Ask Your Preacher
My fiancé just joined the army and is going to basic training. He is a member of the church of Christ, but there is only Catholic and Baptist services offered on Sundays, so he can't go to church during training. Is this a sin? He will miss about ten weeks of worship services.
Dear Concerned Fiancé,
His situation is difficult, but not unique. There have been many soldiers that have served Christ and country. Cornelius the centurion was the first Gentile convert (Acts 10:1), soldiers asked John the Baptist how to be faithful (Lk 3:14), and another centurion humbly sought Christ’s help (Matt 8:9). So take courage, you and your fiancé are not alone in your dilemma.
We consider his situation to be a 2 Cor 8:11 case. He is accountable for what he is able to do. If he is out in the middle of the deserts of Iraq, he is physically unable to make it to worship services. Therefore, he is not condemned for that which he cannot do. An analogous situation would be a mute Christian; he is commanded to confess Christ with his lips (Rom 10:9), but nobody expects a mute man to do this because he physically unable. If your fiancé is able to make it to services – DO IT. If he can’t attend, he should do what he can – pray (1 Thess 5:17) and study (2 Tim 2:15) on his own. We recommend that he ask some christians that are veterans of the military for tips and advice on what they did to make it through those times where they were unable to make it to services.
Why do we need to go to church?
Dear Sunday Sleeper,
The Bible teaches that we shouldn’t forsake the assembly (Heb 10:24-25). God designed the church so that each individual would be strengthened by the power of the whole (Eph 4:16). God never wanted christians to try and serve Him without the support of a local church; that is why He commanded the church to assemble. It is impossible to do God’s work without being a part of a local church. If you would like help finding a faithful congregation in your area, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When is the Sabbath? The Bible says its the seventh day. Why do so many keep Sunday as the Sabbath?
A Day To Remember
Dear A Day To Remember,
Saturday is the Sabbath day… but christians don’t have to worry about keeping the Sabbath. The word ‘sabbath’ means ‘rest’. The Sabbath day was a day that the nation of Israel was told to rest, stop working, and make holy to the Lord (Ex 31:15). This rule was so strict that a man was once stoned for collecting firewood on Saturday (Num 15:32-36). However, this was a Jewish command, not a Christian one. The Sabbath was part of the Old Testament law – a law that christians are no longer under (Gal 3:23-25). We are specifically told not to let anyone bind the Sabbath on us (Col 2:16). Christians worship Christ on the first day of the week – Sunday (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:1-2). We are not bound by the strict rules of avoiding all work like the Jews were, but we are told to treat Sunday as “the Lord’s day” (Rev 1:10).
Why does the christian worship God on Sunday? In the Ten Commandments it says Saturday is the Sabbath day?
Trying To Believe
Dear Trying To Believe,
The ‘Ten Commandments’ were Old Testament laws, and you need to live by nine of them. The entire Old Testament law, including the ‘Ten Commandments’ was done away with in Christianity (Gal 3:23-25). The New Testament law supersedes the Old Testament one, and the law written on stone tablets (the Mosaic law which includes the Ten Commandments (Deu 4:13) has passed away (2 Cor 3:3-11).
Having said that, the New Testament reiterates nine out of the ten commands. Christians do obey nine of the ‘Ten Commandments’ because Christ thought nine of them were worth keeping in the New Testament.
- Thou shalt not have any other god before me (Ex 20:3, 1 Cor 10:14)
- Thou shalt not make graven images or bow down to them (Ex 20:4-5, 1 Jhn 5:21)
- Thou shalt not take God’s name in vain (Ex 20:7, Heb 12:28)
- Honor thy father and mother (Ex 20:12, Eph 6:1-2)
- Thou shalt not kill (Ex 20:13, 1 Pet 4:15)
- Thou shalt not commit adultery (Ex 20:14, Heb 13:4)
- Thou shalt not steal (Ex 20:15, Eph 4:28)
- Thou shalt not bear false witness (Ex 20:16, Rev 21:8)
- Thou shalt not covet (Ex 20:17, Eph 5:3)
The only one of the ‘Ten Commandments’ left out is the keeping of the Sabbath (Ex 20:8). Christians aren’t bound to keep the Sabbath holy; Jews were. In the New Testament, we are told to meet on Sunday to take the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7).
I am leading a weekly Bible study. Yesterday was our first study, and we talked about why Jesus came to this earth. Now, I don't know how to incorporate the Gospel for new people and change the study for the people that have come multiple times. What should I do?
Bible Study Leader
Dear Bible Study Leader,
We aren't exactly sure what advice we can give you. One of the easiest ways to study the Bible is to study it expositorily. Take a book of the Bible, and study it from start to finish. This way you get exactly what God intended for mankind to learn. Being a teacher is a very solemn thing and puts us under a stricter judgment because of the power to lead people astray if we don't adhere to the Bible's teachings (Jas 3:1). If you aren't feeling that you have a comfortable grasp on the Scriptures, better to stick with an exact study of a book than to potentially veer into manmade doctrines.