RELIGIONS - Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

RELIGIONS

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A History Of Error

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Paul mentions a brother in Christ named Linus in 2 Timothy 4:21.  According to christian historical sources, Linus went on to become the second bishop of Rome, possibly ordained by Paul himself.  The earliest witness is Irenaeus, who in about the year 180 AD wrote: "The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate.”  Linus is presented by Jerome as "the first after Peter to be in charge of the Roman Church, by Eusebius, as "the first to receive the episcopate of the church at Rome, after the martyrdom of Paul and Peter by John Chrysostom as "second Bishop of the Church of Rome after Peter", while the Liberian Catalogue presents Peter as the first Bishop of Rome and Linus as his successor in the same office.  There seems to be an extensive list of bishops of Rome from Peter to the Emperor Constantine, attested to by early church fathers such as Eusebius of Caesarea (Ecclesiastical History), Tertullian, Origen, Augustine, Ignatius of Antioch, etc.  Why do some christians believe the Catholic church began with Constantine in the fourth century when there is clear historical evidence to the contrary?

Sincerely,
Swiss Guard

Dear Swiss Guard,

Actually, there isn’t clear historical evidence… most of those early church writers were very vague (and sometimes even contradictory) about what the church was doing at that time.  Furthermore, the church is supposed to have bishops… just not Catholic bishops!  1 Tim. 3:1-7 outlines the biblical requirements for a bishop – even if Linus was a bishop (also known as an elder – Tit 1:5) in the congregation in Rome – that doesn’t mean it was a Catholic church.  The Catholic church with a pope, cardinals, archdioceses, etc. didn’t begin to truly form until the days of Constantine when the Roman empire tried to control Christianity by making it the state religion (a practice that has been repeated in many countries throughout time).

In the end, Catholicism is a false religion because it isn’t built upon the Bible.  Any religion that doesn’t use the Bible as its standard of measure is false (Gal 1:8).  The Catholic church calls its priests “father” which is wrong (Matt 23:9).  It tells people that they can’t eat certain foods, and it tells their priests that they can’t marry – which is wrong (1 Tim 4:3).  The Catholic church teaches that the Pope is directly in contact with God and that people should follow him… once again, wrong.  Christ is our direct connection to God (Heb 1:1-4), and the Bible is what we should follow (2 Tim 3:16-17).  Everything about the Catholic church’s organization is in direct opposition to the Scriptures.  The question isn’t how old a church is; the question is whether or not Christ is its head (Eph 5:23).  There is only one pattern for the church (Eph 4:4-6), and the Catholic church is not it.

What's In The Blood?

Monday, June 19, 2017
Leviticus 3:17, along with other similar passages, forbids believers to eat any blood.  The Jehovah's Witnesses don't accept blood transfusions and won't eat meat with blood in it for this reason.  My question is: how can you eat blood if blood is liquid… isn't it?  And also, someone said in order to eat something, you have to digest it.  You don't digest blood transfusions, right?  So what exactly does Leviticus 3:17 mean?

Sincerely,
Blood Donor

Dear Blood Donor,

It is possible to eat blood if it is prepared as a dish (i.e. blood sausage, blood pie, etc.); however, it would be wrong to do so (see "Blood In The Pudding" for New Testament teachings on that subject).  This verse, however, doesn't address why Jehovah's Witnesses don't accept blood transfusions.  The reason JW's don't get blood transfusions is because "the life is in the blood" (Deu 12:23).  They improperly apply an Old Testament teaching that dealt with eating to a medical treatment in the world of the New Testament.  Christians are not under the Old Testament law (Gal 3:23-25).  The Old Testament still provides many faithful examples and principles, but its specific laws have been nailed to the cross (Col 2:14).  The Old Testament law has faded away and been replaced by the perfect law of liberty in Christ (Jas 1:25).  Read "Out With The Old?" for further details on the place of the Old Testament in the life of a christian.

Building A Fight

Thursday, June 15, 2017
I'm having some issues about this mosque being argued over in New York, as many seem to be.  In all truth and seriousness in the nature of this debate, we've understood that our first amendment right is the freedom of religion, and to infringe on this God-given right for one party or person, is to bring a disservice to us all.  I was hopeful that you could guide me to some Scriptures that help tell us how not to focus so much hate or look down on our fellow man, even if we don't agree with how they've chosen to live their lives.  I have had the arguments with coworkers and family that ours is not to judge their actions but to be mindful of our own, but some words from the Lord would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

Sincerely,
Changing The Topic

Dear Changing The Topic,

People should always seek to be tactful in religious debate, but from a Biblical viewpoint, every mosque is appalling.  The Muslim religion stands opposed to the Bible and Jesus.  Jesus said that He is the only way to God (Jhn 14:6), and the apostle Paul condemned all false prophets (Gal 1:8)... including Mohammed.  That is God’s judgment on the religion of Islam.

The building of a mosque at Ground Zero has political and emotional ramifications that can be talked about for hours, but the Biblical ramifications are simple – Islam is a false religion.

Vanishing Act

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
According to Isaiah 3:1-3, God was about to take away everything from Judah and Jerusalem, including soothsayers and enchanters.  So does this mean all this time there were soothsayers and enchanters among Judah and Jerusalem?

Sincerely,
Enchanting

Dear Enchanting,

Yes, Judah and Jerusalem had become a very corrupt nation, and God was deeply displeased with them at this time.  Isaiah prophesied during a time when idolatry was abundant (Isa 10:11), and wickedness was everywhere (Isa 2:5-8).  God was greatly displeased with the nation and was going to send them into captivity for their evil ways and ignorance of God’s laws (Isa 5:13).

Mrs. Minister?

Wednesday, June 07, 2017
I am a minister/evangelist and a widow with four children.  I have just reunited with a childhood sweetheart.  We haven't seen each other in thirty years.  We have been intimate and want to get married in six months.  He is saved and a deacon at his church in another state.  He has been a member for twenty years.  I am relocating to his state.  Our main problem is that he will not compromise or is willing to change his church or denomination.  I really feel bad because I have fallen in love and want to be married again after twenty-three years of marriage to my late husband.  I have a call in my life to minister to women and children.  I want to be with him at his church, but I know it wouldn't be long.  What do I do?  We need to clean up our act; I will not minister and treat God with disrespect in the pulpit.  What should I do?

Sincerely,
Perplexed

Dear Perplexed,

The best way for you to not treat God with disrespect in the pulpit would be to stay out of the pulpit.  You are worried about which denomination to be a part of, but all denominationalism is wrong (see “Down With Denominationalism” for further details).  You are worried about mistreating the pulpit by being married to a man of different religious views, but you ignore the fact that women aren’t supposed to be in the pulpit (1 Cor 14:34).  We here at AYP have a consistent record of showing patience with people who ask questions on this site, but just like our Lord taught… we have zero patience for those who profess to teach Christ but instead are hypocrites (Matt 23:13-15).  You say that you are an evangelist, and yet you ignore the most basic Bible teachings on men and women’s roles, the error of denominationalism (Eph 4:4-6), and depending on what you mean by “we have been intimate”, maybe even have ignored God’s teachings on marriage and sex (Heb 13:4).  Ma’am, you are no minister of Christ (Matt 7:21-23).

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