Ask Your Preacher
How are creeds different than publications preachers write?
Looking At Leaflets
Dear Looking At Leaflets,
Religious publications, commentaries, tracts, and other religious writings are not in and of themselves wrong until a church or denomination turns that document into an essential element of their faith – that is what a creed is. A creed is someone’s commentary on Scripture that is given equal weight to the Scriptures.
It doesn’t matter whether it agrees with the Scriptures or not – the wording is man-made and, therefore, not exactly as God intended. A creed draws the lines of fellowship around a human writing. A creed is a statement of faith that superimposes itself over the Bible. Now, instead of using the Word of God as the guide for what makes a congregation and a christian faithful – we use a creed to decide what verses and concepts are (and are not) important. We have no right to do that! God specifically said that we don’t get to decide what is or isn’t important from His Word; we must take the whole thing, no more, no less (Rev 22:18-19, Ps. 119:160). If God wanted mankind to use creeds as measures of faith and fellowship – He would have given us one.
What is faith?
New To Religion
Dear New To Religion,
Faith is belief, trust, and loyalty to something or someone. If you have faith in your friend, you trust them and are loyal to them through thick and thin. If you have faith in your car, you believe that it will run smoothly even though you aren’t a mechanic and aware of everything going on under the hood. Faith always involves trusting something you can’t see or control (Heb 11:1). You have faith in your friend’s judgment to give you directions; you place your faith in the author of a manual or instruction book to help you properly assemble a piece of furniture; you have faith in a traffic light to properly change colors and not direct you into cross-traffic.
In the case of God, our faith is built upon His Word (Rom 10:17). We trust God’s Bible to guide our lives and direct our steps (Ps 119:105). Our faith in God is shown in our actions – it is impossible to have faith without action (Jas 2:17). If someone says they believe in God, but they don’t obey His Bible, they are no better off than the demons (Jas 2:19). Faith in God is a lifestyle. We hear what His Word says, and then we act upon that command. After all, if we love God, we will keep His commandments (Jhn 14:15).
What is soul mortalism or soul sleep?
Dear Soul Searching,
Soul mortalism is the belief that human souls are not naturally immortal and that during the time between one’s physical death and the Judgment Day resurrection, the human soul is left in an uncomprehending state or “sleep”. This does not at all match the Bible’s teachings.
The Bible teaches that human souls, both good and bad, wait in Hades for the Judgment. Hades (also known as Sheol) is the place of the dead, both the good dead and the bad dead. The word ‘Hades’ literally means ‘the unseen place’. Within Hades, there are two areas where people wait for the final judgment. All of the faithful who die wait in the good part of Hades called ‘Paradise’ (2 Cor 12:4, Lk 23:43). All of the wicked who die wait in a part of Hades known only as ‘torments’ (Lk 16:23). The story of the rich man and Lazarus found in Lk 16:19-31 shows us that both groups are fully comprehending and aware in Hades.
So everyone has heard the question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? People have always told me that the answer to that question depends on your religion. So based on my christian belief, which came first? The chicken or the egg?
Dear Feeling Scrambled,
Genesis chapter one answers your question. God made all the birds of the air, including the chickens, on day five (Gen 1:20-23). When God created the creatures of the earth, they were fully-formed and ready for Adam to name them (Gen 2:19). These adult animals were then able to begin reproducing. So – the chicken came first… and then the egg.
Scriptures like 1 Kings 8:46, Ecc 7:20, Isa 64:6-7, Psalm 14:3, Prov 20:9, Rom 3:23, 1 Jn 1:8, Rom 5:12, Isa 41:26, and Rom 3:10-12 all say that there is no one righteous, just, or without sin. But what about Noah (Gen 7:1), Job (Job 1:1), Zacharias & Elizabeth (Lk 1:5-6), Abel (Matt 23:35), Joseph (Matt 1:19), and Cornelius (Acts 10:22)? The Bible seems to say that these people were just and righteous. And also verses like 2 Sam 22: 21-27, Ecc 9:1, Jas 5:16, Ps 24:3-4, Lk 6:45, Matt 13:47-48, and Jhn 5:29 seem to say that there were, and maybe are today, good people on this planet. So what are the passages that I mentioned first talking about?
Dear Justified Confusion,
The first set of verses you mentioned are addressing the fact that all of us have fallen short (Rom 3:23), and no man has a right to boast before God that he has earned his salvation (Rom 3:27). No one is righteous without God’s help. Abraham sinned, but God counted him as righteous because of Abraham’s faith (Gen 15:6). Nobody is righteous based upon his or her own merits. However, God, through Christ’s blood, reconciles the faithful to Him, so we can be righteous through faith (Col 1:20).