Chuck O'Neal, Learn to Discern, Tony Miano, Troubling Tweets

Trying to Make Sense of What God Allows: Good and Evil

 

How do we make sense of what God allows in our lives?  Are we responsible for our own outcomes or is God? How does this fit in with abuse?

 by Julie Anne

Someone sent me a tweet yesterday and I cannot get it out of mind.  As you might guess, what comes in my mind often becomes a post.  Interestingly, as my mind was on this topic, I started seeing it all over the place.

I need help understanding about God and what He allows or allowed, both good and negative outcomes. This may be my own personal issue in not fully understanding scripture.  All I know is when I read some of these tweets, sometimes they don’t bother me.  Other times, I cringe inside.

Sometimes these phrases cause me to question my knowledge of scripture, my faith, and all I know is I end up feeling like a lowly worm that can never measure up. The reality is I know that none of us can ever measure up and that is why we needed Christ’s death on the cross so that we can enter His gates with thanksgiving and praise.  (And there — I go back to singing again.)

Here is the first tweet that got this thought process rolling. It comes from Tony Miano who most likely tweeted this from an abortion mill where he was street evangelizing. (Actually, I wouldn’t really call it street evangelizing, but that’s a whole other topic and I don’t want to go there now.):

 

Miano also sent this one on the same day:

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Ok, so in the above tweets, Tony is saying that the Lord has chosen or allowed a second child to be saved from the abortion mill.  I should be happy, right?  But where does this take me?  It takes me to the logical conclusion that if the Lord allowed two children to be saved, then it also means that He allowed others to be killed.  That messes with my head and makes God an abuser, or even a murderer.

This is heavy stuff. Especially for someone who has endured abuse because then it means that I have to follow along with that logic that God allowed me to go through abuse, that it was His plan, He allowed it, and I need to suck it up. I can’t let my brain remain with this thought for long. It is just too painful.

Moving along . . . I remembered another tweet from Tony not too long ago and thought he had worded it in a funny way, so I dug it up.  Sure enough, he used the same “God allowed” as I had remembered:

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So, God is the one that allowed Tony to finish climbing Mt. Baldy. If Tony didn’t succeed in climbing Mt. Baldy because he was out of shape, would it then be: “God did not allow me to climb Mt. Baldy?”   Or . . . does it become, “Because I am out of shape, I was unsuccessful in climbing Mt. Baldy.”

When does God get the credit and when does Miano get the credit?  In both of these tweets, Miano gives God the credit for good. Interestingly, his buddy and my former pastor, Chuck O’Neal, tweeted this about the saving babies at abortion clinics:

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 7.25.10 PM

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It appears from O’Neal’s interpretation of things that people get the credit for rescuing babies, not God, right?  Do you see how this is confusing?  How does one determine when God gets the credit for saving babies or people get the credit?

I then searched and found some more “God allowed” or “Lord allowed” tweets.  Here’s one:

 

 

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Whoa, I thought Pat Robertson was the one who said stuff like that. Here we have “God allowed” killing of innocent people because of sin. More heavy stuff.
Now this one, I like and can connect with.  With bacon, all things are possible . . . . well, sort of:

 YUMMMM!!

TEXT
photo credit: anokarina via photopin cc
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Back to more serious tweets, here’s one from Pastor Tim Keller:

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This one works for me. I don’t expect my life or anyone’s life to be rosy. Scripture talks about personal trials all over the place.  Here another one from a pastor I’m unfamiliar with, Andy Thompson. It’s encouraging and I like it:

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Now the following one is another tough one. Someone’s obviously struggling with the same kind of questions I’ve brought up in this tweet:
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I found the following “God allows” tweet disturbing. I need to give more of the background so you can see it in context. Janet Mefferd sent out a tweet which I thought was not only funny, but truthful about Mark Driscoll:

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Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 6.41.29 PM

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 6.41.45 PM

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Say what?  He has found encouragement that God allows false teachers to remain because God is testing us to know whether we love the Lord with all our heart?   He then scolded Janet for speaking up. So this means just shut up about abuse?
Thankfully, Janet did a great job responding:

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Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 6.47.10 PM

 

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Do you see this battle we face within our own?  I guess in Adam’s world (who comments in a tweet above), we should just be thankful for abuse because it causes us to get closer to God and tests our faith.  To heck with all of those blind sheep who haven’t been able to see the truth because they’ve been drinking purple KoolAid. People like Mefferd and all other bloggers who call out wolves in sheep’s clothing should just shut up and be thankful?  I think not.

Do you see how this kind of God-allowed thinking can be used in church leadership to excuse abuse or silence abuse? Pastors can label a church sex abuse situation as a God-allowed incident and since God allowed it, then it’s a church issue and the sin remains in the church – – no need to report to authorities- – it’s all under control. God’s got this one. He knows. He’s in control. He allowed it.

Or . . .since God allowed it, He’s using it to test our faith to see if we really love Him with all of our heart.

And what happens to the perpetrator when this line of thinking is in place?

This stuff makes me scream.

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149 thoughts on “Trying to Make Sense of What God Allows: Good and Evil”

  1. Very sorry to hear about your mom, waitingforthetrumpet2. Hope the doctors are wrong. Not that you should care what I think, and of course you are free to come to your own conclusions, but in my opinion, there is no concrete reason to assume God has anything to do with it.

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  2. WFTT2:

    I’m very sorry to hear this new news. That was not what we had hoped for. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I will tell you what I think. I believe Jesus is the Son of God and also is God. Now, we can read some really yucky stuff about innocent people being killed in the Old Testament, even the thought of Abraham almost sacrificing his own son is gruesome. But That was Old Testament. What do I see in the NT? I see Jesus healing the sick, he wept, he connected with people who were hurting, who were downtrodden and comforted those who were hurting. That tells me He has a heart of compassion and love and would not want your mother to be sick. I don’t have all the whys as to why your precious mom is sick, but I have to believe what I read in the New Testament about a loving God who loves us deeply and intimately.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They will be giving her localized radiation treatments for 20 minutes per day, 5 days a week for 5-6 weeks. Then for the last two weeks they will insert some sort of radiation pellets pelvically, for an hour per day for ten days. After that is over, all anyone can dp is wait, watch and pray.

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  4. Whoa, I thought Pat Robertson was the one who said stuff like that. Here we have “God allowed” killing of innocent people because of sin. More heavy stuff.

    “Remember James Dobson? Did a lot of good things before fear of homosexuals drove him off a cliff with most of his constituency in the car.”
    — comment on Internet Monk

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  5. Interrupting regular programming….

    If anyone in the DC or NOVA area is free on July 2nd at 2PM, there’s going to be a great workshop geared at pastors at the Sheraton in Silver Spring. It’s to help people understand the needs of the spiritually abused and how to best respond to them. Anyone can come to it, but it is geared to be a ministry outreach to pastors.

    I would love to see people from SGM show up, and if you want to come, let me know. There’s a tuition, but I’ve asked for it to be waved or to get scholarships if there are any takers.

    More info here:
    http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2014/06/an-educational-workshop-about.html

    Okay, back to regular programming, pondering our loss of transcendence as fallen humans in a fallen world and what it means to be wooed to repentance by His kindness in the midst of it. I am in awe at the great respect God shows to us in all of these things, letting us make our choices in life without coercion, though that comes along with consequences. On this side of the veil, it doesn’t always make sense. But that’s okay.

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  6. “And there’s this anonymous quote:
    “Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it. But I’m afraid He would ask me the same question.””

    Bingo!

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  7. “James Dobson casts God as a mean kid in his room with an ant farm and a magnifying glass with sun streaming through the window. If there’s anything to praise God for, let it be that he ain’t James Dobson.”

    Sheesh! Has Dobson never heard of Jesus Christ? Oh, don’t get me started on Dobson.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This just came through my Twitter feed:

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  9. “My reading of Scripture didn’t allow me to think that God had nothing to do with my suffering. After a struggle, I am now comforted by verses like Romans 8:28.”

    Jeff, I don’t want to be contrary but there are different ways to understand Romans. It is not about individual election but about the Israel/Esau (Edom) dichotomy for believers in the New Covenant. Jews and Gentiles in the Body of Christ. Paul is making a big argument and Romans is not a good book to proof text.

    What Romans 8 is communicating is that because of Jesus Christ WE can bring about good. We are to live out our hope to the world. It is confusing because everyone reads it with only justification eyes and think there is no sanctification involved.

    The suffering in the world was already here because of human choices. We have power to alleviate some of this suffering. Look at this verse:

    18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.

    My goodness. All of creation waits for us in eager expectation for us to be revealed. Wow.

    Too many think this means we will be revealed on that “J-day”. No we are to be revealed now and we are revealed by how we live now, what we do as believers now.

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  10. So let me get this straight. According to him, God predetermined some women to get pregnant, and put it into their minds to not want their babies, and planted into their thoughts to have abortions so that those innocent lives would be destroyed all for His glory? So why would idiots like Miano even bother showing up at abortuaries in an effort to derail God’s ordained plan?

    Sheesh

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lydia – It is true that an important sub-theme in Romans, esp. in 9-11, are the roles that Jews and Gentiles play in the outworking of God’s purposes. But even those chapters have passages that are relevant to individual believers, in my opinion.

    Chapter 8 follows the part of chapter 7 that deals with the struggle that occurs in every believer between the spirit and the flesh. Chapter 8 continues to deal with the individual believer, whether Jew or Gentile. The first verse discusses what sets “you” (some mss read “me”) “free from the law of sin and of death.” Likewise, vs. 28 deals with all believers as individuals, “those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” It deals with God’s providence.

    Chptrs. 9-11 concern Jewish and Gentile (and, though you would disagree, individual) election, and ch. 9 with the “Israel/Esau (Edom) dichotomy.”

    A little research reveals that “in us” in 8:18 can also be translated as “to us” or “for us,” but, in any case, God glorifies us, not we ourselves. But, yes, the “all things” in vs. 28 can include what we are and what we do.

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  12. Julie Anne and Lydia – I’ve often gone on record as opposing things that Piper has said or written, but I don’t see a problem with his Tweet. Isn’t he saying pretty much what it says in Col 1:15-17?:

    He is the image of the invisible God,
    the firstborn over all creation.
    For everything was created by Him,
    in heaven and on earth,
    the visible and the invisible,
    whether thrones or dominions
    or rulers or authorities—
    all things have been created through Him and for Him.
    He is before all things,
    and by Him all things hold together.

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  13. waitingforthetrumpet2 – I will pray for your Mom.

    Concerning your 9:59 AM comment, God never causes or even tempts anyone to sin.

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  14. Thanks, Jeff.

    You and I both know He never causes or tempts anyone to sin, but do Piper and his ilk know that? They’re under the impression that God micromanages every micron on earth and the universe. Like we are mere robotic, mindless puppets in His pre-destined, pre-ordained before the foundation of the world screen-play, and He is the Master Puppeteer manipulating those strings. Like we have no brains or wills of our own.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “Ok, so in the above tweets, Tony is saying that the Lord has chosen or allowed a second child to be saved from the abortion mill. I should be happy, right? But where does this take me? It takes me to the logical conclusion that if the Lord allowed two children to be saved, then it also means that He allowed others to be killed. That messes with my head and makes God an abuser, or even a murderer.”

    Yep… this is one of the rabbit holes that ultimately lead to my deconversion. Why would God allow a tornado to tear through a community and kill some, but leave others unharmed? Why would God allow a tsunami to wipeout over 200,000 in south east Asia? Why would God fail to answer the prayers of a starving child while the rich continue to get richer?

    When you dwell on these things for long enough, the answer becomes crystal clear.

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  16. Exactly, Matt.
    Or, why does god make sure Miano gets to the top of whatever mountain he goes to and allows kids to starve?. .. I think it’s the height of narcissism to hear anyone say something like that. And I hear it all the time. A friend put on Noseybook one time, “Jogged 10 km this morning – with God’s help” I wrote and suggested that SHE was the one who trained hard, SHE was the one who did all the sweating, SHE was the one who kept her legs moving. . . blah, blah, blah. . I honestly find it the height of lunacy, to be honest.

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  17. Matt and Carmen,

    It’s funny (or not so funny) how Miano calls himself an evangelist, yet it sounds like he has become a stumbling block to what he is attempting to do by his behavior.

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  18. I won’t tell you what I think he is – you don’t like that kind of language. . . 🙂 (Bet you can guess, though!)

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  19. JeffB, You are right. I disagree with most of your analysis.

    “God glorifies us, not we ourselves.”

    I never know what that means in practical terms.

    “But, yes, the “all things” in vs. 28 can include what we are and what we do.”

    “Can” include? I say what we actually “do” is what reveals us as followers of Christ, children of God. What else would?

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  20. “Isn’t he saying pretty much what it says in Col 1:15-17?: ”

    You mean Pipers rewriting/abbreviating of a passage he did not reference for context but made it sound like his translation? Why not reference the passage?

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  21. waitingforthetrumpet2 – If Piper really thought that, he and his ilk would not be criticized so much for laying down the law. It would be pointless to tell people without brains or wills what to do.

    OTOH, it does sometimes seem that Piper and his ilk behave as if they are Hyper-Calvinists, who really do think the way you described in your comment. I would bet the rent money that they would be shocked to be told that they did not believe in human free will. Going by what they write, they certainly do.

    The problem is that there is something of a disconnect sometimes – especially with Mahaney – between what they believe and what they say and do. I’m not minimizing this; it’s particularly serious among people who are influential. But it’s also human – we all do it from time to time.

    Part of the problem is the existence of things like Twitter – very short messages with little or no context. They are so easy to misunderstand. They are often written with the assumption that the readers will be able to fill in the blanks.

    I’m not whitewashing these guys; they have a lot to answer for. But there really is a difference between Calvinists (sorry, Julie Anne) and Hyper-Calvinists.

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  22. “The problem is that there is something of a disconnect sometimes – especially with Mahaney – between what they believe and what they say and do. I’m not minimizing this; it’s particularly serious among people who are influential. But it’s also human – we all do it from time to time.”

    We all do what from time to time? Make big names for ourselves off Jesus garnering followers after ourselves? Seek to become public teachers of scripture and teach such things as women should take abuse for a season, God brought a tornado to punish us or that child molesters should not be reported and blackmail perfectly acceptable?

    Those are pretty big “disconnects”

    We ALL do this from time to time? Is this the part where I am to believe that all sins are the same so even the ones done in the Name of Jesus by those who claim they are teaching HIs ways……are not that big of a deal cos we are all human?

    To be “human” as in “image bearer” is to be more like Jesus Christ than the deciever.

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  23. “Part of the problem is the existence of things like Twitter – very short messages with little or no context. They are so easy to misunderstand. They are often written with the assumption that the readers will be able to fill in the blanks.”

    Actually, Twitter, blogs, etc have been wonderful at showing us who these “men of God” really are. Before they were santized with a stage persona or in a book. I am thankful for social media to open the door to demystifying the stage personas and public images they carefully crafted. Now we know.

    So if Piper is not mature enough not to tweet that tornados are sent as a punishment from God as people are digging their family out then perhaps he is someone we should not trust. If we are wise we question every single thing he says or tweets because he seems to think he is some 21st Century Calvin global apostle. Did you see his retirement vid shot in Geneva? Or how about his bizarre video from Dubai about the tower? The man has lost it. Anyone who thinks he has credibilty is suspect to me. Same for many of those guys from TGC or T4G. All of them are implicit in helping to protect those who protect child molesters. Where is their concern for truth and the victims? It is about them and their “position”. They are frauds. I find them vile and scary.

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  24. “‘God glorifies us, not we ourselves.’

    I never know what that means in practical terms.”

    Since it’s in the future for each believer, it’s hard to write about it in practical terms. It’s when God removes from us all spiritual and physical defects as we enter God’s Kingdom. I know you disagree.

    “‘But, yes, the “all things” in vs. 28 can include what we are and what we do.’

    ‘Can” include? I say what we actually ‘do’ is what reveals us as followers of Christ, children of God. What else would?”

    Why do you think that “all things” only means all things that we are and do as followers of Christ? It also means all things that are beyond our control; all circumstances.

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  25. So, Lydia, everything you say and do is always perfectly consonant with what you believe? Do you believe that anger is good, coveting is good, stealing is good? Or maybe you have done none of these things. Do you think not loving people is good? Or have you never been unloving? Ever made a theological statement that you later regretted?

    Did you really think that I meant that we all commit the exact same sins that the Big Dogs do, or merely that we all betray our beliefs from time to time? I made it clear – I think – that it’s especially serious among people of influence. The consequences are worse.

    Sometimes I think that you like being outraged.

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  26. Anger is not a sin. What you do with that anger may be a sin, but not always. Be angry and sin not.

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  27. I have lost respect for all those who have continually supported Mahaney. I agree that Piper, who is one of those who support Mahaney, has gotten weird and may now be untrustworthy. But he used to be a good scholar and I have learned from him in the past. (Insert snarky comment here.)

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  28. In my case, often. If you only knew what I’ve endured and not sought revenge but gave up my right for vengeance to God in our behalf.

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  29. “So, Lydia, everything you say and do is always perfectly consonant with what you believe? Do you believe that anger is good, coveting is good, stealing is good? Or maybe you have done none of these things. Do you think not loving people is good? Or have you never been unloving? Ever made a theological statement that you later regretted?”

    Jeff, First of all we can only judge each other by deeds/words. And that makes it very easy for the stage persona’s who craft images and people follow them without even knowing them or testing their teachings. No mere human has any say at all concerning my relationship with my Savior. They can judge me based upon deeds/words. And I understand many Christians are really into judging words deciding what in a discussion is a sin or not. I get that. Basic disagreement these days is considered a great sin among Christians.

    And, I am not in the “lets navel gaze about our sin” camp. I am about looking to the resurrection and what that means in terms of living out the kingdom now no matter where we are. We don’t need to be in ministry to live out the Kingdom of God now. That is what the Cross/resurrection was all about.

    I do not know what you mean about “not loving people”. What exactly does that look like to you? That is so vague and nebulous. My idea of loving people is to be fair and just which can look “mean” to others. (The celebs hope we are quite partial to them and overlook certain patterns of behavior and not question their teaching in social media. They feel entitled)

    “Did you really think that I meant that we all commit the exact same sins that the Big Dogs do, or merely that we all betray our beliefs from time to time? I made it clear – I think – that it’s especially serious among people of influence. The consequences are worse.”

    I think you were attempting to paint all wrong doing the same with the typical “we are all humans and we know all humans sin” argument which is getting old. The same old “sinless perfection or we are all equal sinners” dichotomy. You said this: “But it’s also human – we all do it from time to time.” Was that not an attempt to downplay it? Were you not hinting that we should be careful about discussing their hypocrisy because “we all do it”. Well, I don’t make a living off Jesus garnering followers after myself which I think changes the score. That is my opinion. And I think it is a good one. My focus is to encourage people to follow Christ and not some guru.

    ‘Sometimes I think that you like being outraged”

    I wish more people were. We might have fewer child molester protector pastors and fellow travellors who cover for them. It would not work if there were more “outrage” amongst the peasants in the pews. I think children who are molested at church are worthy of our outrage and actions toward justice. I think that pleases Jesus Christ who was “outraged” with the Pharisees. Can I call them white washed tombs, too? Those frauds masquerading as pastors? Oh, and we might have fewer Mark Driscoll clones. etc.

    You know what is the last refuge of scoundral celebrity pastors? Saying our anger toward them is a sin. Accusing one of being “unloving” for daring to call them out. When, truth is, they treat people unjustly all the time mostly to protect their precious public image. I feel about them the same way it is recorded that Jesus felt about the religious leaders of His tribe during His time.

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  30. “But how often is our anger righteous?”

    Who decides? If there is no violent or negative deed involved then who gets to decide?

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  31. My overriding point is that teachers of the faith have an enormous responsibility because they are most likely influencing others (believers and non-) more intensely and in greater numbers than do “ordinary” believers. Also, it’s easier to spot their hypocrisy because their deepest beliefs are read and heard by many people. When they behave or speak contrarily to these, their hypocrisy is clear.

    It’s even worse when done by teachers who have very large followings, and are – rightly or wrongly – considered to be leaders – or, at least, celebs. People like Driscoll, Mahaney, etc., want all the perks of leadership but little or none of the responsibility. They are inexcusably sloppy at best and self-worshiping at worst.

    I do not believe that all sins are equal. Even for the “ordinary” believer, the consequences of some of their sins are much greater than those of others. To put it crudely, molesting a child has far worse consequences than imagining molesting a child, for instance. A leader’s sins can have particularly enormous consequences. If they don’t know that, they have no business being a leader.

    Concerning being loving or unloving: I think most people reading this blog, including myself, would consider those leaders who publicly support Mahaney, in the face of so much evidence of child molestation at a church under his leadership, to be unloving. We might even consider leaders who don’t say a word about it, one way or the other, to be unloving. But I doubt that anyone expects every believer (at least) to publicly express disapproval. We expect more from leaders/celebs – at least until they disillusion us.

    “You said this: ‘But it’s also human – we all do it from time to time.’ Was that not an attempt to downplay it? Were you not hinting that we should be careful about discussing their hypocrisy because ‘we all do it.'”

    I wrote that as an after-thought; it would probably have been better if I hadn’t. it’s banal at best. Concerning the hypocrisy of the BD: I’m a major “discusser” of their hypocrisy. I’m all for discussing it.

    I’m also all for being outraged at things that are outrageous, like child molestation.

    I despise the accusation that anger toward a celebrity pastor, who is sinning egregiously without any repentance, is a sin. But it might become a sin if the anger turns into full-blown hate, and I think I’ve been guilty of this. Admittedly, there can be a thin line between righteous anger toward sin and unrighteous anger that, say, desires that something terrible happen to the sinner. Who decides? God, of course. We don’t always know.

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  32. For what it’s worth, Jeff, in my books IMAGINING molesting a child is tantamount to molesting her. Either one, in my opinion, is a sick. .. fill in the blank.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Carmen, I have to agree with Jeff. If someone is attracted to a child, it is better that they not act on those feelings than if they do.

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  34. . .. and I’ll repeat, Marsha – the next logical step to thinking of molesting a child is doing it. BOTH of them are sick _____(s).

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  35. JeffB,

    How about child molestation by a family member, plus brutal beatings with fists and hard objects including metal rods plus attempted strangulation by family member while being between the ages of 4-16? How about sexual assault by a deacon inside the church building? How about rape by a fellow soldier while in the military? How about physical, emotional and sadistic sexual abuse by a spouse? How about suffering false allegations and perjurous testimony in court, resulting in your young child being ripped out of your arms and given to the perjurous person with an agenda and the money to get away with it?

    Would any of these situations be enough to warrant righteous anger?

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  36. And yet I did not sin against them in my anger. I surrendered my right for vengeance to God, and let Him deal with them.

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  37. No you didn’t WFTT and you have never hardened your heart either but instead show kindness to others who are in need of it.

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  38. “Admittedly, there can be a thin line between righteous anger toward sin and unrighteous anger that, say, desires that something terrible happen to the sinner.”

    Jeff, Many would say it is unrighteous anger that desires they lose their ministry influence and financial gain from it. They would consider that “terrible”. I would consider it a good thing. I would see it as justice and grace.

    “Who decides? God, of course. We don’t always know.”

    Of course we do unless we believe all the people who try to convince us we can’t know as if not knowing ourselves is a pious thing or something. Why is it that so many people want to convince us that we cannot know ourselves, our motives, etc. I find that bizarre. And scary. It makes me not trust people who think that about themselves. But it is a good excuse that many people in evangelicalism accept. I think it is really about people wanting to make something a sin they are uncomfortable with: Anger because of evil done to innocents.

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  39. waitingforthetrumpet2: So sorry those terrible things were done to you!

    “No we are to be revealed now and we are revealed by how we live now, what we do as believers now.”

    Wow! What an awesome thought, Lydia. Never looked at “revealed” that way before – revealed “now.” But it makes perfect sense.

    We are to be like God, right? Think, say…do, all as he does/would do, resembling him more and more as time goes on, as we grow? Then numerous times every day we should be purposely choosing evil over good, right? Making decisions like he does, very often considering the most horrendous evil to be NECESSARY and the BETTER choice, over good? Doing as our Father does, since he is really the one calling each and every shot?

    But seriously, very inspiring.

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  40. Oasis,

    I highly recommend Andy Young’s session 1 at Paulspassingthoughts. He does an indepth analysis on what it means be to be Holy and what Sanctification means. It goes right along with us being “revealed”.

    Some might think Holy means the opposite of sin. It doesn’t. The meaning is more toward us being distinct from the ordinary, the common. That is how one is “set apart”. One is disinct from the ordinary, common around them.

    A lot of folks out there suggesting that Christians are no different from the world…they just have right beliefs. Simply not true. Then some will be accused of believing in sinless perfection which is thrown into the mix as if we are evil instead.

    Andy goes into the definitions pretty deeply of Justification/Sanctification/Holiness. Good stuff. He explains it better than I have seen. He is pretty close to what I have heard NT Wright teach.

    http://paulspassingthoughts.com/2014/06/20/andy-young-session-one-tanc-2014/

    I also recommend John Immels two sessions on same site. He traces the historical culture of sin/death in Christendom from Greek Pagans to Augustine and on to Calvin

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