Ask Your Preacher
Is it all right for a christian to receive hypnotic treatment as a medical procedure?
Dear Droopy Eyes,
The ethical issue that is commonly raised with hypnosis is whether or not it has occult roots to it. It would be wrong for a christian to take part in something that involved idolatry – even if it was for their health. Some christians believe that hypnotism can be traced back to the occult, and that it is intrinsically tied to things like witchcraft and devil worship… we personally have not found enough evidence to substantiate that position. Nonetheless, if that is the case, it would definitely be wrong for a christian to take part in any form of hypnosis (1 Cor 10:20-21).
However, not all people feel that hypnosis is an occult practice. Many christians, in good conscience, feel that hypnosis is a legitimate medical field that helps people with a myriad of ailments. A number of medical associations at least tacitly approve of hypnosis as a form of treatment for various ills.
In the end, each christian must study and come to a conclusion for themselves on this issue. If a christian does something they believe is sinful – even if it isn’t – they are violating their conscience, and that is wrong (1 Tim 1:5).
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).
Will I be blessed with a kid soon?
Dear Potential Parent,
We can’t give you the answer to that question – only God knows. What we can tell you is that other faithful people have faced the same desire to conceive and wondered just as you do when that special blessing would come. One of the greatest examples of this is Hannah. In 1 Samuel 1:4-8, we see how desperately Hannah wanted a child, but yet she waited. Hannah’s solution? She prayed fervently to God (1 Sam 1:9-10). God heard her prayer and eventually gave her that wonderful child she had prayed for (1 Sam 1:20). The power of prayer is incredible. We can’t tell you when you will be blessed with a child (after all, we aren't prophets), but we can tell you that if you pray to the Lord, He is faithful and will cause all to work together for good (Rom 8:28).
Can the devil be in two places at the same time?
Dear Double Vision,
There is absolutely no way to know the answer to that question because God has never revealed those specific details about the devil. We know that the devil has finite power (i.e. he doesn't know everything like God does), but the specific extent of his powers and abilities are never revealed to us in the Scriptures. The Scriptures describe Satan as a powerful lion (1 Pet 5:8). The safest thing to do is to be ever-vigilant because you never know when the lion is lurking just around the corner.
God forgives every sin, right? But what happens when you do that sin repeatedly?
Dear Do Over,
There are two pieces to the puzzle of repetitive sins:
- How many times can I ask for forgiveness for the same sin?
- How do I remove this sin from my life?
The answer to the first part is simple. You can ask for forgiveness an innumerable amount of times. Christ told Peter that we should forgive ‘seventy times seven’ (Matt 18:21-22). Paul was forgiven of his sins even after killing christians and actively persecuting the church (1 Tim 1:16). As often as we truly repent, God is ready to forgive (Lk 17:4). It is quite possible to truly repent of something and then find yourself doing that same thing not minutes later. It happens in arguments all the time! You say something mean, apologize, then find yourself upset again, and again use rash words. The repeating of the cycle is not necessarily an indication of false sorrow.
However, the second part of your question deals with stopping this cycle. God will forgive you for stumbling again into the same sin, but only if you are truly attempting to change your mind. Paul reminds us that we are to do everything we can to flee from the slavery to sin (Rom 6:1-2, Rom 6:12-13). Without knowing what sin you are caught up in, I can’t give specific advice, but I recommend getting help if it is as consuming as you say. Many sins can become addictions that are very hard to break. Here are some things to consider:
- Are you trying to change all on your own? God says two are stronger than one (Eccl 4:9-10). In the case of sin like pornography, many people try and struggle through it alone without seeking help because of the shame involved in it becoming known. This rarely, if ever, works. Telling someone, even just one trusted friend, and using things like Covenant Eyes accountability software can make all the difference in such circumstances.
- Are you putting yourself in compromising situations? People with drug and alcohol addictions are often tempted back into their old habits by drinking buddies or parties where drugs are made available. You may need to cut off certain people and habits from your life in order to escape that sort of sin. Remember, Christ said it would be better to remove even your own hand if it would free you from a sin (Matt 5:30).
Removing sin from our lives is a constant struggle. God is ready to forgive you ‘seventy times seven’ as you fight to defeat this sin, but you must look yourself in the mirror and make sure you are taking the steps necessary to change your life.