Ask Your Preacher
God says all gays are going to hell because they are gay, but God also said anyone who eats hoofed animals is going to hell, so does that mean anyone that has ever eaten at McDonald’s, Burger King, etc. is going to hell also? Also, it says a women has to kill a goat when menstruating. Isn’t sacrificing animals a pagan thing? So won’t they go to hell for that, too? Also, if God gives us free will, why do we even have commandments? The irony in that is just too blunt. Free will, then we have laws??? Why is Jesus born for man but made a god?
We think you have an issue of receiving a lot of misinformation. God does say that homosexuality is a sin (Rom 1:26-27), but the dietary habits and sacrifices that you referred to are Old Testament commandments. First of all, it wasn’t all hoofed animals – just certain types (Deu 14:4-8). Beef is from cattle and perfectly permissible, even to an Old Testament Jew. As for animal sacrifice, that was a consistent part of Old Testament worship, but now that Jesus has come, we no longer are bound by the old law (read “Changing Of The Guard” for further information).
Last but not least, let’s address your concerns about Jesus and freewill. Freewill doesn’t mean that you are incapable of doing anything wrong – it actually means the exact opposite. Freedom to choose means that you can choose to do the right thing or choose to do the wrong thing. God didn’t make us to be robots; He gives us the ability to live by His rules or to rebel against them. He has set life and death before us, and we get to decide for ourselves how we want to live (Deu 30:19). All mankind has sinned (Rom 3:23), and Jesus, God’s Son, came down from heaven and died on a cross, so we might have forgiveness of those sins. Jesus is Deity (Jhn 1:1), and He emptied Himself that He might give us the freedom to choose life in Him (Php 2:6-8, Jhn 3:16). If you would like more information about what it takes to choose Christ and be saved, please read “Five Steps To Salvation”.
Why are innocent victims allowed to be violated in this world? Are they sacrificial lambs or what? I see no purpose in, for example, young children being allowed to be violated.
All suffering is caused by mankind and sin. When God made the world, He made it to be good - it was sin that destroyed that perfect vision. All wickedness and evil brings pain to God and grieves Him and He will only endure it for so long. In Noah's day, God saw all the violence that was in the world and it made Him deeply sad (Gen 6:5-6). God gives mankind the freedom to make our own choices, but that doesn't mean it doesn't pain Him to see the evil upon this earth. God tells us that the only reason He endures it is because He is longsuffering and desiring to give as many people as possible the chance to repent and turn to Him (2 Pet 3:9). It is a dark and ugly world, and God's love is the shining light in that darkness (Jhn 3:19). All the blameless and forgiven will be comforted in His arms in heaven (Rev 21:3-4).
Should people be getting up in front of the congregation and giving testimonies in the Lord’s church today?
Dear Speaking Up,
We are given a couple of requirements regarding speaking in the church assembly. Any testimony that someone gives of how Christ had helped them, how they had been converted, etc., must fit within the biblical guidelines for the church assembly.
One guideline is that women are not supposed to be speaking or in leadership positions during worship (1 Cor 14:34). Therefore, any woman that has a testimony to give about her life wouldn't be able to do it in that setting.
Another guideline is that everything should be done decently and in order (1 Cor 14:40). Many of the churches that have people give testimonials do so in a chaotic fashion with people jumping up to speak or yelling out during services... this is wholly inappropriate. A congregation is required to be thoughtful and prepared with how the worship service is run.
These two guidelines alone clarify things. If a man had a worthwhile teaching to give or biblical message to present, and it was prepared and presented in a way that was proper and decently in order, it would be permissible. Realistically, very few of the churches in the religious world that use the "testimonial system" do that.
How many false prophets does the Bible mention?
Counting The Corrupt
Dear Counting The Corrupt,
The Bible doesn’t mention a specific number of false prophets – it just says that there are many (Matt 24:11). The world is fraught with false prophets who seek to use the Bible for their own gain and lead people astray. This is why John warns us to test all teachers and compare what they say to the Bible (1 Jn 4:1). Sadly, most of mankind is either duped by these false teachers or frustrated. Even within the Lord’s church, false teachers and sin cause people’s love to grow cold (Matt 24:12). False prophets are innumerable, and the way of truth is spoken against because of them (2 Pet 2:1-2). It is an uphill battle, but if christians continue to refer people to the Bible instead of their own wisdom, God’s Word will be glorified.
Where we worship, there are a great number of people in need of healthcare. It seems every time the announcements are made, we mention several who have missed because they are sick or in the hospital. Where does the burden of responsibility lie for a church meeting the needs of its sick? Considering the purpose of the church includes assembling, where do we stop in our efforts to help people assemble?
Dear Support Staff,
Technically, it isn’t the job of the church to make sure people get to church services; it is the church’s job to make sure services happen. That distinction can be seen in Heb 10:24-25 because individuals were rebuked for forsaking the assembly. It is the individual’s responsibility to make it to services, not the church’s job to drag them there.
Having said that, we shouldn’t be cold-hearted toward people’s needs. If there is a way for others to “do good to the household of faith” (Gal 6:10) by providing rides, that is more than appropriate and a great example of christian hospitality (1 Pet 4:9). But once again, we are talking about individuals helping other individuals.
The church is told to assemble on the first day of the week as a minimum (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:1-2). That is the sum total of God’s command for the collective local body – it is very generic. Within that generic command, a congregation can decide where, when, etc. based upon what is expedient and useful. The specifics are left up to the local church to decide using wisdom (Pr 4:7). The church has to factor in the needs of every member (ailing and healthy) when deciding when to meet. It isn’t about meeting the needs of one particular group of people; it is about trying to balance everyone’s needs. That looks different in each congregation because each congregation is made out of a unique collection of people.