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Why Does God Allow Wrong?

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Why does God tolerate corruption? Why does he tolerate the wrongness of the world?

Those are great questions. As a pastor, I know many people have approached me with variations on this very puzzling mystery. Why does God not intervene in a messed up world?

I can't always give a definitive answer to this. Sometimes, I just don't know and am just as puzzled as the person asking the question. That's one of the beauties of faith in Christ. He allows us to ask these questions and wrestle with the answers even if we never get a concrete solution.

That's what happens in the book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk is a prophet of the Lord who works as a temple musician in Jerusalem. He prophesies during a time of great corruption and wrong as Judah nears its end. In his prophecy, he begins by asking God why he tolerates wrong.

It's a great question, and unfortunately for Habakkuk, God doesn't provide a concrete answer. But elsewhere in the Bible, we can explore why. In Psalm 94, w…

Unashamed

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As a culture today, we have very little were are ashamed to say and do. Don't believe me? Just scroll through your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. You will find embarrassing photos, off-color jokes, family secrets and squabbles available for all to see, and descriptions of every little thing we do and think.

We, as a culture, has very little shame. So when we read Paul's words to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15, we have a hard time wrapping our minds around being a workman is who not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus. In this passage, Paul is writing to Timothy about false teachers present in the church. He is warning Timothy to be diligent in his study and teaching of the Bible so he won't be ashamed of the job he has done.

If his teaching is accurate, the Bible will speak for itself. He won't need to argue against the false teachers. He won't need to convince anyone. The Bible will do it for him.

In 2018, that's a novel concept. We routinely get into social m…

Unite for Christ

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If you study the American Civil War, you will see there are many reasons why the Union defeated the Confederacy. The Union had superior numbers, superior technology, and factories that produced plenty of ammunition and uniforms and supplies the army needed.

However, one reason that is often overlooked is the unity of the United States of America. The USA, under the Constitution, has a very strong central government. It's part of what started the war to begin with. As a government, the USA has the ability to collect taxes, enforce states to obey federal law, and use those things to supply the government and the army.

The Confederate States of America did not. Fearful of what the USA was, the CSA created a weak central government. As a confederacy of states, the states held all the power while the central government simply did the will of the states. As such, the CSA did not have the ability to collect taxes effectively, enforce states to obey federal law, or force states to supply…

A unique event in human history

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The crucifixion of Jesus is perhaps the most historically verifiable event in ancient history. Almost every major historian will affirm the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

In fact, the life of Jesus is the dividing line of history. We have world history before the life of Christ, and we have world history after the birth of Christ. B.C. and A.D. mark the dividing lines in our world history. Jesus had that much significance on the world stage of history.

His death and his resurrection was a unique event. His death fulfilled numerous scriptures. More than is possible by a simple human being. He willing gave up his spirit, dying on the cross after just six hours. That's not normal. Crucifixion often took days to kill a person. Jesus died in six hours. His death, and his resurrection, were accompanied by violent earthquakes. Even the dead came back to life.

More than that, it was all predetermined. Jesus' death and resurrection were known to God before he created the world and human…

Thirsty

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Have you ever been thirsty?

Of course you have. We all get thirsty. Whether it is from a day of working out in the hot sun or eating something extremely salty, we all get thirsty from time to time. Thirst is the body's way of replenishing the lost of water in our bodies.

In fact, the feeling of thirst comes from an impulse in the brain. As the brain senses that our cells our out of balance due to lack of water, it creates the sensation of thirst so we can fix that balance of water in our body. It causes us to want water. Our tongue swells. Our mouth grows dry. We crave water.

It's a very human feeling. As human beings, we thirst. In fact, we will die quicker from lack of water than we will lack of food. We need water. It's part of the human experience.

On the cross, Jesus grew thirsty. He was thirsty because his body was beaten, bruised and bleeding. He was thirsty because he hung on a cross in the heat of the day, exposed to all of the elements on his naked body. Jesus g…

Forsaken and Alone

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I remember the first time I felt lost. I was a kid, and like all lost kid stories, I was in a grocery store. From some reason I got separated from my mom. I wandered down the wrong aisle or turned my head as she moved to the next. I don't remember those kind of specifics. But I do remember turning around and not seeing my mom.

I had to be young at the time. It's an early memory. But I do vividly remember the fear, panic, and terror running through my mind. I searched frantically down the aisle I was in. I ran to previous aisle. Neither journey resulted in my finding my mother.

Finally, a stranger, an older woman, asked me what was wrong. I told her I had lost my mom. She kindly took me over to the next aisle, and there was my mom and the grocery cart. I was finally reunited and calm.

That's about as traumatic as my young life got. That's a pretty big deal for a 5 or 6 or 7 year old. We all probably have a similar story locked away in the deep parts of our brain. It…

In Paradise

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One of my favorite memories as my time as a newspaper reporter was covering the Billy Graham Crusade in Cincinnati. It was one of Graham's last crusades (He did one more in Texas after that) and right up until the event, it was questionable if he could physically preach the services. But he did and it was a powerful experience.

I went all four nights of that crusade. I went two nights as a reporter, covering the event, taking pictures, interviewing folks, and attending press conferences. I went two nights as a volunteer, having attended the evangelism training courses to help lead people to a relationship with Jesus Christ. It was an amazing experience.

As I heard to the news of Graham's passing this week, I've been thinking about that week and the events that led up to it. It was a unique experience and I was privileged to be part of it. I was a part-time youth minister at the time. I worked full time for the paper. It was one of the few times in my career when my two ch…