EChurch@Wartburg – 9.9.18

Welcome to a Gathering of EChurch@Wartburg

The TWW community would love to pray for you!

Please include your prayer request in the comment section of this post.https://publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=23497&picture=desert-sunrise-7-1-12e

Desert Sunrise

Here is our Order of Worship

Prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi link

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
where there is injury, pardon
where there is doubt, faith
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy

O, Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
to be loved as to love
for it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life
Amen

Prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi link

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
where there is injury, pardon
where there is doubt, faith
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy

O, Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
to be loved as to love
for it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life
Amen

Scripture Reading: Habakkuk 1:6-11 (NASB Bible Gateway)

“For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
That fierce and impetuous people
Who march throughout the earth
To seize dwelling places which are not theirs.
“They are dreaded and feared;
Their justice and authority originate with themselves.
“Their horses are swifter than leopards
And keener than wolves in the evening.
Their horsemen come galloping,
Their horsemen come from afar;
They fly like an eagle swooping down to devour.
“All of them come for violence.
Their horde of faces moves forward.
They collect captives like sand.
“They mock at kings
And rulers are a laughing matter to them.
They laugh at every fortress
And heap up rubble to capture it.
“Then they will sweep through like the wind and pass on.
But they will be held guilty,
They whose strength is their god.”

The Lord’s Prayer (link)

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)

Benediction

The Lord bless you, and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’

Numbers 6:24-26 (NASB)


Comments

EChurch@Wartburg – 9.9.18 — 13 Comments

  1. Wade,

    Thanks for your kind words about our blog in your opening remarks. It is a joy to feature your sermons every week. I am blessed by them, and I trust others in the TWW community are as well.

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  2. Well, I’ve watched that sermon 3 times and taken so many notes in an effort to come to an understanding of the message….and failed miserably.

    Wade, you listed a number of things about God in an effort to help us understand why He doesn’t intervene in abuse situations as He did for Sarah. You said: He doesn’t inspire evil; doesn’t tempt; is not breathing evil; has no thoughts of doing evil; doesn’t plant the thought for an abuser to abuse; does not coerce evil; and doesn’t make evil happen.

    BUT He permits evil against us because ultimately He will bring something good from it.

    I couldn’t help but wonder how that is different from Paige Patterson being happy about the woman’s black eyes because her husband came to church. 🙁

    Or does God evaluate the level of violence He permits like John Piper does; i.e. is it merely verbal “unkindness” or is her life in danger?

    And should we grieve about the thousands abused by Catholic Priests and/or by Baptist Pastors when actually their abuse may ultimately be the vehicle that will bring good down the road….at some later date?

    With all due respect, check out how many opportunities God will have to ultimately bring good to these victims….

    https://ncadv.org/statistics

    Wade, forgive my sarcasm, but this doesn’t ring true of God’s attitude toward victims of abuse even trying to make it so from the book of Habakkuk.

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  3. Victorious,

    You ask good questions. When Habakkuk is shown in a vision the imminent attack against Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, the destruction of the Temple, and God’s people being carried off into captivity (exile), he questioned God by asking, “Where are you? Why are you allowing this? How long must we suffer?” (Habakkuk 1:1-4)

    God responds by saying, “I’m going to do such a marvelous and astounding work among you that if someone were to tell you, you would not believe it.” (1:5).

    Then God says, “I have raised up the Chaldeans, that fierce and impestuous people (KJV says, “wicked people”).

    I am only attempting to convey what God conveys. Your questions are very good, but I would simply say they are questions that only God can answer, and not necessarily me.

    So I’d like to ask you a question – and feel no need to reply if you don’t desire to respond. I am attempting to understand how you are thinking since what is said by God in Habakkuk 1 doesn’t bother me as much as it does you.

    Here’s my question (three part).

    1. In your mind, is God unable or powerless to prevent evil from occuring?
    2. If evil does occur, instigated by wicked people who’ll be held accountable by God for their actions, is God unable or powerless to bring ultimate good out of evil?
    3. When evil in this world does occur, in your mind and belief system, “Where is God?”

    Thanks for your comments and the dialogue.

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  4. Wade,

    You said…”I am only attempting to convey what God conveys.”

    I have no problem with what scripture/God says in Habakkuk 1:6. The problem I have is how you implied some comparison of that verse to situations involving victims of abuse. In your opening statements which were directed to “50-55% of women in Evangelical churches that have suffered some kind of abuse”, you correctly surmised that “you’re going to hear what is said today and you could be really upset.”

    You continued, “And the reason is that you may have never considered that God was anywhere close to the abuse that you were enduring. In fact, it could be that the only way you made it through your pain was to imagine that God either didn’t know or He was out there somewhere and not paying attention…He wasn’t around…because the idea that God knew and could have prevented it really bothers you.”

    At this point I became really, really upset. You were right. The reason is because following that somewhat compassionate understanding of the sorrow, grief, and pain of victims of abuse, you launch into verse 5-6 implying that the same way God “raised up the wicked Chaldeans following Habakkuk’s cry of despair, He did the same thing to the wicked abusers when their victims were wondering where He was while they were suffering.

    After such a wonderful compliment to the TWW and their ministry to those who have been abused, I had to listen several times in hopes I wasn’t hearing what I thought I had heard. You seemed to be (almost) trivialized the abuse by maximizing the end result…something beneficial to them as well as others. Kinda trying to present the scenario in Habakkuk as evidence that God causes all things to work together for good and for that reason we should try to understand God’s purpose in “raising up the wicked abusers” ie. (Chaldeans.)

    It’s late so I hope you can see why I am one of those who were “really upset.”

    I will answer your three questions tomorrow.

    Thanks for caring enough, Wade, to ask for some clarification. Following your blog and sermons on eChurch for a number of years was the reason I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from someone I have the upmost respect for.

    To be continued….

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  5. Victorious,

    Take your time.

    In one-on-one dialogue with men and women who’ve been abused, it’s best to simply be silent and comfort through one’s presence and listening, with a sympathetic ear.

    Teaching expositionally from Habakkuk 1 is not the same as a counseling session. It’s similar to forcing someone to eat who is physically ill. It doesn’t make sense.

    It’s not my desire to debate or argue, only to understand your view of God’s power and abilities and how they relate to His love and compassion for His people.

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  6. Victorious,

    Two final thoughts:

    1. “I raised up the Chaldeans, that fierce and impetuous (wicked) people” does not mean God inspired the wicked Chaldeans or that God forced the wicked Chaldeans to do evil, for that would violate the character of God and the truth of Scripture. God allowed the Chaldeans to do the wicked things that originated within their own hearts. God permits evil, but never promotes it. He can also prohibit it (as He prohibited evil Abimelech).

    2. The Chaldeans abused God’s people. They took hooks and placed them through the cheeks of the men, dragging them into exile for 70 years. They abused the women and the children. The Jews were told through their prophets that the Chaldeans would be punished for their evil actions, but that God would bring about a marvelous work for His people, working and orchestrating the evil allowed for an ultimate good.

    That seems to be God’s message in Habakkuk.

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  7. Good Morning, Wade!

    OK, here’s my answers to your three questions above:

    1. In your mind, is God unable or powerless to prevent evil from occuring?

    No, God is not unable or powerless to prevent evil from occurring. He is certainly able.

    2. If evil does occur, instigated by wicked people who’ll be held accountable by God for their actions, is God unable or powerless to bring ultimate good out of evil?

    God is beyond a shadow of doubt able (and willing) to bring good out of evil. There is great comfort in knowing this. I trust Him implicitly.

    3. When evil in this world does occur, in your mind and belief system, “Where is God?”

    Many years ago following my divorce, I was feeling so abandoned, lonely and scared. Late one evening I went to the window of my two-story farmhouse and looked out at the new fallen snow on the ground. I wondered if God knew, or even cared, about what I was experiencing. I immediately thought…He’s got to be very busy with all the rapes, thefts, murders, etc. that happen every night and was just about to retire to the safety of my bed, when something happened that can only be explained as a spiritual revelation. I KNEW for certain that He knew I was standing at that window at that very moment and I immediately felt His presence and KNEW I was loved and that He cared very much about what I was going through

    I’ve answered your questions and think we’re in agreement about them.

    One last comment regarding what you said here:

    Teaching expositionally from Habakkuk 1 is not the same as a counseling session. It’s similar to forcing someone to eat who is physically ill. It doesn’t make sense.

    Exactly! That’s the reason I got so upset. But apparently you were aware of that possibility when you prefaced the sermon by addressing women (and some men) who had been abused. Had you not mentioned abusers and the victims of abuse, the correlation would have been absent but your obvious awareness that some might be upset when they heard it seemed to confirm you intended the correlation.

    Anyway, because of your concern and willingness to dialogue with me about this, I no longer feel upset and want you to know how much I respect you and that without eChurch and your blog, I would among the many who think Christians have more love for authority than they do for Jesus.

    Thanks for being you….

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  8. Ooops… forgot to say that I thank God for you and your incredible gift of teaching and pastoring. My upset-ness 🙂 happened since I thought what I was hearing was so out of character for you and hoped I was misunderstanding.

    You have helped me maintain my love for you and your teaching by your willingness to work through it with me.

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  9. Victoriuos,

    We are indeed saying (and believing) the same things.

    “Teaching expositionally from Habakkuk 1 is not the same as a counseling session. It’s similar to forcing someone to eat who is physically ill. It doesn’t make sense.”

    You write in response to my above statement: “Exactly, That’s the reason I got so upset. But apparently you were aware of that possibility when you prefaced the sermon by addressing women (and some men) who had been abused. Had you not mentioned abusers and the victims of abuse, the correlation would have been absent…”

    I gently disagree. Anytime I have spoken on the Scriptural them of God’s absolute soverignty over all things, yet His effectual ability to work all things together for our good (e.g. including orchestrating evil for ultimate good), I will typically get letters from people that say, “But God cannot work any good from the evil I’ve endured.” During those times, I don’t argue. I will listen sympathetically. The truth of God’s character as revealed in His word remains truth, regardless of one’s acceptance of it. I don’t feel it’s my responsiblity to convince people of truth. My responsiblity is to love people, regardless of their acceptance or rejetion of God’s truth.

    I do thank you for your dialogue, and am blessed by how you work through emotions and cling to God’s perpetual and prodound goodness and ability to orchestrate even the evil things of this world for the eventual good of His people.

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