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Faith & Worship

  • Theodicy - trusting in the goodness of God

    Over the last three weeks we have looked at the problem of evil. We have seen how the Bible explains evil as rising out of the personified presence of evil that we call Satan, that our world is fallen due to the original sin of Adam and Eve and how the justice of God allows Him to solve the injustice of evil over eternity. Today I look at the most difficult challenge for us: Trusting in the goodness of God no matter what the circumstances in life that we face.

  • Theodicy - justice and eternity

    Over the last two weeks I have looked at why there is evil in God’s world that is created good. This week I ask the question, “How long does God have to work out justice?” Rabbi Shraga Simmons says, “The question of ‘why do bad things happen to good people’ has a lot to do with how we look at existence. The way we usually perceive things is like this: A ‘good life’ means that I make a comfortable living, I enjoy good health and then I die peacefully at age 80. That’s a good life. Anything else is ‘bad.’ ”

  • Theodicy - evil and human free will

    The pastor goes to visit a new parishioner. The man has cancer of the liver. He openly expresses his anger at God for letting this happen to him. “Why me?” he wants to know. He never mentions that before the pastor met him he had been a heavy drinker for over 30 years. It never dawned on him that his actions could be the obvious answer to the question of his cancer.

  • Theodicy - the question of why there is evil

    If God is good why is there so much evil? This is the question of theodicy that can never be fully answered. This is one of the most difficult questions in all of theology. God is eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent and the creator of the universe. So why is there so much pain, death, struggle and evil in the world? Over the next four weeks I want to look at different facets of the problem of evil: 1) demonic evil, 2) human evil, 3) evil from the perspective of eternity and 4) trusting in the goodness of God.

  • Does God still bring judgment through natural disasters?

    Does God still use natural disasters to punish people for disobedience and evil? Pat Robertson of the 700 Club apparently believes God does. Just following the earthquake in Haiti he said, “Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. They got together and swore a pact to the devil…But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other.”

  • Rejecting the Holy Spirit is the unforgiveable sin

    A vacuum salesman was making his first call in rural Tennessee. He had his vacuum cleaner and excitedly knocked on the first door. A kind-looking lady answered the door and he said, “I’ve got the most exciting vacuum cleaner you have ever seen. It will clean your house from top to bottom. You only have to pay so much down.”

    The lady acted interested so he said, “You see that big pile of dirt right there on the floor with all those fur balls and bugs and things. This vacuum cleaner will pick it all up or I’ll eat it.”

  • Thankfulness in adulthood and childhood

    Pastor Bob Russell writes in his book Jesus, Lord of Your Personality, that having a lot doesn’t tend to produce a grateful spirit.

  • Earley: When God answers prayer ‘Not yet’

    A pastor thought God gave him an idea and he presented it at the church board meeting. After giving his most impassioned plea and really “selling” the idea, the board voted down the pastor’s proposed changes 12-1. The head elder looked at the pastor and said, “Well pastor, its 12 votes to 1. It looks like you’ve been outvoted and it is time to go home. Will you please close in prayer?”

  • What did the founders of America say about God?

    Hanging over my office desk is a picture of General George Washington in humble prayer in a pine grove, with his horse, at Valley Forge. It is an inspiring picture of an inspiring man of prayer. Skeptics want to claim that all representations of our first president as a devout man of faith are false.

    Here are some of the things George Washington said about God. They are taken from the book, George Washington, The Writings of Washington, edited by John C. Fitzpatrick.

  • Earley: Building others up

    A woman took her family reunion pictures to a photo lab to have them touched up a bit. While discussing the project the clerk said, “We can do amazing things with these photos. We can remove wrinkles and make you look 30 pounds lighter.”

    The woman responded, “You can? Can you put them on my sister?”