Does God Create Evil

There seems to be, in some circles a basic misunderstanding of what evil is. What is often referred to in conversations about evil and its cause is the moral evil. There are a number of contexts in which the word evil is used and the meaning of evil depends on its context like most any word. This also true of scripture and we need to be sure to obtain the proper context when using such words to prop up our favorite doctrines. The word evil can also be used in other contexts like misery, affliction, or calamity. There is a distinct difference between moral evil and affliction or misery people suffer. When discussing this subject we need to make clear which context we are discussing. Scripture is clear that God has not nor does He create moral evil nor is He responsible in any way for it. The Apostle James wrote that God cannot be tempted with evil nor does He tempt anyone with evil (James 1:13). The context here is moral evil.

The Isaiah 45:7 passage is often misused as a proof text to show that God does create evil. This is often made in defending an errant view of the Sovereignty of God. This we will address further in a moment. For now we need to also understand that the evil in this Isaiah passage is not speaking of moral evil but calamity of disaster. These types of things God has admitted to being the author and instigator of. God denies being the author of moral evil while showing He creates calamity on His disobedient children.

It is important to note that the use of the word evil is the Hebrew word r “ is used in scripture has many contexts and this Hebrew word translated in English as evil has a much broader range than our English version according to D.W.Baker in his article entitled “Evil” which can be found the book “Dictionary of the Old Testaments/Prophets” on page 194. This Hebrew word translated evil in English is found in contexts such as a description of food (Jeremiah 24:3; 29:17). It is also used in the context of wild dangerous animals (Ezekiel 5:17; 14:15). The reason it is used this way is because the word evil in Hebrew without any context simply speaks to that which is at the opposite end of good. J. Walls, in his article entitled “Evil” states that “evil refers to that which is opposed to good and the right” which can be found in the book titled Dictionary of the Old Testament/Historical Books pg. 272.

This Hebrew word r “ occurs as a verb; at times it occurs in the adjective form ra “. Other times it appears as a noun ra ‘a. Further it is important to note that sometimes the translation is used when describing a situation from man’s point of view. This is the case with Isaiah 45:7 where it is declared that God causes disaster. The use of the word here is indicating the terrible impact of a catastrophe. As Baker says we need to be very careful in determining which sematic nuance fits the context of the word.

Millard Erikson, in his book “Christian Theology pg. 544, declares it is not possible that God is the author of moral evil. James 1:13 that God does not do such a thing. So what we have discovered here is that evil in scripture does not have to mean a moral evil every time it is used or simply because it is used many times elsewhere in scripture. When we compare the scripture of James 1:13 to the scripture of Isaiah 45:7 we can determine that should the Isaiah passage mean a moral evil then we would have a conflict with the James 1 passage. The James passage is clear and the context of the Isaiah passage is as well. James says God cannot tempt man to sin, this is unambiguous. The Isaiah passage is also clear in that we can see God is declaring there is no such thing as any other God in reality and only He can bring judgement and disaster on people. The commentary of Barnes speaks to this issue this way:

“The parallelism here (Isaiah 45:7) shows that this is not to be understood in the sense of all evil, but of that which is the opposite of peace and prosperity. That is, God directs judgments, disappointments, trials, and calamities; he has power to suffer the mad passions of people to rage, and to afflict nations with war; he presides over adverse as well as prosperous events. The passage does not prove that God is the author of moral evil, or sin, and such a sentiment is abhorrent to the general strain of the Bible, and to all just views of the character of a holy God.”

Even while God is not the author of moral evil He most certainly remains sovereign over it. His primary source of control and sovereignty over evil is the cross of Jesus Christ. While God has given man the opportunity to choose the holiness of God or the moral evil of Satan (John 1:12) this alone shows God is not the author of moral evil and still remains sovereign over it. The ultimate control over evil is when Jesus died on the cross. Sin, Satan, and evil were defeated that day. Sin and moral evil cannot overcome the creator of the universe and all that is. God does not author moral evil and He is still in control.



More Inflammatory Rhetoric by Christians not Helpful

This is the second response to articles written about America dealing with Syrian Refugees. In response to his state’s Governors response to the refugees Pastor Alan Cross writes and article entitled “Considering the Facts: A Christian Response From Alabama to the Syrian Refugee Crisis“. A suggestion to him and anyone who may wish to dive into this issue. When you are criticizing someone make sure you have the correct facts. Especially when such a claim is made in your title. Pastor Cross does not have correct facts. Let me explain.

Because the Governor has rejected the unfettered access, by Syrian Refugees, to the state of Alabama pastor cross has engaged in inflammatory rhetoric by falsely accusing the Governor of “blame shifting”. He insists the Governor has shifted blame of terrorism from the terrorists to innocent refugees and in response he will not allow them into the state. He further uses unnecessary inflammatory rhetoric by accusing the Governor of have a “full motivation of fear”. This unChristian rhetoric is not helpful and the accusation are contrary to biblical Christian behavior.

Such accusations are not proven and Pastor Alan cannot know the Governors “full motivation” outside of the Governor saying so himself. This accusation does work to belittle and or demean the Governor and is not necessary. Further, accusation such as this can never be found to come from the Spirit of God be we do often discover this behavior from the great accuser. There is also no evidence that the Governor has blamed the refugees for anything. That is a false accusation and needs to be recanted in as public a way has he made the accusation.

Pastor Cross goes on to say that the refugees have already been vetted. This is false and has been refuted by the FBI Director himself when he said it is impossible to carefully vet every refugee coming into America. In fact not all refugees are even from Syria. They are swarming in from other countries such as Myanmar, Iraq, Somalia, Dem.Rep. of Congo, Bhutan, Iran, Syria, Eritrea, Sudan, Cuba, Ukraine, Burundi, Afghanistan, Ethiopia via Syria to come to the US. Everyone from the President to the Pastors need to settle down a bit and let’s be careful. The Obama admin is trying to ram these refugees down our throats

The Governors have asked for any background info this admin can give them on these refugees and this administration has refused to give it. In light of the hurry and lack of info the Governors have rightly taken a cautious approach to this. To quote Congressman Trey Gowdy “We do not need to make more orphan and widows in this country.

Quite frankly I am disappointed at the level of rhetoric about the very real fear people have about this situation. Why do Christians want to belittle genuine fear of terrorists coming into this country? This is not Christian behavior either. As far as using scripture to support ignoring the risks associated with taking in the refugees there is a huge problem. There is no scripture to support it. As someone I know recently asked someone who was doing the same demonization of Christians over this matter “would you let your daughter pick up a hitchhiker in the rain?” “Would you leave your doors unlocked at your home?” If not then you are being inconsistent. Either of those situation can be used as an outreach moment. We must act with caution and wisdom on this matter. Leave the hateful and inflammatory rhetoric to the world.

Inflammatory Rhetoric Will Convince No One You Are Right

In a recent article published by Christianity Today called “A Church Welcome for the Tired, the Poor”,   the author expressed some very troubling views about fellow Christians. I discovered the article in my news feed on Facebook. In the status section of the post the person that posted the article from Christianity Today said,

“The church can refuse to let the gods of fear and security dictate how we respond.”

In a professional Christian organization, that was started by Billy Graham no less, you would not expect such inflammatory rhetoric against fellow Christians. I doubt Billy Graham would approve of such language himself. Suggesting that those who have real security and safety concerns are bowing to the “gods of fear and security”. What an absurd notion that concerns about life and death matters are now a “god”. This is not language that Christians should be using toward each other nor is it something we expect from professional Christians at Christianity Today. Paul said that we should,

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6.

The authors of this article have not followed that scriptural mandate. They also have accused our country of becoming “stingy” about letting people migrate into our country. What the authors do not do is define stingy and make a clear case for it. Over the years we have let untold millions into this country. Further, we have spent trillions of dollars over the years helping people elsewhere. In fact we are still sending financial support to struggling countries all around the world even though we have a huge debt problem.

If we never help another person in this world we have nothing to be ashamed of. (I am not suggesting that we don’t ever help others) Right now the world is a much more dangerous place than it was in the early 1900’s. We also have a huge debt issue that any responsible country would be taking care of right now. With regards to the refugees from Syria it is a proven fact that we cannot vett those people careful enough. There are at least 5 Muslim countries who will not let them in their own countries because of security concerns. We now have 32 states that have refused to accept any Syrian refugees.

Americans want to help people whenever we can. In this case we need to move slowly and with great wisdom and right now we have no business letting those refugees into our country any more than we should let a murderer standing outside our door with a knife in our home.


Pastors need to be honest in their public discourse


Recently Pastor Jarrid Wilson contributed an article to The Blaze internet news site. His article entitled “I’m not scared of guns, I am scared of people who value guns more than people” is very problematic to say the least. As Christians and even especially as pastors we need to be careful and very thoughtful of how we respond to such tragedies. We also need to make sure our responses are an accurate representation of others we are criticizing.

Before I go any further let me say that I was filled with sorrow over the news of the targeting and killing of Christians in Oregon. Such tragedies are so unnecessary and my prayers are with all the victims and families.

Pastor Wilson made an unnecessary accusation against people, of whom he does not personally know, when he suggested that “But while most individuals wouldn’t personally admit their love for guns over that of a human life, one’s initial reaction towards the sickening event of a mass murder says a lot.” The gist here is anyone caught speaking out about the right to own guns within some arbitrary time frame apparently set by Pastor Wilson is guilty of loving guns more than people. Such accusation and or suggestions are completely irresponsible for the following reasons:

  1. Pastor Wilson does not know everyone who spoke out about owning guns following Oregon shooting.
  2. It is neither just, Christian, nor biblical to assign motives to people in the way Pastor Wilson has.
  3. Pastor Wilson left out information related to why people felt the need to talk about gun ownership following the Oregon shooting.

The fact is the President of the United States came out and began to call for more gun control as did many news sources. The president made a public statement that he needed to “publicize” the deaths in order to further his gun confiscating agenda. People felt the need to validate their gun ownership because our national government at the absolute highest level felt the need to try to convince people to give up their rights with regards to guns. When Pastor Wilson left out that part of the equation he intentionally misrepresented people who support gun ownership and then leveled a false accusation against them. The truth is it is unknowable that those people care more for guns than people.

As a Pastor Wilson has a responsibility to be less one sided and present both sides of the story. He also has a responsibility to not level false accusations and assign motives to people that he does not know personally. We need more from Pastors and we are held to a much higher standard of public discourse. Pastor Wilson needs to publicly apologize for his false accusations and misrepresentations of others. That behavior is not the behavior of a Pastor much less a Christian.

Below is a link to the article of which I write:

6 Ways To Serve Your Pastor’s Wife On Sunday

Written by Ryan Huguley/


In many churches, the most thankless job is that of the pastor’s wife. Though the pastor alone is paid, the pastor’s wife is often still saddled with a host of responsibilities and expectations. She is expected to be a model wife, nurturing mother, friend to everyone, run a women’s ministry, throw every baby shower, and cook every meal. These expectations are often unfair, unhelpful, and most importantly, unbiblical. “Pastor’s Wife” is not a secret third office of church leadership. The Bible contains no job description for the pastor’s wife, which is why extra-biblical expectations are often placed upon her.

Biblically, the only expectations you can have of your pastor’s wife are the ones Scripture places on all Christian wives: She should love Jesus, respect her husband, shepherd her children, and serve the body with the spiritual gifts the Spirit of God has given her.

Instead of enslaving the pastor’s wife with expectations, we should seek every opportunity to love and serve her; this is especially necessary on Sunday mornings, as she doesn’t have the help of her husband. So here are six simple ways you can serve your pastor’s wife on Sundays when your church gathers for worship:

1. Remember that Sundays are different for her

Sundays are different for your pastor’s wife. It’s a work day. She is essentially a single mom on Sunday because her husband is preaching, leading worship, or shepherding others throughout the day. Furthermore, if all goes according to plan, she will always attend church by herself and will rarely, if ever, experience the joy of attending church as a family. Remembering that Sundays are different for her will radically alter your heart toward her.

2. Pray for her

I can’t speak for all pastors’ families, but my family never experiences more spiritual opposition than on Sundays. The devil doesn’t want us pointing people to Jesus. More often than not, it seems the devil is lobbing all he can at us on Sunday mornings. Don’t just pray for your pastor, pray for his wife. Pray that Lord would protect her. Pray that she would hear God through the preaching of His Word. Pray she would connect with others in a way that’s edifying. One of the most important ways you can serve your pastor’s wife on Sundays is by praying for her.

3. Have realistic expectations of her

No two pastor’s wives are the same. Some love having others in their homes. Some sing or play an instrument. Some love shepherding the women around them. Some are extremely outgoing. Interestingly, those tend to be the expectations that are placed on all pastor’s wives. The problem is that some pastor’s wives are very shy. Some don’t like large groups. Some find it difficult to build relationships. Pastor’s wives, just like every other group of people, are different. Have realistic expectations. Some people expect their pastor’s wife to be someone God never intended her to be. This is simply unfair. Have realistic expectations of your pastor’s wife.

4. Encourage her

It’s hard, often-discouraging work to be a wife and stay-at-home mom (as ALL wives and stay-at-home moms know). It’s also difficult to be married to a pastor. He’s pulled in many directions and doesn’t always steward it well. His mind is often occupied by leadership challenges, sermons he’s writing, and trials he’s facing. All of this weighs on his wife in a way that few understand. Encourage her. Tell her how much you appreciate her service (especially if it’s behind-the-scenes, “wife-and-mommy” service). You can never over-encourage anyone, especially your pastor’s wife.

5. Go talk to her

If your pastor’s wife has young children and stays home, Sunday is one of the few opportunities she has to connect with “big people.” One of the ways you can serve her is simply by talking to her. Ask how her week was. Ask how you can be praying for her. Ask if you can get some coffee for her (unless your church doesn’t serve coffee). And if your church doesn’t serve coffee, you should find a church that loves Jesus and serves coffee (just kidding — sort of). If you would like to get to know your pastor’s wife on Sunday morning, don’t put the responsibility on her to find you. Just go talk to her.

6. Don’t forget she has kids

This is obviously applies only to moms in general and moms of young children in particular. Our kids are about to turn 5, 3, and five months. This means that any trip into a public place is one click from chaos. In the midst of trying to talk with and encourage your pastor’s wife, don’t forget that she has kids to keep an eye on. Furthermore, her husband is probably trying to connect with, pray for, and shepherd the church God has called him to, so he’s not available to help her. If she’s a bit distracted, or has to interrupt your conversation to keep one of her kids from diving off the stage and into a an ER bed, don’t take it personally. Her first responsibility is to her kids, and she wants to talk to you — she’s just being a mom.

Thanksgiving God’s Way!

 Colossians 3:17
I.                   The basis of our Thanksgiving
A)    Confession: involved recognition of our failure to meet God’s Holy standard
          this was done by thanksgiving offerings Leviticus 22:29 and 2 Chron 29:31
          this was done Joshua 7:19, Psalm 51
B)    Thanksgiving: the means by which weacknowledge the receipt of God’s forgiveness
          Psa 118:21  I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
          Eph 1:6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
          Eph 1:7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
C)    Praise: the overt vocal and often public expression of acknowledgement
          Heb_13:15  Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
          Through Jesus- acknowledging that we have what we have because of his provision of salvation on the cross.
II.                The Nature of our Thanksgiving – agreement
·         A whole hearted agreement with God
          This brings to mind an understanding of salvation
          Romans 10:9,10
          Our confession is to be based on agreement with God
          We agree we are sinners and that we have not met God’s Holy standard
          We agree that we need salvation only God can give
          We agree that we deserve the penalty of death Romans 6:23
          We agree that God would be gracious to save us from that penalty
          We agree that sin is bad and we should not be doing it.
          The need to be in agreement is the purpose behind the physical sacrifices in the OT
          But before we could give acceptable sacrifices we must first be in agreement with God Psalm 51
          This is what I believe was wrong with Cain’s sacrifice. His heart was not in full agreement with God. Probably over just who it was that provided that which he was to sacrifice.  He might have given himself more credit than God. A prideful Spirit.
III.             The Application of our Thanksgiving
A)    An Informed Thanks
          Make sure your thankfulness comes from your knowledge of God from His word.
          Otherwise your thankfulness can never be in agreement and that can lead to pride and selfishness.
          Make sure God is the object of your thanks and He is in agreement with the subject of your thanks.
          Can you thank God for what you have or are doing?
          Or would He be displeased with you because of it?
B)    Intercessory Thanks
          Paul made a habit of this
          Ephesians 1:15-23
          Php 1:3  I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
          Php 1:4  always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy
C)    An Imperative Thanks  
          Dictionary: absolutely necessary or required; unavoidable:
          Rom 15:9  and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”
          When we share the gospel it is not just about the act but also about the attitude
          Do we share the gospel because we are thankful or because we are just relating facts
          Psa_57:7  My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
          That psalm is both in agreement and an imperative
          It is an imperative that we thank God both privately and publically