Thursday, April 9, 2009

evil in the world

Last night, our discussion at Alpha was about how to resist evil. It was awesome to have this topic after the hugeness of our Holy Spirit Weekend (where 4 people - including Sweet Katie - accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior!!) but I came away from this meeting with an general feeling of unrest.

I absolutely believe that satan is real and that there is a tremendous amount of evil in the world. I've seen the evil with my own eyes, and even if I hadn't, it's in the Bible which is 100% truth and God's word to us, so that would be enough for me anyway. I just wanted to get that out there before I wrote about anything else.

Tim Barker was our speaker. He's a pastor here in the Katy/West Houston area as well as the accountability partner of our head pastor Jim Leggett. I have the utmost respect for Jim and thus Tim. I felt like he made some really awesome points, about praying the armor of God on yourself and your loved ones weekly if not daily (the pieces of this armor - the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, The Gospel Shoes of Peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit - are outlined in Ephesians 6:10-18). He gave several illustrations about the power of Scripture, and he even offered up a very practical way to defend yourself when you feel satan attacking you (pray for someone who doesn't know Christ. It pisses the devil off BIG TIME. He'd rather leave you alone than risk losing one of his souls).

In our small group, Kevin made a great point. Being aware that there is evil in the world and that satan will try to attack you is kind of like being told that at some point, someone is going to hit you in the face, and you need to be ready for it. No one wants to be hit in the face. It sucks. We also talked about if evil comes from God or from the devil. I personally believe, based on the Job precedent, that evil comes from satan. All of those things that Job endured, losing all of his possessions, his entire family dying, getting nasty boils, etc, were the work of satan, and not God. But his faith was STRENGTHENED. I believe that's the point of it. It's like Dolly Parton (yea, I'm gonna quote her) said, "You can't have a rainbow without any rain." Well, Eve bought the devil's lie in the garden and subsequently, we all get to endure evil in our lives. That's just the reality of it. Here's the part I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around. Kevin and I disagree on this part. He doesn't believe that your circumstances per say are actually evil. I believe that a large portion of circumstances are rooted in evil. For instance, I don't believe that living with my parents, while I'm not happy about it, is evil, but I believe that the choices Denver made that led to me living with my parents are rooted in evil. There will always be exceptions, like getting laid off because the economy is bad, etc, but I don't agree that it's right to say that circumstances aren't really evil. What do you think? Can someone help me understand this one?

In other news, my mom was readmitted to the hospital Sunday night with an infection in her surgical wound. After a tremendous amount of drama, she had a 2nd surgery this morning to clean out the wound and drain it. We're hoping that plus hardcore antibiotics takes care of it, and she makes it home for good soon and starts the recovery process for reals.


The Cobbs said...

Well I think you're both right.

Kevin is right in that a circumstance itself is just a circumstance, and God can use it. It's not inherently evil.

Like you said, you living with your parents is not inherently evil. It's Denver's choices that are evil.

So you're both right. The circumstance isn't evil, but like you said, it's rooted in evil; in the fact that Denver turned his back on you and God (temporarily, we pray!!!)

Mama said...

I have to question - would you make a distinction between sin and evil? I think you might be struggling because you are leaving sin, man, and free will out of the equation. It's not just God and the Devil making things tick around here.

Much of what happens in the world that is not good is not inherently evil, per se - like a freak accident that results in a death and the suffering that comes from that.

But God created man in his image with free will, and man (influenced by satan, but of his own free will) took on the knowledge of good and evil and thus brought sin and death into the world. Since we are free to make sinful choices, we are free to bring those circumstances that are not good or evil in themselves upon ourselves and others.

This is a very tough question and I don't mean to throw out a simple answer - just another piece of the puzzle.

Mama said...

Also - I think warning someone that Satan will attack them is better compared to warning them about something like chigger bites than a slap in the face. The difference is that if someone slaps you in the face, you will know what happened and have a pretty good idea how to escape. If no one ever told you about chiggers, those suckers would bite you and bite you, and you might never know what the heck was happening or how to defend yourself from them. If you don't learn to recognize Satan's attacks, you will continually be a victim of them.