Solving the problem of evil in the twenty-first century

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The Holy Bible

The Holy Bible

The Holy Bible

The Holy Bible, the supposed Word of God.  In my opinion and in many others, it is the Good News.  What is the Good News?  Assurance from the problem of evil is one aspect of it.

Why would a loving God allow this?  Pain, suffering, emptiness, loss, death.  It’s not fair, right?

The story of Job talks of a man who loses his wealth, children and health so that he would disclaim God.  Satan tempts him the whole time.  But Job, Job never accuses God for what happened.  And in the end everything is redeemed and he gains more than what he had.  Job’s brothers said that he must have sinned and is being punished.  One of Job’s younger brothers says to Job’s brothers “Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God’s” (KJV, Job 35:2)?  Job puts them in their places.  Who are they to question God?  What do they know of His plan?  And because of Job’s faith through his trials, everything is restored even more than he ever imagined.  That’s what faith can do.

Another answer to the problem of evil is that it comes from our free will.  With the fall of Man evil came into the world.  Evil and death.  But because God loves us, and because He did not want us to merely be puppets, He gave us free will.  There’s a million discussions on free will and predestination, but that’s a discussion for another time.   With free will we also have the ability to sin and do evil.  That doesn’t answer the question why bad things happen to people, not from people.

The answer to why bad things happen to people goes back to Job.  God doesn’t do these things to people, but rather they are allowed to happen.  There’s a difference.  And with trials, pain and suffering, when relief is finally brought through God’s glory shines all the more when they trust in Him, get closer to Him, and He delivers.  How much would you trust someone if all you had left in the world was one person, and they brought back all your dreams, hopes, wants and thoughts unseen compared to if you already had it?  It’s like raw gold.  When it goes through the fire (trials), it is worth all the more, the impurities (unstable parts of faith) are drawn out (faith is that much stronger than it would’ve been).  You see how much you truly need God in your life.


Kre8tor What If

Kre8tor is a former hustler and gang boss who was caught in a web of deception, betrayal, and murder.

One of Kre8tor’s enemies set him and put him in jail.  There a fellow inmate leads Kre8tor to Christ.  After his sentence is served, Kre8tor has the choice of living out his reformed ways or succumbing to pressure to old ways.  The girl he’s in a relationship tells him that he needs to hustle or she’ll leave.  He lets her go.

Kre8tor then formed DoubleEdgeMinistries, where he produces videos, film and media to spread the Good Word, The Gospel.

In the video What If sung by Kre8tor, he sings about his life, and contemplates what if he’s right, what if the ones who persecute him or ignore God are wrong.  What if you died tonight?  He’s saying think about it.  It’s easy to forget about what’s going to happen at the end.  Death seems so far away.  There is this idea of a personal fable.  A personal fable is defined as thinking that things don’t happen to you, so you can be a little careless.  He speaks to the ambivalent and the attackers, those with a view point and those without one at all.  The idea is, what if?  What if there is a God, a Heaven and a Hell?  You can decide not to believe and risk eternity in torment, or you can actually have a better life and have the reward of the Heaven to come.  If there is no Heaven, then what do you lose?  After awhile, things like debauchery, death, drugs, alcohol, money, vices, and sex consume your life and you are left with emptiness, if you make those things in themselves your life.  Instead you can have the goodness and abundance of life and reap rewards in Heaven.

The problem of evil is addressed with Kre8tor’s story: The place he was gave him the ability to reach those that other blue collar workers could not.  He is able to relate to people others will never be able to.  Evil is overcome, and evil used.


C.S. Lewis Perelandra

Perelandra

C.S. Lewis' Perelandra

In C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra, Lewis meets a colleague who travels to another planet.  There the creation story from the Bible appears to be reenacted.  There is a Green Lady who the main character, Ransom must save from temptation.  In this version of the story, Ransom does save the Green Lady from temptation and the planet is left in Paradise.

By bringing in fact into fiction, C. S. Lewis blurs the real and imagined worlds in Perelandra.  In doing so, C.S. Lewis provides a basis for the extension of reality into his imagination. In the case of Perelandra, his Christian beliefs are extended to explore the idea of another Creation on the planet Perelandra.  Despite being almost parallel to Creation and the fall of man in the Bible, Perelandra is not an allegory for the Bible’s creation.  It is rather an argument for the possibility of another Creation, and how that idea would work with Lewis’ belief in Christianity.

Another purpose of blurring distinction between worlds with references to real events and people is in order to approach the problems of human destiny and space from a Christian point of view. Lewis suggests that there may be more out there than we know of or can even imagine.  What Lewis does best is not to present his idea with a full out ridiculous and obviously imagined nature, or to constrain himself to the limits of the real world.  What Lewis does best is give us suspicions about what is really going on in the vast unknown.

What C.S. Lewis does is not give allegories.  Lewis does not copy stories.  Rather Lewis expands upon them.  The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobeis not a copy of Jesus’ story, portrayed by Aslan.  It is rather Lewis thinking, what would that story look like in another world?

Image Credit: Amazon.com


The Pick of Destiny

In The Pick of Destiny with Jack Black and Kyle Gass, two guitarists travel to Hollywood to form the world’s greatest band, Tenacious D.  They discover the most well kept secret of rock: all rock legends used the same guitar pick, The Pick of Destiny.  This pick was said to be created from Satan’s tooth by a dark wizard and to have supernatural powers.  The person using the pick was said to have unnatural ability with musical instruments.

Jack and Kyle decide to steal the pick from a rock history museum.  They manage to get the pick due to guards being high on weed.  They decide that they will use the earnings from a gig at a local bar’s talent contest to pay rent.  They end up fighting over the pick and break it in half.  They decide they are good enough to play anyway.  The bar owner happens to be Satan in human form.  He is in human form because he is incomplete without his tooth.  He confronts them and transforms into the more demonic version of himself and can use his powers.  They challenge him to a guitar off which Satan must accept because of the demon code.  If Tenacious D wins, Satan must return to hell and pay their rent.  If Satan wins, he gets to take Kyle with him.  They lose, but Satan shoots a bolt of energy at Kyle which Jack deflects with his guitar and hits Satan, blowing off Satan’s horn.

Even with Satan’s power, he is controlled because of his vulnerability.  When he is not complete, he is diminished.  This is a light hearted look at Satan, but it also touches on the idea that Satan can’t control everything, and can be defeated.  It’s all in the strings.

Video Credit: Youtube


Black Sabbath

Something that makes me upset is when people say stay away from Rock music, it’s from the devil. In particular, Ozzy and Black Sabbath. Where did the name Black Sabbath come from?

The name Black Sabbath came from a combination of things obviously. But the kicker was the song “Black Sabbath” that Butler wrote after seeing “black silhouette figure at the foot of his bed.” The figure than turns and runs away from the “chosen one.” Even with a “Black Sabbath,” God still triumphs.

In this music video of the song Black Sabbath, you can clearly see the crosses that the guitarist and singer are wearing.

Metal. Country. Rock. Jazz. Blues. You. God treats us all as one. What difference does it make that you’re using electric guitars or a choir? In fact, Black Sabbath might save lives that would never be touched by a choir. There’s a reason for everything.

Black Sabbath is extremely straightforward in the following interview of Butler and song lyrics:

“I used to read a lot about all that. But any lyrics that I or Ozzy wrote were actually warnings against Satanism, telling people that if you are going to dabble in that, just be careful… I had a very strict Catholic upbringing, so I read a lot about Satan. But we never, ever promoted Satanism or black magic, we only used it as a reference, and it wasn’t our only topic. We wrote a lot of science fiction lyrics, anti-Vietnam war songs, the occult was only dealt with in three or four songs. But people completely misinterpreted them, the way they always do… Sabbath even did a blatantly pro-God, Christian hymn type of song, ‘After Forever’, and people still took it the wrong way. They thought we were taking the piss out of it!”

I don’t know much about God or the inner workings of Black Sabbath and what not. All that I am asking is that you think before you judge.

Video Credit: Youtube


A Piece of Cake

In Cupcake Brown’s A Piece of Cake, the problem of evil is explored through the life of the author.  Cupcake goes through a life of drugs, prostitution, rape, violence, death, gangs, abuse, multiple foster homes, hopelessness and despair since the age of 11.  Along the way she senses a “guiding force” and a network of people that tells her “don’t go down that alley” and she somehow manages to stay alive.  Her life keeps going downhill until she is beat up, homeless, and walking on the streets.  She was emancipated and had lost any hope whatsoever.  The turning point for Cupcake was when she stood in front of a mirror and saw the state she was in.  She decides to say “God, I don’t know how to do this, but help” and His response is to go back to the job she had recently walked away from.  To her surprise she is accepted back in the job, and she starts the road to quitting alcohol and drugs.  She finds accountability partners, goes to college, goes to law school, graduates “magna cum laude without a high school diploma or a G.E.D.,” and becomes a lawyer at an extremely prestigious law firm.  She is finally inspired to share her story.  She goes from one of the lowest and worst situations possible and somehow becomes elevated higher than she could dream of.  2/3 of the book consists of Cupcake’s constant down spiral. By that point I had no hope for her – her life was consumed by drugs and hustling.  With the problem of evil, here, we ask why did this happen?  Why would God allow such a thing in her life?

                My response is this.  After she was brought so low, she came to a point where she realized that the only thing that would help her is God.  His continual guidance on her strengthened her faith beyond what it could have been.  She also has inspired many people with her story.  I believe there was a purpose for all of her trials.  What she went through ended up being for the greater good.  It is not for us to ask why.  It is to know there is a greater purpose, and as Cupcake puts it “Pray, trust, work hard, and grab hold!”  I would encourage all of you to check out her about section on her website and read the book sometime.

Pray, trust, work hard, and grab hold!
Image credit: www.cocoasavvy.com