Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

MARRIAGE

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A Simple Truth

Friday, August 16, 2019
     What is your view on homosexuality?

Sincerely,
Looking For Perspectives

Dear Looking For Perspectives,

People may give mixed reviews on homosexuality, but the Bible is very clear – a homosexual lifestyle is a sinful lifestyle.  Rom 1:27 makes it clear that homosexuality is one of the deepest forms of depravity in this life.  Jude 1:7 makes it clear that God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because the people “went after strange flesh”, i.e. homosexual behavior.  From the beginning, God designed romantic and physical relationships to be between one man and one woman – for life (Matt 19:4-6).  Any other type of relationship is wrong.

A Man Of Monogamy

Friday, August 09, 2019
     We went to a church that believed if you were married more than once you couldn't be a deacon or preacher. This is because the Bible says you can only be the husband of one wife.  Is this a correct interpretation?

Sincerely,
Counting Criteria

Dear Counting Criteria,

The qualification you are referring to can be found in 1 Tim 3:12.  The phrase ‘husband of one wife’ literally means a ‘one-woman man’ in the Greek. He must be devoted exclusively and faithfully to his one wife. A man who is widowed and then remarried could still be properly described as a ‘one-woman man’ because he was completely devoted to his first wife until her death, and now is fully devoted to his current wife.

The question a congregation has to wrestle with is if a divorced brother has shown the character trait of monogamous fidelity. Why did he get divorced? Was it for infidelity? Was he always faithful to her? Did she leave him, or did he leave her? How does he behave with his current wife? How long has he been married to his current wife? The answers to these questions will help assess whether he is a faithful ‘one-woman man’.

Divorce is a red flag that should make us pause before appointing a man as a qualified deacon, but depending on the circumstances surrounding the divorce, the man may still be qualified.

Taking Different Paths

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
     I have a difficult decision to make.  This guy that I am dating is Hindu.  I just found out today.  I don't know what to do; is it okay to date people outside of your religion? I have always believed it wouldn't be, but I am not sure.  Please help.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Hindu Hindered

Dear Hindu Hindered,

You are right to be concerned.  It isn’t necessarily wrong to date someone who is Hindu, but you should be working toward his conversion WAY before marriage.  ‘Inter-faith’ marriages have disastrous results, an awful track record, and God warns against them. The Bible’s most notorious example of this is Solomon. Solomon’s idolatrous wives turned the heart of the wisest man on the planet away from God (1 Kgs 11:4). If Solomon in all of his wisdom couldn’t resist the pull of a false religion, we should consider ourselves just as vulnerable. There is too much at stake. If your heart is turned away from God, your soul will be eternally destroyed (Heb 3:12).

No matter how much two people love each other, there are only five possible outcomes for a christian marrying a Hindu, and only one of them is good:

  1. He eventually converts and obeys the gospel, becomes a christian, and is saved (GOOD).
  2. You eventually convert and follow Hinduism, and you are both lost (BAD).
  3. You both make compromises in your beliefs, and you no longer fully serve the Lord (BAD).
  4. You both eventually renounce both of your belief systems, and are both lost (BAD).
  5. You bear through a lifetime of disagreement on the most important thing in life.  You stand strong in the faith, but are hindered in the amount of service you can provide the Lord (BAD).

The only positive outcome is the first one, and that isn’t any more likely to happen after marriage than before. Either he will eventually convert, or he won’t – serious romantic commitment and/or marriage won’t increase those odds.

God warns against being ‘unequally yoked’ to someone with different values than you (2 Cor 6:14-16). Once you get married, you are ‘yoked’ to that person with a lifetime agreement. A godly marriage is designed around unity (Gen 2:24). If you aren’t unified on your core belief system, then everything else will be affected. Where would your children go to church? How much money would you contribute to God’s church – would he, being a Hindu, be okay with contributing anything at all? What happens when he wants to put up Hindu emblems around the house? These are just a few of the thousands of day-to-day problems inter-faith marriages present. God tells us that a christian should marry someone ‘in the Lord’ (1 Cor 7:39).  It is time to have a serious heart-to-heart with this fellow and see if it is possible to get on the same spiritual page.

Course Correction

Friday, July 19, 2019
     Will a Christian man ever get back on the path of life after sleeping with an adulteress woman?

Sincerely,
I Really Messed Up

Dear I Really Messed Up,

Yes, you can be forgiven, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for your actions.  Paul said that he was chief amongst sinners, and yet, Christ forgave him (1 Tim 1:15-16).  Forgiveness is available when we confess our sins to Christ (1 Jn 1:9) and repent of them (Acts 3:19).  ‘Repentance’ means to ‘change your mind’… literally to make a change in how you think and act.  If you haven’t already stopped the adulterous relationship, you need to – now.  You also need to come clean about it; honesty and truth are a foundational concept in Christianity (Jhn 8:32).  Deception destroys; open truth illuminates (Jhn 3:19-20).  You have dug a big hole for yourself… it is time to get to work filling that hole back in.

Of course, all of this is moot if you aren’t a christian yet.  To see what the Bible says it takes to become a christian, read “What Must I Do To Be Saved?”.  It is obvious you want God’s forgiveness, and the Bible is the only book that can tell you how to get it.

Two Paths Diverge

Friday, July 05, 2019
     My boyfriend of thirteen years told me he can no longer have a relationship with me because I don’t attend church.  He said I need to follow his path.

Sincerely,
Ex-Girlfriend

Dear Ex-Girlfriend,

We would have to side with your ex-boyfriend on this… but give us a second to explain why.  The end goal to your relationship is marriage, and ‘inter-faith’ marriages have disastrous results, an awful track record, and God warns against them.  No matter how much you love each other, there are only four possible outcomes to a marriage between to people that don’t have the same spiritual goals, and only one of them is good:

  1. You eventually convert, obey the gospel, become a christian, and are saved (this would be a really GOOD outcome).
  2. He eventually forsakes the Lord, and you are both lost (BAD).
  3. You both make compromises in your beliefs, and neither of you is fully committed to anything (BAD).
  4. You both eventually renounce both of your belief systems, and are both lost (BAD).

The only positive outcome is the first one, and that isn’t any more likely to happen after you are married than before.  From your boyfriend’s perspective, if you aren’t with him on this journey to serve Christ – neither of you is going to be happy, with potentially eternally disastrous consequences.

God warns against being ‘unequally yoked’ to someone with different values than you (2 Cor 6:14-16). Once you get married, you are ‘yoked’ to that person with a lifetime agreement. A godly marriage is designed around unity (Gen 2:24). If you aren’t unified on your core belief system, then everything else will be affected. Where will your children go to church? How much money will you contribute to church?  What happens when you disagree on moral decisions – what is the standard you will use to come to an answer? These are just a few of the thousands of day-to-day problems you will run into. God tells us that a christian should marry someone ‘in the Lord’ (1 Cor 7:39).  If you are serious about this guy, you need to ask yourself if it is worth looking into Christianity to see if there is a reason that this wonderful man finds it so important.  Either way, you are both better off knowing where you stand before entering into a heartbreaking marriage.

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