Atrocities

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You may have heard the analogy of the terrible car accident, an example of something you don’t want to see but you can’t help but watch. Some parts of Scripture seem fitting passages for such a comparison (think of the story of Lot’s daughters in Genesis 19 or of David’s adultery and murder in 2 Samuel 11). Horror movies also match the model with their fantastical depictions of the broken state of reality. But true crime stories, for many people, may serve as more poignant examples of evil in our world.

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The Ache for Hope

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My friend Atley and I watched Brightburn on Saturday (warning: spoilers ahead). We both enjoyed the movie, but we noticed that the movie left us feeling a bit gross. Granted, that’s not uncommon for horror movies, especially in an age when the horror genre seems to lean heavily on gratuitous violence or sexual content to capture attention. I typically don’t enjoy (or view) such movies. But Brightburn was different. While Atley and I pointed to a few instances of unnecessary gore in the movie, Brightburn left us uncomfortable not because of what it included but because of what it lacked.

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The Problem of Evil

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As history has been unfurled,
One question ‘gainst the church has stood:
From whence came evil to this world
If God created all things good?
We grant some evil works for gain,
Some purpose may be found therein;
Yet is there not much needless pain,
Much suffering because of sin?
Could God not keep his world from death,
Or – bitter thought – might he desire
To curse those he hath filled with breath,
To see them sinking in the mire?
Or might it be that he allows
His people to rebel, to stray,
That they may truly then avow
His lordship, then may truly pray?
And could it be that majesty
Did not abandon to decay
Damned souls, but there upon the tree
Engaged in full the sinner’s fray?
Christ bore the wrath of God in place
Of those who chose the path to hell
That they might turn to seek the face
Of love, to taste the one true well.
God’s justice cometh like a flame,
And evil will not stand the show.
I may not know from whence it came,
But well I know where it will go.


(Photo by Artsy Vibes on Unsplash)

The Discovery

 

The Discovery image.jpgCold. Not a winter cold, though. After all, this was mid-June. No, it was more of a lifeless cold: a certain uncomfortable feeling that something wasn’t right in the world. It was damp too, as I recall. All around, I felt a paralyzing stillness. It was as if this place had never felt the sun’s warmth, never imagined the spark of love, never shifted from its sullen fixation on its own emptiness. This place was darkness, unadulterated and unexplored. Continue reading

Matthew 6:13

Oh let me never set my foot
Into this hellish place again,
This cesspool of the vilest strain,
This fountain of the blackest soot,
For I would sooner face my death
Than dare depart into the deep
Where devils in the darkness sleep
In wait for any sound of breath.
Alas, this place is never far,
For scorching fire doth walk with me,
Subverting any good I see,
Revealing this, my hidden scar,
The fatal wound within my heart
That came when I chose to rebel
And, left unhealed, will lead to hell
This soul who seeks to just depart
To freedom from the curse of sin.
O Jesus, can you save this wretch?
Can you before damnation catch
My soul and make my life begin?
Forgive me for my wicked ways
And rescue from temptation’s snares;
Keep me from loving what impairs
And make me yours for all my days.

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The Gospel According to Die Hard

I spent roughly the first seventeen and a half years of my life in the same city. I only ever attended my home church, I was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, and my circle of friends consisted almost solely of kids I’d grown up with at church and a handful of students I’d met through state youth choirs and events. My parents and extended family are largely Christian, and the friends I made in my neighborhood growing up were from much the same background as I. All in all, I lived a somewhat sheltered life.
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