Ask Your Preacher
What does the Bible say about marriage?
Dear I Do,
The Bible says quite a bit about marriage… more than we can cover in a single AYP post. We can try and hit the highlights though.
- Marriage is between a man and a woman (Gen 2:24, Matt 19:5). Homosexual relationships are not, and cannot be, marriages.
- Marriage is intended for a lifetime – God hates divorce (Mal 2:16).
- The husband is supposed to lead his family and love his wife as Christ loves the church (Eph 5:23).
- The wife is supposed to respect her husband (Eph 5:33).
As we said, those are the quick highlights. If you have more specific questions, please feel free to write back in.
What is a graven image?
Dear Feeling Wooden,
A graven image is a carved statue, trinket, figurine, etc. that is used for idolatrous worship. A graven image is something that has been molded, carved, painted, etc. to depict a false god (Isa 44:17). Many cultures, from the ancient Romans to the Mayans, had graven images as a regular part of their art.
I am a member of a Baptist church, but I was thinking about changing. What is the difference between Church of God and church of Christ?
Dear Just Browsing,
The Church of God and the churches of Christ are vastly different. The Church of God is a name used by numerous, mostly unrelated Christian denominational bodies, most of which descend from either Pentecostal/Holiness or Adventist traditions. Most groups that use the title Church of God believe in speaking in tongues, modern prophecy, and visions. All of these things are false teachings. See “Speaking In Tongues”, “The Lost Art Of Prophecy”, “I Dreamed A Dream” for further details on what the Bible says about these behaviors.
Churches of Christ are all individual congregations (we have no centralized leadership other than the Bible) that simply try to follow the Bible pattern for everything they do. This is not the case with every church of Christ, but it certainly is for us in Monroe, WA.
Everything a church does (worship, membership, how they teach to be saved, how they spend their money, even their name) needs to have Bible verses backing them up (1 Tim 3:15). A church needs to be able to explain the reasons for why they do what they do (1 Pet 3:15). 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). We worship by singing (Col 3:16), studying the Bible (1 Tim 4:13), praying (2 Thess 3:1), taking communion (only on Sundays – Acts 20:7), and taking up a collection (also only on Sundays – 1 Cor 16:1-2). We teach that you must hear God’s Word (Rom 10:17), believe God’s Word (Jhn 3:16), repent of your sins (Mk 6:12), confess Jesus as your Savior (Lk 12:8), and be baptized to be saved (Acts 2:38, 1 Pet 3:21). We do all these things because they are practices found in the Bible. Our philosophy is simple: if the Bible speaks, we speak; if the Bible is silent, we are silent.
Hopefully that helps to clarify the differences for you. A faithful church of Christ is simply trying to do just what the Bible says… no more, no less.
(This post is in reference to “No Luck Potluck”)
Y'all have disappointed me this morning... I have been reading your Q/A for the last 4-5 months, every morning, and try to incorporate those into my daily Bible study. But the latest one has faltered. "No potluck"? It almost sounds like you are putting emphasis on the BUILDING being a part of worship. What makes a building holy? You can NOT eat in a building when worship services have concluded? Can you NOT drink water from the fountain? Have lights? Computers? Restrooms? If you follow this line, when does one stop? The first christians were meeting in each others’ homes. Where today, all these things would be available, just NOT during worship services. They were meeting in synagogues where the Jews were still worshiping. OUR bodies make up THE body of the church.
Fork In Hand
Dear Fork In Hand,
You raise a very valid question. You asked: "What makes a building holy?" After all, the building isn't the church – the people are. Whether the church meets in a house (Acts 20:8), a school building (Acts 19:9), or the temple porch (Acts 5:12), it is still the church. The people are God's church – certainly not a building. So should we be concerned at all with what goes on in the church building. The answer is ‘yes’, but not because the building is the church... because the building was bought with the church's money.
A church building is part of a church's finances (the same as your house is part of your finances), and it is important that whatever we use the church's finances for be authorized by the Bible. 1 Tim 3:15 says that there is a certain way that the church must behave when we work together collectively. 1 Tim 5:16 takes it one step farther and says that there are certain financial things the church shouldn't be burdened with. Once our money goes into the church collection on Sunday (1 Cor 16:1-2), it becomes the Lord's money – not ours. The church can spend its money on the church's work. The church's work is simple: teach the saved, preach to the lost, and care for needy christians (read "Purpose Driven Church" for book, chapter, and verse for those commands).
The issue isn't with any food or drink in the building... it is when the church collectively decides to use the building for a primarily social gathering. As Paul said, "Don't you have houses to eat and drink in?" (1 Cor 11:22). Paul lambasted the church in Corinth for making the church's work a social event. As we mentioned in the previous post, if the church needed a potluck for the purpose of continuing their services, that would be one thing... but once we start spending the church's finances (and the building is part of the church's finances) on social things, there is no principle difference between that and church movie night or having a Boy Scout troop use the building on Thursdays. Hope that provides some clarification. It is about the use of the Lord's finances, not a building being sacred.
If we are rewarded in heaven for our life on Earth, meaning that others will have more in heaven than others, will there be jealousy? I feel like I would be jealous of others that were rewarded more than I in heaven. I feel silly saying that because I would be thankful just to be in heaven at all, but I would feel like God loved others more than me. Is it okay to feel like I would be jealous?
Dear Going Green,
It is true that the Bible talks about storing treasures up for yourself in heaven (Matt 6:19-21), but that doesn’t provide us with many details as to how those treasures work – the mechanics are a total mystery. One analogy that seems to help people is to think of it like two people gathering water from a well; no matter the size of the container, the container will be full. Storing up treasures in heaven has been described as “getting a bigger bucket”. As we said though, this is simply speculation, and we wouldn’t be too dogmatic on the issue.
As for your concern of jealousy in heaven, we don’t know the mechanics of how heaven will work, but we do know that there will be no sin there (1 Cor 15:54-57). Covetousness is a sin (Jas 4:2). In this life, we struggle to rejoice in the joys of our fellow Christians (Rom 12:15); sometimes it stings when we see others with more than us, but the time will come when we will shuck this mortal coil, and those fleshly temptations to covet will no longer plague us.