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« Must-See Movie | Main | Hearing the Cross in Bach and finding Christ the Truth »

May 21, 2007

It’s the Devil’s fault!

Raise your hand if you're disturbed by this article. The story, and others like it, can offer such a jolt to what we thought was our firm foundation of a belief in God. Suddenly we're not so sure. Who is this "God person" really, if he goes around forcing loving mothers to murder their children and provoking innocent fathers to microwave theirs?  Certainly not one with which we wish to affiliate ourselves! But before you denounce your Christianity in light of the day's headlines, read on.

Once befuddled by the same types of questions, I wrote a college paper to dissect the differences between Andrea Yates, Deanna Laney, and the Call of Abraham as retold in the great novel of Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling. (Although I wish the paper was handy to link to, the truth of the matter is that my writing was fluffy and it would be a boring read anyway.) After much research, I found several satisfying answers to my plaguing questions. The greatest truth was this: God is not a God of contradiction

I drew first from the story of Abraham. We all know how the Lord told Abraham to sacrifice his son in order to determine Abraham's obedience and loyalty to the Lord. (I love this particular passage.) But in the process God stopped Abraham, and Isaac was spared.

Now, flip over one book to Exodus, where the Lord commands "thou shalt not murder." Think for a minute just how ridiculous it would be if God demanded one thing and then commanded the opposite?!  Foolishness! A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.

The concept of contradiction also applies to the recent article of the "pastor" who microwaved his daughter. Here we look not for a contradiction with God's commands, but for a contradiction in the life of a so-called "Christian."

It's no surprise that Satan plays a role in horrific situations such as these. The presence of evil all around us is evidence of his work. And it is true that he searches for weakness in believers. However, this reality does not allow us to excuse our actions by screaming from the rooftops: SATAN MADE ME DO IT! He does not compel us to do anything. As believers in Christ we are no longer under his authority! Satan may be free to tempt us, but we are free to say "no." If we don't, we have to be prepared to pay the cost. "Satan made me do it" will not hold up in a court of law... neither on this earth nor before the Lord.

I find particular comfort in this law of non-contradiction when reading through such headlines, and I hope that your own search for the Truth will offer you comfort and stability as well.

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