Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Empty Arms

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
     What does God think about infertility?  I have a disease that has caused me to not be able to conceive a child on our own.  Is that in God’s plan for us, or is it the devil?  I do believe that He has a plan for everyone and He tests your faith, but if we've been trying for eight years, does that mean that I've failed?  What does God say about infertility treatment?  Is it a sin?

Sincerely,
Heart-Broken Wife

Dear Heart-Broken Wife,

Infertility is another consequence of Adam and Eve's sin.  When God created the universe, He made everything good (Gen 1:31).  The world didn’t have disease, thorns, suffering, and all the other problems we see today.  Originally, Adam and Eve lived in the perfect paradise of the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:8).  It is only after Adam and Eve were cast from the Garden because of their sin that all the problems we see today began.

God can cause all things to work together for good for you and your husband (Rom 8:28), but He didn't cause the diseases that affect our lives.  The fact that you haven't conceived doesn't mean you have "failed" any sort of test; just like other people dealing with sicknesses aren't failures because of their illnesses, you aren't a failure because you can't conceive.  Some of the most faithful people dealt with the same infertility issues that you do.  Hannah and Sarah were both faithful women that wept many tears over the fact they couldn't have children.  The burden and pain you are carrying isn't an indicator that you are unfaithful – it just is what it is.

As far as infertility treatments, that is a big issue because modern technology allows us to do things that are both good and bad – some treatments are fine; others aren't.  Read our post "Apples Of Our Eyes" for what to consider before undergoing treatments.

Son And Equal

Tuesday, June 18, 2019
    Is Jesus God's son, or was Jesus really God in a human form on Earth?

Sincerely,
Son-ny Disposition

Dear Son-ny Disposition,

The Father is God… and Jesus is God, too.  There are three parts to the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  This is most easily seen in Matt 3:16-17.  When Jesus was baptized, the Father spoke from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended as a dove.  Each of them is eternal (they were all at the creation – Gen. 1:1, Gen. 1:2, Col 1:15-17).  John 1:1 specifically says that Jesus is Deity.  Jesus is different than the Father, but He is part of the Godhead.  Jesus even said that He had always existed (Jhn 8:58).  The apostles worshipped Jesus as God (Jhn 20:28).

Jesus was also God’s son because He was given a physical body by God (Heb 10:5, Matt 1:18).  Jesus also obeyed the Father as a son would obey (Jhn 5:19).  Jesus was also the firstborn Son because He is the firstborn of the church – God’s children (Rom 8:29).  Jesus is completely deity, but He also has a unique role as the only member of the Godhead to have also lived in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16).

Duper-stitious

Monday, June 17, 2019
     I have a very interesting question, and I'm hoping you can help.  I know the Bible says you shouldn't mess with spirits, and fortune telling is sinful.  However, what if someone didn't ask for this gift?  I know it says no one knows the future but God, but what if He gave a gift to someone, and they were using it for good?  And what about Ouija boards?  I've always been taught they are of the devil.  One last thing, I'm from the south, and I've heard a lot about conjurers.  In fact, as a child, my grandfather visited one to get a growth removed, and it worked.  This woman was a christian and claimed it was a gift from God and not sinful.  Is this sinful and of the devil?  I am, by the way, very superstitious; however, I do believe the Bible is clear on the boundaries that should not be crossed.  Sorry for being so lengthy, but I believe there's a lot of people asking the same things.

Sincerely,
Magically Minded

Dear Magically Minded,

The dictionary defines ‘superstition’ as ‘a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief’.  Superstition means that you are placing trust in the supernatural power of a rabbit’s foot, not walking under ladders, four-leaf clovers, Ouija boards, etc.  This is always wrong.  We are supposed to place our trust in God (Ps 56:11), and God has clearly said that He doesn’t give people the gifts of fortune telling; all these things are of the devil.  Even if a conjurer removed your grandfather’s growth, being a conjurer is still sinful.  There are lots of sinful things that have short-term benefits… but long-term consequences.

Superstition is a mild and socially acceptable form of witchcraft or divining.  There is no difference between trusting in a lucky coin and trusting in the astrological tables.  Astrology and horoscopes are wrong (Deut 4:19, 2 Kgs 23:5); witchcraft and magical arts are wrong (Acts 19:19).  Superstition falls into the same category as those practices.

A Parent's Sorrow Pt. 2

Friday, June 14, 2019

(This post is in reference to “A Parent’s Sorrow”)

Just reading the Q and A about the woman's daughter that has chosen a homosexual life… when do we as a church or member disfellowship ourselves from someone, and how do we do this with a family member or loved one? Out of love, we are not to even eat or associate with them, but how can we do this effectively with an adult child or straying parent?

Sincerely,
Cutting Ties

Dear Cutting Ties,

The Bible doesn’t tell us to withdraw from all people who are living actively sinful lifestyles; we are only told to withdraw from christians who live actively sinful lives.  Paul even said that the church isn’t in the business of judging all mankind (that’s God’s job); we are only responsible to exhort and, if needed, discipline our own (1 Cor 5:9-13).  In the question you are referring to, it doesn’t sound like the daughter is a christian and the member of the church.

Secondly, even if the person is a christian, when the church withdraws from someone, family relationships aren’t as clear-cut as the rest of the brethren.  The church is given strict orders to withdraw and not associate with a wayward brother or sister (1 Cor 5:13).  However, the immediate family doesn’t have the same “black and white” guidelines.  In fact, we see that they sometimes are commanded to do the opposite – as in the case of an unbelieving spouse (1 Cor 7:13).  Close relatives and loved ones falling away can be torturous on the rest of the family, and immediate family oftentimes has to make the tougher decisions of when to draw back and when to keep the family door open.  Family ties in the case of a wayward christian becomes a gray area that requires wisdom and should be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Make The Call

Thursday, June 13, 2019
     Is it correct to use the word ‘church’ in place of ‘ekklesia’?

Sincerely,
A Little Wordy

Dear A Little Wordy,

‘Ekklesia’ is a Greek word, and ‘church’ is an English word.  It isn’t wrong to translate the Bible from its original Greek into other languages.  In fact, Jesus quoted from a Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint (the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew).  The word ‘ekklesia’ means ‘the called out’ and refers to a group that is called together for a specific purpose.  In modern English, we use words like ‘church’ and ‘assembly’ to express the same definition.  The church of Christ is a group of people who have heard and heeded the call of Jesus Christ.

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