What is God Going to Do About Evil?

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My first experience of evil in the world was the school shooting at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. I was in college at UCF, and the evil of it affected me in a real way…a way that no previous act of evil had… I feel that again this week.

Columbine, for me, was the first time that I saw how powerful evil could be in our world. It was the first time that I was forced to ask, “How could God allow something like this to happen? Why does he allow us the power to kill innocent people? Where is God now?”

Now, another act of evil has exploded across our world, taking seventeen lives, and forever altering hundreds more, shocking us at the callousness of those among us, and we ask the question again, “Where is God? Where is God in evil?”

Now, the correct answer is to say that God has no part in evil.

1 John 1:5 says that “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.” And I believe that, and our church teaches that, because it’s true.

So if the cause of evil is what really matters, then we can ask the question “Why did God create a world where evil is allowed to happen?” And if that’s a question you’d like to discuss, I would be happy to buy you a cup of coffee so we can talk about it.

But I won’t do it today. Not this week.

Because that question is a dry, intellectual question that doesn’t really respect the pain and suffering and loss of life that evil has caused this week.

The better question is “What is God going to do about it?”

So what is God going to do about evil?

 He’s going to punish it.

Continue reading “What is God Going to Do About Evil?”

Podcast Episode 6

Here is Megan and Dave’s sixth episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In this 25 minute long podcast episode, they talk about Healing.  But they also chat about:

  • The prosperity gospel
  • What NOT to say when someone is sick
  • Their first time making the ashes for Ash Wednesday

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!

Healing

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We have all wanted healing, for ourselves, or for someone we love. Reading the stories about Jesus’ healing miracles (and there are 27 of them, told multiple times)  makes us think, “I sure wish Jesus would do that today.” Or where was Jesus when any number of the people we loved and lost died?

If Jesus can heal, why doesn’t he heal the person I love more than anyone in the world?

If miracles are real, why did that person get them, but not my spouse or my parent or my child?

If 1. Miracles are real and 2. Healing is a miracle Jesus did and 3. Jesus loves us then where is our miracle?  We long for them. We yearn for healing. We go searching for them. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who will take advantage of us when we do.

There are a lots of “Christian” teachings out there that want you to believe that no one needs to be sick if they’ll just believe. The most popular teaching about miracles today is that they’re for sale. That healing can be bought by a certain number of prayers or faithful acts or even by sending in money to a preacher on television. One of the Copeland’s even got a tweet on the front page this week for saying that the flu can’t affect true Christians.

It's NOT flu season! Yes, you heard it right. The flu is NOT a season we have around here because Jesus bore ALL our sickness on the cross. This includes the flu! -Kenneth Copeland Ministries
Not true. But a great way to pay for a plane!

But that’s not the way that miracles work.

That’s not what healing really means.

So before we read any further in Everything Jesus Taught, we need to know how to interpret all the healings that Jesus did, and how to interpret life with all its fragility, today.

In this post, I want to share one important Bible study principal with you. This is the key to understanding the healings in Jesus’ life and teaching.

Here it is.

When you read about a healing, keep reading.

Continue reading “Healing”

Podcast Episode 5

Here is Megan and Dave’s fifth episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In this 17 minute long podcast episode, they talk about Good In/Good Out and Healing Miracles. But they also chat about:

  • An unfortunate incident involving a toilet and a bathtub
  • How Megan became a Christian
  • How it’s cool to be a Presbyterian?

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!

Good In, Good Out

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On the podcast that Dave and I have been doing each Monday, we were talking about how what we watch on television gets into our heads and affects what we do.

This seems to be especially true with reality television.

For example, if we watch home improvement shows Dave and I start taking down walls in our house.

When we watch traveling shows we start planning a trip.

Once Dave and I binge-watched an entire season of American Ninja Warrior. That’s the one where people compete on these intense obstacle courses after training for years to prepare. A few episodes in,  I decided I was, in fact, a future ninja warrior and started doing push ups on the commercials and jogging in place.

But then we took a break from ninja warrior to watch the Great British Baking Show. A few episodes into that one I was making a layered chocolate cake in the kitchen with raspberries on top and talking about its “crumb.”

(I realize that the baking show and the ninja warrior competition don’t create complementary goals for my life. So I’m going with the  cake.)

Whatever we are watching tends to affect what we talk about, think about.  Or, in other words:

What we put in is what we get out.

Continue reading “Good In, Good Out”

Podcast Episode 4

Here is Megan and Dave’s fourth episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In this 23 and a half minute long podcast episode, they talk about Loving Our Enemies and Putting Good In to Get Good Out. But they also chat about:

  • Power outages
  • Fried Turkey
  • Dog poop trash can politics
  • Redemption
  • How certain tv shows temporarily change their personalities
  • Jesus’ Temptation in the Desert
  • Proof Texting
  • What the Bible really is

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!

Loving Our Enemies

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For all of the things we may hate about the internet, there is one thing I think we can all agree is truly fantastic…  Stories and pictures of interspecies friendships.

Cats and dogs napping together.

An elephant and a black lab playing.

A gorilla cuddling a kitten.

Amazing.

One of these stories recently caught my eye because it seemed so unlikely. The two species weren’t just uncommon together. They were enemies. Predator and prey. At the Primorsky Safari Park in Russia there is a Siberian tiger named Amur. Twice a week they throw in a live goat for Amur to eat. And every time, he quickly pounces on the goat and devours him.

Until he didn’t.

Continue reading “Loving Our Enemies”

Podcast Episode 3

Here is Megan and Dave’s third episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In this 24 minute long podcast episode, they talk about Integrity and Love. But they also chat about:

  • Dave’s college job washing dishes at Panera
  • First love
  • Social awkwardness (well, Dave’s)
  • What we are saved by
  • The Crown
  • Forgiveness

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!

Integrity

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” — C.S. Lewis

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We hear the word integrity and our minds jump to big examples of people who had it,  and people who don’t. But no one starts off with the huge ethical quandaries.

There are a thousand little dilemmas that we all have to face that determine how we’ll do when it comes to the big ones.

Like those little water cups you get at Panera Bread.

Continue reading “Integrity”

Podcast Episode 2

Listen to Megan and Dave’s second episode in the Everything Jesus Taught podcast series!

In this episode, Megan and Dave chat with each other about:

  • Courage
  • Integrity
  • Westboro Baptist Church
  • Circumcision!
  • How they avoid being hypocrites as parents
  • DIY projects

and much more!

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!