Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why can't God just put a stop to evil?

In youth group, Willie has been asking us challenging questions and this was the last one that really made me think. I sat there and thought, but God DOES have the ability to put a stop to evil.

God has stopped evil before.

He flooded the earth to wipe out evil in Noah's day.

He destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. "Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens" Genesis 19:24. "Turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly" II Peter 2:6

He sent Jesus to die for us so we wouldn't have to suffer for our own wickedness.

And if you read more history in the Bible, you will see other examples of God stopping evil. However, God doesn't always stop evil from happening. In most cases, he allows it.

Earthquakes happen. Tornadoes happen. Flooding happens. Tsunamis, volcano eruptions, war and terrorism all happen. It is all part of God's plan.

I guess the reason he doesn't just put a stop to evil all the time is because God sees the big picture. God has already seen the end. He knows how things are going to turn out. Being human, we don't see the picture God sees. We focus on the little things that happen. One person dies and we think, why did God allow this to happen? What we don't realize is that this is all part of God's plan.

God has already seen the end. Everything is working for his perfect plan.
God has already won.

I sat there and thought more about that. God has already won. Why are we so worried? Why do we try to figure everything out on our own? God already knows. Jeremiah 29:11 says that God has a perfect plan for us. I guess sometimes I forget that God already knows how everything will play out. He allows certain things to happen because he knows that in the end, it will be used to glorify Him. It may not make sense to us right now, but it will when that time comes.
I'm rambling a lot. I've been thinking a lot about how everything that happens is for the glory of God, no matter how crappy it seems at the time, because in the end God wins. How awesome is that?

I'm Sorry I'm A Christian - Chris Tse

Chris Tse presenting his poem at the Poetry Slam Vancouver. He was the 1st place winner on the 21st of December 2009 with a score of 57.3 with his poem.

I am a Christian. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for the way that I come across

So fair and faith friendly and full of myself

Judging your spiritual health by

the words that you say

And the way that you dress, and the things that you do

Or maybe just judging you.

I’m sorry for the way that I live my life

So confident of my own beliefs that

I would never even think to think about thinking about yours

I’m sorry for the wars.

Ivory clad Crusaders mounting steeds and drawing swords

With such a spirit that if The Spirit spoke they wouldn’t hear

But you see the sword of the spirit was not a sword but the Word

And the Word was with God and the Word was God

And they preached this as they marched on the Holy Land

Singing and Praying and Killing and Slaying

And purging and healing and raping and stealing

It’s ironic that they lined their pockets in the name of God

Just like the priests who line their pockets in the name of God

Just like the people that you can’t stand, because they always raise their hand

And spread their faith and hate and judgment in the name of God

I’m sorry that I take God’s name in vain

Or rather I’m sorry that I stain the name of God

Defending my selfish actions as selfless actions pertaining to the will of God

I’m sorry for being intolerant

For trying to talk down to you

For trying to talk over you

For not letting you talk

I’m sorry for not walking the walk

For being a hypocritical critical Christian

Criticizing your pagan lifestyle while my lifestyle styles itself

Just like the televangelist’s hair

All slick and sly and slippery

As the silver syllables slide their way into your ear

But see that’s my greatest fear

That the steps I take won’t match the words I speak

So that when I speak all you hear of me

is a weak hypocritical critical Christian

Doing one thing, but saying another

Loving my friend, but hating my brother

It’s a show.

I’m sorry I get drunk on Saturdays

and go to church on Sundays to pray

for my friends who get drunk on Saturdays

And on that note,

I’m sorry for making the church about the pews and the cross

And the walls and the steeple

Because see, the building is not the church

The church is the people

I’m sorry that I hate you because you are gay

I’m sorry I condemn you to hell because you are gay

Instead of loving I jump to hatred

Mouth open and tongue preaching

Eyes open but not seeing that you are the same as me

Just a fucking human being

I’m sorry that I only hang out with Christian friends

And we do nice Christian things

Like pot luck dinners and board game nights

While in the night a man beats his girlfriend again

Another homeless man died again

Is this the way that my own crowd has been?

But here I am with the same friends again

But see what I always forget is that Jesus didn’t come

to hang out with the priests and the lords.

No, He hung out with cripples and beggars and whores


I’m sorry for history

For native tribes wiped out in the name of the church

Lodges burning Stomachs churning and yearning for justice

And mothers screaming and pleading

Pleading for the young ones

As they are dragged away to church schools

Where they were abused

I’m sorry for the way that I refused to learn your culture

Instead I just came to spread the Gospel

And the plague

I’m sorry that I stand at the front doors of abortion clinics

Screaming at fifteen year old girls as they enter

Instead of waiting at the back door to hug them as they leave

I’m sorry for taking my wars and my faith to your lands

When historically it was on your lands that my faith was born

And in the face of the storm, I realize that

If God is Love and Love is God

Then why are we shooting instead of sharing?

Why are we launching instead of learning?

Why are we warring instead of walking together?

Why are we taking instead of talking together?

Why are we bombing instead of breaking bread together as brothers?

You see, I think that God looks down and He’s sad

And from His right hand throne above

Jesus asks where is the Love?

And if it takes Wil-I-Am and Justin Timberlake

Asking that same question for us

To start asking that same question

Then where the fuck are we headed?

So I will take this stage to be my chapel

And this mic my confession booth

And in the presence of God, the few, the proud,

and the blessed I confess, that

I am a Christian. I’m sorry.

- A poem by Chris Tse

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

float on

"Who's to say where the wind will take you
Who's to say what it is will break you
I don't know which way the wind will blow
Who's to know when the time has come around
Don't wanna see you cry
I know that this is not goodbye."

So, my very good friend Travis left for Navy boot camp yesterday. It's weird. He was that friend that would always just be here. Every time I came home he would be here. I would go over to his house and fall asleep on his couch. That sounds kind of boring, but I'm gonna miss that. And that couch is impossible to not fall asleep on. It is the most comfortable couch in the history of couches. So many great memories with him. He was my viola buddy in high school. We talked through school but didn't start hanging out until senior year. He used to be best friends with the guy I dated senior year. When we broke up, Travis was still there for me. I could call him anytime and he would listen. I loved how if I wanted to do something, he would encourage me to just do it. Most of our hanging out times were from spontaneous ideas. I loved going to Main Street during the winter and walking around in the snow and going to the candy shop and stopping at the popcorn stand to get homemade kettle corn, and watching the horse carriages go by and always wishing we could afford to ride one. And walking around Creve Coeur Lake and talking about everything and yes, everyone. Listening to Pink Floyd's The Wall and singing along in the car at the top of our lungs. We would go for late night drives all the time and go down Hog's Hollow and listen to scary music and drive through the fog and corn fields and pass the eery looking water plant. The past two new years were spent at his house with our friends. We'd all sit on the legendary couch until midnight, then see how long we could stay up. The first new year spent at his house was the most memorable. So much drama and laughing, and being worried about breakfast. There are so many frickin good memories that it'd take too long to sit here and type. We used to joke around about how he's going to have a ton of money from the navy. I told him that he should get a fountain soda machine because fountain soda is better than regular soda, and he will.

Man, I'm gonna miss this kid. I know I'll still talk to him when he's graduated boot camp and goes to California for school, but it just won't be the same. I'm proud of him though. I don't want to sit here and be sad about this. This is such a great thing that he is doing. He's going to be a translator for the Navy. I'm really happy for him. I'm just going to miss him being around. I feel like I have developed this expectation that whenever I come home from school he'll be here, but he's not going to always be here and I have to get used to that. Also, I'm realizing that it'd be selfish of me to want that. He's going to travel the world and I couldn't be happier or more proud of him.