Ask Your Preacher

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Costumes, Candy, And Controversy

Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Why do christians celebrate Halloween when it has to do with Satan?   Halloween began when the Romans worshiped other "gods".  That is what I have studied; if this is so, then christians that celebrate this tradition are following Satan’s road.

More Trick Than Treat

Dear More Trick Than Treat,

Good and faithful people debate this issue all the time, but, yes, you can celebrate Halloween without sinning.  Halloween does have its roots in pagan rituals.  All Hallow’s Eve is often associated with evil spirits, demon worship, voodoo, and witchcraft.  It is, however, also associated with happy scampering children whose most wicked intent is the desire to glut themselves on candy. New Year’s Eve could be viewed the same way.  New Year’s Eve is often associated with inappropriate male and female interaction and drunkenness.  It is also associated with fresh starts, reflective new beginnings, and an evening of friendship and brotherly kindness.  These holidays can be a good thing or a bad thing.  Though the origins are pagan, many holidays have pagan beginnings that are no longer a part of the modern tradition.  How you participate and your reasons for participating will make the difference.

  1. God soundly condemns witchcraft and any magical arts (1 Sam 15:23, Acts 19:19).  Anyone participating in Halloween in an occult way is sinning.
  2. Christians are supposed to focus on pure and holy things (Php 4:8).  Many of the costumes that are worn during Halloween are macabre, violent, or ghoulish.  Christians should think very carefully before placing too much emphasis upon dark things.
  3. Christians should dress modestly (1 Tim 2:9).  Many costumes, especially those worn by adults, are immodest.  A holiday is not an excuse for dressing in an ungodly way.
  4. Don’t participate if it will bother your conscience.  God tells us that we should always keep a pure conscience (1 Tim 1:5).  If you can’t do something in faith, it is sin (Rom 14:23).

After considering these principles – go get some candy corn!

Last Species Standing

Thursday, July 06, 2017
Why do species go extinct all the time?  If it was because God decided it was to be, why did He create them in the first place?

The Conservationist

Dear The Conservationist,

All animals were created by God and for God’s pleasure (Col 1:16).  Just like humans create and then destroy things (you probably threw away lots of trash this week that at one point were brand new products)… God uses His creation according to His pleasure and purposes.  Why God has allowed certain animals to become extinct and allowed others to survive is a matter of His choosing.  Furthermore, God has given humans a certain level of authority over this planet (Gen 1:27-28).  How we treat this planet has an effect upon the animal kingdom as well.  Though God has the final say on all things, He has allowed us a great deal of freedom to shape this planet and world according to our desires.  Our choices have a major impact upon what animals do, or don’t, become extinct.

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.

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.

Happy Humbug Part 2

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

(This question is a follow-up to “Happy Humbug”)

I received your answer and thank you.  My question… you said there is nothing wrong with celebrating christmas as a family holiday, but it is wrong to teach it as a biblical holiday.  If it’s wrong to teach it as a biblical tradition, then why would God approve of it?  Also, if this is a tradition that the Romans made because they worship the god of Saturn, then I know God would not approve because He is a jealous God and says not to worship any other gods but Him (Ex 20:3).

Did you know that more people commit suicide around christmas than any other holiday… because people are afraid that they will not have the right present or won’t have enough money to buy one?  And every year, your family expects you to get them a gift or material of some sort, and if you don't, they get mad and angry at you.  Christmas is not about Jesus; it’s all about money and profit.  When people get up on December 25th to celebrate Christmas, the first thing they do is run to the presents and materials.  They don’t bow down and thank God for what they already have.  This is a holiday that brings more hate than it does love.  Why?  Because God does not approve of it.

The Grinch

Dear The Grinch,

We have many holidays that don’t have biblical origins.  Memorial day, Valentine’s Day, and Thanksgiving are all examples of non-biblical holidays.  If Christmas is treated as a voluntary holiday with presents, jovial family get-togethers, etc. – then there is nothing wrong with it.

However, if people are using Christmas to worship Saturn (which is highly unlikely nowadays) or treating it as a biblical necessity, then it is certainly wrong.  Your other concerns about Christmas are issues of greed and love.  God makes it clear that He hates it when we are fixated with material things (Lk 16:13).  The way many people treat the holidays is indicative of a growing dysfunction in our culture.  Many people forget that our lives consist of more than our possessions (Lk 12:15).

Out Of Africa

Friday, March 10, 2017
Hello, I watched a program on TV about this small African tribe.  The people of this tribe were amazingly kind and welcoming, but they didn't even know we have been to the moon or of Jesus.  They believed in different gods, and they were brought up that way from birth.  Their whole tribe is kind of separated from the rest of the world.  There has to be hundreds of these same kinds of situations out there; what happens to these people when they die?

Hermit Helper

Dear Hermit Helper,

What God does with the African tribe that is isolated from society is between Him and them.  We know that God doesn’t hold people accountable for things that they cannot do (2 Cor 8:11-12).  We also know that He says all mankind is without excuse because the Creation speaks of His greatness (Rom 1:20).  We also know that God has a certain expectation that we will seek Him out (Matt 7:7-10).  All of these principles must be balanced out when considering the fate of isolated peoples.

Ultimately, the Lord is judge… a righteous one (2 Tim 4:8).  The Lord doesn’t desire any of the wicked to perish (Ezek 18:23).  He will fitly and properly judge all mankind.

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