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).
My mom was adopted, so we don't know her family history well. What would you do if you found out your boyfriend of twelve years maybe your cousin? We have no children together. He doesn't know we may be cousins... we live together... WHAT DO WE DO FROM HERE?
Dear Regretful Researcher,
The very first thing you need to do is stop living together before you are married. More important than any biological issues your future children may have, you are sinning, and that is much worse than any physical problem. The reason people don’t get married – but instead (outside of marriage) have sex, live together, have children together, and eventually destroy their lives – is because we spend our lives making up the rules as we go. We live our lives by the “what-makes-me-feel-good-right-now” philosophy. We have no real standard to live by other than what we feel at the moment. Like Pilate, we ask, “What is truth?” (Jhn 18:38) because we don’t know where to find the right answers to life. How can we know what is the right thing to do? Only the Creator can give us a rulebook for life that allows us to comfortably say, “I’m making the right choice.” Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life (Jhn 14:6). All the answers to life are found in His Scriptures (2 Pet 1:3). If we want our relationships, our families, our careers, and our lives to work, we have to use the manual.
Biblically, there is nothing wrong with marrying your cousin – people did it quite commonly just a couple generations ago. You would have to consider the medical ramifications of having children, but that is a medical decision – not a moral one. As we said, more importantly than anything else is that you make your lives right with God.
Is it normal for a christian to sometimes have doubts about his faith? Like, maybe whether Christ is really the Messiah or not or all the things in the Bible are true or not?
Dear Doubting Myself,
Everyone faces times of doubt in their life; the key is to strengthen the weaknesses in our resolve. Like the man who cried out, “I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24), all christians must recognize that faith must grow and increase over time.
Faith is the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1). We can’t see God, but there is plenty of evidence that He exists. The whole creation cries out as evidence of God’s existence (Rom 1:20). As science and our knowledge of the natural world have increased, the proof of God’s existence has increased as well. Books like Has God Spoken? by A.O. Schnabel, Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel, I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, and Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell are excellent resources that make clear the existence of the God of the Bible. Take the time to fill your mind with information from sources like those mentioned above, and you will find yourself more confident in no time (Php 4:8).
Will God ever stop giving us chances?
One More Chance
Dear One More Chance,
When we die, our fate will be sealed because there will be no more opportunities to repent (Heb 9:27)… but that isn’t because God gave up on us. God doesn’t give up on us; we give up on Him. God tells us that if we repent and confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us (1 Jn 1:9). Our heavenly Father is ready and willing to forgive (Ps 86:5). He doesn’t desire anyone to perish (2 Pet 3:9), but He accepts our choice… even if we choose to reject Him.
Is a Christian allowed to smoke cigarettes and drink beer?
Does A Body Good?
Dear Does A Body Good,
God never specifically condemns drinking wine, but He does condemn ‘strong drink’ (Pr 20:1), drinking parties (1 Pet 4:3), and drunkenness (Rom 13:13). Almost all alcohol that is consumed today would fall into the category of ‘strong drink’ because our alcoholic beverages are artificially fermented to increase their alcoholic content (unlike the wine of Jesus’ day – read “That’s Just Grape” for further details on the wine Jesus drank). We would all do well to heed the words of Pr 23:31-32 and avoid alcohol as much as is possible.
As for cigarettes, anything that purposefully poisons our bodies is wrong to use. There was a time where the facts were not clearly known about the effects of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars on human health. Those days are long since gone. The data is exceptionally clear that smoking is always harmful to the human body and that smoking has no positive health benefits. God tells us to treat our bodies as a temple (1 Cor 6:19). Our bodies are a gift from God, and life is something to be cherished. When we purposefully abuse our bodies with unhealthy lifestyles, we rebel against God and show ungratefulness for the life He has given us. Present your body as a living and holy sacrifice to God (Rom 12:1). Who knows what work He has prepared for you in the days and years that would be lost if you died from the effects of smoking?