Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good or Evil?

There are three topics I was thinking about addressing in posts on this blog. The first was dishonesty. The second topic was spurred by Wade's blog post, how people say, "God told me," and how they use that. The third was prompted by a comment on this blog by Bobby about negative testimonies. All three of these are topics I like to wax eloquent on, as eloquent as I can be, which is questionable.

I think I'll tackle the first one right now and save the other two for future posts.

I watched Sixty Minutes on CBS last Sunday evening and saw a Miami man interviewed who said he had robbed the government of $20 million in Medicare payments and then he proceeded to tell how he did it. It was scary to realize there is a whole network of groups who cater to people to help them defraud the government in big ways.

Then I was watching the local morning news and saw a report about how large earth moving machines, large tractors and such, are being stolen and resold for a fraction of the cost. A farmer was interviewed and he said his $60,000 machine was stolen and when it was later found, it had been resold for $800. Drug users are usually the culprits.

Then at work I have been bombarded the last six months with spam e-mail. It seems a virus invaded our work intranet/internet via someone's personal download and despite all the firewalls and security, that worm or virus has invaded every part of our system. I daily get about ten spam e-mails telling me I'm eligible to receive millions because of some wonderful thing I have done. One I received yesterday started out saying how bad it is today how people try to scam others, but for sure this is legitimate. Hmmm...

As I was thinking on these, I'm still astounded at how basically evil human beings are. I'm rather Pollyanna-like wanting to believe that if given a chance, human beings are basically good. That's totally anti-scriptural. I know that. But, still...If you really think on this and take it all in and really listen to things going on around us, it would be much wiser for me if I accepted the fact that if given a chance, human beings as a whole are basically selfish and sinful or evil.

And then when I consider all the stuff I know that has gone on in the organized church, not necessarily the local churches I have belonged to but the bigger organizations, I realize that this basic evil bent permeates anything that human beings are a part of.


Makes a good case for the need of the true gospel. Isn't this what accepting Christ and living the Spirit-filled life is all about? Isn't this what we are saved from? Doesn't our "new nature" or our "default" change to basically good, as evidenced by our love for others instead of self?

So instead of being cynical about the evil of man, I have excitement and great hope that I (we) have the solution, the Person!
Enough to make us jump for joy. YES! Enough to make me want to spread the "good news."

Wonder if anyone will listen? I think they will only if my life causes them to ask me "a reason for the hope that is in me."
My thoughts.


Thy Peace said...

Then at work I have been bombarded the last six months with spam e-mail.

I have a solution for your spam problem.

It's Google Apps for Business. It has for email, a powerful spam filters run by Postini. It does a wonderful job of removing spam.

Also, once your business uses Google Apps, all your documents can reside in the "cloud" and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Some additional links ...

Google Enterprise Blog > Get your money's worth with cloud-based messaging.

Google Enterprise Blog > Q3'09 Spam & Virus Trends from Postini.

Anonymous said... did wax eloquently, my dear, as always! Great thoughts and totally accurate in my opinion. We've also been confronted lately with those believers who believe it is allright to tell the partial truth about a situation with the intent of swaying the hearer to act on that inaccurate and incomplete information. AND our son in California has had the wheels stolen right off of his bike (while it was chained up, and he was inside a place of business) a couple of times to later find out they've been re-sold on Ebay! So very, very sad and disappointing. Thanks for writing...keep it up! Teresa White

Becky Dietz said...

Mary! I'm so sorry I didn't know you had a blog until you posted on mine. Now I'm trying to catch up on all I've missed out on--and loving it! Love you.

Bobby Brown said...


The verse you referred to is 1 Peter 3:15. In context I think you can go back at least to 2:9 then Peter goes through an unbelievable section from 2:18-25 about Christian slaves submitting to their masters that I refer to as "Unjust suffering the Christians calling", then the husband and wife relationship in chapter 3:1-7, then all of os having compassion toward each other in verse 8 all leading up to the verse you quoted in verse 15. "If with heart and soul you're doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you're still better off. Don't give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They'll end up realizing that they're the ones who need a bath. It's better to suffer for doing good, if that's what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That's what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others' sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God". 1Peter 3:13-18 "The Message"

Mary Burleson said...

Thy Peace, thanks for the advice. I work in such a large company, I don't have input on Firewalls or Tech Security. That's one reason we were all so surprised that our company IT was invaded by a virus. Probably someone's personal e-mail or something. Anyway, thanks, I'll keep the links in mind and give info if given a chance.

Teresa, Hey! Good to hear from you. I check you guys on Facebook often. Isn't technology wonderful? We are connecting with people from long ago and then getting to stay up with relatives and friends in such a casual and quick way. Love it! Thanks for writing.

Becky, you are the greatest writer and Facebook poster I know. I say often that Becky Dietz should give lessons on how to do Facebook. And I love your blog. You're wise and articulate. Love your family and it was fun to see that Andy has joined FB. Too fun. Thanks for commenting.

Bobby, as usual your comments are right on. You always just add depth to what I'm trying to say on my post. Reminds me of all the wonderful times we've spent with you and Margie discussing and often arguing over scripture. Miss those good ole days. Hopefully we can get together soon.

Bobby Brown said...

Remember the time in WF when Paul and I got into a wrestling match at your house on Fairway arguing the Scripture? Of course we were only in our 30's so very immature Christians at the time!

Mary Burleson said...

No, I don't remember, but Paul says he does. And, he says he remembers "beating" you physically and theologically. Funny.

Hey, aren't memories fun? Wonder if there's anything you and Paul could get in another one of those great "discussions" about these days? The way things are going these days that might ought to be Margie and me. Wouldn't that be something? Anyway...

Bobby Brown said...

The best thing about memories at our age is that we can still remember!