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Despite what some critics think, the so-called “problem of evil” is not something the Bible leaves unaddressed. Scripture not only refers to the problem of evil, but it offers several solutions to it. By looking at the Bible’s honest questioning of evil, God’s response to evil, and the scriptural solution to evil, one can address this problem using almost nothing other than God’s Word. Of course, this question ties into theology and philosophy as well. There are multiple ways of coming to possible solutions, and none is entirely complete all by itself.
Society is tearing down the broken and rotten institutions and pushing bad actors previously shielded by their ivory towers into the spotlight.
It was December 2010, and Jeffrey Epstein was sitting down for dinner with some of his famous friends — personalities who spanned the TV dial from morning to late night. There was George Stephanopoulos, then the host of Good Morning America, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, and E! comedian and late-night host Chelsea Handler. It was 18 months after Epstein had been released from “prison” (in reality, he spent six days a week working in an office during his year-plus work-release stay in a Florida jail) for pleading guilty to a lesser charge of solicitation of prostitution with a minor.
Accused of far worse, Epstein pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of solicitation of prostitution with a minor. The dinner also took place less than a year after Epstein settled “at least a dozen civil lawsuits … filed by women who allege they were molested by Epstein when they were underage,” according to the Miami Herald. It was a mere five months after the registered sex offender finished his probation and was allowed to leave the state of Florida.
The downfall of Epstein is great news for his victims who were denied justice the first time around, but it’s also the latest example of a recent, broader phenomenon.
The downfall of Epstein is great news for his victims who were denied justice the first time around. But it’s also the latest example of a recent, broader phenomenon — the crumbling of the elites. This crumbling can be traced to a growing distrust with all forms of power. A 2017 poll by The Associated Press found an astoundingly high 82 percent of America say they think “wealthy people” have too much power and influence in Washington. At the same time, Americans’ trust in government is at historic lows, according to a Gallup poll this year. For Democrats and independents, the percentage of respondents who trust government was at 28 percent, the lowest percentage recorded (since 1997), with 59 percent of Republicans also expressing record-low frustration with those walking the halls of power.
But the governmental distrust is only part of the problem, as Epstein shows. During the past few years, we’ve seen the unraveling of the power structure that protected elites across industries. The #MeToo movement, in particular, gave this unraveling momentum, with the myriad allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein’s criminal treatment of women was more than an open secret for years, yet he was deeply connected. He held a $2 million fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in June 2016 and Bill Clinton called him a “really good friend.”
The #MeToo movement enveloped others who were previously looked upon fondly, from the popular former entertainer and potential 2020 nominee Al Franken to billionaire casino mogul and former finance chairman of the Republican National Committee Steve Wynn, to celebrity chef Mario Batali.
Then there was the celebrity college cheating scandal, which has lifted the curtain obscuring the inherent unfairness of the college admission process. Another example took place as the 2016 election was playing out, with Elizabeth Holmes’ Theranos being exposed as a fraud to investors, but more importantly, consumers. Holmes had spent years gracing the cover of magazines, speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative and serving as a member of the Obama administration’s Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship. In the recent HBO documentary, “The Inventor,” journalist Roger Parloff described the “honorary horseshit” which Holmes used to shield her deceptions from so many for so long.
The movie also introduced an interesting experiment that relates to Epstein, Weinstein, and others. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely explained a dice test he had conducted, which gave participants money based on an honor system. What Ariely found was that when participants were receiving money for themselves, they would lie less, and the lie detector would catch the lie more often. When the participants were giving the money to charity, they would lie more, but the lie detector would rarely catch the lie.
For a long time, our culture was willing to forgive the probable crimes of those who were simultaneously doing “good” in other areas or succeeding in their industries. Epstein gave hundreds of thousands to AIDS research. Weinstein created a media empire that amassed incredible power both with critics and at the box office. (He also gave plenty to charity.) Trump himself, who so far has yet to experience the repercussions of the #MeToo movement, was fond of boasting of the “millions” he’d given away — even when it wasn’t true. (The Epstein story has already had reverberations within Trump’s administration, with the resignation of his Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who was responsible for Epstein’s lenient plea deal.)
We are living in a time of radical transparency, especially on social media. This exposing the emperor’s lack of clothes is an apolitical groundswell.
But that benefit of the doubt is in shorter and shorter supply.
We are living in a time of radical transparency, especially on social media. There is an overreach to be sure. But in significant ways, this exposing the emperor’s lack of clothes is an apolitical groundswell. It is tearing down the broken and rotten institutions and pushing bad actors previously shielded by their ivory towers into the spotlight. What happens when that spotlight dims, of course, is yet to be seen.
This is crucial. But we must acknowledge the uncharted territory we’re entering. We are left with important and uneasy questions about what’s built once the rubble of the elite is cleared — how we build a better, fairer culture, together as a country. Source
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28.)
John Wesley who said that what we tolerate in our generation, will be embraced by the next. Wesley is 100% correct! We are living in sick times.
Usually, the Lord doth no great thing for or against his people, without giving warning of it before it comes.
They perverted justice among themselves (v. 7): “You turn judgment to wormwood, that is, you make your administrations of justice bitter and nauseous, and highly displeasing both to God and man.’’ That fruit has become a weed, a weed in the garden; as nothing is more venerable, nothing more valuable, than justice duly administered, so nothing is more hurtful, nothing more abominable, than designedly doing wrong under color and pretense of doing right. Corruptio optimi est pessima —The best, when corrupted, becomes the worst.
It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated.
2 Corinthians 4:8-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
“Pedophile” has reverberated throughout America. But beneath our anger and revulsion, a fundamental question pulsates: Are those who abuse their positions of trust to prey upon children—a category certainly not limited to those in religious orders—sick … or are they evil? We need the answer to that fundamental question. Because, without the truth, we cannot act. And until we act, nothing will change.
My job is protecting children. It has taken me from big cities to rural outposts, from ghettos to penthouses, and from courtrooms, into demonic battlefields. But whatever the venue, the truth remains constant: Some humans intentionally hurt children. They commit unspeakable acts—for their pleasure, their profit, or both.
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The number of Orphans aging out of Child Protective Custody has grown at an alarming rate. The 127 Faith Foundation receives many requests each week to house them at our ranch. Our prayer is that the good people of our country will step up to the challenge and offer financial support for "the least among us." We need your help! StevieRay Hansen, Founder, The 127 Faith Foundation
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