Ask Your Preacher
(This question is in response to “Love The Sinner”)
I noticed in one of your posts, you were asked if God hates sinners. No offense, but you seemed a little broad with your answer by just saying He loves people. If you are basically saying God doesn't hate people, then what does Proverbs 6:19 mean when it says God hates one who sows discord or bears false witness?
Dear Clarification Please,
Perhaps we were a bit broad-stroked with that answer. Let’s see if we can clarify. Jhn 3:16 clearly says that God loves the whole world. In fact, God teaches that we should love our enemies, just like He does (Matt 5:43-45). However, that doesn’t mean that God isn’t angry when people sin. As you said, Pr 6:16-19 says that there are some things God hates, and they are all things that involve wicked living. God walks that perfect line between always showing a love for humans, regardless of what they’ve done, and having a kindled anger against all those that rebel and destroy with sin. God loves all man, but He also hates all sin. His love is a patient love that hopes they will return to Him (2 Pet 3:9).
When a person hears the Word, accepts Christ, repents, confesses Christ, is baptized, I understand they are put in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Now, this is followed by a life of obeying God's commandments, enduring temptation, loving one another, and living for God. But are God's commandments just to believe in Christ and love one another? What are the commandments we have to obey?
I’d Like A Checklist
Dear I’d Like A Checklist,
After you are baptized, you become a christian (Acts 2:38). As you said, after that, you spend the rest of your life growing and following God’s commandments (1 Pet 2:2). All of the specific commandments are too numerous to list here because the whole Bible is full of God’s commands (Ps 119:160). All of God’s teachings can be summed up in “love God” and “love your neighbor”… that is what Jesus said on the matter (Matt 22:36-40). All the rest of the Bible is full of specific rules and principles that help us to properly love God and our fellow man. A life dedicated to God is built upon the Bible’s teachings (Rom 10:17), and His Word, in its entirety, should be the guide for our lives (Ps 119:105).
Is it wrong to pray for someone who is dead? I was told the Bible says it is wrong, and I don't remember reading that. Thank you.
Dear Morbid Curiosity,
1 Jn 5:16 is probably the verse you are thinking of, but that doesn’t really deal with dead people; it pertains to people who are purposefully turning their backs on the Lord. We are told not to request that God forgive people who aren’t seeking to live faithfully.
Having said that, your question deals with people that are already dead, and that is an entirely different issue. Heb 9:27 says that people die and then face the judgment. There is no room for someone’s fate to be changed once they die. If your goal through prayer is to make it so someone who already died can go to heaven instead of hell, that won’t work.
Does God give us advice on how to correct our children, such as spanking? Today, society tells us to use time-outs instead... but that doesn't seem to always work.
Dear Tired Parent,
The Bible is very clear that spanking is an acceptable and effective method of training children. Pr 29:15 says that “the rod” and reproof give wisdom to a child. Pr 23:13 says that spanking a child will not kill them, so don’t withhold correction. Pr 22:15-16 says that all children need the rod of correction to drive foolishness from their hearts and that spanking them will help protect their soul.
The Bible never teaches that parents should abuse, torture, or hit their children out of anger or frustration, but it does teach that corporal punishment is part of a healthy parenting method. Part of nurturing our children up in the chastening and admonition of the Lord does involve punishment, and that includes spanking (Eph 6:4).
Since the printing press wasn't invented until 1440, who was charged with hand copying the Scriptures up until that time? Do we owe these men a debt of gratitude?
Writing My Thanks
Dear Writing My Thanks,
The people who copied the New Testament were many and varied, but we know quite a lot about those who copied the Old Testament. The people who copied the Bible were so accurate and detail-oriented… they would put any OCD accountant to shame. Those who made copies of the Old Testament were called ‘scribes’. Ezra, from the book of Ezra, was a scribe (Ezra 7:6). Scribes are recorded throughout Jewish history, from the time of David (2 Sam 8:17) all the way into the time of Christ (Matt 8:19). Scribes were so proficient at copying text that they were also employed as lawyers because of their precise knowledge of all things legal.
When scribes copied a biblical text, they had some very stringent rules that they followed. Secular history tells us that these rules were universal amongst scribes, and the rules were followed very, VERY strictly. Here are some of those rules:
- Every word must be verbalized aloud while writing.
- There must be a review within thirty days, and if more than three pages required corrections, the whole document was destroyed.
- Letters, words, and paragraphs were counted, and the middle paragraph, word, and letter must correspond to the original document.
- If two letters touched, the entire manuscript had to be redone.
- Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty, lines.
As you can tell from the list, scribes were exceptionally meticulous about accuracy. The proof of this accuracy can be seen in the Dead Sea Scrolls. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, amongst them was uncovered a copy of the Book of Isaiah that had been written by scribes. This copy of Isaiah was ONE THOUSAND years older than any other previous copy. Yet, over that thousand-year time span, there was no notable disagreement between the manuscripts. In fact, the only difference between the Dead Sea Scroll copy and the other copies were punctuation marks and spelling differences. There is no doubt that God has perfectly preserved the Bible over the centuries.