Ask Your Preacher
I love animals, and spirit guides have always intrigued me. A spirit guide is an animal specific to you that can answer or lead you. I am a strongly devoted Christian, and I understand the value of praying and asking God for guidance, and I do not feel that I would be worshipping a spirit guide in any way. By obtaining a spirit guide, is it wrong? Animals are all God's creation anyway. If I am wrong, could you direct me to where in the Bible it states this, so I can right my wrong thinking? Thanks and God bless!
I Love Animals
Dear I Love Animals,
A “spirit guide” would be considered idolatry. God should be the only guide for our souls (Jhn 14:6). By definition, a spirit guide is a guide for your spirit. Spirit guides are a Native American tradition and a definite form of idolatry. Rom 1:23 warns against giving animals the glory that belongs only to God. The Bible is the guide for our lives, and it contains all the instruction that we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). God designed the Bible to lead our spirits and discern our character (Heb 4:12).
I am a Christian, and I have an old friend who is an atheist. My friend has been married for seventeen years and last summer came close to a divorce after his wife discovered that he was having an affair. They have since reconciled but have sought no counseling. I have even suggested they begin this new chapter in their lives by joining a church. This suggestion was laughed off. He and his wife along with my wife and me are going on vacation together in three weeks. We live 900 miles apart from one another.
Now that you have the background, here's the question. Yesterday, he asked me to renew his wife's and his vows on the beach! My knee-jerk response was, "No, I can't do that. You need a preacher!" He responded by saying that he doesn't need a preacher, and he just needs someone to do the vows, and who better than his old best friend? Something is nagging at me. First of all, I don't think they have taken the right steps to ensure a solid marriage going forward, but there seems to be more bothering me. Is there something wrong with a Christian renewing the vows of a couple who are not Christians? Is there something wrong with someone other than a preacher renewing a married couple’s vows? Thank you.
An Old Friend
Dear An Old Friend,
No, there isn't anything wrong with you helping them renew their vows – after all, they aren't officially getting married; they did that seventeen years ago. This is just a couple trying to reconcile and re-embrace a healthy marriage. God says that marriage is to be held in honor by all (Heb 13:4). It isn't a sin for you to help any married couple try and renew a sense of honor in their marriage.
[This question is a follow-up to “Real… For Real”)
Thanks for answering my question about whether or not God exists! I have another question if it isn't too much trouble; well, truthfully, I have a lot of questions, but you said, "It is important that everyone asks this question at some point in their life."
Why is that? I contacted a few churches with similar questions, and one even told me that he had never doubted it and made me feel as if this wasn't normal. It isn't that I don't believe as much as I can't help but wonder. I was raised in church until around the age of seven or eight, and my parents quit going, and I continued to go by myself until I was around ten or eleven. I haven't faithfully gone to church since, but now at the age of twenty-one, I feel as if God is calling me. I can't help but have my doubts, well, my anxieties about it. I have started church again, but I guess my first step is figuring out my beliefs and learning as much as I can and just looking for help/answers. Thanks so much for your time. It's an amazing thing you're doing. God bless!
The reason it is important for people to ask themselves whether or not God is real is because it is important that we think about what we believe and get real answers from the Bible. If you don’t look for answers, then you are just being spoon-fed whatever the preacher, pastor, professor, etc. you are closest to says.
God expects us to think through these spiritual questions and study His Word for ourselves. Php 2:12 says that we must each work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. In Isa 1:18, God says, “Come now, let us reason together…”. Far too many churches provide only shallow teaching, and sadly, inaccurate shallow Bible teaching.
Expect more from any church or preacher you talk to than just a superficial answer. Don’t feel bad for asking questions, and don’t let them treat you condescendingly just because they haven’t got an answer. After all, 1 Pet 3:15 says that we ought to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us. If they can’t give you a straight answer… you don’t want the hope they are selling.
In a Catholic school, is it moral to withhold a teacher's security of tenure even if the teacher had continuously and satisfactorily served that school for more than a decade?
Dear A Teacher,
We aren’t in the habit of giving advice to schools run by the Catholic church because the Catholic church doesn’t use the Bible anyway. We give Bible answers here at AYP, and the Catholic church doesn’t use the Bible as their standard. We recommend you read our article “Catholics Or Christians?”.
Would you explain "once in grace, always in grace"?
The idea that you can’t ever lose your salvation is a warping of Christ’s message in Jhn 10:27-29. “Once saved, always saved” (sometimes referred to as “once in grace, always in grace”) is a basic doctrine of Calvinism (read “Calvin And Sobs” for more details on the errors of Calvinism). The Bible clearly says that you can lose your salvation. Heb 3:12 says that we must be wary and protect our hearts because an evil, unbelieving heart can fall away. 2 Pet 3:17 says that we can lose our salvation if we get caught up in false teaching (1 Tim 4:1 also states this). If we return to a life of ungodliness, then we crucify Christ again (Heb 6:4-6).