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By Nick P.

I work at a grocery store as a bagger about 10-12 miles from my own home. About a mile from my home is an Elementary School where my mother works as a teacher's aide. Thus, when many mothers with youngsters have come through the line where I'm bagging I have asked "Where do your children go to school?" if they seem to be the age of Elementary Schoolers. I have never had one mention the school where my Mom works.


Now this troubled me. Why did no one ever mention a local school? Then it occurred to me that they did! They mentioned the school that was local to them. To me, the school my mother works at is local but to them another school is local. It then hit me that locality is only local to the locals.


Picture being a visitor to another town. There might be events going on in that town of utmost importance to them but you don't see the importance because you are an outsider. I would suggest as a resident of Knoxville that if you don't think football can be an issue come during the time of a UT football game. What you could care less about if you don't like football (Like myself) or if you come from a town without a football team, will be of utmost importance to the people that to speak against UT is paramount to blasphemy.


Consider also in the personal relationships we have. We might pray for people with cancer but we will pray all the harder if our friend gets cancer. We might pray someone in the church has a good marriage but when it is us getting married we will pray all the harder. We might pray about the war in Iraq but we will pray all the harder when we have relatives going over to fight in that war.


I conclude that local problems are only of interest majorly to the locals. You cannot have the full impact of a problem without being personally involved. Now what does this have to do with Christianity?


In the Bible, we never really see the problem that atheists would most like answered, answered. That is, the problem of evil. (I do realize that without an objective moral law one cannot say there is such a thing as evil but let us consider as Christians why the Bible is silent here.) We might say Job complained about it but Job did not complain about why innocents suffered but why he suffered being innocent. We might consider Habakkuk but Habakkuk was not asking why Babylon was going unpunished but why Judah was going unpunished although he did complain about evil Babylon later.


These problems were only important when they hit home. Perchance this is the same for us. For the Christian, home is Heaven. For the unbeliever, home is this world. It makes sense that the problems of this world would be most important in the life of the unbeliever but for the Christian, the concerns of Heaven are their concerns. This is why we rejoice exceedingly when we see a soul get saved because we know this is the main concern of Heaven.


Hebrews 11 is a great example of this. All of these people lived knowing that this world was not their home. They saw another home coming. They were not locals so the problem of evil did not really concern them. They knew that back home they had someone far greater than the evil that they saw so they had no reason to worry about evil so much. They were focused on the good of their home instead of the evil in the land they were traveling through, much like a visitor to London probably won't become immensely involved with the problems of London. He might as a curious observer but not as one personally effected most likely.


This is also why, I believe, the Bible calls us ambassadors. Ambassadors go from one nation to another on the behalf of the home nation. The reason we Christians can get interested in the problem of evil at times is because we are ambassadors and this is a problem of the nation we visit. This is seen in missionaries who have to get interested in the problems of the people they are missionaries to.


Today, I am thankful that we are not really citizens of this world but our home is in another place. I look forward to it and I hope you do too.

Email the author at ApologiaNick@yahoo.com