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God did not create evil. Some people say, “Wait a minute. Satan was already in the garden tempting Adam and Eve. Satan is evil. So God must have created evil before He created man.” But, God created the angels good. And, if you study the theology of angels and their fall, one third of the angels made the same wrong decision that man did - to rebel against God and go their own way - and that’s how Satan came to be evil. So, God created them good, but they chose evil. Likewise, He created mankind good, but we chose evil. And that’s how evil came into the world. It was a byproduct of the freedom that He gave us. So, God does not create, cause nor want evil. The cause behind most human suffering is actually humans. You see, God gave us freedom and we often abuse this freedom to hurt each other. So the vast majority of suffering across our planet is caused by man: abuse, war, genocide, human trafficking, murders, torture, racial discrimination, domestic abuse, sexual abuse… the list goes on and on. Experts have studied the amount of lives effected by human originated suffering compared to nature caused suffering and estimates show that 90% of the suffering in the world is directly related to a human being abusing their freedom. In fact, Dinesh D’Souza in his book, “What’s So Great About Christianity? discusses the past century and the consequences of several different atheistic regimes where a culture disregarded God and treated human beings however they wanted to. He included Communist Russia, Communist China, and Nazi Germany. His bottom line is: focusing on those “big three” (Stalin, Hitler and Mao) and their regimes, “we have to recognize that atheist regimes in the last century murdered more than 100 million people.” What we are capable of doing to each other goes beyond our imagination. As much as we hear about natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, fires and floods, they don’t come anywhere close to the levels of devastation and the numbers of people hurt or killed by other human beings. So, when I look at the Ten Commandments, while others look at them as the point where God decided to take away our fun, I view them in a new way. I view God’s laws and standards through the lens of coming from a loving God who cared so much about us that He set rules for us to follow that if we would follow them, we would see an end to 90% of the suffering across the planet. “Thou shalt not murder”. If mankind would have obeyed that commandment, over 100 million people would not have met untimely deaths in the last century. God loved us enough to tell us the truth and warn us against what we are capable of doing to one another. I think this offers a new perspective of what God is saying to us through is laws, commands and standards. He’s saying, “I don’t want anybody hurting you. I don’t want anyone stealing your stuff. I don’t want anyone murdering you. I don’t want anyone coveting your spouse…” In response to all this human-caused suffering, some people suggest that God ought to just put His almighty foot down and stop the madness. They say that if God was truly good and great, He would stop all the evil. To that I say this: most of the suffering in the world is rooted in our freedom. Which of your freedoms would you prefer that He come and take away today? You see, the very same people who want to malign God for not stopping evil cling dearly to the very freedom that leads to most of the evil in the world. It’s a built-in contradiction. Humans tend to hate the effect but nurture the cause. We hate the problem and effects of evil, yet we nurture the abuse of freedom that leads to it in the first place. Because of our abuse of freedom, because we have sinned and separated ourselves from God, the byproduct is the moral evil as well as the natural evil in the world. Going back to the beginning, Adam and Eve’s fall resulted in the curse on the entire cosmos. So, when people say “this is a screwed up world”, Biblically they are correct. They are right when they say that the world is not fair. We live in a fallen, messed up cosmos that is not the way that God intended it to be. You can see where it began, after the fall in Genesis 3 and you can see it described in Romans 8:19-21 - “All creation is eagerly waiting for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But, with eager hope, creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” So, even the natural world suffers from the curse that was a result from mankind’s own bad choices. The results are tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, fires and other things people like to call “acts of God”. But it’s important to recognize that we wouldn’t have any of those without the roots of our own moral evil. For more, check out www.e2medianetwork.com.+ More details
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Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from Dinesh D’Souza. He said, “Do you believe in the existence of Socrates? Alexander the Great? Julius Caesar? If historicity is established by written records in multiple copies that date originally from near contemporaneous sources, there is far more proof for Christ’s existence than for any of theirs.” Our Reasons to Believe Scripture passage for today is 2 Corinthians 10:5-6. It reads, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “Mere, or Orthodox, Christianity” from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli: We confine ourselves to the core beliefs common to all orthodox Christians—what C.S. Lewis called “mere Christianity.” By mere we do not mean some abstract “lowest common denominator”, but the heart or essence of the faith, as summarized in the Apostles’ Creed. This ancient and unchanging core unites diverse believers with each other and against unbelievers within many churches and denominations as well as without. Liberal (or modernist or demythologist or revisionist) theologians will not like this, especially its arguments for miracles, the reliability of Scripture, the reality of the resurrection, the divinity of Christ, and the reality of heaven and hell. We invite them to join the self-confessed unbelievers in trying to refute these arguments. We also invite them to begin practicing more accurate “truth in labeling” in describing their own position. Apologetics defends orthodox Christianity. Dissenters don’t believe in apologetics for orthodox Christianity because they do not believe in orthodox Christianity. They believe in apologizing for it, not apologetics for it.+ More details
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