10/08 - Where Is This Coming From?

October 19th, 2017

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Where Is This Coming From?

Mark 7:14-23

  • And yet again this past week, we've dealt with horrible news...

    • The Shooter (I will not use his name)
    • Two Questions:
      • HOW can we prevent it?
      • WHY did it happen?
        • Some would say because we haven't prevented the HOW
        • But the reason...?
      • The topic of Evil is once again in our minds...
    • The Ever-Present WHY
      • Woke "coincidentally" this morning to the song The Hurt & The Healer by MercyMe which starts off, "Why? The question that is never far away..."
      • Basically why do bad things happen to the good?
        • We've seen disasters and asked: why did God allow it?
        • The Bible has answered, because sin has entered the world and broken it
        • Others have answered that we encourage people to take risks through regulatory incentives, but the truth is that we believe that people have a right to be foolish if they want, and if the consequences are theirs alone. "Foolish" for me and for you might be different...
        • But that has to do with disasters and tragedies; Las Vegas was a perpetration of violence, and so we ask...
      • Why did he do it? How could he have done such a thing? 
        • We wish to make it comprehensible, we then feel safer
        • We hope he had a mental break, for that would mitigate his responsibility
          • (and we can convince ourselves that we would seek medical help if we find ourselves at risk)
        • We alternatively hope he was a hidden monster, for that would make him other than us
      • We want, maybe without admitting it to ourselves, reassurance that we would never become like this, perpetrators of evil
      • That is why studying Nazi Germany, or Communist Russia is such a challenge:
        • We cannot lie to ourselves that they are not people like us
      • 4 Kinds of Evil (one of MANY models)
        • The Ends Justify the Means

          • An Example: Romans 3:7-8
          • To lie, cheat, steal, use others all for yourself
          • An Antidote: "Love your neighbor as yourself..."
        • Blind Idealism
          • Two Examples: 1 John 4:1; Matthew 7:15-18a
          • Noncombatants killed: 12 million by Nazi Germany, 9 million by Stalin's Russia, 30+ million by Mao's China... all in service to their "ideals"
          • Leonard Lyons in “The Washington Post:” "In the days when Stalin was Commissar of Munitions, a meeting was held... One official arose and made a speech about ... the tragedy of millions of people dying of hunger.… Stalin interrupted him to say: “If only one man dies of hunger, that is a tragedy. If millions die, that’s only statistics.”"
          • THE Antidote: The Gospel, wherein God asks us to come and "reason together" with Him
        • Vengeance
          • An Example: Romans 12:19-20
          • A response to being threatened or harmed, physically or otherwise
          • But are we content with "an eye for an eye?"
          • An Antidote: Romans 12:19-20
        • Sadism
          • The true monsters: Those who were born without connection to others, or who have followed the above paths, to the extent that harming others becomes "fun."
          • The Antidote: Don't start down these paths...
        • Leaving the "Why" in God's hands
          • We may never know why, in this case (and in others)
          • At some point we have to trust God, and move forward, and not get "stuck" in the moments of darkness that mar our lives
          • At some point we say, "As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice."
            – Psalm 55:16-17
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