Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Long-Term Effects

Tuesday, November 05, 2013
How does adultery affect a family?

Sincerely,
Damage Control

Dear Damage Control,

Adultery is devastating to a family.  Adultery breaks the vows of marriage and destroys the trust that God intended for marriage (1 Cor 6:16).  It is debilitating to the emotional well-being of the spouse that has been cheated on.  God said that marriage is meant to be built upon love and respect (Eph 5:33) – adultery decimates both of those.

Children grow up too fast in a home broken by adultery.  Children are products of the environment their parents create for them (Eph 6:1-4).  If a marriage is hurting, so are the children that are supposed to be protected by that marriage.  A family can survive after adultery, but the damage is deep, and the healing takes time.

Day 220 - James 3

Monday, November 04, 2013

5 minutes a day
5 days a week
1 New Testament in a year

There are 261 weekdays in a year, and there are 260 chapters in the New Testament. By reading one chapter, Monday through Friday, you will read the whole New Testament by the end of the year. The Daily Cup series is to help with that goal.

Happy Studying!

"The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup." -- Psalm 16:5

Click here for a pdf of the study schedule - CLICK HERE

Study Material

Monday, November 04, 2013
My friends suggested that I get a Strong's Dictionary Concordance/Word Study to help me with some of my questions and to understand the Bible more precisely.  What is this, and where do I obtain one?

Sincerely,
Ready To Book It

Dear Ready To Book It,

A concordance is a book that gives you an alphabetical list of the words in the Bible and tells you every verse that you can find that word in.  It allows you to search the Bible by word, and some expanded concordances also allow you to search the Bible by topic.
A word study is a book that allows you to study the definitions of various words in the Bible – specifically the definitions from the original Greek language.  It can be a very helpful tool in understanding certain passages with difficult wording.
Strong’s is a specific brand of concordance and word study.  It can be found at most Bible bookstores and even at Amazon.com – here is a link.

Nightmares

Sunday, November 03, 2013
Hello.  Well my question is: do dreams have to do anything with spiritualism?  I’m asking this because lately I have been having really strange and creepy dreams.  My husband doesn't believe in God at all and neither does my family (parents and brothers either), and it is really hard for me to seek the Lord because it’s hard to believe; I want to believe with all my heart because I already accepted Jesus, and I used to be so into God.  But now, I don’t know what happened; there’s doubt in my heart.  Two days ago, I dreamed that a snake was in my living room, and my husband and my baby were lying on the floor, and the snake was around my husband's head, and then that snake bit my baby, and I stabbed her because she was in so much pain.  And then last night, I dreamed that I was into witchcraft, and I would see when satanic people would kill people. It was really graphic.  Can this mean something?  My husband doesn't believe in God, and he always curses God and is challenging God.  I don’t know what to do.

Sincerely,
Tossing And Turning

Dear Tossing And Turning,

The days of dreams and visions have passed.  In the past, God spoke to various people through dreams, visions, and prophecy, but today He speaks to us through His Son, Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1-2).  Now that we have the complete and perfect Bible – there is no need for God to give people individual dreams or visions (1 Cor 13:9-10).  It is through the Word of God that we learn how to live faithfully (Rom 10:17).

We are sure that your dreams mean something, but they don't mean anything supernatural or prophetic.  Dreams are part of our mind trying to make sense out of our day-to-day life.  As you mentioned, you have a great deal of internal struggle within your family, and that is affecting your sleep patterns.  The fact that you are writing into this site tells us that you are trying to put the pieces together and get help.  One of the things that we do here at AskYourPreacher is try to connect people with a desire for answers (such as yourself) with congregations near them that can help them find long-term relief.  If you would like us to do that, just e-mail us back at askyourpreacher@mvchurchofchrist.org, and we will happily help in whatever way we can.

Over Lectured, Under Led

Sunday, November 03, 2013
I have been going to church for about twenty years.  I have been around several churches and have noticed something about my current church of about three years.  I noticed the pastor is very transparent.  The church size is around 150 total and has never went over that size in the last twenty-five years.  When I first went there, a lot of growth was taking place after they brought on a new staff member.  The church grew from 85 to 200 in about 4 months, but I noticed the pastor kept doing things that offended people.  He would call people out in the middle of service, discipline them, make fun of something that had happened to them, etc.  The church has had over 325 visitors in the last three years, and only two families remain from those who visited.  Here's my question: why does it seem my pastor has a self-destructive spirit?  It's almost as if he does not want to succeed or is afraid to grow.  He is very grounded biblically (although says a lot of things personally that offend people) and is very evangelistic.  I don't know how to encourage him.  He justifies everyone leaving because he is speaking "solid biblical" truth, and they don't like it.  He does speak truth, but at the same time, will point people out and make fun of them.  It is as if you can see a switch click when there are visitors.  He will be going along preaching, then stop, and then looking right at the visitors, make an "off-the-wall” comment.  They don't come back.  We don't have a deacon, elder, or leadership group that can help walk with the pastor… any suggestions?

Sincerely,
Put Off By The Pastor

Dear Put Off By The Pastor,

One man leading a church without any checks or balances can create lots of problems… and that is exactly why God didn’t design the church to be run by a head pastor.  God intended for the church to be lead by a multiplicity of elders (Acts 14:23) – never by one person.  The qualifications for elders can be found in 1 Tim 3:1-7 and Tit 1:5-9.  Many, many churches are suffering from the exact same problems as your congregation because they don’t use the Bible’s pattern for church leadership.

No single individual should be left alone to guide the Lord’s church.  Even an honest person would be bound to make major mistakes without other faithful leaders to rely upon.  It is only in a multiplicity of faithful elders that we can have safety (Pr 24:6).  When churches aren’t arranged according to the Bible pattern, things don’t work.

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