Ask Your Preacher
Is speaking in tongues necessary? Is speaking in tongues the confirmation that we have received the Holy Spirit?
Tripping Over My Words
Dear Tripping Over My Words,
There was a proper way to use tongues back in the first century, but speaking in tongues today has no resemblance to that practice. God endowed certain christians with the ability to perform miracles through the apostles (Acts 8:18). One of those abilities was speaking in tongues – the ability to miraculous speak in other REAL languages (Acts 2:4-11). Paul re-emphasizes this point in 1 Cor 14:10. That is exactly why Paul instructed the Corinthians to have an interpreter.
The modern practice of speaking in tongues involves people speaking in what they call “hidden” or “spiritual” languages that make no sense to anyone, anywhere. There is no example of this type of speaking in tongues anywhere in the New Testament.
Miraculous gifts were given to the first century church because they did not have the complete Bible as we do. Miracles were a confirmation that those preaching were sent by God (Mk 16:20); they were how God bore witness that these men were His servants (Heb 2:2-4). These miracles were necessary at that time, but now that the perfect Word of God has been completed, they are no longer needed (1 Cor 13:8-10). We have all the prophecies of God written down, all the divine knowledge is in God’s Word, and the Bible is translated into every language on the planet. Speaking in tongues no longer happens and it isn't a necessary part of salvation. Read "The Five Steps To Salvation" for specifics on how to be saved and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
What’s your view on abortion? And what stance should the church take?
Looking For Answers
Dear Looking For Answers,
Abortion is a sin, and churches that support abortion are wrong. Children are already alive in the womb. John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb (Lk 1:41). God specifically said that John was a child dedicated to Him from before birth (Lk. 1:15). Ps 139:13-16 makes a clear statement about life within the womb of a mother. Unborn children are credited as living, feeling humans, and therefore, deserve just as much protection as any other human life. The abortion movement is a movement that seeks to deny rights to a silent and innocent segment of human society. Abortion is murder (1 Pet. 4:15). Any preacher or religious leader that promotes abortion is promoting murder.
Hello. I've prayed to God on this subject many times, but I do not seem to get a clear answer either way. I'm hoping you can help. What do you think is God's view on embryo adoption? Many infertile couples undergo IVF treatments, and as a result, many surplus embryos are left over. These are either frozen indefinitely, destroyed, or used for scientific research.
We are unable to have children of our own and would dearly love to adopt one of these embryos which would otherwise never be given the chance of life.
Do you think it is morally wrong to bring a child into the world this way?
Surely it's better for them to have a life and be loved and cherished rather than just destroyed. Okay, we may not be the biological parents, but we would love them with the same intensity. I know it's an unusual question, but I'd appreciate any guidance on this matter.
Dear Maternal Instinct,
What a wonderful heart for children that you and your husband have! Very few people realize that there are tens of thousands of fertilized embryos that exist in America and are being stored because of in-vitro fertilization procedures. This poses a huge ethical dilemma. Since the Bible never tells us when a human life begins, it is impossible to simply treat fertilized embryos as waste. As far as we know, life begins at conception (this is the same argument used against abortion – read “A Voice For The Voiceless” for further details), and that would include these embryos. So what is to be done? Embryo adoption is becoming an increasingly popular option for couples that are seeking to have children and also feel morally compelled to save these children. Adoption is a wonderful option.
The Bible is very pro-adoption. In fact, the greatest adoption story in history is the church. Jesus died, so God could adopt us as His children (Eph 1:4-5, Rom 8:15). What a wonderful legacy of love that you can provide your children with. Your children will always know that they were loved from the earliest stages of life and that their parents chose life.
I was reading one of your previous answers, and I came across a couple of statements that confused me. Can you please tell me where the scripture is for the following statement: "The church is allowed to spend money on anything God commands the church to do"?
It seems that a previous argument you posted for this statement was summed up as: "Whatever is necessary to fulfill a command is automatically allowed".
I see several problems with the second statement as it relates to the first. Of course whatever is necessary is needed because it is just that… NECESSARY. On the other hand, what we view as necessary, may very well in fact not be. For example, if someone said, "Wash my car," should I build a car wash? We seem to equate the command to assemble with the necessity of a building; when in fact, it is not a NECESSITY. Which works require the use of money by necessity?
The examples we have of the early church using funds were for benevolence, benevolence to needy saints and needy preachers. The Corinthians were commanded to take up a collection on the first day of the week for the needy saints in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16), and Paul received support as a preacher (2 Cor. 11:8).
I would appreciate your feedback.
Needs Vs. Wants
Dear Needs Vs. Wants,
A building isn’t necessary for a congregation to assemble, but it is necessary that the local church have somewhere to assemble (Heb 10:25)… that is the crux of the issue. We both agree that if something is necessary, it is allowed – that is basic logic. To use your example, if someone said, “Wash my car”, you wouldn’t be required to build a car wash… but you would be required to find some sort of system for washing that car. Any system is allowed, but not all systems would be wise. It wouldn’t be wrong for you to build a car wash, but it would be pretty foolish. Likewise, the church has the authority to do anything that is necessary to fulfill the work God has given it. Read “The Purpose Driven Church” for more details on what the church is authorized to do.
However, what we can do and what we should do are not the same things. As much as the church has the freedom to do whatever is necessary to fulfill its duties, we are also warned not to burden the church with tasks that weigh it down from its primary focuses (1 Tim 5:16). We are also told to be wise and faithful stewards (1 Cor 4:12). This principle is true in our individual lives, and it is also true for the local church. Having a church building isn’t wrong. After all, it is necessary that every congregation have a place to assemble, and the early church met in all sorts of different places. However, each congregation must assess whether owning a building is the wisest and most expedient use of the Lord’s funds.
When was Moses circumcised?
Dear Medical Records,
In his infancy, Moses was cared for wholly by his biological Jewish parents (Ex 2:2). It was only when he got big enough that they could no longer hide Moses from the Egyptians that Moses was put amongst the reeds to be found and adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter (Ex 2:3-5). Moses’ parents were faithful Jews (Heb 11:23) and would have had Moses circumcised at the appropriate time. All male children were supposed to be circumcised when they were eight days old (Gen 17:10-12). Therefore, Moses was circumcised when he was eight days old.