Ask Your Preacher
Why does Joseph run out without his coat when his master’s wife seduced him?
Dear Feeling Chilly,
He left his coat because it was more important to avoid sin than to keep his jacket. When Potiphar’s wife tried to force Joseph to commit adultery with her, he fled as fast as he could from her… even though that meant leaving his coat behind because she was holding on so tightly (Gen 39:10-12). God tells us to flee fornication (1 Cor 6:18), and it is better to lose things and have clean hands than to let sin drag us down to hell (Matt 16:26). Joseph did the right thing.
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?
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.
What scriptures can we look at to show us that pastors, elders, and bishops have all the same meanings and duties?
Dear Name Nomenclature,
Pastors, elders, and bishops are all referring to the same job in the church. We see this by looking at multiple passages that show that these titles are used interchangeably. Tit 1:5-7 uses the terms ‘elder’ and ‘bishop’ as synonyms. Acts 20:28 refers to bishops shepherding the local church (the word ‘pastor’ means ‘shepherd’). 1 Pet 5:1-3 also refers to elders as those who pastor/shepherd the church. When you see that these three terms (pastor, elder, and bishop) are all used interchangeably, it means they are synonyms.
(This post is in response to “Only The Best”.)
Does your local congregation use incense in your worship service? If the "pure offering" referred to in Mal 1:11 is the lives of the people of the New Testament Church (as you say), then when does your congregation "offer incense" in God's name? Remember, you have previously stated, "If you avoid or ignore verses, that is just as bad as adding to the Bible (Rev 22:18-19). We have to take every Bible teaching, no matter how unpopular, and accept it in order to truly call ourselves a ‘Bible-only’ congregation."
Burning To Know
Dear Burning To Know,
Just like the offerings mentioned in the previous post aren’t literal animal sacrifices, the “incense” that the church sends up to God isn’t literally on fire. Mal 1:11 is a verse dealing with general principles of the church’s behavior in the way that an Old Testament Jew acquainted with Old Testament worship could understand. The Bible says that the lives of the righteous are like the sweet smell of incense before those that are perishing (2 Cor 2:14-16). Rev 8:3-4 also compares our prayers to burning incense. In either case, nowhere is the church asked to burn incense as a part of worship. Mal 1:11 would have to be taken out of context to use it as a proof text for incense as an act of New Testament worship.
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?
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.