Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil?

This short 6-minute video answers the question through the life of Joni Eareckson Tada.

You may already be familiar with her. Nevertheless, this may be the most important six minutes of your life!

Check out “CAN GOD BRING GOOD FROM SUFFERING?” from The John 10:10 Project on Vimeo at:

https://thejohn1010project.com/can-god-bring-good-from-suffering.html

If you like this video, make sure you share it, too!

Vimeo is filled with lots of amazing videos. See more at https://vimeo.com.

The films that comprise THE JOHN 10:10 PROJECT were produced to help nurture a deeper understanding of God.  Each 4-10 minute video explores a facet of the Lord’s character, promises and power.  Think of them as small stepping stones on your pathway to a more abundant Christian life.  Each film in this collection is structured for use in personal devotions, Bible studies, outreach and corporate worship.  We hope you will find them helpful on your journey. Find them at: https://vimeo.com.

What TV shows are far better than American ones? (Part 2)

While The Ten Commandments in the first table (refer to Part 1 of this blog) exposes the differences between American and Asian entertainment, the second table reveals the effects of the glaring differences. Take a look! Once again, the flashing neon-like table needs no further amplification.

American Asian TV Ten Commandments 2

To the seasoned Western viewer, the tables may be intellectually satisfying and spiritually appealing, but may seem emotionally a bit wimpy, begging the question, “Exactly, what is the source of dramatic power in the Asian productions?” For there to be a struggle between good and evil, there has to be some form of evil.

In Asian TV dramas, the villain is not necessarily a murderous, unlawful villain; more often the “villain” is an unscrupulous emotional or spiritual villain resorting to various forms of skullduggery to break up love triangles. The most popular Asian TV dramas contain several overlapping love stories, because, “love covers a multitude of sins.” [1 Peter 4:8 NASB] For the sources of dramatic power in Asian TV dramas, here is the list:

  • The storylines are amazingly creative unlike anything American have been able to produce. American cultural decay has produced one-dimensional movie/TV characters with a keen intellect and a severely limited range of emotions. Asian TV still produces three-dimensional characters using the full range of God-given intellectual, emotional, and spiritual faculties.
  • Characters are fascinating, played by outstanding actors with endearing personal characteristics
  • Selected characters have a vibrant sense of humor, backed by a soundtrack that demonstrates musical humor
  • Drama aroused by conflicts and misunderstandings regarding ordinary and major life obstacles (romance, competition, illness, injury, separation, death)
  • Rich interpersonal relationships among the characters fully engage the viewer
  • Dramatic satisfaction is rooted in compelling illustrations of applying Biblical principles, producing the best possible results
  • In a love triangle, the leading man invariable ends up with the girl who routinely meets the needs of others.
  • Many scenes varying from heart-warming or heart-wrenching to heart-breaking, but nearly always reflecting positive character goals
  • Dialogue exhibits amazing wisdom in ordinary and challenging situations—characters seem to say precisely the right thing at exactly the right time. The expressions of rightness paint spectacularly beautiful word pictures
  • Most characters, other than villains, are positive role models. Even the villains repent by the end of the series.

American movies/TV routinely and aggressively break all ten of the commandments and then celebrates the outcomes. Asian TV celebrates godly virtues and character building.

So why not follow the Apostle Paul’s admonition, “…whatsoever things are true…honest…just…pure, whatsoever things are lovely…good report…think on these things.” Why not entertain ourselves with the good and the beautiful, rather than the sleazy, ugly, and evil. We cannot continue injecting ourselves with a dose of evil every time we turn on the TV or go to a movie.

If you have never seen any of the Asian dramas, you must try at least one. If you are curious, try “Autumn’s Concerto” (Taiwanese), “Descendants of the Sun” (South Korean), or “Tomorrow’s Cantabile” (South Korean). They are available on Netflix and other common outlets.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

 

What TV shows are far better than American ones? (Part 1)

American Asian TV Ten Commandments 1“…whatsoever things are true…honest…just…pure, whatsoever things are lovely…good report…think on these things.” [Philippians 4:8 KJV]

Entertainment is powerful—so powerful that it can be profoundly life influencing, if not completely life changing. Modern technology provides endless entertainment options and unlimited personal content choices. With such awesome power at our fingertips it makes compelling and inescapably good sense to entertain ourselves with the good and the beautiful, rather than sleaze and evil. Yes, there is an easy way!

Tragically, the American motion picture and television entertainment industries have declined to sewer levels. Although the decline is recently accelerating, decades of incremental decline have dragged many Judeo-Christian believers down along with the rest of the American culture. As Lot did long ago, we have in past decades pitched our tents towards Sodom and have long since moved in.

Many, especially younger believers, remain unaware of anything more than a modest cultural and entertainment decline. They persistently perceive themselves unaffected by it. Pride on steroids? You bet! Believers continue watching dramatizations of nudity, gratuitous violence, saturation profanity, rampant uncivil sarcasm, and people of low character portrayed as heroes. Once planted, the evil seeds grow in the intellect, emotions, and spirit. There is little or no understanding of the relentless and severe weakening effect on the viewers and virtually guaranteed future pain and suffering produced by weak character.

Although specifically Christian entertainment has improved greatly in recent years, much of it remains dramatically weak and—long term—there is not nearly enough of it.

However, there is a fascinating alternative, Asian television dramas made primarily in South Korea and Taiwan (available on Netflix and numerous other venues). The Asian dramas are wildly entertaining, sans the pervasive sleaze in American entertainment, and typically feature one or more strong moral themes.

The Asian dramas typically project a vibrant sense of humor and have captivating musical sound tracks using every imaginable musical genre. Most appealing are the endless dramatizations of beautifully applied Biblical principles. Examples are routine dramatizations of absolutely unconditional love surviving all manner of heavy duty obstacles and long periods of separation, forgiveness in particularly painful circumstances, and “love your enemies”—clearly one of the believer’s most difficult challenges. The overall message of the Asian TV dramas is that there is no conflict or misunderstanding that cannot be overcome in a loving, godly, manner.

Yes, you will likely have to read the English subtitles, but doing so does not weaken the drama at all. The viewer still enjoys and experiences all the emotions, laughter, and tears produced by the characters in the program. The actors speak just enough English for a Westerner to feel comfortable.

God’s very best floodlight for exposing the differences between American motion pictures/television and Asian television is The Ten Commandments. Consider the first table, comparing the attributes of American and Asian entertainment side-by-side with the Commandments. The contrast is so stark, it will seem like flashing neon to the reader. Since no mere mortal can one-up The Ten Commandments, no further commentary on the table is necessary.

While The Ten Commandments in the first table exposes the differences between American and Asian entertainment, the second table reveals the effects of the glaring differences. Take a look! Once again, the flashing neon-like table needs no further amplification.

To the seasoned Western viewer, the tables may be intellectually satisfying and spiritually appealing, but may seem emotionally a bit wimpy, begging the question, “Exactly, what is the source of dramatic power in the Asian productions?” For there to be a struggle between good and evil, there has to be some form of evil. Find out more in Part 2

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Sing a Little Louder (2)

This blog was first posted about a year ago. The astonishing, shocking, short 14-minute Christian blockbuster movie can be viewed here: https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=robo&p=Sing+a+Little+Louder+movie+trailer#id=4&vid=32a843fdd85f277309e5e1b2aebf5849&action=view or

at Kingdom Works here” https://kingdomworks.com/sing-a-little-louder/

Kingdom Works allows the movie to be shown in your church or synagogue for free.

For convenience, the original blog is provided as follows:

An old man tells a profound story about a childhood experience. As a young boy during World War II, he lived in Nazi-controlled Germany. His family regularly attended a church located along side railroad tracks. Trains regularly passed the church during the church services.

They were long strings of cattle cars painfully overloaded with terrified Jews destined for work camps, concentration camps, and usually death. There was no food, no provisions for personal hygiene, and no considerations for people with special needs. In the heat of summer, the extremely cramped cattle cars became ovens. The stench from accumulating body waste was suffocating.

On at least one occasion, a train stopped outside the church. In the absence of air conditioning, the windows were frequently open. The congregation could hear anguished cries of pain and desperate pleas for help.

The pastor raised his voice so he could be heard above the din. When it was time for the choir to sing, the pastor instructed them to, “Sing a little louder,” to cover the disturbing sounds from outside. The compelling experience seared into the boys mind and changed his life forever. The story has become a book and recently a movie.

          What about today? Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”

  • 55,000,000 unborn babies have been murdered using increasingly gruesome processes euphemistically called “abortion.” When we hear their cries, are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • America’s Judeo-Christian culture is being destroyed by massive government-encouraged immigration that includes the immigration of large numbers of criminals, terrorists, and people adhering to religious beliefs that are hostile to Jews and Christians as well as millions of immigrants too poor and uneducated to support themselves. (Refer to Ann Coulter’s new book, “Adios America.”) Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • Our culture, including a large portion of the body of Judeo-Christian believers is rapidly sinking into a moral abyss. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The witness of believers is being crushed by the relentless pressures of political correctness. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The public school system has become intellectually inept as well as emotionally and spiritually toxic. (Refer to “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children,” by Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman.) Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The politicians of both political parties are spending America into irretrievable bankruptcy. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The United States Supreme Court appears poised to declare the sin of oxymoronic “same-sex marriage” to be a Constitutional right. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The military valiantly protects our freedom from without. But our individual freedom is being lost from within by the feeding frenzy of a rabid, out-of-control government. Freedom is a gift from God, not a grant from government. Are we moving to protect that divine gift or are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • Large numbers of believers around the world, especially in the Middle East are being tortured, shot, hanged, burned alive, or beheaded, because they refuse to renounce their Messiah. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”

Who among the clergy or laity has the courage to stand up and demand that we sing a new song? No—not the one we will sing in glory, but the new song for today that actively confronts the exponentially increasing evils of 21st Century America.

What would the Apostles Paul, Peter, and John say if they were with us today?

The movie, Sing a Little Louder, is now available for viewing in places of worship. Find it at http://singloudermovie.com/

What will YOU do?

Value of a Soul!

Value of a Soul

What is the value of your soul? Don’t miss this 28-minute video! Three lives search for true worth as their worlds crumble. Follow their unexpected journeys as Franklin Graham addresses the real value of the soul. Just click on the link below or copy/paste into the address block on your Internet browser.

http://billygraham.org/video/value-of-a-soul/?utm_source=Patheos&utm_medium=email&utm_content=CTV&utm_campaign=CTV%20November&SOURCE=BT15BYPAE

Sing a Little Louder

An old man tells a profound story about a childhood experience. As a young boy during World War II, he lived in Nazi-controlled Germany. His family regularly attended a church located along side railroad tracks. Trains regularly passed the church during the church services.

They were long strings of cattle cars painfully overloaded with terrified Jews destined for work camps, concentration camps, and usually death. There was no food, no provisions for personal hygiene, and no considerations for people with special needs. In the heat of summer, the extremely cramped cattle cars became ovens. The stench from accumulating body waste was suffocating.

On at least one occasion, a train stopped outside the church. In the absence of air conditioning, the windows were frequently open. The congregation could hear anguished cries of pain and desperate pleas for help.

The pastor raised his voice so he could be heard above the din. When it was time for the choir to sing, the pastor instructed them to, “Sing a little louder,” to cover the disturbing sounds from outside. The compelling experience seared into the boys mind and changed his life forever. The story has become a book and recently a movie.

scream

          What about today? Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”

  • 55,000,000 unborn babies have been murdered using increasingly gruesome processes euphemistically called “abortion.” When we hear their cries, are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • America’s Judeo-Christian culture is being destroyed by massive government-encouraged immigration that includes the immigration of large numbers of criminals, terrorists, and people adhering to religious beliefs that are hostile to Jews and Christians as well as millions of immigrants too poor and uneducated to support themselves. (Refer to Ann Coulter’s new book, “Adios America.”) Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • Our culture, including a large portion of the body of Judeo-Christian believers is rapidly sinking into a moral abyss. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The witness of believers is being crushed by the relentless pressures of political correctness. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The public school system has become intellectually inept as well as emotionally and spiritually toxic. (Refer to “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children,” by Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman.) Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The politicians of both political parties are spending America into irretrievable bankruptcy. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The United States Supreme Court appears poised to declare the sin of oxymoronic “same-sex marriage” to be a Constitutional right. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The military valiantly protects our freedom from without. But our individual freedom is being lost from within by the feeding frenzy of a rabid, out-of-control government. Freedom is a gift from God, not a grant from government. Are we moving to protect that divine gift or are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • Large numbers of believers around the world, especially in the Middle East are being tortured, shot, hanged, burned alive, or beheaded, because they refuse to renounce their Messiah. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”

Who among the clergy or laity has the courage to stand up and demand that we sing a new song? No—not the one we will sing in glory, but the new song for today that actively confronts the exponentially increasing evils of 21st Century America.

What would the Apostles Paul, Peter, and John say if they were with us today?

The movie, Sing a Little Louder, is now available for viewing in places of worship. Find it at http://singloudermovie.com/

What will YOU do?

Classic Movie: The Ten Commandments-Sephora Compares Biblical/Secular Values for Moses

After being banned from Egypt, Moses barely survives a devastating trek across the desert wilderness. He is rescued by a group of shepherd girls, daughters of Jethro, a Midianite priest. Just before their marriage, one of the girls, Sephora [Yvonne De Carlo] profoundly compares traditional and secular values for Moses [Charlton Heston]. Moses has just described an Egyptian woman looking “as beautiful as a jewel.”

shepherd

Sephora: “A jewel has brilliance, but gives no warmth.

  • Our hands are not so soft but they can serve.
  • Our bodies are not so white, but they are strong.
  • Our lips are not perfumed, but they speak the truth.
  • Love is not an art to us; it is life to us.
  • We are not dressed in gold and fine linen; strength and honor are our clothing.
  • Our tents are not the columned halls of Egypt, but our children play happily before them.
  • We can offer you little, but we offer all we have.”

Moses: “I have not little, Sephora; I have nothing.”

Sephora: “Nothing from some is more than gold from others.”

The conversation between Sephora (Greek form of Zipporah) and Moses just prior to their wedding is a clear contrast between:

  • traditional Biblical values, focusing on strong character and serving others (overcoming pride), and
  • secular values that recognize little significance in character and seeks to serve self (feeding pride and magnifying materialism).

Which would you marry? …the wealthy and materialistic, but shallow and self-centered Egyptian girl or the shepherd girl who understands the importance of virtue and strong character and is committed to a life of loving (serving) others.

  • Traditional Biblical values emerge from the wholeness of one’s soul as a conduit for God’s enduring love.
  • Evolution-rooted secular values, failing to recognize the reality of a spirit and limiting emotional considerations to Hedonistic highs/lows, emerge from primarily intellectual utilitarian considerations. The latter is a humanistic deification of man, based on the assumption that evolution has reached its highest current level in the human reasoning.

Which would you choose? “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Can an Unbeliever Make a Credible Movie About a Biblical Event?

Ten Commandments

The short answer? No! Throughout the 1950s, there were a number of highly successful Biblical epics made by Hollywood. The most spectacular was Cecil B. DeMille’s, The Ten Commandments. After a very long hiatus, the spectacular success of The Passion of the Christ renewed Hollywood’s interest in Bible-based movies. Recently, a movie called Noah was released and another, Exodus: Gods and Kings is nearing release. Both were made by directors who claim to be atheist or agnostic. Let’s Compare.

At the beginning of the movie, The Ten Commandments, director Cecil B. DeMille did something remarkable. He walked out on a stage to preface the movie with a few heartfelt comments:

Ladies and Gentlemen; young and old; this may seem an unusual procedure, speaking to you before the picture begins, but we have an unusual subject: the story of the birth of freedom; the story of Moses. As many of you know the Holy Bible omits some thirty years of Moses’ life, from the time that he was a three- month old baby and was found in the bull rushes by Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh and adopted into the court of Egypt until he learned that he was Hebrew and killed the Egyptian. To fill in those missing years, we turn to ancient historians such as Philo and Josephus. Philo wrote at the time that Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth; Josephus wrote some fifty years later and watched the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. These historians had access to documents long since destroyed or perhaps lost like the Dead Sea Scrolls. The theme of this picture is whether men ought to be ruled by God’s laws or whether they are to be ruled by the whims of a dictator like Rameses. Are men the property of the State or are they free souls under God? This same battle continues throughout the world today. Our intention was not to create a story, but to be worthy of the divinely inspired story created 3,000 years ago in the five books of Moses.

DeMille’s understanding of the importance of God’s laws was further clarified in the souvenir book distributed along with the movie:

The Ten Commandments are not rules to obey as a personal favor to God. They are fundamental principles without which mankind cannot live together—THE TEN COMMANDMENTS are not laws. They are THE LAW. Man has made 32,000,000 laws since they were handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai more than three thousand years ago, but he has never improved on God’s law.

The movie was clearly DeMille’s labor of love.

In contrast, a movie entitled Noah, about the Biblical worldwide flood was recently released. The director, Darren Aronofsky, is a self-proclaimed atheist. He departed widely from the Biblical account portraying Noah as the first great environmentalist and not mentioning God at all despite over ten references to God in the original. Another movie, Exodus: Gods and Kings is nearing release. The director Ridley Scott, is a self-acknowledged agnostic. Christian Bale the leading man has on separate occasions referred to Moses as schizophrenic and a terrorist. Scott’s rendering has God speaking to Moses through an angry child, rather than the burning bush and at least a few supernatural events, such as the Nile River turning to blood, are explained in natural terms. In the case of the Nile, a non-Biblical plague of crocodiles feeds on people whose blood turns the river red.

Can an evolution-driven humanistic director possibly make a God-honoring movie when he disavows the existence of God? The Ten Commandments was made to glorify God; the modern depictions of Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings were made to glorify Hollywood and the creativity of man. Cecil B. DeMille felt morally and spiritual bound to present Biblical history as accurately and respectfully as possible. Aronofsky and Scott claim no such allegiance. To them, the Biblical “stories” are merely a starting point. They feel free to depart from Scripture as often and as widely as they choose to achieve their goal of an agenda-filled entertaining movie. The state-of-the-art is such that the modern movies can be wildly entertaining but at what price?

Flashback! For decades preceding World War II, Hollywood elites were fascinated supporters of Joseph Stalin and communism in general. The pre-war communist influence in Hollywood has been well documented. At that time, American Communist Party leader Earl Browder discouraged the making of propaganda films. Instead, he encouraged movie makers to slip in “a drop of progressive thought” in regular movies, about five minutes in each movie. In the decades since WWII, Hollywood continued and still does have a love affair with socialism, which is communism-lite. The agendas in Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings are clear. Despite the entertaining nature of the movies, the makers want to discredit Judo-Christian tradition by displacing it with humanist values and goals.

In 1956, Cecil B. DeMille billed his movie, The Ten Commandments, as the story of “the birth of freedom.” It was the story of the Moses-led exodus of the ancient Israelites, following 400 years of slavery in Egypt. Many centuries after the Hebrews were freed from Egyptian bondage, that God-given freedom was codified successively in the Magna Carta (1215), the Mayflower Compact (1620), the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639) and the Constitution of the United States (1787).

It is difficult to avoid billboards. But YOU get to choose movie, television, and Internet experiences. All are powerful art forms, powerful because they reach the depths of the soul branding an imprint in a powerful and lasting way. No art form is neutral; it will either lift the soul toward God or drag the soul down. There is no movie, television show, or Internet experience that is just entertainment and nothing else. Even if the art form does not have an explicit agenda, it absolutely does reflect the worldview of its creator. As they say in the radio editorials, “That’s our view; we welcome yours.”