Sermons

Summary: There are a lot of debates about the origin of evil but is it possible that God is responsible? A rather difficult subject attempted to be explained.

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I want to tell you the story of Farmer Joe who had an accident. When the accident first took place, Farmer Joe decided not to sue the trucking company responsible for the accident. Later he reconsidered.

In court, the trucking company’s fancy lawyer was questioning farmer Joe. "Didn’t you say, at the scene of the accident, ’I’m fine’?" questioned the lawyer.

Farmer Joe responded, "Well I’ll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite mule Bessie into the..."

"I didn’t ask for any details," the lawyer interrupted, "just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, ’I’m fine’!"

Farmer Joe said, "Well I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road..."

The lawyer interrupted again and said, "Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question."

By this time, the Judge was interested in Farmer Joe’s answer and said to the lawyer, "I’d like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule Bessie."

Joe thanked the Judge and proceeded, "Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurting real bad and didn’t want to move. However, I could hear ole Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans. Shortly after the accident, a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the Patrolman came across the road with his gun in his hand and looked at me. He said, "Your mule was in such bad shape I had to shoot her. How are you feeling?" It was then that I said, "I’m fine."

Passing the buck, we have all done it. It means to shift the blame to someone else.

Let me begin today with a little history lesson for you. Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States serving from 1945–53. As the final running mate of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, Truman succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when Roosevelt died after months of declining health. Under Truman, the Allies successfully concluded World War II, which included the decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan resulting in the death of 280,000 men, women, and children.

On his desk sat a plaque that read “The Buck Stops Here.”

On more than one occasion, President Truman referred to the desk sign in public statements. For example, in an address at the National War College on December 19, 1952 Mr. Truman said, "You know, it's easy for the Monday morning quarterback to say what the coach should have done, after the game is over. But when the decision is up before you -- and on my desk I have a motto which says ‘The Buck Stops Here' -- the decision has to be made."

In his farewell address to the American people given in January 1953, President Truman referred to this concept very specifically in asserting that, "The President--whoever he is--has to decide. He can't pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That's his job.”

Today we are going to begin a study on spiritual warfare.

The key concept is that spiritual warfare is a battle in which one must wrestle with "spiritual" wickedness and this "warfare" is not one of flesh and blood. Indeed, this is a battle against the "dark side", no matter where it lies.

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, and author of The Art of War, an immensely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. He wrote in his book “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”

If you know the enemy and yourself you will not be put at risk of being harmed, injured, or destroyed. To not know the enemy will insure a life mixed with victories and defeats. But to know neither your enemy nor yourself will lead to the certainty of being harmed, injured, and possibly destroyed. So as we begin to understand spiritual warfare we must learn truths not only about the enemy but about ourselves also.

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