God IS accountable for the evil in this world – BUT – that's less than half the truth on the matter! Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name.
A few weeks ago we began talking about Jesus speaking the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. This was one of the few parables he actually interpreted for his followers, and in that interpretation he revealed it was a prophecy about the difficult future of Christianity. He spoke of false Christians and an entire age when the true and false would grow together – outwardly indistinguishable from one another - until the "harvest" time. We traced some of the corrupting influences through the long history of the church and began to see how the gospel was treated (and mistreated) along the way. Jesus, after speaking the Wheat and the Tares Parable, spoke two other parables. We believe they further described the corrupted condition of Christianity. So, what do these other parables tell us? Are we in danger of being deceived? Is the gospel even intact here and now in our present world?
What has happened to us? We live in an age where ego and emotion are more important than virtue and values. An age where personal preference outweighs personal worth and “I want it now” trumps integrity. We live in an age where absolutes aren’t (unless we decide they fit into our personal plan) and standards are only something to customize and remodel to our personal satisfaction. Ours is an age where the ancient principles of sin and objective morality are being relegated to the trash heap of history. So, what are we supposed to do? Should we go along with the flow of thoughts and emotions that are reshaping our social structure? Should we abandon what is considered to be the old and worn out moral thinking of the past and embrace the new and vibrant personally-based principles of the present?
We are all vulnerable to temptations and in this day and age, there sure are enough to go around. The webs can get sticky and hard to get off us. How can we protect ourselves? How do we get out of temptations or better yet, avoid them as best as possible?
The Bible tells us to stand fight and be courageous for our faith. It also sometimes tells us to run away from some things and some people. What is the difference? How do we know when to plant our feet solidly on the foundation of Christ and truth or when to lace up the running shoes of righteousness and run away? Is it always an obvious answer? Is there ever a time that we would do both? Wait – how would you do THAT?
So much of the philosophy of our society today is built around the idea that “I am the center of my universe, therefore what I want, I truly must have,” so the whole concept of sin becomes very subjective and often not even really relevant in people’s lives. So, is sin as relevant today as it was in the past, or have we outgrown the concept of sin in favor of a much more fluid and progressive understanding of right and wrong?
Everybody sins, and anybody who cares about the fact that they sin asks for forgiveness. What does forgiveness mean? Is the way we forgive each other different than the way God and Jesus forgive? Are there sins that are NOT forgivable? What are they? How do we avoid them? What about being the person who SHOULD forgive, but perhaps does not want to forgive? Is forgiveness more of an emotional experience or more of an intellectual one? For such a common subject, forgiveness sure does evoke a lot of questions! Stay with us as we look into forgiveness, the Bible, our culture, and our experiences.
At some point or other, you have probably heard of “The Seven Deadly Sins.” Well, do you know what they are? Better yet, do you know where the list comes from? Even though the list is not directly from the Bible, it still is a list that serves the purpose of alerting us to the breadth and dangers of sin and helps us to fight the battle with a little more determination. The seven deadly sins...we will list them, define them, discuss them and then RUN AWAY FROM THEM! Stay with us as we take this journey!
Sin…it is everywhere! When we look at our own thoughts, our own words and our own actions, we can see how it creeps in and distorts our best intentions. When we look at those around us, we can see how it holds sway on their lives. When we look at the world at large, we can see how sin has an unyielding iron grip upon it, never relinquishing its hold, even for a moment. Sin… what do we do about it? According to the Bible, there are different kinds of sin, so on this program we will try and identify them so we can learn how to combat them, specifically sins of the presumptuous type. Stay with us as we seek the lessons necessary to rise above this nasty foe!