Ask Your Preacher
I don't understand this scripture: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5 NIV)
Was I born a sinner? I thought all children were born sinless?
The NIV reading of that text sure sounds like David is saying that he was born in sin, but the NIV isn’t a word-for-word translation and takes liberty in translating that verse (read “What’s The Best Translation” for more details on Bible translations). Other translations, such as the New American Standard and New King James (much more literal translations), simply say “I was brought forth in iniquity.” (NKJV) This is a much more generic statement than saying David was born sinful. Ps 51:5 could mean one of two things:
- David was born sinful.
- David was born into a sinful world.
We need to look at other verses to see what the Bible teaches about babies being born in sin. The sum teachings of the Bible say that babies are born without sin, and babies are perfect in God’s sight (even David, the writer of Psalm 51, recognized that his dead child was going to be in heaven [2 Sam 12:23]). Sin is not a birthright; it is a choice (Gen 4:6-7, Jas 1:13-15). Humans sin when they choose to do wrong; they are not born in sin.
The false teaching of ‘original sin’ is very common in today’s society. If a congregation teaches that you are born in sin, they are false teachers. Sin is a choice we make in life (Isa 7:15-16), and all humans are born upright and good (Eccl 7:29).
In Exodus 12, God said that you must perform a ritual by eating a lamb or goat. Are we still supposed to eat a lamb or goat to remember Passover?
The Passover was a Jewish festival that the Jews celebrated every year in remembrance of when God ‘passed over’ their homes during the Egyptian curses (Ex 12:27). It was a Jewish feast for Jewish people – christians are not bound to keep it. We have a new Passover lamb, and we celebrate His sacrifice every time we take the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 5:7).
I ran across an old Scandinavian myth that mentioned that in Genesis one, God created man and woman. Then in Genesis two, He took a rib from Adam and created Eve. Was there a woman created before Eve?
Missing A Missus?
Dear Missing A Missus,
Scandinavian myths aside (after all, they call them ‘myths’ for a reason), the Bible teaches that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman. The confusion comes when people read Genesis 1 and see that God made man and woman and then read Genesis 2 and see God making man and woman all over again. The key is to realize that chapter one is an overview of the entire six days of creation (which includes the creation of man on day six), and Genesis chapter two is a more detailed account of what happened when God made Adam and Eve.
Think of chapter two as a microscope honing in to get a closer look at the most important detail of the creation story – the creation of humans.
Where does Israel currently stand with the Lord? I ask this because many christians support Israel. Some of that support is for political reasons; Israel is an allied nation and a democracy, but most of the support comes from their belief that God still holds Israel as His chosen people. Some of this belief, I know, stems from Premillennialism and the belief that the Lord will raise up Israel in the end times. The popular Left Behind series pushed this concept. I do not subscribe to that view, so you don't need to respond to that belief. I can't help but to believe that God has had a role in the history of Israel. No other culture has withstood the destruction of their cultural center and identity (AD 70 siege of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple), been scattered, persecuted, almost wiped out, and managed to come back and re-establish their nation and culture.
So my question is: does God still hold Israel in His good graces? Or is He just protecting them out of His obligation to Abraham? Or is He protecting them at all?
Dear History Buff,
The nation of Israel lost God's protection when they rejected God's Son. Jesus says that christians are His royal priesthood and chosen race (1 Pet 2:9). Under the Old Testament, the Jewish people were God’s nation (Deut 7:6). The Jewish nation was warned that if they rejected God’s Son, they would be rejecting God, and God would make a new nation out of those who believed in Christ (Jesus explained this to the Jews in the parable of the vineyard – Lk 20:9-19). In that parable, Jesus also explained that the Jewish nation would be destroyed and abandoned by God (Lk. 20:15-16). The vast majority of Jews didn’t believe in Jesus, and therefore, they never became a part of Jesus’ kingdom. Jesus’ chosen people are those who love Him and keep His commandments (Jhn 14:15). The Jewish people rejected God because they would rather have their traditions than God’s Son (Mk 7:9).
Now, it is true that there is a nation called Israel today, but just because they occupy the same territory doesn’t mean that the Jewish nation that was destroyed in 70 AD has been re-established. The current nation of Israel has none of the things that made it special – it has no high priest, no priesthood, no Levites, no temple, and no record of genealogies to properly rebuild tribal lineages. It would be impossible for Israel to even follow the commands given by God in the Old Testament. Modern Israel is kind of like tearing down Buckingham Palace and then putting a double-wide trailer on the same property – just because you call it ‘Buckingham’, doesn’t mean it is. The name ‘Israel’ doesn’t make it the same nation.
We know it was because of God that Aaron turned his staff into a snake and frogs coming out of the water, but what about the sorcerers that did the same thing (Exodus 7:11-12, Exodus 8:7)? By what power did they do this?
The Pharaoh’s magicians used good old-fashioned parlor tricks to turn their staves into snakes. They used their “enchantments” to make the serpents appear – no differently than the impressive, but explainable acts of today’s illusionists (Ex 7:11). The difference was that Moses’ serpent ate their serpents (Ex 7:12)! The evidence was clear; Moses’ “trick” was different. Eventually, even the magicians admitted that the one true God was behind Moses’ miracles (Ex 8:19).