Ask Your Preacher
I am very confident in my faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, but I try to study other religions as well because I wonder how I am going to witness to them and tell them the truth if I know nothing about what they believe. My question is: is it wrong to study other religions? A few people have told me it is.
Ready To Research
Dear Ready To Research,
There isn’t anything wrong with studying other religions, but it would be a problem if you spent more time studying a false religion than you did studying the Bible. How we spend our time is indicative of our priorities. God tells us to study to show ourselves approved (2 Tim 2:15) and that we should grow in our knowledge, so we can teach others Jesus’ message (Heb 5:12). It is useful to know what false religions practice (even Paul had studied the pagan poets of his day – Acts 17:28), but it is not nearly as useful as knowing what the Bible says. The best way to prepare yourself to “give an answer for the hope that is within you” (1 Pet 3:15) is to make sure to study your Bible diligently. Once again, studying other religions isn’t wrong, but you need to make sure it is properly balanced with Bible study habits.
Was there a woman in the Bible that taught men the Word?
Teacher At Heart
Dear Teacher At Heart,
We have the example of Priscilla teaching and converting (Acts 18:24-26). There is nothing wrong with a woman trying to teach and convert a man to Christ… but we must also remember that she does not have the authority to teach or have authority over men in the public church setting (1 Cor 14:34-35). 1 Tim 2:12 specifically prohibits Christian women from teaching Christian men in a congregational forum. Women are not supposed to serve as public teachers in the worship service because men have the responsibility to lead the church in public teaching. Elders (Tit 1:5-6), deacons (1 Tim 3:12), and preachers (2 Tim 2:2) are all required to be men.
The world has been changed by godly women standing up for the truth and living godly lives. Paul mentions women ministering to others’ needs in Php 4:3, Rom 16:1, and Rom 16:3 – just to name a few. We have the example of Lydia being a servant to the church (Acts 16:14). We don’t know exactly what the women of Php. 4:2-3 were doing to help Paul, but we know they were working hard. The church is full of women that are faithful, zealous, and valued servants.
How do you save someone from themselves?
You can’t. All you can ever do is provide people with answers, but it is up to them if they want to do anything about it. As the old adage goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Jesus even warns that we shouldn’t waste time trying to change people who don’t want to change. He compared helping that type of person to throwing valuable pearls into a pig pen… the pig won’t value the pearls; he’ll just destroy them (Matt 7:6).
If Jesus, the perfect master teacher, couldn’t save everyone, we need to accept that we can’t either. Anyone can change, but they have to want it for themselves.
What was Israel’s key to success in taking possession of the Promised Land?
Winning The War
Dear Winning The War,
Israel conquered the land of Canaan for one reason – God was with them. God told them that if they were faithful (Lev 26:3), He would chase their enemies away (Lev 26:7-8). If they failed to follow God (Lev 26:14), the Israelites would be terrorized by their enemies (Lev 26:16). Their success was completely dependent upon their faithfulness and trust in the Lord.
I pray everyday and sometimes feel like I'm sayings the same things, asking for the same things, giving thanks for the same things. It seems all so repetitive even though I pray from my heart. I wonder if God thinks the same thing sometimes, and it kind of weighs heavy on my heart. Can you help me with this? I can't imagine not talking to Him everyday just because I worry that I'm being repetitive.
It’s Me Again
Dear It’s Me Again,
Feel free to pray for the same thing as often as you’d like, but avoid lengthy speeches just for the sake of repetition. If by repetition, you mean that you are saying the same things over and over in hopes that God will listen because you use a lot of words… that is wrong (Matt 6:7).
But if you are praying meaningfully for the same things consistently, that isn’t wrong at all. Jesus gives the example of the widow and the unrighteous judge as the standard for repetition in prayer. In Lk 18:1-7, we are told to always pray and never grow weary in it. Samuel said that he would never cease to pray for the good will of Israel (1 Sam 12:23). Jesus says to pray constantly for our daily bread (Lk 11:3). Both of these are examples of repetitive prayer. Lk 11:5-8 explains that prayer is like constantly knocking at a door until the homeowner gets up to answer. As long as we preface our wishes with a willingness to submit to God’s will (1 Jn 5:14-15) – we should keep on praying.