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Why Does God Allow Evil?

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In God's Wisdom he intervenes
And in his wisdom he does not
In scripture he reveals this
Daily he does not 

Hope says, "I understand"
Fear says, "I do not" 

Mercy says, "Shed thy light on me"
Shame says, "You cannot" 

Dark and foolish is every heart
That eventually receives God's light
Renewed and whole is everyone
Whose soul forgets its fight. 

 

In the midst of evil and suffering, the two options that the world puts before Christians are,

"If God exists, he is either incompetent or not all powerful."

A common response is to lament, "If only they knew that God is in control, and that regardless of what happens, I trust in him." As believers, we don't need the explanation that the world does--our answer comes from faith.

But we forget that "faith" give us our answer, and the absence of saving faith in God gives the world its question.

Throughout a millennia of questions, Jesus has answered: "Regardless of what the world thinks I can do, regardless of the what the world thinks I should do, I have done everything that you needed me to.  My power and competence were on full display the day I turned evil and suffering into victory."

The Cross is a symbol of what was overcome, and a symbol of the price that was paid for joy everlasting. That same suffering and evil were used on behalf of those who have been delivered from "the domain of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of God's beloved Son" (Colossians 1:13).

The greatest questions need the greatest answers. Never forget that Jesus is ours.

George McDonald, a 19th century minister and author, wrote, "The Son of God suffered unto death not that men might not suffer but that their suffering might be like His."

When we understand this truth, we understand James 1:2-3 in its real context:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

God's power and competence is demonstrated through us knowing and believing that even though He is not the cause of evil, He can use it for his purposes (Romans 8:28).

 

 

Posted by Robert Nicholes with

Meet the Saxons

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Shandon welcomes Mat Saxon as our new Minister of Young Adults!

Mat is not actually new to Shandon.

A Columbia native, he and his wife, Nikki, joined Shandon in 2005.  Matt served as a Sunday School teacher before they moved to the Fort Mill, SC area in 2013.  The Saxons have three little girls: Illona, Eloise and Chloe.  Mat is completing his Masters of Divinity at Columbia International University and will begin his ministry at Shandon on September 29.

Let's get to know the Saxons!

How did you two meet? Tell us about one of your first dates.

Mat and I met through a mutual friend when we were about 16.  We were at a Christian concert and we talked and flirted a little.  I lived in Fort Mill at the time, so we e-mailed back and forth for a while.  Then he called me on the phone one night (back when you had to PAY for long distance calls).  We talked on the phone for about 3 hours.  After that conversation, we both knew we were going to get married.  Our first date was a picnic at the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill.  

Mat, who is a hero of yours and why?

My maternal grandfather, Ted Teagle.  He is a WW II vet, a successful entrepreneur, raised four great people, generously contributed to countless individuals, is elder emeritus at NE Pres here in Columbia, is a fantastic conversationalist and an all around great man. 

Nikki, tell us about a family tradition you and Mat have started with your three girls.

We love tradition! We have started several.

One is each family member has their own special birthday cake. The cake is a family recipe, has meaning, and is kind of a metaphor for each person's unique personality.

We also do Christmas up big! We are big into Christmas movies, baking special treats, driving with hot cocoa looking at the twinkle lights, and getting new jammies on Christmas Eve. We also like to read Luke Chapter 2 on Christmas eve and watch scenes from the film Jesus of Nazareth

Mat, do you have a hidden talent or hobby?

I have enjoyed skateboarding since I was a kid and while I am by no means great, I still am pretty decent for an old guy.

When you were children, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?

Mat: A musician.  My first instrument was cello, but seeing as how I was obsessed with the Ramones, I quickly transitioned to electric guitar.  I dreamed of being in a band that would tour around the country.  I played in a few garage bands that went no where but were a ton of fun!  To this day I still love music and play guitar at the house.

Nikki: A singer, an actress, a hairstylist, and someone who helps others (social work).  I guess I have always been an extreme extrovert and have always loved to help and pour into people!  

Mat, when did you feel the call to ministry? How have you seen God lead you to this point? 

I felt called to ministry when I was about twenty. Since then I have seen God open doors for me to go to seminary, have opportunities to teach the Bible, lead people and grow administratively, and have the pleasure of seeing my service benefit other's lives. Moreover, being called back to Shandon has been the most confirming occurrence so far! Ephesians 3:20-31.

Nikki, give us a snapshot of life with Mat.

Life with Mat is always fun and he is always good for lightening the mood.  He is the Bill Cosby of the family!  Sometimes after a stressful day he will put on some fun, loud music and a crazy dance party will bust out in our living room.

One time after a particularly hard day with the kids, Mat snuck out, went to the store and brought home ice cream for everyone.  He put on some great music and we just sat around singing and enjoying each other and our special treat. 

Posted by Shandon Baptist Church with

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