Ask Your Preacher
What are feelings, where do they come from, and what is their purpose?
Full Of Emotion
Dear Full Of Emotion,
Feelings are a gift from God, and they are part of what makes us made in His image (Gen 1:27). God has emotions, just like humans do… or rather, humans have emotions, just like God does. God gets angry (2 Sam 6:7). God can be jealous (Ex 34:14). God has times of sadness and grief (Gen 6:6). God can also have great joy (Lk 15:10). Our emotions are just like God’s – except we have sin in our lives and immaturity in our hearts. When God angers, He never acts inappropriately… but we do. Humans don’t always show proper control of our feelings, and instead, we let them control us. Feelings can be a wonderful blessing (life would be bland without them), but they are only a blessing if we guard our hearts with the truth (Pr 4:23).
What role does economics play in the Christian lifestyle?
Giving An Account
Dear Giving An Account,
Economics plays a huge role in the life of christians. It has been said that Bible has over 15,000 verses that pertain to money. Anything that is talked about that much in the Bible is obviously an important topic! Money is neither good nor bad – it is amoral. People do good things with money, and people do bad things with money. Money isn't sinful, but the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil (1 Tim 6:10). A christian's attitude towards money is vitally important. Whether you have much or little, learning to be content is the key to godly living (Heb 13:5).
Is it wrong to buy lottery tickets or buy chances at a drawing or raffle?
Taking My Chances
Dear Taking My Chances,
The Bible never specifically mentions the lottery as a sin, but it doesn’t have to be specifically mentioned to be wrong. There are a great many things surrounding gambling that are sinful. Consider that:
- Gambling focuses around money and greed. God warns us clearly about being fixated with money (1 Tim 6:10, Heb 13:5). God wants us to be satisfied with our income (Eccl 5:10). Contentment is a major component of spiritual maturity (1 Tim 6:6).
- Gambling is used as a means to gain money without working for it. God finds pleasure in people working for their livelihood (2 Thess 3:10-12, Pr 10:4).
- Gambling wastes money because, ultimately, the house does always win. God expects us to be good stewards (1 Cor 4:2) and save for the future (Pr 6:6-8).
- Gambling and the places where gambling occurs are often associated with other sinful things. There is a reason Las Vegas is called “Sin City”. That industry is not one that a christian should be supporting (2 Cor 6:16-17).
Gambling is addictive. We can only have one master (Lk 16:13).
Is it wrong to go to tanning beds or use spray-on tans?
UV is Ultra-Vain?
Dear UV is Ultra-Vain,
There are two issues to consider with tanning – the health issue and the vanity issue. First of all let’s look at the health concerns. Overall, the Scriptures lay out a general principle of healthy living and not overindulging. Moderation is the key, and there is a time for everything (Eccl 3:1). We are told that we need to take care of our bodies because they are a gift from God (1 Cor 6:19). Every activity involves certain health risks, and tanning is no exception. Each christian needs to assess the arguments for and against tanning for themselves and be a good steward of the body God has given them.
The second issue is vanity. God tells us that we need to be careful to not be the type of people that are vain and focused on our outward appearance all the time (1 Tim 2:9-10). Tanning is typically done as an act to beautify the body – this isn’t inherently wrong, but it can be if not kept in proper perspective. Remember that beauty fades, but character is forever (Pr 31:30).
Is God okay with us watching movies like Saw or similar stuff?
There is some debate to be had over seeing a movie that is rated for gratuitous violence. At the very least, christians should be very, very cautious about viewing anything rated ‘R’ (a rating that most horror movies receive). According to the MPAA, an ‘R’ rating on a movie is received for one (or a combination) of five things:
- Adult themes and activities. This is a generic listing, but it is fair to say that this content almost always involves subject matter that is inappropriate for anyone with morals. ‘Adult themes’ are almost always synonymous with ‘sinful behavior’.
- Hard language
- Intense or persistent violence
- Sexually-oriented nudity
- Drug Abuse
When a christian looks at that list (and at least one of those things MUST be present to receive an ‘R’ rating), it should explain why ‘R’ rated movies can be such a bad thing. Christians are to dwell upon things that are pure, wholesome, good, and holy – not worldly filth (Php 4:8). When we dwell upon evil things, like what is found in ‘R’ rated movies, we set ourselves up for spiritual failure and death. Jesus Christ wasn’t “culturally relevant” in the sense of being like others. Jesus abhorred worldliness. The Bible tells us to flee immorality and, instead, to live soberly and righteously in this present world (Tit 2:12). Everyone must make their own decisions regarding what movies to watch and what movies to avoid, but before you go to that next horror movie, ask yourself, “What am I putting into my mind?”