Archive for the ‘overcoming evil’ Tag

God’s Goodness Despite The Spread Of Sin!

Genesis 4”

As the graciously adopted children of God, Father, Son and Spirit, He calls us to participate with him in slowing the spread of sin by being salt and light in our world and by proclaiming the peace and joy of His Kingdom (Jesus!)

*photo courtesy of

Christmas: God’s Plan and Response For Man!

God With Us”

In this Message on the 4th week of Advent, and heading toward Christmas, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to those gathered in worship at New Life Fellowship of Baltimore. The special emphasis of this message is that just as the Head, Jesus, was born into this world 2000 years ago as God’s Plan and Response for humanity, His Body, the Church, follows Him today, participating with Him in his ongoing work of redemption in this present world!

Check it out and be assured and unafraid as you GO with Jesus into our world, proclaiming Him in word and deed!


picture courtesy of

Final: “Counseling With Others in the Good News of Jesus!”, pt.3

Satan's Chain Broken

As we again celebrate Jesus and His first and second coming’s this Advent season, I close this series of articles on my recent counseling session with a friend [Sentences have been restructured to grant anonymity and add clarity]. The last question to me was, interestingly:

3.) “Also, one of the other questions is: what are the future consequences for this evil behavior after the glorious coming of Jesus?”

My response was:

“The answer to this question is that it remains to be seen, but because of Jesus and their Inclusion into His Love and Life they will only know and experience more of the Relational and Loving God Who holds them! For one who decides to go “against the grain” of this goodness (in insanity!), they will obviously know greatly the painful experience that comes from trying to escape the grip of a Relational and Loving God Who will never let them go! HaHa! The scriptures use a variety of expressions to describe the fate of those who resist the Truth (Jesus!), including “death”, “hell”, “the grave”, “fire”, “darkness”, “blindness”, “weeping” and “gnashing of teeth”, etc.) The point of all of these allusions, to me and many others, is that these diverse images are vivid and memorable ways of picturing that it is NOT good to reject and embrace the only Reality there is – your adoption into the Life and Love of the Father, Son and Spirit, in the Person of Jesus Christ! It can only be insane and necessarily painful!

As my friend Mike Feazell once said, those who reject Jesus Christ won’t be allowed to mess up the Wedding Supper of the Lamb and “spoil the party”. However, because of Who Jesus has Revealed God to be, we can be sure that (like the Father outside the house with the self-righteous son at the end of the Story of the Prodigal God in Luke 15), our Father will always be with His children, even in their self-righteous insanity! Even as the Father in that story continues to plead that His son come inside the house, our Father will be pleading that every son and daughter of His “come in” and enjoy and “party hearty” with the family, inside the house that is already theirs (Luke 15:11-12!) HaHa!

Those who resist God at the Second Coming of Jesus (if any REALLY do resist – because just as we can’t prove people won’t resist Jesus, we also can’t prove they will resist Him! Haha!), will only be rebelling AS sons and daughters who are included in God’s family by grace, not as those trying to become sons and daughters and get included on their own terms! You already experience a similar relational experience if you have children and, if not with children, with your pets! They rebel as YOURS already! HaHa!

Again, the best that we can do now in our participation with Jesus is express to others what we believe about Jesus – Who He is and what He has made of All Humanity in Himself – and proclaim it boldly, regardless of the outcome or their being unconvinced! Believers are simply witness bearers and NOT apologist trying to scientifically “prove” the Truth! As theologian Karl Barth once stated Belief cannot argue with unbelief, it can only preach to it.” Because faith is about the faith of Christ and placing our faith in His faith on our behalf, it is NOT about proof! Proof is never proof to someone who does not have faith in the proof as proof! HaHaHa.”

Finally, to you our readers, I add that we must always leave room for the greatest vision and  hope of all  in the Light of Jesus Christ, by Whom we now ask and have all our questions answered – for He is the Beginning and End and God’s FINAL ANSWER to His dealings with creation. In Jesus, we have nothing less than the Word and Son of God made flesh, and the One in, and through, and by, and for Whom all things are created and sustained. In Him – in His very Being God as God as Man and Creature – and supported by the scriptures and ancient tradition of the Church, is the FACT (in Faith!) that evil, death, hell and the grave have been utterly conquered and overcome in all of creation! This must mean something significant for the good of all – NOT by force, but by Love – and there is a difference, though the result is still ALL! HaHa!

For your interest, one of the great modern reads, in my opinion, on proper thinking in the Light of Jesus Christ about the Providence of God the Father, Son and Spirit and His interaction with creation and evil in Christ can be found HERE.

I also recommend this book as a great start on the subject!

You can find the earlier two posts in this series here and here  .

Timothy J. Brassell

Conquering Evil In Spite of Ourselves

As part of our family vacation to Key West, Florida, last week, we took a tour of Fort Jefferson, America’s largest 19th century coastal fort on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas.  Originally started in 1846, the fort was intended to guard the Gulf of Mexico and US ships, but by the time of the Civil War, it was used as a prison for Union deserters even though construction was never finished.  The most legendary prisoner housed at the fort was Dr. Samuel Mudd, the physician who set John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg after he had assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

Although Mudd’s guilt has never been completely proven, it was well-known that he was a slave owner and a Southern sympathizer.  He was tried on charges of conspiracy and sentenced to life imprisonment.  Once at Fort Jefferson, conditions were so hard that he attempted to escape by stowing away on a supply ship, only to be discovered.  His punishment was to be shackled in the “dark and gloomy dungeon,” as the post commander called it, where the words from Dante’s Inferno were posted over the door:  “Whoso entereth here leaveth all hopes behind!”

With scarce or rotting food rations, sewage smell arising from the moat into the dungeon, and hard labor wearing leg irons, Dr. Mudd probably felt as if he were in hell, without hope of ever seeing his family again.  This would make the most stalwart of persons grow bitter with hatred, especially if he was convicted unjustly.  Interestingly, when a yellow fever epidemic struck the fort, killing the army doctor, Dr. Mudd stepped in to care for his captors, saving many lives.  In a letter to his wife dated October 27, 1867, he shares his struggle to help those who had mistreated him:

            It was but natural that resentment and fear should rankle in my heart, and that I should stop to discuss mentally the contending emotions that now rested upon a horrid recollection of the past…although the rule of conduct upon which I had determined was not in accord with my natural feelings, yet I had the sanction of my professional and religious teaching and the consciousness of conforming to that holy precept, “Do ye good for evil…”

Dr. Samuel Mudd found himself in a position where he had to choose to do good to those who had hurt him, despite his natural feelings of resentment.  His “holy precept” of doing good for evil sounds a lot like:

            Do not be overcome by evil, overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21 NIV)

Even though we don’t often face mistreatment to the degree that Dr. Mudd suffered, we tend to accumulate or tally up the times we’re offended, keeping track on a mental scorecard of the times we were wronged.  What if we let go of our need for fairness and justice, and instead, recognize the opportunities we are given to do good and take them, lavishing the love of the Triune God even on the undeserving?  By refusing to be conquered by evil, we become the conquerors through good.

Out of the 400 residents at the fort, 270 caught the yellow fever, and 38 died.  As a result of Dr. Mudd’s decision to do good, many lives were saved that could have been lost.  A petition to President Andrew Johnson was signed by 300 surviving soldiers at the fort, requesting a pardon for Dr. Mudd due to his efforts during the epidemic.  While President Johnson did not respond immediately because of his own political troubles, he ultimately did pardon and release Dr. Samuel Mudd on February 8, 1869.

In reflecting on the hardships endured and overcome by Dr. Mudd, we can put the slights and offenses we encounter into the proper perspective. True forgiveness comes through accepting (but not necessarily liking) the past, including our mistreatment from others.   By allowing the good of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to flow through us, without blocking it, we can take part in conquering evil in this world.

~by Nan Kuhlman

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