does use evil events. When a sinner commits evil, the Holy Spirit convicts him of this evil in order to drive him to repentance unto salvation. When a Christian commits evil, the Holy Spirit convicts him of this evil in order to drive him to repentance unto restoration. The Holy Spirit does not cause this evil, but He certainly uses it.

But as touching God and evil actions: consider when God sent a lying spirit to the false prophets in order to provoke wicked king Ahab into going into battle so that Ahab could be slain as a punishment for his (Ahab’s) wickedness. Consider also when God made pharaoh ruler of Egypt and hardened his heart so that pharaoh would oppress the children of Israel mightily, as God wanted an occasion to judge the Egyptians for their wickedness, to save Israel and make them a nation, and to display evidence of His existence and power to the world. Consider when God used the wicked pagan Assyrian and Babylonian empires to judge Israel and Judah for their infidelity to the Sinai covenant (and this required allowing Assyria and Babylon to conquer other nations and otherwise rise to power). And consider when Jesus Christ chose the non-elect Judas Iscariot as one of His apostles so that Judas Iscariot could betray Him and otherwise fulfill the prophecies.

It is very fair to say that God participated in these evil actions, if you rely on the common human definition of participation. In the Bible, God does asserts His right to do evil, at least according to man’s perspective of evil (when God did so, He was condescending to the limited understanding capacity of man in that He allowed them to regard His actions as evil).

Just because we see something as evil does not make it evil. God is the standard, the Self-existing Self-defined one who is goodness and righteousness within Himself. Evil, then, is by definition that which is contrary to God, and God by definition cannot be contrary to Himself. Any other definition of evil makes man a judge of not only himself, but of God. This is something than an unbeliever – especially an atheist or rationalist – will never accept but that Christians are called to accept, believe and submit ourselves to through faith.

The unwillingness to accept the fact that God Himself is the definition of good and that evil is defined by its being in opposition to God is the source of so many of these logical games, tricks and constructions on the behalf of many apologists. This fact also solves the apparent problem of God telling one person to do one thing at one time and another person to do something else (i.e. when God commanded Ezekiel and Hosea to break the Mosaic law by eating bread defiled with excrement and marrying a cult prostitute): we are simply to believe that God can do so without Himself being contradictory.

“I prefer the Biblical account which simply claims that God is the good God who overcomes evil. He is the one that thwarts evil, and instead works good in the life of the believer where the evil one had sought to sow destruction. Evil, then, remains evil; and God remains good. It is not the evil action that points to God; but rather His action in turning away the evil and establishing his redemption in its wake. The redemption points to God.”

The problem with that is that it relies on an incomplete portion of the Holy Scriptures, excluding bad facts. Consider, well, the book of Job (which has been as much a source of fascination and meditation for me as I certainly hope the Gospel of Matthew has been for you)! Let’s face it: God delivered Job into the hands of Satan for Satan to do whatever he wished with Job and all that he had save taking Job’s life. And please recall: the Bible is clear that the calamities that came upon Job were not due to any sin that Job had committed. Job’s CHILDREN died, not because of any sin of Job or the children, and despite Job’s daily sacrificing for his children in case they sinned. (Of course, their deaths would have occurred due to their original sin, as did Job’s death, but let us focus on their untimely deaths, which was considered to be an evil occurrence in OT times and still is to this day.)

We have to come up with a theodicy that is faithful to the entirety of the Bible. Not only must we do this in order to be faithful to God through His Word, but this is also the only way to construct a theodicy that encompasses the range of the facts of life that we have to confront, such things as wars, plagues, horrific crimes, miscarriages, birth defects etc. God does overcome evil by eliminating all that which is contrary to Himself. Keep in mind: this process will not be completely finished until the eschaton, when this creation is destroyed by fire, the wicked are cast into eternal flame, and a new heaven and a new earth is created.

As to why God did not make the original creation after the same manner of the new heaven and new earth, we just have to accept that God did all things according to a manner that pleased Him. The idea that God was obligated to prevent the existence of evil in order to not Himself be evil is man’s thinking, not our own. And it is thinking that is centered on man and his own interests, as we accuse God for not acting to avoid our own misery and suffering. We want to be able to say that God is not good if the result of His original creation was humans – most of whom never encountered with the gospel of Jesus Christ to either accept or reject – being punished in the lake of fire for an eternity. As mentioned earlier, our duty is to accept these facts because they are how God revealed Himself and His actions in the Bible, and not to generate contrivances to avoid the fulness of God’s self-revelation and its implications. Make no mistake: unbelievers are fully aware of these things! Have you ever perused skepticsannotatedbible.org and similar counter-apologetics efforts? It is far better to directly confront these things in scripture, meditate on them, accept them through faith, and work them into our systematic theologies than to simply pretend that they do not exist, or to come up with human-centered (if not necessarily humanistic) evasions.

One last point if evil has some positive function in our world then the ultimate destruction of it would in essence be destroying it, and with it destroying an important way of knowing God. Yet our God promises to end evil once and for all. That is our hope that on a day in the hopefully not-too-distant future He will return to bring into completion or fullness the reality of His Kingdom that he established in His previous visit. The cross is the seal of payment, and the spirit is his down payment asserting His intentions to return. Evil will be no more and His people will be entirely free to serve Him in eternity. We will then celebrate His victory, not His battle.

There is a difference between saying that evil has an absolute positive function in the world, and merely stating that God uses evil to accomplish His purposes. However, even if God did so as you speak, it would be well within His right to terminate it. Does God still feed His people with manna? Of course, God did a great thing by feeding His people with manna. Does the fact that you no longer eat manna destroy an important way of knowing God? Does the fact that you are not a Jew living in Jerusalem under the Mosaic law destroy an important way of knowing God? God forbid! So, if God can discontinue good things, then how much more so can He discontinue evil that He uses for good purposes? We know God only by God’s revelation.

Whether God’s revelation consists of His use of evil to accomplish His goals or not, the knowledge of God is the same. Why? Because God – the one providing the revelation – is the same. Even if you were to say that it is not “the same”, inasmuch as those in Old Testament times did not have the same knowledge as do we in light of the cross and the current ministrations of the Holy Spirit, their knowledge of God based on the revelation that they had was nonetheless sufficient to suit God’s purposes and that is what counts. God is only bound by Himself to reveal to us what He chooses for us to know of Him. He is not bound by us to reveal to us what we desire to know of him.

Further, God reveals Himself to us through the way that He chooses, not the way that we desire. Part of the error of some in the Pentecostal movement that I was once in is their demand that God reveal Himself to us in these ways in the same way that He revealed Himself to the early church, and also to Old Testament Israel. God’s actions and revelations are according to His will, not our desires. And the nature and character of God’s revelation are suitable to fulfill our needs. Not our wants, but our needs. Keep in mind in Romans 1 when Paul states that even the order and nature of creation should have been enough of God’s self-disclosure to live righteously and thereby be saved, and therefore those who do not – including those who never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ – are without excuse and therefore subject to condemnation on judgment day.

And of course we celebrate His battle. Are not the Psalms filled with the Jews’ praise of God’s battles on their behalf, physical and spiritual? Concerning Jesus Christ, do we not celebrate His trial in the desert, Gethsemane and the cross, and not merely the resurrection? Jesus Christ specifically instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper so that we would remember His passion. This knowledge of God that you speak of includes God’s battles for our behalf, because through these we know that God has both the power to save us and the love to forgive us. God’s destruction of Egypt and Israel’s other enemies is evidence of the former, and His restoration of the remnant after they broke His covenant is evidence of the latter. This is evidence of the very hope of which you speak!

Well, I am done! I thank this opportunity to dialogue with my old friend and brother in the faith. As always, I hope that I did not offend or mistreat you, and if I did, it was not my intent. Thank you, and I look forward to your response.

The Three Step Salvation Plan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...

Advertisements

Posted in Bible, Christianity, devotional, evangelism, faith, grace, Jesus Christ, Theodicy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Abijah And The Doctrines Of Grace 1 Kings 14:1-18

Posted by Job on January 1, 2012

I have the opinion that the case of Abijah in 1 Kings 14:1-18 can be used as an example to explain the doctrines of grace. My example does not deal directly with the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Old Testament saints; yet the principles of the doctrines of grace are still present. The text from Biblegateway appears below.

At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people. And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child. And Jeroboam’s wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age. And the LORD said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to be another woman. And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings. Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel, And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes; But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back: Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it. Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die. And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. Moreover the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: but what? even now. For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger. And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin. And Jeroboam’s wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died; And they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet.

The TULIP acronymn is often used to simplify and summarize the presentation of the doctrines of grace, often referred to as Reformed theology or Calvinism. Consider this to be TULIP as it pertains to this Abijah.

Total Depravity: 1 Corinthians 15:22 tells us “in Adam all die”, a reference to original sin condition of all mankind that is the result of the disobedience of Adam, the originator and thus federal head of the entire human race. As Abijah is a descendant of Adam, he was considered a sinner, an enemy of God, separated from God, and dead to spiritual things. Romans 5:10-14 makes these facts, i.e. the state of our enmity with God, that this state and with it death was passed on to Adam’s descendants, clear. Note that it is because of this total depravity due to original sin that God can declare a death sentence on an entire family based on the actions of one person – as God did to the line of Jeroboam, father of Abijah, because of Jeroboam’s wicknedness and idolatry – and not be called unjust.

Unconditional election: God declared that of all the house of Jeroboam, only Abijah would receive an honorable burial. The reason for this was not because of the righteousness of Abijah, for Abijah was a child (so described by Hebrew word na’ar in verse 3 and yeled in verses 12 and 17). And God did not make a special case for Abijah because of his age, as God ordered the destruction of juveniles in many other cases, including the firstborn in Egypt. Instead, the reason why Abijah alone of the line of Jeroboam was given honor by God before all Israel was “because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel.” This good thing was grace; of God’s choosing Abijah and Abijah alone “in the house of Jeroboam”, the wicked king who turned Israel to idols. The election of the child Abijah was an act of a sovereign God alone, which Abijah having no ability to either consent to or reject the decree of El Shaddai.

Limited Atonement (though I prefer the Baptistic term particular atonement instead): in a dream the angel of the Lord revealed to Joseph concerning Jesus Christ that He would save His people from their sins (Mat 1:21). “His people” does not refer to national Israel, but the church, those called righteous and redeemed in both Old Testament and New Testament times. Jesus Christ stated that His death was not intended for all, but only for His friends in John 15:13-14. Note that Jesus Christ spoke those words not in public, but only to the apostles at the last supper, and moreover after Judas Iscariot, the son of perdition, had been dismissed from the room – and from the scope of Jesus Christ’s words as pertaining to whom Jesus Christ called His friends and for whom He was going to die – in John 13:27. God gave Abijah an honorable physical death because Abijah was considered by the calling and election of God – and God so chose Abijah and not Abijah God in accordance to the words of Jesus Christ in John 15:16 – and as such Abijah was God’s friend. Jeroboam and the rest of Abijah’s house, however, was not.

Irresistible grace:  Revelation 13:8 reveals that Abijah’s name was written in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4 reveals that Abijah was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. Abijah was called to God as a juvenile, and died as a juvenile. As such, Abijah had no opportunity to resist, defy or undo God’s plan to save him. As a result, the standing of Abijah before God declared in 1 Kings 14:13, “in him there is found some good thing towards the Lord God of Israel”, was going to be retained; this decree of God was going to come to pass.

Perseverance of the saints: Abijah was a child in a household that was totally given over to idolatry. Jeroboam, his father, chose idolatry to retain his political power. Further, his mother was the daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh Shishak. Had Abijah lived to adulthood, he would have been reared and molded in this revolting spiritual environment. A study of the Kings and Chronicles books of the Bible reveals that pagan queens (of Judah and Israel) generally resulted in their sons’ being pagan kings. This Abijah should be considered an Old Testament “type” of the “once saved always saved” doctrine where Jesus Christ stated “no one will snatch them out of my hand” (concerning those given to God the Son by God the Father) in John 10:29.

So, the case of young Abijah, a child redeemed from the wickedness of the house of Jeroboam, was honored in death (though premature death was considered regrettable in Israel, the manner of his death was still preferable in that culture to that of the rest of his family) and had this honorable state and status before God preserved in the the Bible by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, can hence be used to understand the doctrines of grace. This is not some mere exercise, but rather our understanding of the doctrines of grace should give us ever more reason to worship, praise and glorify the God who grants this grace, for it is only by this grace that we are able to receive so great a salvation.

Have you experienced the grace of God? If you have not, I urge you to follow

The Three Step Salvation Plan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Posted in Bible, Calvinism, Christianity, Jesus Christ, predestination, Reformed, religion, Theodicy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How The Penn State University Child Molestation Case Demonstrates The Existence Of God

Posted by Job on November 11, 2011

Make no mistake friends, God exists. God is real. Should you countenance thoughts otherwise, this case involving Jerry Sandusky and his committing unspeakable crimes of violation against a number of young boys proves it. This case demonstrates the existence of God by demonstrating the existence of evil. Now of course, evil is not some deity that is the opposite of God who contests God, as dualistic religions and philosophies propose. Neither is evil some force (whether personal or impersonal) as again some religions or philosophies claim, i.e. the “karma” of eastern religions and the New Age ideas that influence them. Instead, Gotquestions.org (a Christian ministry) provides a very suitable Bible-based definition:

A dictionary definition of evil is “morally reprehensible, sinful, wicked.” The definition of evil in the Bible falls into two categories: evil against one another (murder, theft, adultery) and evil against God (unbelief, idolatry, blasphemy). From the prohibition against eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9), to the destruction of Babylon the Great, the embodiment of evil to come (Revelation 18:2), the Bible speaks of evil.

So allow it to be said, from a reverse-logic standpoint, that because evil exists – as the Bible clearly bears witness of – then God must necessarily exist also. Moreover, God must exist as the answer to evil, the one who defeats evil, which the Bible also bears witness of. Great, unspeakable, incomprehensible craven crimes against the innocent is evidence of the existence of evil, evidence of a great problem with our existence that must be overcome lest we be destroyed by it, and evidence of a solution to this pressing existential problem and threat that only God can provide. If there is nothing more powerful than evil save God, then God must exist. It is said that love is more powerful than evil. This is so, and the Bible bears witness that God is love and that God is loving.
‘Tis tempting to deny that the actions of Jerry Sandusky were in fact attributable to evil, which one might accuse of being some abstract idea. Instead, one can propose a more rational, reasonable scientific root cause: that Sandusky is simply disturbed, one possessing an abnormal brain biology or chemistry that causes him to both have abnormal urges and be unable to restrain himself from acting on them; that indeed he might have an inability to discern or respond to reality. Legitimate medical science has proven that such is the case with a number of people, indeed those that have committed monstrous crimes against individuals and humanity. And yes, the problem of evil must be explained in such a way that deals with cases as these, just as explanations are needed for such things as natural disasters, epidemics, and stillborn children that lack an identifiable human villain, antagonist or cause.

But in this case, one not need to consider (solely) Jerry Sandusky when it comes to evil. Instead, we have other figures with regards to this case such as Mike McQueary, Joe Paterno, and many other figures at Penn State University and the surrounding community who had knowledge of the crimes of Sandusky for many years and failed to act in a manner that would have punished the guilty and protected the innocent. These figures chose not to act because of the wealth, power and prestige associated with college athletics, in particular Pennsylvania State University football. 1 Titus 6:10 says “For the love of money is the root of all evil!” At other points in the Bible, the contrast between mammon – the desire for money, power and privilege – and the things of God are given, as are the people who seek the former verses the latter. Thus, even if we deny that Sandusky is evil, then the actions of those who chose not to act in the interests of those that Sandusky victimized and to protect him from committing further harm most certainly was! So the monstrous behavior associated with this case was clearly evil, and evil on this scale demonstrates the need for one with the power and desire to defeat it, and this need can be met only by God.

If God hates and can overcome evil, why does He suffer its existence in the first place? The reason is that the existence of evil was the cost of accomplishing creation. Only God is perfect, containing perfect power, knowledge and righteousness. Thus, anything and everything that is not God will inevitably come to a state of imperfection, and this imperfection is either evil itself, or allows for evil events to occur. So, though creation was not evil at the time that God finished it, creation did what was inevitable, which was lapse into an imperfect, evil state.

The Bible describes this occurring both with Satan in Ezekiel 28:13-19 and Isaiah 14:12-17, and with Adam in Genesis 2-3. The Bible states that both Adam and Satan were created perfect (see Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 1:31 concerning Adam and Ezekiel 28:15 concerning Satan) but that they both abandoned that perfect state of their own accord, through no fault or action of God and without being attributable to any flaw or defect in their making or original condition. God did not create evil, but instead evil was the inevitable result of creation. As God did not cause or force the actions of Adam or Satan, being responsible for creation does not make God responsible for the evil in creation.

That creates the question: if God knows all things, then He knew that His creation would lapse into imperfection and that evil would result. This means that God was willing to allow the existence of evil. Why, then, did God allow the existence of evil, even if He is not to be blamed for evil? The answer is this: God allowed the existence of evil in order to accomplish a greater good: for the glory of His Son. 1 Colossians 1:16 states that all creation was done according to the will of God the Father for God the Son. For God the Father to glorify, honor and please God the Son was the greater good that was accomplished by suffering the existence of evil. This can be put into better perspective when one realizes that though evil will only exist for a time, the exaltation of God’s Son that came as a result of creation will last forever!

It is easy to doubt and mock and say “God was willing to allow the existence of evil because it cost Him and His Son nothing; that His creation that He claims to love – including sentient human beings – had to bear all the negative costs and effects.” Now be not deceived: even were this so, it would be perfectly appropriate and within God’s rights, being that He is the sole Owner and Master of whatever He chooses to create for whatever purposes He chooses to create it. However, it should be said that this is not so! Again, it is not so that creation alone must bear the negative effects of evil; that God kept Himself unaffected and unscathed by such horrible events as what Mike McQueary saw being done to a juvenile boy by Jerry Sandusky yet refused to intervene to save the juvenile, though being a 27 year old former football player he certainly had the ability to. Instead, though He was by no means obligated or required to, God demonstrated the legitimacy and the extent of His love for creation by giving up the very Son for whose glory creation was accomplished in the first place to die on a cross!

You see, the existence of evil in creation was no mere set of bad facts. Instead, it was a situation that required a remedy. It created a debt that had to be paid. It was a crime for which something had to be punished. God could have remedied the situation by simply destroying creation, all of it, forever. But instead, God chose to have His Son, totally innocent and blameless of all imperfection and evil, provide the remedy by paying the debt, by taking on all the punishment upon Himself. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, did this by dying on a cross in place of creation. By paying this debt, this allowed creation – or some part of it anyway – to remain forever for the joy and happiness of God’s Son – who was resurrected from the dead – and as this same Son of God is forever the joy and happiness of His Father, this state of affairs is certainly appropriate. Thus, the logic of the greater good of allowing evil to exist for a time for the joy of God the Son and God the Father for an eternity becomes explicit, apparent and utterly reasonable. Suffering the existence of evil was a great price, but one that God was willing to pay with the blood of His own Son. Far from being the “cosmic child abuse” that some doubters propose, the truth is that God’s Son – also divine and one with His Father and with His Father’s Spirit – is a willing participant, is manifestly pleased with the arrangement, and benefit to Him (and His Father) far outlasts and exceeds (in value and duration) the very real and significant loss.

So whenever you learn of – or experience – any great evil, though you may and should mourn it, always remember: the occurrence of this evil does manage to powerfully demonstrate that God exists. So, remember that the God who does exists has already paid the price of evil – through His own Son on a cross – and will one day put an end to all evil forever. God’s creation will endure, but the evil will not. This does leave one final pressing issue: your fate. Will you be part of the creation that endures forever, providing joy and delight to God’s Son while receiving great benefits from this existence (and absent any and all negative effects or considerations) yourself? Or will you be included in the portion of creation that is destroyed when all evil is destroyed? The answer to this is simple: if you renounce and turn away from all of the evil that you have done and thereby represent and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died to pay the debt incurred by your evil and was resurrected from the dead, then you will be among the portion of creation that remains. Otherwise, you will be among the portion of creation that is destroyed. (As time will no longer exists – for time is part of creation – the process of your destruction will take place in eternity and last for an eternity.)

For make no mistake, even if you had no part in this incident, we have all committed evil, if not according to our own standards, according to God’s standards. Though the debt incurred by your evil actions has already been paid for by Jesus Christ, the Bible makes it clear that only those who renounce their evil actions and ways and believe in Jesus Christ will have their paid debt applied. It is the same as having won a contest, but having to go present yourself and your ticket to those running the contest to claim your prize. Though your debt has been paid, one has to renounce his evil actions and tendencies and believe in the Sonship, Lordship, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to have that paid debt “applied to their accounts.” In order to further explain and assist you in this process, please click on “The Three Step Salvation Plan” link below, which contains information presented in both written and video form. I entreat and implore you to do so – to heed and believe – immediately. Thank you.

The Three Step Salvation Plan

Posted in abomination, Apologetics, atheism, Bible, child abuse, child molestation, Christianity, education, homosexuality, humanism, idolatry, mammon, religion, sex crime, sex demon, sexual exploitation, sexual violence, skepticism, societal decline, sodomy, sports, Theodicy, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Regarding Japan: Where Is God When Disaster Strikes?

Posted by Job on March 25, 2011

The recent disaster in Japan is provoking a lot of the usual questions when such calamities happen that revolve around the same general theme: what is the role of God in this? This theme can manifest in such questions as “Did God cause this to happen, and if so why?” “If God did not cause this to happen, why did not He prevent it? Is it because He could not, or did not choose to?” These questions and its answers are for the purpose of attempting to discern the nature of God and our response to Him based on it. Of course, the answers to such questions are contained in the only authoritative record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind, the canon of scripture, the Bible. Of course, if one rejects the Bible as the final source of truth and authority, or if one does not take the time to study and understand the Bible, or to seek out a qualified source who has (i.e. a pastor with a high view of scripture) then a variety of answers to these and other questions will abound, almost all of them having a varying degree of untruth or some other deficiency. Let us be faithful – and thankful – that the Bible does provide the answers. What follows is a Bible-based attempt to provide some of them.

1. God Can And Does Act According To Creation As He Pleases

This is the first and most important presupposition. Tragically, even among most Christians, including evangelical and other theologically conservative/traditional/orthodox Christians, this fact that is not only clearly, repeatedly set forth in the Bible but is also obvious due to logic and common sense is oft rejected. The issue is not that most people who acknowledge the existence of God in some sense deny His sovereignty. Instead, the real problem is that most people who claim to believe in the sovereignty of God really do not. As a result, they fail to accurately convey the meaning and implications of God’s total, utter sovereignty over creation to the larger culture.

Make no mistake: there is only one God. God has no equal and no rival. God fears no one, answers to no one, and judges no one. There  is no other entity – or group of entities – capable of judging God with unrighteousness. Even if they attempted, it would be utter madness of the highest degree, because there is no way to enforce the verdict. God not only created all things that exist, but all things that exist are sustained by God’s power! These facts give God not only the might but also the right to behave towards His creation however He chooses. Now God does choose to behave towards His creation in a fair, just and loving way. He does so in order to be consistent with His own nature. Indeed, God is incapable of acting any other way … He is incapable of acting in an unjust, cruel, irrational or arbitrary manner. But being the self-existing deity who solely created and solely owns all else that ever was, is or shall be, fairness, justice, love, order, rationality etc. are all defined by God Himself. There is a proverb popularized by William Shakespeare: “to thine own self be true.” Well, God is the only entity for whom this proverb can possibly apply, for everything else that exists has a Maker, Ruler and Judge. God is in debt to no one. He exists in fear of no one. God is only responsible for answering to Himself. Man’s only option is to accept this fact. The refusal or inability to do so can only at best be called a self-delusion of the highest order. One certainly has the prerogative to claim all he pleases that because he does not like the facts of life that he rejects either the existence of God or of a final judgment by God, but it is sheer madness for this person to actually believe that his mere opinion actually has some bearing – some influence – over whether there actually is a God, there will actually be a judgment day, and the Bible is actually true or not. Since we are but creatures, we have no more say in or power over these matters than we did in our own creation!

So even if God did strike Japan and cause all of the carnage, destruction and loss of life, it was well within His prerogative to do so, because God created Japan, God sustains Japan, God owns Japan, and therefore Japan and all the people therein are the exclusive domain of God to do with as He pleases whenever He pleases. Even according to human logic with the things that we “create” or “buy” (it is mine; I can do with it whatever I want!) this is truth, and our failure to acknowledge this is merely evidence of just how narcissistic we are. It is reminiscent of how Satan demanded that Jesus Christ, the very One who not only created Satan but sustains Satan’s existence, demanded that Jesus Christ bow down and worship HIM! Obviously, Satan was no threat to Jesus Christ in any way, because all Jesus Christ has to do to remove even a theoretical threat is to stop sustaining the existence of said threat!

Satan’s lack of reason and rationality due to the madness caused by his fallen condition caused him to be so presumptuous as to ask a thing of the one responsible for his own original and continued existence, and it is the same madness that causes humans to deny that God has no less than the same absolute dominion over us than we have over some plastic toy that we buy from a discount store. This exists only because we believe that our own relative worth in comparison to God’s worth is so much greater than the relative worth of that cheap plastic toy as compared to us. This is total folly and an utter offense, and is so because we both greatly diminish God’s importance while inflating our own. This is nothing but the sin of pride, the sin of vanity, the very same which caused Satan’s fall from his own exalted position to begin with.

2. There Are No Innocent People

You might make a mental assent to the first point and say “OK, God is great, but that does not make Him good, and as a moral agent I am well within my rights to dispute God’s goodness if He is responsible for the deaths of so many good and innocent people, including babies.” Now while from a cosmic level this argument is still useless (you can call God unjust all you want and you still can’t make Him listen), it must be acknowledged that this argument can be used to challenge the authority of the Bible. For instance, if the Bible declares God to be just, and it can be shown that God is not just, then rather than necessarily being an indictment on God, it is instead an indictment on the Bible that Christians claim is God’s authoritative and inerrant self-revelation to man. So, convicting God as unrighteous is more useful as an argument for, say, deism, than for actually putting God on trial.

The problem is that the Bible definitively removes this argument with its doctrines of original sin and federal headship. When Adam sinned, the effects were not limited to Adam himself. No, God made Adam the representative of the human race and the steward of creation. So, the result of Adam’s misdeed was the fall of the entire human race and all of creation. God did not create evil. When God finished creation, it was, according to the declaration of a just, holy and righteous God, “very good”, which means that there was no evil in it (for God cannot and will not declare anything that has evil present in it “very good”). When Adam sinned, not just Adam but all of creation was no longer “very good.” This means that all of creation was no longer acceptable in God’s sight. All of creation no longer met God’s standard, which is total holiness; complete sinlessness; absolute perfection; peerless harmony with God and His nature. “In Adam all die” indeed!

Now with creation no longer meeting God’s standard, God was well within His right to destroy it all. Not just destroy Adam. Not just destroy the human race. Not just destroy planet Earth. God had the perfect right and a very good reason and motivation to destroy the entire creation, because thanks to Adam, the entire creation was now sinful! Like a little drop of ink on a huge white piece of paper or cloth, that one little blot means that it is no longer totally, completely perfectly white anymore! Instead, it is only “mostly white”, and by God’s standard, “mostly white” isn’t good enough.

But God didn’t destroy creation. Why? Because He loves His creation. It is the work of His hands and it is precious to Him. So even though He had no obligation to and had every reason not to, God so loved His creation that He sent His only begotten Son to preserve some of it for eternity. (That is the true meaning of John 3:16). So, it is only by God’s grace, God’s love, that ANY of creation continued to exist for even an instant after Adam sinned. Because all of creation is sinful, all things and all people, God is not under obligation to save any thing or any one. Instead of charging God with cruelty, incompetence, aloofness or injustice for not intervening to save everyone, the opposite is true: it is only because of God’s grace and love that He saves anyone. All deserve God’s wrath; all deserve death and destruction. It is only because of God’s great love, because of God’s willingness to suffer the continued existence of a creation that is an abomination in His sight because of its fallen condition, that ANY person is able to experience the great privilege of living, existing, and getting to know the benefits of God’s love and grace even for a single second, because even that single second is more of God’s love and grace than any of us deserve. (For more on this topic, see How Can A Loving God Send People To Hell? Answering Requires Knowing What Love Is).

3. There Is No Evidence That God Causes Most Calamities

Now allow me to preface this with the caveat that the doctrine of providence means that God ultimately controls and is responsible for everything and uses all events to accomplish His purposes. This is indeed true, for denying it in any part results in establishing deism in an equal part. Still – and continuing to tread very carefully (and please realize that I am not a trained or professional theologian, so suffer my limitations) – please strongly consider the notion that God does not have to act to cause a calamity or a “bad thing” because they would happen anyway. Remember: creation in its original state was perfect, in complete harmony, so much so that the Bible even declared it self-sustaining after a manner of speaking (i.e. the plants and animals reproduced themselves). Adam’s fall introduced sin, or imperfection, which disrupted this disharmony. With Adam’s sin, death entered the world. So, because of Adam’s sin, things like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions (not to mention disease, wars and famines) are going to naturally happen simply due to the marred, flawed corrupted state of creation itself.

God does not have to act in order to cause a “bad thing” to happen, and it certainly does not have to be the result of a specific punishment for a specific sin. Quite the contrary, the bad things that happen are just the result of flawed machinery (with the flaw being due to sin) exhibiting its lack of perfection. It is analogous to how a poorly tuned automobile will still sputter, make bad noises and get poor fuel economy even if the driver commits no error in operating it.

Now it is true that the Bible does record various instances of God’s unleashing natural disasters and other widespread calamities to punish sin and wickedness. Examples include Sodom and Gomorrah, the flood of Noah, the woes against peoples and nations given by the Old Testament prophets, and the things spoken of in Revelation. They also include the famines, plagues, lost wars etc. experienced by Israel during her times of infidelity to her heavenly King. It is based on this that whenever there is a natural disaster, invariably certain Christians will suggest that it was a punishment meted out by God for wickedness, such as the infamous statements of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson blaming abortion, homosexuality and other right wing culture war hot button issues for one calamity or another. Curious that these folks never seem to blame such things on injustice to the poor or minorities, a failure to take care of orphans and widows, corporate greed, or waging unjust wars despite God’s prophets in the Old Testament – and Jesus Christ in the New Testament! – also listing those as reasons for God’s judgments.

With the former, while these events certainly do seem to occur with some degree of frequency in the Bible, realize that they occurred over the course of thousands of years (yes, I am a young earth creationist) of Biblical history, and that their inclusion in the Biblical text is precisely because they were so rare. (It stretches credulity, for instance, to claim that the total destruction of the entire population of a large city in a natural disaster, as happened with Sodom and Gomorrah, is anything approaching a routine occurrence.) And in the case of Israel, please realize that they were a unique case: the nation created and called out by God among all the nations to serve His unique purposes. As part of Israel’s election, God gave them the Sinai covenant, which contained blessings if Israel was faithful and curses if they were not. When Israel failed to keep the covenant, then God did act to punish them for their sinfulness. But it is theologically wrong – and dangerous – to claim that God does the same with other nations with whom He did not establish a blessings and cursings covenant. Sadly, not a few religious leaders do exactly that because of either covenant theology, or even more cynically, religious right politics, which causes them to assert the existence of “Christian nations” that are products of God’s providence and therefore subject to God’s blessings if the populace is faithful to Him, and God’s curses if it is not. These claims simply cannot be supported by scripture and should be rejected, along with the notion that any contemporary nation, including America, is “a Christian nation created by God as part of His special plan.”

As for Revelation (and similar prophecies elsewhere such as the Olivet discourse) there is the belief that widespread disasters are increasing in frequency and severity because we are in the last days before the return of Jesus Christ. That is more legitimate theologically, but even there we have to be careful: people have used calamities and misfortunes in their time to claim that Jesus Christ’s return is nigh upon us for centuries. Also, while certain things – especially wars – have gotten particularly severe in the past 100 years, let us not forget that Black Death nearly wiped out Europe, and in the 6th and 7th centuries Islam nearly succeeded in conquering the known world.

Further, it may not even necessarily take specific judgments of God to result in the increasing frequency and severity of disasters, but instead it might simply be fallen creation exhibiting more and worse dysfunction as time goes on, similar to the problems that a house built on a warped, cracked foundation would have as the years go by. And for those with premillennial eschatology in particular, there is little evidence to support natural disasters oft or usually occurring as the result of specific judgments from God until the seven years of the great tribulation. Of course, those with different endtimes views, especially the historicist viewpoint that holds that the various judgments of Revelation have been occurring throughout the history of the church, see things differently.

Even so, it is far more likely that God has worked to graciously and mercifully prevent more natural disasters – and has limited the severity of and the loss of life from the disasters that do occur – than He has caused to happen because of judgments. So, just as it is with popular misconceptions of God’s sovereignty, a lot of the “God caused this to happen to punish those people for their sins!” talk is actually backwards. The Biblical evidence suggests that ever since the flood of Noah, God has sought to act mercifully and graciously to limit having to mete out such punishments. An example was the Tower of Babel, where God intervened to prevent mankind from accomplishing a great evil, which would have provoked God’s wrath in response.

Conclusion

Understanding great tragedies such as Japan and the even more devastating tsunami of 2004 (killing 230,000 people in 14 countries) requires beginning with an appropriate view of God, then a correct measure of man (and the rest of creation) in relationship to God, and next an attempt to grasp the true, severe, devastating cosmic consequences of the fall of Adam. Often, we only view Adam’s fall in soteriological terms: because of his actions men are doomed to an eternity in the lake of fire unless they are saved through Jesus Christ. While that is certainly true, it is unhelpful to limit Adam’s actions only to that sense, as if the eternal fate of humanity is all that truly matters. Such is man-centered thinking. Instead, we must realize that all of God’s creation is very special to and loved by Him, and that it was all of God’s creation that was made unacceptable to God as a result of Adam’s actions. As much as it pains us to see the death and misery due to these natural disasters, we must realize that it hurts God even more. Not only does God love each and every person that perished in that earthquake and tsunami, God also loves the planet itself that cracked and moaned that tragic day. (For example, imagine your own distress were a favorite and valuable piece of china passed down to you from a beloved family member were to badly chip or crack, and multiply that by a great many times.) This is why environmentalists who tell us to “love the earth” are so misguided … far better to love the God who loves the earth more than we ever could! God loves His creation, and it pains God to see the condition of disrepair that His beloved treasure that He created and sustains has come to because of Adam’s actions.

But there is good news: this marred, groaning crumbling creation will not exist forever. Quite the contrary: its time is limited. At the time appointed by God the Father, this current creation will pass away – be destroyed by fire – and replaced with a new creation, a new heaven and a new earth. A mere man will not be the head of the kosmos to come as Adam was of this kosmos! Instead, the head of the kosmos to come is Jesus Christ, who being God will not fall and plunge it into sin (ignore the doctrines of the heretic Origen who claims otherwise). Also, the people united with Jesus Christ? Well, they are the part of the prior kosmos that God will preserve for an eternity in the new kosmos, as a “keepsake” of the old kosmos. Why will God preserve some of the old kosmos when it is sinful and unacceptable? Because He so loved it! John 3:16! (Kosmos means “world”.) And by uniting the remnant of the former kosmos with Jesus Christ, the keepsake from the former kosmos will have its sinful status expunged, purged, extinguished, never to be remembered, spoken of or thought of before. So, God will have a reminder of His original work AND a new work that will be preserved forever by His Son: the best of both worlds! Does the God of the universe deserve anything less? Soli Deo Gloria!

But in order for this to be good news for you, you must be part of the kosmos that is united with Jesus Christ and thereby preserved. Otherwise, you will be in the portion of the marrred, unsuitable kosmos that will be rejected by the holy, perfect God and destroyed by fire … or more accurately the lake of fire. And against the doctrine of annihilationism, as time does not exist in eternity, the old creation’s being cast into the lake of fire will be just as eternal as the joy of the saints in heaven (cf Revelation 14:11). So in order to be the part of this world that is preserved forever instead of destroyed forever, you must obey Acts 2:38, which reads (in part) “Repent , and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” For more detail on how this is done, I urge you to immediately read and heed:

The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Posted in abomination, abortion, Bible, Christianity, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, global warming, Jesus Christ, religion, religious right, Theodicy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Seeing God in everything…even Hurricane Ike

Posted by Job on October 2, 2008

From Fancied Freedom!

Seeing God in everything…even Hurricane Ike

However, at one point during the aftermath of the Category 2 storm, I wondered if sometimes a hurricane or other natural disasters are used, maybe even needed, to get people to put priorities into perspective. Tons of people lost their homes and possessions. Crawling and digging through rubble, residents in Galveston and other beach-front properties tried to put some semblance of their lives back together. Even if they could only salvage a fork and a spoon, at least it was theirs. If they have nothing, then what do they have?

People who were without power for days and weeks found new ways to cope with significant amounts of time, much of which was spent during hot and humid days. But God was gracious in providing some cooler weather. But what thoughts raced through people’s minds as they were kept back from watching TV or using the Internet due to no electricity? What did they ponder upon? What changed?

There is no immediate way to determine how the hurricane has impacted people’s lives, other than those who are completely homeless. Many people seemed to remain hopeful in spite of the loss but deep down what questions were being held inside? How will I get through this? What will happen next? What if I don’t get my next paycheck? Where will I live? Where is God? Personally, I never heard Paul’s words in Philippians 3:7 more clearly:

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

Only a few days after Hurricane Ike, I read my devotional for September 17 and was amazed at how God could be so timely. Only in His perfect and infinite wisdom could He have known that the words written so long ago in Streams in the Desert for that day would be needed for this day. Focusing on seeing God in every circumstance and situation in life, the message says:

To see HIM, and to be sure that His wisdom cannot err, His power cannot fail, His love can never change; to know that even His direst dealings with us are for our deepest spiritual gain, is to be able to say, in the midst of bereavement, sorrow, pain and loss, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

And what truly spoke to my heart and made these words of seeing God in all of life’s trials and tribulations even more applicable was a poem written by A.E. Finn that followed the devotional and I’ll post it here (the last one is MY favorite):

“Give me a new idea,” I said,
While musing on a sleepless bed;
“A new idea that’ll bring to earth
A balm for souls of priceless worth;
That’ll give men thoughts of things above,
And teach them how to serve and love,
That’ll banish every selfish thought,
And rid men of the sins they’ve fought.”

The new thought, came, just how, I’ll tell:
‘Twas when on bended knee I fell,
And sought from HIM who knows full well
The way our sorrow to expel.
SEE GOD IN ALL THINGS, great and small,
And give HIM praise whatever befall,
In life or death, in pain or woe,
See God, and overcome thy foe.

I saw HIM in the morning light;
He made the day shine clear and bright;
I saw HIM in the noontide hour,
And gained from Him refreshing shower.
At eventide, when worn and sad,
HE gave me help, and made me glad.
At midnight, when on tossing bed
My weary soul to sleep HE led.

I saw HIM when great losses came,
And found HE loved me just the same.
When heavy loads I had to bear,
I found HE lightened every care.
By sickness, sorrow, sore distress,
HE calmed my mind and gave me rest.
HE’s filled my heart with gladsome praise
Since I gave HIM the upward gaze.

‘Twas new to me, yet old to some,
This thought that to me has become
A revelation of the way
We all should live throughout the day;
For as each day unfolds its light,
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.
Life will, indeed, a blessing bring,
If we SEE GOD IN EVERYTHING.

Yes, we can see God in everything because ALL THINGS can be used for His glory, for our refinement and for others’ encouragement. Yes, even a hurricane. For life will indeed a BLESSING bring if we see God in EVERYTHING!

Posted in Apologetics, Bible, Christianity, Jesus Christ, Theodicy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I Have No Choice Left But To Join The Predestination Camp

Posted by Job on November 22, 2007

Update: though I am now TULIP, I will not take the chauvinistic attitudes against LILAC Christians as exhibited by things like this link: The “god” Of Arminianism and this: Free-Willism Preaches Another Jesus. Claiming that free will Christians aren’t going to heaven cannot be supported by honest interpretation of scripture. Thank you. 

I was raised in free will Christianity and had an entire worldview shaped around it that seemed quite logical to me. However, it is now based on that same logic that I must reject the doctrine of Jacobus Arminius with regards to the salvation of man. The tipping point for me was reading an excerpt of a letter from Pelagius, opponent of Augustine and Jerome, to Demetrias. In it, Pelagius, who espoused free will and denied the existence of original sin, asserted that God had given all men the strength to choose good or evil, and that it was our responsibility to use it. He did allow that said strength was somewhat limited, but that God knew that limitation for He knew how much strength He gave us. Still, God gave us sufficient strength to continuously exercise good over evil.

Keep in mind that this is a holy God who hates sin and loves His creation. So then, why then would this God not give us enough strength never to sin at all, knowing that the result would not only be the corruption that He hates but the damnation of His creation to eternal wrath? It it has to be because either He would not or that He could not. Go one way and God is not a God of love. Go another way and God is not all powerful. The result of either is having no God at all.

Also, consider that man does have the ability to choose salvation, even if this ability is not inherent in man but rather a gift of the same common grace that is available to all men. That, then place the responsibility on God to get men to accept salvation. To use a business analogy, God would then be the salesman, humanity would be the consumer, and Jesus Christ would be the product. If this is so, then that makes God the worst salesman in the history of the universe! Consider that fast food restaurants have no problem selling expensive unhealthy low quality food that any benefits derived from eating will disappear like chaff in a furnace (the negative health effects will last somewhat longer especially if you consume such “food” with any regularity) but God’s Son is available for free with immeasurable benefits that accrue over time and last an eternity.

And what are the consequences of passing up McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, or the Chinese food buffet? Missing a meal or having to “settle” for a sandwich made from whatever you can find in your refrigerator. (I suggest living with those consequences whenever possible.) But the consequences of passing up Jesus Christ is eternal wrath. So is our God so incompetent a salesman that He is unable to convince even an utter fool of the merits of His FREE merchandise? Considering not so much that the sovereign holy righteous God would never immolate and humiliate Himself before man in order to beg His acceptance in the first place, but this scenario requires believing that He would do such a thing only to be grotesquely incompetent at it.

Make no mistake, the existence of free will makes every the failure of each and every man that rejects God a failure of God … a failure due to some flaw, unrighteousness, or lack of knowledge in God that cannot be blamed on man. And this is very important in questions regarding the goodness or fairness of God. You may with your human judgment condemn God for being partial, arbitrary, and even cruel for refusing to save everyone. That is fine with me. The reason is that for me the existence of God is made self evident by virtue of creation. I find the existence of a God that may appear less than fair according to limited human understanding by refusing to save everyone preferable to that of a God that is clearly incompetent by any understanding that wants to save everyone but is not only incapable of accomplishing it, but moreover only succeeds in saving a small number! It appears that we are so often needful to believe in a God that is “fair” to suit our own purposes that that even a reasonably competent God – let alone the God of the Bible that is sovereign, holy, high and lifted up, righteous, loving, gracious, and powerful – gets rejected in the process.

So I am now forced to cease resisting the meaning of John 10:25-28Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

Are you willing to accept the free gift of salvation? If so, please follow the Three Step Salvation Plan.

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, election, predestination, Theodicy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 104 Comments »

On Predestination

Posted by Job on November 13, 2007

See link below from the Voice Of The Sheep weblog.

Predestination

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, predestination, salvation, Theodicy | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

So The War Between Church And State Begins With Fred Phelps

Posted by Job on November 1, 2007

I will forgo the usual routine of prefacing my comments with a discussion as to whether the behavior of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church was wrong; there are plenty of places where you can go find that. Instead, I will deal with this fact: since Westboro Baptist Church almost certainly does not have $10.9 million they will have to close. As such, this is the first time to my knowledge that the state is causing the doors of a church that has not been found to be in violation of any laws down. Rather, they received a $2.9 million judgment against them for invasion of privacy (despite the fact that the funeral was a public event in a public place) and an $8 million dollar judgment for causing emotional distress.

It is quite difficult to say what is worse. The $2.9 million invasion of privacy judgment that was a clear rejection of the actual facts of the case, the $8 million judgment for emotional distress caused by free speech in a public forum, or the stated aim of the plaintiffs “But Albert Snyder’s lawyer urged the jury to ensure the damages were high enough to stop the church campaigning” was granted. Keep in mind: the defendants were not found guilty of libel, slander, defamation, or trespassing. They incurred this verdict by making legal speech in a legal manner, and the sole purpose of this verdict was to prevent them from making legal speech in a legal manner again. Whatever you may think of Fred Phelps and his congregation, they are not the criminals here. The criminals are the jury that brought this verdict and the judge that failed to vacate it. If the state enforces this judgment, it will effectively nullify the First Amendment protections of free speech and freedom of religion and set a powerful precedent. As such, it is Fred Phelps’ church today but your church tomorrow.

Any church that preaches that homosexuality is a sin can be found guilty of causing emotional distress to homosexuals, and even facilitating the spread of AIDS. Any church that preaches against the genocide of abortion can be found guilty of inciting violence against the abortion mills and its employees, or even the mental anguish caused by the theoretical threat of increased violence. And any church that preaches against unjust government action can be labeled subversive.

Make no mistake, it is a perfect test case, so perfect that one would think that Phelps was some sort of a plant, though I sincerely doubt it to be the case. Phelps chose the funerals of the untimely dead, the most emotionally charged environment imaginable, as his forum. He went after homosexuality to enrage the left. He went after soldiers killed in combat to enrage the right. As a result, a law restricting such conduct was speedily passed without any opposition. The ACLU did not want to come down on the side of a homosexuality opponent, the ACLJ (owned by Pat Robertson) did not want to come down on the side of one who would grieve the families of dead soldiers. For both sides, protecting their own bases, their own constituencies, took priority over taking up an unpopular cause to defend rights from a government that hates righteousness. Such is almost certainly the reason why no prominent pastor, preacher, or theologian was able to muster a defense. When such people feel the heavy hand of the state pressing against their necks for the crime of offending Islam or Judaism by insisting that salvation is only through Jesus Christ, they will wish that they had not chosen the path of silent forbearance.

Finally, I wish to deal with part of Fred Phelp’s theology. He states that we are losing on the battlefield in Iraq because this nation promotes and celebrates homosexuality. Why not? First off, I realize that we are not Old Testament Israel. But the entire religious right movement is based on the fiction that we are, that we are a Christian nation founded by God to be the light among nations, the shining city on the hill. So let us adhere to their false theology in order to further convict the religious right sorts that were silent on this issue. Did not God punish Old Testament Israel, the elect nation that He founded, for their sins by not only allowing casualties and lost battles, but actually fighting for the enemy? Why should America be any different? Christian right, you cannot employ your false theology when it helps your fundraising campaigns and voter registration drives and then discard it when it is inconvenient because it offends the white evangelical Christian families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. You have to be consistent! The fact that you are not being consistent proves that you yourselves know that your theology is false, and that you are not serving Jesus Christ. Instead, you give people a theology that allows them to point the finger at someone else while basking in their own self – righteousness. No wonder it has been such a popular theology that translates to easily and effectively to political action for so long! But no, the true gospel of Jesus Christ that requires people to examine themselves first to see whether they be in the faith and then make tough stands and sacrifices for that faith, to suffer rejection and persecution as Jesus Christ did, has never been popular and it has never translated into anything that can be used for political power, financial gain, or anything else that is of this world.

Further, I wish to take issue with this notion that God for some reason has stopped judging people and their nation for wickedness. A lot of preachers, some that I respect highly and others that are vigorous apostates, make this claim. We heard a lot of this during Hurricane Katrina in response to the common claim – believed by many Katrina refugees themselves – that God destroyed that city for its wickedness. Oh so many theologians manifested with the notion “it cannot be true, for why would God destroy New Orleans and not San Francisco or Las Vegas?” This is not to say that Hurricane Katrina was an act of God. Instead, it is to say that you could hardly pick a worse possible argument for saying that it wasn’t! Who is man to question the ways of God, to suggest that He is arbitrary, unfair, and unrighteous unless He behaves according to man’s logic and values? Was that not the error of Job, who had to be reminded of God’s sovereignty and rebuked? If God chooses to judge one and spare another, is that not His prerogative? Is that not His grace? But far too many churches claim that we have earned grace by our own virtue, and as a result we have the right to sit and judge God. They have forgotten that we are all sinners, that we all deserve the lake of fire for our sins, but despite of that fact God will spare some that deserve destruction and give others the destruction that they deserve.

The clear evidence of this was Sodom and Gomorrah. Do you honestly believe that Sodom and Gomorrah was the only place that had homosexuality going on? Not to attach some level of significance to this one specific sin when the Bible says that all are equal, what about the idolatry, violence, greed, and oppression of the poor that was going on elsewhere? And let us not forget the – gasp! – gossiping and false judging! The truth is that the whole world deserved the very same punishment that Sodom and Gomorrah received because the whole world was as guilty of sin as Sodom and Gomorrah! The whole world deserved to be destroyed then because of sin, and the whole world deserves to be destroyed today. Instead of viewing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as punishment of the sin of homosexuality, we should look at it in terms of God’s GRACE because He spared everyone else! But oh no, we do not go there, because we are so convinced of our own virtue.

That is why all of those preachers said “Why not Las Vegas or San Francisco” instead of “WHY NOT MY CHURCH AND MY OWN HOUSE!” By using that argument, they are pretending in their self – righteousness that there is some sin in San Francisco or Las Vegas or in Sodom and Gomorrah that they are not guilty of in their person. But that is not what the Bible says. The Bible says that the man who says that he is without sin is a LIAR! So even if God theoretically did destroy New Orleans or cause the tsunami, He had just as much right to do that as He just as He has the right to destroy YOU!

Nay, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah to demonstrate a theological point. The same was true of His destruction of Egypt. Egypt was not the only proud oppressive nation on the face of the earth at the time, far from it! But God destroyed Egypt in order to demonstrate His power and to show them as a parable against wickedness and defying His Will, and openly said as much in scripture. But do not be deceived: the whole world deserved what Egypt received and far worse then, and deserves the same still now.

Almost as deadly is what I call “neo – deism.” Some preachers claim that God only worked such spectacular interventions in history to judge the wicked and raise up the righteous in the previous dispensation before Jesus Christ, but now that Christ has come and overcome the world, God is allowing history to play out until Christ returns. Pardon me, but where does it say that in the Bible? Where does it say that the Father is sitting on His Throne with Jesus Christ on His Right Hand doing nothing? That is speaking as if God has fallen asleep and has forsaken doing righteousness! Claiming that “history is just playing out” or “this world is dying and disintegrating due to sin” seems to me to be either a religion of naturalism or claiming that these events are mere chance: evolution perhaps? Excuse me … “intelligent design” to use the lingua franca of evangelical politics.

Or worse … maybe you are giving SATAN credit and the glory for these events? Take God out of it, and it is either naturalism, random chance, or Satan. As for me, I say that a sovereign God is still ruling on the throne and intimately involved in world events just as He always has been, for He is a God that never changes. I have confidence in trusting an unchanging God or my salvation. What about you?

So whatever doctrinal errors Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church exhibit with their actions, it appears that mainstream respectable Christianity has problems of its own! At least it can be said about Phelps and his congregation that they are willing to put themselves on the line for something. As if “submit to Babylon” was a popular message during Jeremiah’s day. You know what Jeremiah was accused of? Harming the morale of our troops and the country, and helping the enemy. Sounds familiar to the same charges made by the Bush administration and the religious right to certain folks, right? Again, I am not endorsing their doctrines or their actions. I am merely saying that their doctrines and actions are not as wayward as many Christians choose to believe.

Update: a reader has left an excellent comment doing what I specifically refrained from doing for my own purposes, which was to make the plain Biblical case that Westboro Baptist Church was incontrovertibly wrong. As a matter of fact, he did a better job than I could have! So please read his comment, which God provided through him in order to make the treatment of this matter complete. Also, another reader made a related point that Westboro Baptist fell for a government trap, which complements the other comment.

Posted in Christian Persecution, Christian persecution America, christian right, Christianity, church state, Theodicy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments »

What If Jesus Christ Had Never Been Born?

Posted by Job on October 29, 2007

See the link and video below.

faithfacts.gospelcom.net/cul_christmas.html

Posted in Apologetics, Jesus Christ, sermon, Theodicy | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Why One HAS To Spend An ETERNITY In The Lake Of Fire For Rejecting Jesus Christ

Posted by Job on October 24, 2007

His final sentence sums it up: “When God poured out His wrath on the Son on Calvary, His wrath was satisfied once for all for those who would believe. Those in hell will never satisfy His wrath, and that is why it is eternal” but please click below to read the rest to see how he gets there. This recalls my running discussions with Oneness Pentecostal Laymond from several months back on “Hell” (Actually Lake Of Fire) Quiz, Demon Of The Day: Bitterness, and Two Types Of Synagogues Of Satan, who asserted that those cast into the lake of fire would not burn forever, but rather would be consumed in an instant (using the “instantly burnt up like chaff” references in scripture to justify it). I have also seen other fellows on the Internet making the claim that the eternal punishment of flame is a pagan myth that Catholics picked up from Babylon. These are not the “there will be no punishment as Christ’s atonement saved everyone” that universalists like Carlton Pearson preach; rather these people preach that punishment consists of little more than ceasing to exist. Which, of course, is the same as claiming that “once you die, that is it, there is no heaven or hell” atheist, deist, and certain pagan (i.e. the Greco – Roman belief systems that believed in deities but not the resurrection of the dead that the Sadduccees adopted) arguments.

What if You Went to Hell?

Posted in Christianity, salvation, Theodicy | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Does God Hate Sinners?

Posted by Job on September 5, 2007

If you are convinced of the answer follow The Three Step Salvation Plan right now!

Posted in Apologetics, Christianity, evangelical christian, false doctrine, feminism, global warming evangelical christian, salvation, salvation through Jesus Christ, Theodicy, thou shalt not murder | Leave a Comment »

Fox News Asks Whether Virginia Tech Shooter Cho Seung-Hui Was Demon Possessed

Posted by Job on April 19, 2007

See this link. The article was WAY TOO SHORT, but other than that one cannot find any problems with it. Fox News gave first crack to the fundamentalist/charismatic Christian camp, which was represented (somewhat regrettably) Dr. Richard Roberts, who, like me yesterday screamed “YES!” Why do I say “regrettably”? Because there were better people that they could have picked (i.e. Frank Peretti) to represent the branch of Christianity that believes in spiritual warfare. Why do I say “somewhat?” Because, well, there are also much much worse. Next, the article spoke to a rabbinic Jew, who claimed not to believe in spiritual evil, but only man’s evil. Which, of course, denies all of the references to evil spirits in the Old Testament and in Jewish written and oral tradition before Yeshua HaMashiach came into the world, including the specific Messianic prophecy (that appears only in Jewish tradition and is not in the Christian Bible) that the Moshiach would be able to cast demons out of mute people. Before the Moshiach, rabbis were able to cast demons out only if they were able to force the demon to speak through the person and tell its name, allowing the rabbi to address the demon by name to tell it to leave. Yeshua HaMashiach was not only able to cast demons out while not suffering them to speak, but cast demons out of those who could not speak. Of course, their ability to do this was based on the power that God have to natural Israel under the Old Covenant. Once the Old Covenant was fulfilled in Yeshua HaMashiach’s birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, they would have had to have accept Yeshua HaMashiach as their Messiah, Lord, and God not only to gain the increased power of the New Covenant by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but also to prevent from losing the power that they had under the Old Covenant. So, since their faithlessness and rebellion caused them to lose the ability to deal with evil spirits that Christians now demonstrated, they had to revise their religious teachings to deny the existence of spiritual evil altogether. (I feel that it is important to point out that not all rabbinic Jews deny evil spirits … Rabbi Peter Rubenstein practices Reform Judaism which does not hold scripture to be inerrant, literally true, or final authority, making them no different from similar Christians who do not believe in them either.) Next they give time to the views of an atheist, no need for much comment there other than they were able to find one who “appreciates how religion first understood evil and created rules to combat it.” While that may warm the heart of certain worldly legalism – loving “religious right” Christians, hopefully true fundamentalists will cringe at his viewing Christianity as morals, values, rules, etc. rather than a spiritual personal relationship through faith.

Finally the article got to good old Robert Schuller, the leader of inoffensive nonthreatening Purpose Driven Power of Positive Thinking Contemplative New Age seeker driven man centered “Christianity.” His response: even if Satan (or more accurately evil spirits) WERE a cause or a contributing factor, “I am not going to give them credit for it.” That’s right Reverend. Deny spiritual truth from the Word of God – and spiritual truth that you yourself acknowledge is very likely true – just because it makes people feel better. It isn’t about equipping people for battle against these spirits to try to stand against these horrors and the worse to come. It isn’t about helping your members deal with the divorces, abortions, low self – esteem, false burdens, gossiping, lying, homosexuality, pornography/alcohol/gambling addictions, etc. that are reaching epidemic proportions in the church: about telling them that do not worry, they are still saved, they should not accept guilt/shame/condemnation but instead have faith in the power of God’s Love and Grace to expose and deliver them from demonic oppression. No, it is all about reassuring the people. Filling them with “positive good feelings.” Helping them to paper over and repress their legitimate emotions over a culture, nation, and world spiraling out of control in so many ways with homilies and platitudes.

It would have been interesting to see what the mainstream and liberal denominations would have had to say about demonic possession in the Cho Seung-Hui case and similar, but hey, we will take what we can get in the major media on this topic, and that means accepting Richard Roberts’ advocating our side too.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Posted in adultery, atheism, christian television, Egypt, Iraq, Judaism, New Age, rapio, reprobate, salvation, spiritual warfare, Theodicy | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Why Do The Wicked Prosper?

Posted by Job on March 4, 2007

“Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all of the faithless live at ease?” If Jeremiah had a computer back in his day, he may have sent Liveprayer an email with these questions that we read him asking in Jeremiah 12:1. Not a day goes by that we don’t get hundreds of emails from people asking these very questions. A woman who loves the Lord and honors Him with her life has a husband who cheats on her, leaves her and their children for another woman, and is now living a comfortable life while she and her children struggle just to live day to day.

A man who faithfully serves the Lord gives decades of his life working for a company that takes advantage of him, operates with little ethics or morals, and lets him go just before he is scheduled to retire to save money while those who run the company live extravagant lifestyles. A young man trying to follow the Lord and God’s Word struggles to buy a new pair of shoes while teenage thug rappers glorifying and living lifestyles
of sin wear hundreds of thousands of dollars of jewelry and drive new exotic cars.

There is an endless list of examples of those who love the Lord, live for Him, yet are currently struggling in their daily lives while those who deny Christ and live in complete rebellion to Him seem to prosper and live in great comfort and ease. So it becomes a legitimate question that the prophet Jeremiah asks. It is a legitimate question that men who love the Lord throughout the ages have asked. It is a proper question for those
who serve and follow the Lord today to ask. WHY DO THE WICKED SEEM TO
PROSPER?

The answer to this question, like the answers to ALL questions, is found in God’s Word. You need to take time to read the 37th Psalm, all 40 verses. The answer to this age-old question of why do the wicked seem to prosper is found in never losing sight of the big picture of what this life is all about. First, it is God who gives us life and we all have the
same general purpose of serving and glorifying Him with our lives.

Second, we are all going to die one day. As the Bible clearly tells us, tomorrow is promised to none of us, so that day is not as far away as many think it is. Third, when we die, our soul lives on for eternity. The only issue to be determined is do we spend that eternity WITH God who created us or APART from God who created us. Each person makes that
choice in either accepting or rejecting God’s ONLY plan of salvation through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

So what is important to understand is that we actually have a very limited number of days in this life here on earth. The most critical choice we have to make during our life is what we do with Jesus, since that choice will determine our eternal home. For those who have chosen to follow Christ, their days on this earth are to be focused on fulfilling our
God-given purpose of serving and glorifying the Lord with our lives in whatever way God calls each of us to do that.

If you haven’t noticed, I have not mentioned having money, possessions, or any of the things of this world. You see, those are simply the temporary things of THIS LIFE and are meaningless in light of eternity. What happens is the righteous, the followers of Christ get caught up in measuring prosperity and success the way the world does by the temporal things of this world. Real prosperity and success aren’t found in the temporary things of this world but in the eternal things of God. Things like peace and joy and living an abundant life that don’t come from this world, but from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!

Let me ask you a very serious question. This is actually a question Jesus once asked. He said,” What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul?” When Jesus was in the desert being tempted by the devil for 40 days and 40 nights, at one point satan showed Him all of the kingdoms of the world and told him to worship him and they would all be His. Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’ ” You see, Christ understood that the things of this world are but temporary. The REAL Kingdom is not in this world, but in Heaven. The REAL riches are not in this world, but in Heaven.

I love you and care about you so much. It is natural in our flesh to look at those who have chosen to reject Christ and live their lives in complete rebellion to God and His Word and wonder why they seem to prosper while we may be currently struggling. While they may be enjoying the prosperity this world offers, without Jesus they are SPIRITUALLY BANKRUPT. Actually, rather than envy these people, they are to be pitied since when their brief journey through life is over they will be spending eternity in a place created for satan and his fallen angels unless they come to know Jesus. Bill Gates may be the richest man on the planet, but the moment he dies, all of his wealth is MEANINGLESS. The ONLY THING that will matter when he stands before God is does he know Jesus as his personal Savior.

This is also the problem with the “prosperity gospel” so many today preach in error. There is NOTHING in the Bible that says just because you know Jesus you are guaranteed to have great wealth in this life. What the Bible DOES PROMISE is that if you know Christ as your Savior, you are assured of everlasting life and that during this life you will enjoy the blessings and provision of God. You see, God has promised to meet your
needs during this life, needs like food, shelter, and clothing. That is God’s promise to His children. The true prosperity gospel is not about dollars, it is about BLESSINGS!

God NEVER promised you would have a million dollar home, a new Rolls Royce in the driveway, $5,000 suits, a Rolex watch, or any of the many treasures this life can offer. God may allow some to be blessed to have those things during their life, but the wealth of a follower of Jesus is not measured in the temporary things of this world, but in the eternal things of God! God measures the heart of His children not by their bank account,
but by their obedience, their faithfulness, and their willingness to completely surrender all they have to follow Him.

I will be praying for you today. Praying that God will speak to you through these words about how you look on those who have chosen to live their lives in rebellion to God, yet seem to be prospering. The fact is, they may indeed be prosperous according to the standards of the world for a brief season. But whatever we have in this life will one day be gone, and at that point, the only thing that will matter is do we know Jesus. Pray for those who you may have been envious of for what they possess.
Pray that they will come to know Christ as their Savior since salvation cannot be bought, it is only available through faith in Jesus.

I have dealt over the years with thousands of people who had great wealth but when the real trials of life came, they realized that all of their wealth and possessions meant nothing. When your spouse or child or loved one has a serious illness and is laying in a hospital bed, when you find out your spouse wants a divorce, when you learn your child is on drugs, when the doctor tells you that you have a serious disease, when you face
many of the major battles in life we all face, at that moment your money and possessions mean nothing. Only a deep abiding faith in Christ can sustain you through those dark moments in life.

There is no amount of money that can buy God’s peace. There is no amount of money that can buy God’s strength. There is no amount of money that can buy God’s joy. All of those things come from your relationship with Christ and your faith in Him. The wicked may prosper for a season, but it is the righteous who have true prosperity for all eternity.

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at:
bkeller@liveprayer.com

Posted in Apologetics, Christianity, Germany, liberation theology, mohammed, prosperity doctrine, terrorism, Theodicy, thou shalt not murder | Tagged: | 9 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: