Message Series: Evil & Suffering “Culture”
Evil & Suffering Series:
Act(s) of Worship
Today’s student really struggles with this topic. With the advent of the internet, we are able to see our world in a whole new light. The problems that we used to be aware of in our neighborhoods, communities, states, or nation have now paled in comparison to the evil and suffering found in the world that we are now able to access. This poses a specific set of questions for young people about God’s role in the world and in their own life. These questions, if not expressed in a loving and faith filled community can become stumbling blocks in the growth of a teen’s faith.
Some of the most pertinent questions are:
• Why would a loving God allow people to suffer?
• Why doesn’t God make evil people stop what they are doing?
• There are so many terrible things going on in the world, how can I make a difference?
I think most of us would agree that evil and suffering often comes from the hand of groups of people as they oppress others. Let’s review two big ideas that we just talked about :
Gary Haugen quote – “Injustice is the abuse of power, to take from others the things God had given to them, their life, freedom, pursuit of love, pursuit of labor”
Impunity: defined as “exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action”.
- What might be some morally absolute types of justice you believe should be extended to everyone? (For example, should everyone have the right to food and water? Or everyone should have a right to a fair trial?)
- How does it make you feel when injustice happens to strangers? To your friends? To your family?
Ecclesiastes 4:1 – “Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them.”
- What does this verse say about those being oppressed? (tears, no comfort)
- What does this verse say about oppressors? (they have the power)
Exodus 23:2 – “You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice”
- How might following the crowd twist justice?
- Why is standing up against the crowd so dif cult?
- How do most people handle evil and suffering? Ignore it? Do something to fix it? Pray about it? Donate money to organizations?
Written By: Brock Morgan
with Brian Cress, Chuck Hunt, Mark Helsel, Leah Knight, Danny Kwon, Paul Martin, Kelsey Morgan, and Mark Riddle