Tag Archives: criminals

Thoughtful Thursday: An Almighty, Good God Allows an Evil World?

Human Brutality, one of the World's worst evils.

Here is a response to a difficult subject: Evil and human suffering. Your comments are valuable here. Thanks for reading.

The following are comments from a former classmate Marty Schoffstall as placed within the comment section on blog site of Theology Professor Ken Miller.

From Marty:

Dr. Dorsey [professor of Old Testament Studies] says that the story of the prophets (a rather large portion of the canon) looks like this:

(1) God Is Allowing Wickedness…
For a season…. and the wicked to succeed in their opposition to Him to temporarily triumph over Him (and over those loyal to Him). He may allow them to spurn Him, mock Him, humiliate him, or persecute those who remain loyal to Him.

(2) God is redirecting their evil….
to accomplish his own good purposes. The deeds of the wicked play into God’s hands and are used by God to further his own semi-secret agenda. [During this time when evil appears to prevail], God’s children are encouraged to: (a) Trust God, (b) Wait patiently for the time when God will intervene and right all wrongs, (c) Remain loyal and obedient to him.

(3) Finally, God dramatically intervenes…
to defeat his enemies. God is vindicated the wicked are punished; and those loyal to God are rewarded.

Now as my old friend friend Dr. Cunningham from UVA who was a very competent Roman Catholic Theologian on the side used to say:

“…mercy and justice are always in tension. We want mercy for ourselves, and justice for the other…”

Eventually we grow a little wiser and want some mercy for the other as well; however, we can never give up the concept of justice completely. Some decisions are so revolting (like genocide) that they must rigorously opposed, some people are so broken (like serial killers, serial kidnappers, etc) that we invest enormous time and money in the criminal justice system to stop them, they are horribly corrosive to society, they must be stopped.

How do you respond?

Hell’s Angels, Drug Dealers, and Bad Asses: A Mission Field

Guess who’s on the margins when it comes to hearing about God’s grace?

Sure, Harley Davidson has mainstreamed, and its product logo is on everything from sunglasses to underwear, but a big segment of the riders are unreached by genuine Christian love. Some riders are just bad-boy posers who take their expensive bikes out after a hard day in the cubicle, but other riders have lives filled with pain, substance abuse, violence, crime, and are looking hard for hope, or have all but given up in despair. Plenty more, are somewhere in the middle.

My mom’s church has a special ministry for those who ride.

Each Spring they hold a big gathering called The Blessing of the Bikes. It’s a time to gather, talk shop, and pray for a safe riding season. A gospel message is preached, “Blessing” shirts are sold, riding buddies are made, Bibles are given out, and folks from all over come in hopes that prayer will keep them safe. Thousands attend.

Each week, the Murrysville Alliance Church has a few scheduled group rides (MAC riders: They even have their own patches. woe.). The ministry has been so helpful, and well-received, that ashtray receptacles have had to be installed outside the church, the building expanded, and they’ll soon have to go to three services on Sundays. You should see all the tattoos, beards, bandanas, and leather in that place on a Sunday morning. It’s a place awash in the grace and Spirit of God in there, and awfully noisy when they start up their bikes to leave after the service too!

WPXI Channel 11 in Pittsburgh has video of the event this year. It’s worth a look!