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Guard Your Heart

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Did God make mistakes when he made homosexuals?  Why did Jesus not rebuke homosexuals?

Sincerely,
Looking For Answers

Dear Looking For Answers,

We’ll answer your second question first.  Jesus did rebuke homosexuality, but He didn’t do it specifically.  Jesus answered the question of homosexuality when He taught on marriage.  Jesus said that marriage was intended between a man and a woman (Matt 19:4-5).  Any sexual activity outside of God’s plan for marriage is fornication.  Homosexual behavior, pre-marital sex, adultery, etc. are all sinful and Jesus condemned them all when He taught the right way for men and women to behave.

Now let’s address the issue of people being made homosexual.  God doesn’t force anyone to act upon same-sex attractions, just like God doesn’t force an alcoholic to the bottle or a wrathful husband to strike his wife.  How we act is a choice, not a genetic equation.  There is a lot of debate over why some people have same-sex attractions, but at the end of the day, those temptations need to be mastered.  When Cain was angry, God told Cain to rule over sin or it would devour him (Gen 4:7).  Same-sex attractions are a temptation that stems from within a person, just like anger, unhealthy opposite-sex attractions, and a thousand other temptations (Jas 1:13-14).  The key is that there is always a way of escape from those unhealthy desires (1 Cor 10:13).  God didn’t make a mistake when creating us; it is when we turn from the path He has designed for us and follow our own desires (which are often unhealthy) that we sin (Jer 10:23).

Love The Sinner, Not The Sin

Friday, April 19, 2019
    In the news, a boy brought a gun to school and shot his classmate.  The teacher asked him why he did it, and he said his classmate acted “too girly”.  Do you think that the christian church is perplexing young minds and making them do silly things like this?  Also, how should we teach a child about diversity and homosexuals?

Sincerely,
Coexist

Dear Coexist,

The church needs to teach what the Bible says, and the Bible says that homosexuality is wrong (Rom 1:26-27).  Is it right to shoot people because you disagree with them? Absolutely not.  Vengeance, judgment, life, and death belong to God – not us (Rom 12:19, 1 Pet 4:4-5).  The Bible doesn't teach people to hate.  There are people who try and wield the Bible as a book of hatred, but when you read the Book yourself, it teaches forgiveness for sins, the love of God, and hope for the repentant sinner – this includes repentant homosexuals.

We should teach our children what the Bible says about men and women.  God designed marriage and sexual relations to be between one man and one woman (Gen 2:24, 1 Cor 7:1-2).  Homosexuality is a sin, but it is a sin that can be forgiven like any other.

A Hairy Issue

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
     Why are women no longer required to cover their hair when they come into a church?  Are we being disrespectful to God and our husbands by not covering our hair?

Sincerely,
Lady In Wonder

Dear Lady In Wonder,

Women must always have their heads covered while praying (1 Cor 11:5), but God has built into every woman a permanent head-covering – her hair (1 Cor 11:15).  God designed men and women differently… this should be no surprise to anyone that has ever dealt with the opposite gender!  Men are to be the leaders in the home (Eph 5:23) and the church (Tit 1:5-6).  Women are the heart of the family (Tit 2:4-5), and men are not complete without them (1 Cor 11:12).  Both genders are equal heirs of salvation, but they are designed with different strengths and roles (1 Pet 3:7).  One way that God signifies this is by having men look different from women.  When women have long hair and men have short hair – it pleases God (1 Cor 11:14-15).  There are varying degrees of long and short hair, but ultimately – men are to look like men, and women are to look like women.  This principle is even borne out in the Old Testament (Deut 22:5).  The teachings of 1 Cor 11:1-16 are simply teaching that a woman’s long hair is a God-given covering for her head, and men are not to have that same covering due to their varying roles in leadership.

Before God AND Man

Friday, April 12, 2019
     If a couple gets married by a christian pastor but does not record it with the local government, how does God view it?  I would assume He deems it legal and binding.  But, of course, the government does not view it as legal and binding.  Thank you for answering my question!

Sincerely,
Veiled Vows

Dear Veiled Vows,

Whether or not the marriage is legitimate could very much be debated, but there is really no Biblical precedent for being “married before God” and not married before the law.  Christians are supposed to obey the laws of the land (Rom 13:1-3).  In fact, you can't even find a verse that says marriages need to be performed by religious figures.  If a religious figure could perform a marriage ceremony without legal documentation... why couldn't a Justice of the Peace perform the same ceremony without legal documentation?  The religious leader doesn’t have any more biblical authority to skip the paperwork than the civil leader would.

The Scriptures say that people should get married rather than live together in a sinful relationship (1 Cor 6:18), AND they say that we should obey the laws of the land (1 Pet 2:13-15).  In your scenario, the couple would be obeying one command… but not the other (if they are “not legally married”, that – by definition – means they would be doing something they believe/know is illegal).  We can’t simply obey some of God’s laws and forsake the others.  The sum of God’s Word is truth (Ps 119:160).

Satan Struggles

Tuesday, April 09, 2019
     Jesus said "Get behind me, Satan!" in Matt 16:23 and Mark 8:33, but throughout the whole chapters of Matthew 16 and Mark 8, there are no details given if the devil is literally present at this scene or of him taking any action or starting a dialogue.  It just says Jesus mentioned the word "Satan."  A buddy tells me that Peter is possessed by the devil, but I'm not so sure about that because he doesn't act like a demoniac, and also Peter seems so concerned about Jesus after Christ telling him about His suffering and death.  Another buddy suggests that since Matt 16:23 says "Jesus turned and said to Peter...", Christ is calling Peter a "Satan" or, more literally, an adversary, but how do you explain this?

Sincerely,
A Little Help Please

Dear A Little Help Please,

The word 'satan' literally just means 'adversary'.  Context decides whether or not 'satan' is referring to the great adversary or just a normal adversary or opponent.  The latter part of Matt 16:23 makes it clear that Jesus is telling Peter that he is opposing God's will and being an adversary to God's plans.  There is no reason to believe Peter was possessed – Peter just wasn't respecting God's wishes.

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