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I felt the call to ministry about two years ago, and I thought that God was calling me into youth ministry. Then I started learning about all sorts of other places God could use me, and I began thinking about where specifically in ministry He may be calling me. I still really want to be a youth minister, but I'm not 100% certain that’s where God wants me. So how can I know what specific facet of His ministry He wants me to be in?
Dear Job Searching,
God calls us to work through His gospel, the Bible (2 Thess 2:14). The Bible never says anything about "youth" ministers. 'Youth minister' is a man-made title created by man-made religions. The Bible gives the list of all the roles within the church in Eph 4:11-12. Since the apostles and prophets have long since ceased (see "The Lost Art of Prophecy" for more details), the only roles in the church are evangelists, pastors (also known as elders and overseers - 1 Tim 3:1), deacons (Php 1:1), and teachers. Any faithful church should only have people filling those offices. Churches that employ secretaries, outreach ministers, benevolence ministers, archbishops, cardinals, reverends, fathers, etc. are not following the Bible pattern. God gave us the Bible word-for-word (1 Cor 2:13), and therefore, we should follow that pattern in using Bible words to describe Bible things. Departing from that pattern is a step in the direction of apostasy and a warping of the Scriptures.
5 minutes a day 5 days a week - a year of Bible Wisdom
Are any foods prohibited from consumption by the New Testament? I once visited a church where the members were debating whether eating rare beef was prohibited because of the presence of blood. Is this splitting hairs? Is it merely cultural that we do not eat certain animals such as horses, or is there Biblical basis in this? I believe I'm recalling Old Testament Law which specified eating only animals with "cloven hooves"?
Nom Nom Nom
Dear Nom Nom Nom,
The Old Testament laws concerning what could and could not be eaten can be found in Lev. 11, but there is only one type of food that christians cannot eat – blood (Acts 15:29). When an animal is killed, some cultures will strangle the animal so as to keep the blood in the meat, as opposed to draining the blood out. It is probably a misunderstanding on what it means to eat the meat with the blood that caused the discussion that you mentioned over rare beef. Things like blood sausage, blood soup, blood stew, etc. are popular dishes in some countries, but eating them is wrong. All meat is clean for New Testament christians (Mk 7:19), but blood is not.
Forgive me for this rant, but I was horrified when I woke up this morning and read the Q&A about whether or not dinosaurs exist. There is a very big contradiction between AYP saying that we "humans lived in peace with the dinosaurs" and the truth. Carbon dating does not lie. An organic item that decays loses carbon atoms at a specific rate, and that is used to determine the age of fossils. I see no reason why forensic scientists (and we would have to certainly believe something even more outrageous than, let's say, the sun revolves around the earth than to believe that they are all part of some big conspiracy), and their data based on carbon dating are somehow wrong. What's wrong with saying, "I don't know"????? Are you telling me that the horrible "museum" they have about us living with dinosaurs is correct? Disinformation for the sake of proving the Gospel is not proving the Gospel at all! This would bring me to my question: why is it so wrong for us to say, "I don't know" when asked questions like this? When I am in apologetics mode when having to defend the/my faith and someone asks me a question like this, I simply say, "I don't know; what I do know is what is written in the Bible, and there is nothing there that explains the dinosaurs, so I guess God figured we humans were more important." Besides, I thought we were not to use the Bible for science; I thought it was a spiritual message, not a worldly one.
"I don't know" is a perfectly fine answer, but the Bible does make some statements about animals that can't be ignored. God says that all land animals were created on day six (Gen 1:24-31)... that would include dinosaurs. You are also fair in saying that the Bible isn't a science book – but it does provide a certain worldview through which we view science. Atheism is the same way. Atheism isn't science, and yet, it colors the way people view scientific data. A large portion of the scientific establishment views the world through naturalistic lenses – meaning that they assume everything that is here came through natural, random processes. One paleontologist looks at millions of dead bones piled under dirt, debris, silt, etc. and sees millions of years of decay and evolution. Another paleontologist sees the same fossils scattered in abundance under the same rock layer and sees a cataclysmic event – most likely Noah's Flood. The difference isn't the data; it is they way they view and interpret the data. Most of the modern scientific community has chosen to interpret the data through evolutionary lenses. They assume that:
- The world is billions of years old because evolution would need billions of years to occur.
- All rock layers form slowly over time – even though we have great examples of rock forming rapidly. (Mt. St. Helen's explosion in 1980 is a great example of cataclysmic rock formation). This viewpoint is called “uniformitarianism” and is based off the concept that all things are the same throughout time – if something is happening slowly now, then it must always have happened that way. The Bible specifically says that isn’t the case (2 Pet 3:4-6).
- That nature is all there is. Naturalism assumes that there is no supernatural and that there is no supernatural intervention in the events of mankind’s history or the world’s creation.
These assumptions color the data of a large portion of scientists. It isn’t a conspiracy, but it is interpretation of data based upon their worldview. The Bible agrees perfectly with scientific data, but it often disagrees with scientists. Carbon-14 dating (and other radiometric dating methods) is based off of a naturalistic worldview. We don’t have the space here, but we would highly recommend you read this article, written by a scientist, on the assumptions involved in carbon-14 dating. Once again, the problem isn’t with the carbon half-life measurements… but with the interpretation of the data.
The Bible dwells in perfect harmony with science, but when scientists assume that there is no God involved in the creation of this planet, they often fail to understand the data they are collecting.