2004-07-10_1522_fromjoewatson-woman-by-the-water

In the last two posts, we have talked about two primary issues. The first was, “When terrorists strike, are they doing God’s will?”

The answers provided were “no” and “yes.”

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2004-07-10_1522_fromjoewatson-woman-by-the-water

Last week’s article dealt with one thought-provoking question: When terrorists strike, is it God’s will? In response to this post, a long-time, well-trusted Christian friend enumerated the questions she often encounters as she talks to people about God:

  1. Is it God’s will that babies and children are raped?
  2. Is it God’s will people are killed by drunk drivers?
  3. Is it God’s will that His children are hideously tortured before being
    raped and murdered?
  4. Is it God’s will that women have abortions?
  5. Where does our “free will” begin and God’s will end?

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2004-07-10_1522_fromjoewatson-woman-by-the-water
This week’s blog post begins with a provocative question: When terrorists strike, are they doing God’s will?

Before we come up with an answer off the tops of our heads, let’s think about this for a moment and ask a question concerning the nature of God. “Is there anything the Lord cannot do?” Biblically, the answer to that question is, “No.”

Stay with me.

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2005-02-28_0857-25

If a Christian prays for someone to be healed, and the person isn’t healed, whose faith is it that’s lacking?

D. A. Carson wrote about two Jewish men talking on the night of the first Passover. This is a paraphrase: One man said, “I know that you are trusting completely in what Moses said, that God commanded us to put the blood of a lamb on our doorposts so the destroying angel would pass over our households tonight and spare our first-born sons, but you have several sons. I have only one. I’m afraid.” The other man replied, “God will do as He has said. Do not worry.” Carson asked, “Which father’s son lived that night?” Carson answered, “Both. It was not the quality of their faith that saved them. It was the quality of the sacrifice.”

In a related way, believers often wonder if it’s the poor quality of their faith when people aren’t healed when they pray. True, sometimes, people are healed. Most of the time, however, they are not. This mystifying quandary has led to some strange considerations and supposed solutions. Let’s review a few.

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orionspringdickinson1024

This may seem like an odd title for a post, I suppose, but I’m endeavoring to add a note of truth to the beautiful account of Jesus’ birth in the stable; a fuller understanding of who this Baby was, in His immense glory. The impotent infant Jesus we read about in those accounts in Matthew and Luke left His home in heaven, more magnificent than we can imagine, possessing more power than we can imagine, to this dark, rebellious planet, so he could…die. He has called all Christians to enter into that self-denying-I-will-die-for-God-and-others life, as well. Please keep this in mind when someone tells you that you should live a purpose-driven life.

But I digress.

This God-in-the-flesh Man is called, among many other things, a Prince of Peace. Why is that?

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for-blog

I appreciate how Christians all over the world try to add meaning to what used to be a beautiful religious observance that has “magically” been transformed into a greed-filled, money-making extravaganza, filled with false gift-induced joy. I guess this shouldn’t surprise us, knowing the nature of mankind.

Christians read the wonderful accounts in Matthew and Luke at Christmas time, as they should. They talk about the shepherds, Joseph, Mary, the angels, the kings from the East, the star, and the stable. All good stuff. However, one monumental truth that is not emphasized should be, and if and when it is, will take the misty, warm stories about the birth of Jesus and turn them to jaw-dropping, fall-to-our-knees truth.

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p1030892

Is the Christian God good?

Some will say that He is not good at all. They will bring up the biblical truth that He committed genocide against the Canaanites. It’s right there in the Old Testament. In more recent history, He allowed the slaughter of millions of Jews during World War Two. He allows all kinds of atrocities. If Christians or Jews, such critics say, declare He is all-powerful, then He must be uncaring, because if He is caring, He would have prevented such cruelties; but He didn’t. Therefore, He is either impotent or uncaring. He is one or the other. We can’t have it both ways, they say.

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p1040003

Did Jesus say, “Go, therefore, and change the world”?

No. Not only did He not say it, no one in Scripture says it or advocates it.

Then why are Christians exhorted to do that?

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2004-07-10_1502_fromjoewatson

In last week’s post, I maintained that vision-casting is a non-biblical, deceptive teaching. I wrote that in this erroneous teaching, the word “goal” had been transformed into the word “vision.” Setting a goal for one’s self, business, or organization is a good idea. But a goal is not a vision. One has an earthly origin, the other a heavenly one. (Please tuck this goal vs. vision truth in the creases of your brain somewhere, because it will come up later.)

The next issue we must deal with is the primary genesis of this false belief. It is just one verse. In truth, it’s half of one verse.

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2004-07-10_1502_fromjoewatson

Did Jesus say, “Go therefore and cast your vision”?

Or, “Go therefore and make vision-casting leaders of all nations”?

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