Evil, Unity, a Video, a Troll & a Parable

Everything that has happened in your life has led up to this point in time.  Every experience and every relationship has prepared you for this very moment.  I wish I could remember who said that.  However, it sometimes strikes me as odd when several seemingly unrelated events coalesce into a very real theme.

Is this blog evil?  Is the UCG Council of Elders evil?  Is God evil?  Why or why not?

Some would answer "yes" to some of those.  A few might even say they are all evil.

Is having a disagreement evil?  In order for unity to occur, must everyone be as unthinking lemmings and follow the infallible leader off a cliff?  You know, there are those today who seem to be saying that once a leader is put into power, then we must follow whatever he says, right or wrong.  If we sin, though, who will be answering Jesus at His return?

 12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12, King James Version)

A husband and wife become one flesh.  They become united in a physical and emotional bond.  They become one family.  So, does that mean they never disagree?  Does that mean they never have a difference of opinion?

To be sure, we are not talking about blatant sin here.  If a man were to be of the opinion he should be able to see other women, then I doubt that many of you would try to defend his position.

However, what if she wants to go bowling and he wants to go out for pizza?  There isn’t an agreement at that point in time.  Is this a sin then?  Is this disunity?  What if one of them relents?  What if one of them submits to the other?  Does that mean they are still headed for a divorce?

Silly?  Contrived?  Are you sure?  That’s pretty much how the sky-is-falling crowd seems to be reacting to the squabble at UCG.  Like a new marriage, when that “first fight” comes up, both parties get in an uproar and think that divorce is inevitable.  Those who have been married a little longer realize that not every disagreement is a recipe for divorce, though.  Yet, when it comes to matters at UCG, some are crying disunity.  Some are talking about a split (oddly, it seems that those who are in that last camp aren’t UCG members).

Some are even talking about "sin".  You know, I have to wonder if maybe those who talk the most about “sin” would be happier if Mr Kilough went off in a huff and started his own church rather than submit to those in authority over him.  How would that be for unity?  Going back to the marriage anaology, I suppose they would counsel for divorce over an argument that dinner got burnt.

Husbands and wives disagree at times.  If they cannot work out a compromise, then, one submits to the other out of love and concern for the other and/or the family as a whole.

Do you really think that Jesus never had a thought independent of His Father?  If so, what did you really get out of this last Passover, the memorial of Christ’s sacrifice?  Did you not glimpse the emotion that Jesus felt just before He was betrayed?  Did you glance over the fact that He asked for “let this cup pass from me”?  So, did He sin?  Was He guilty of disunity?  Apparently, the fact that He submitted would not suffice for some postmodern Pharisees.

You know something else?  It really is true that people will believe what they are going to believe.  Without God’s calling, we are all doomed.  For example, if someone wants to view God as an angry, vengeful and even evil being, they are going to do so.  I think the latest UCG video “God cares for you” really makes it clear that our perceptions can be very skewed at times.

Speaking of skewed perceptions, have you figured out yet why I pointed out the Parable of the Talents to the Internet troll yet?  Has anyone ever pointed out to you the attitude of the man with the single talent?  He feared the master.  Maybe there are some things we should look at in this parable as well.

Why did he fear the master?  The other two servants didn’t seem to be fearful.  The man himself gave the reason.

 24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: (Matthew 25:24, King James Version)

He viewed his master as harsh and demanding to the point of being unreasonable.  He did not trust the master, another way of saying he lacked faith in the master, to do good and reward him for his effort.  He allowed this perception to rule his heart, mind and actions.  Ironically, he expected harshness, and that is what he received.

People who argue that the God of the Bible is evil and cruel are working from the same mindset.  Even after the Millennium, it appears that there will still be some that view God as being harsh and unreasonable.  The sad part of it is that they choose to view Him this way.

There’s at least one more nugget in the parable, though.  The master never tries to convince the servant that he is wrong.  The master simply repeats back the man’s words to him.  In Luke, a similar parable was spoken by Jesus, which shows that He gave variations of this parable that were tailored to the occasion.  In that particular version, the master actually says, “Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee” (Lk 19:22).

In all likelihood, the master has already given the servant more than he deserves.  What good is it going to be to try to change his mind with words after everything he has already done for the servant?

Could we service-attending COG members be guilty of a lesser but similar offense?

Let this sink in a moment: When Jesus was asked about which was the greatest commandment, He did not answer with one single commandment!  He answered with two.

When we choose to view leaders as harsh and unreasonable without cause, are we displaying the same unrighteous attitude as the man with the single talent?  Maybe you think you have a good cause to believe certain people have behaved unseemly, but I would be tempted to bet the servant who had one talent believed this way as well!

What did Paul write about loving others?

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth [and, let’s face it, how much of the “truth behind the contentions do we really know?]. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

~ 1Co 13:4-7 (NIV)

The same man under inspiration also gave us guidance to try to view events and people in a positive light.

 8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8, King James Version)

That probably would go double for someone placed over you, would it not?

28 “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. (Exodus 22:28, New King James Version)

I think it is evident from Scripture that we are not to be lemmings.  However, it is pretty obvious that independent minds will collide at some point.  We can choose to judge others with harshness, or we can choose to see the good in them.  If they have God’s Spirit, then should we not be even more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt?

In the final analysis, if we view others in a harsh manner, then what’s to stop us from viewing God in a harsh manner?  As the UCG video shows, viewing God as harsh and uncaring is the exact opposite of the truth.  We have seen in the Parable of the Talents where viewing God in that manner leads.  It really starts with the attitude.

If nothing else, keep in mind that submission to God is what matters in the end.  One of the instructions from Our Master was to forgive.  This is the opposite of viewing a perceived wrong through a lens of harshness.

 15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:15, King James Version)

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