Ask Your Preacher
What are feelings, where do they come from, and what is their purpose?
Full Of Emotion
Dear Full Of Emotion,
Feelings are a gift from God, and they are part of what makes us made in His image (Gen 1:27). God has emotions, just like humans do… or rather, humans have emotions, just like God does. God gets angry (2 Sam 6:7). God can be jealous (Ex 34:14). God has times of sadness and grief (Gen 6:6). God can also have great joy (Lk 15:10). Our emotions are just like God’s – except we have sin in our lives and immaturity in our hearts. When God angers, He never acts inappropriately… but we do. Humans don’t always show proper control of our feelings, and instead, we let them control us. Feelings can be a wonderful blessing (life would be bland without them), but they are only a blessing if we guard our hearts with the truth (Pr 4:23).
Does Jesus love everyone… even people who don't love Him?
Hugs All Around
Dear Hugs All Around,
Yes, Jesus does love everyone. Jhn 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to die for us. 1 Jn 4:19 says that God loved us first. God still gives us the choice to decide whether to spend eternity with Him or without Him, but that doesn't mean He enjoys it when the wicked choose to live wickedly (Ezek 18:23).
My mom was adopted, so we don't know her family history well. What would you do if you found out your boyfriend of twelve years maybe your cousin? We have no children together. He doesn't know we may be cousins... we live together... WHAT DO WE DO FROM HERE?
Dear Regretful Researcher,
The very first thing you need to do is stop living together before you are married. More important than any biological issues your future children may have, you are sinning, and that is much worse than any physical problem. The reason people don’t get married – but instead (outside of marriage) have sex, live together, have children together, and eventually destroy their lives – is because we spend our lives making up the rules as we go. We live our lives by the “what-makes-me-feel-good-right-now” philosophy. We have no real standard to live by other than what we feel at the moment. Like Pilate, we ask, “What is truth?” (Jhn 18:38) because we don’t know where to find the right answers to life. How can we know what is the right thing to do? Only the Creator can give us a rulebook for life that allows us to comfortably say, “I’m making the right choice.” Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life (Jhn 14:6). All the answers to life are found in His Scriptures (2 Pet 1:3). If we want our relationships, our families, our careers, and our lives to work, we have to use the manual.
Biblically, there is nothing wrong with marrying your cousin – people did it quite commonly just a couple generations ago. You would have to consider the medical ramifications of having children, but that is a medical decision – not a moral one. As we said, more importantly than anything else is that you make your lives right with God.
In an earlier post, you stated that the church of Christ (if following all of the biblical teachings) is the "one true church". Would that also be true if the church name were to be a different "biblical" name (such as church of God)?
Dear Teachable Student,
The name a congregation puts on its door must be a biblical name, but it doesn’t have to be ‘church of Christ’ – it can be any of the names for the church found in the New Testament. Our congregation here in Monroe goes by the name ‘Monroe Valley church of Christ’ because ‘church of Christ’ is a biblical name for a congregation (Rom 16:16). There are other congregations like ours scattered across the country and the world. Most of them use the name ‘church of Christ’. There are many reasons for this. One reason is that it makes it easier for brethren across the country to find congregations if they are traveling, moving, etc. Another practical reason is that many of the other biblical names (such as ‘church of God’ – Gal 1:13) are already used by churches that aren’t following God’s Word, and it gets confusing for people when we use a name that our society has associated with a particular denomination. It isn’t required that a congregation use the name ‘church of Christ’; what is required is that we always follow the Bible pattern for everything we do, and that includes the name we use.
I have been attending a Charismatic church with my husband. I saw one of the posts where you mentioned it's sinful. Is that really so? We are so confused now if the Charismatic church doesn’t do any good. So which churches are good, and which should we attend? Lutheran? Also, what's the difference between Christian and Catholic? Catholics pray to God through the mother Mary? I was told they pray to the same God.
Where To Next?
Dear Where To Next,
Yes, the Charismatic church is not from God. The Charismatic movement believes that in order to be saved, you must have the Holy Spirit take control of you and give you spiritual gifts. They also teach that God still gives people prophecies and visions, even though we have the complete Bible. Both of these teachings are false and dangerous. Please read “Lying Wonders” and “Just Gibberish” for further details on that particular religious group.
The Catholic church also isn’t from God because they don’t do what the Bible says (read “Catholics Or Christians?” for some of the reasons why the Catholic church is a false religion).
Many churches profess to serve God, and they profess to love God – but it isn’t enough to say that we love God; our actions must back that up. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jhn 14:15) A faithful person and faithful churches must have the right attitude toward God and the right biblical behavior (Jhn 4:24).
Churches that are faithful are ones that use the Bible and the Bible only. They don’t add to God’s Word, and they don’t subtract from it (Rev 22:18-19). They don’t replace God’s teachings with their traditions (Mk 7:8). The denominational world is very confusing because most churches have replaced sound Bible teachings with manmade traditions. They hold the Bible in their hand, but these churches don’t do the things that we read about the church doing. For an in-depth look at the problem, read “Down With Denominationalism”. If you would like, we would be happy to get you in touch with a congregation in your area that could talk to you about these things further. If that would be of use, please feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.