Ask Your Preacher
In the Old Testament, God tells groups of people to go and completely wipe out another group. How can this be just? I believe I remember there was an instance where He did it to prove to the Israelites that He would be with them if they followed His directions. How can this be explained as an acceptable thing?
P.S love the website! It does so much good! Thanks!
Looking To Justify
Dear Looking To Justify,
God has to make complex decisions that allow individuals the freedom to choose while still keeping the rest of mankind safe. Every time that God has destroyed a nation, He has done it for the safety of other nations and because that nation had become so corrupt that it was unsalvageable (Gen 15:16, Gen 6:5). God knows that infants will be safe in His arms when that nation is destroyed, and it is important to remember that there is a difference between God taking someone’s life and a human making that decision. God is our Creator, and He is intimately aware of where we will go when we die – after all, He is the Judge (Heb 12:23).
When wicked nations are allowed to continue, they inhibit the possibility of future generations obeying God, and they are destructive influences on the rest of mankind. Thankfully, we have a God who knows where to draw the line – not too soon, and not too late.
What does tithing really mean?
Money In The Bank
Dear Money In The Bank,
The New Testament and Old Testament teachings on giving are similar… but not the same. The Old Testament was very specific that giving should be a minimum of ten percent (Deu 14:22). The word ‘tithe’ means ‘one-tenth’.
However, the New Testament teaching is more generic. Though ten percent is a good rule of thumb (after all, the Old Testament is given to us as an example – 1 Cor 10:11), christians are simply told to “give as they have prospered” (1 Cor 16:1-2). God tells us to be cheerful givers (2 Cor 9:7), but He never specifically says how much christians should give. That is an issue of wisdom and is left for each individual heart to work out for itself (Php 2:12). The specific rule of giving one-tenth of our income no longer applies; instead, we are told to examine our hearts and give thankfully.
Did Jesus marry Mary Magdalene?
Dear Wedding Bells,
There is ZERO reason to believe that Jesus had a relationship with Mary Magdalene… that is just apocryphal mumbo-jumbo. Apocryphal books are books outside of the Bible that were written years after the Bible was completed… most of them hundreds of years after. Read “Books of the Apocrypha” to better understand that topic.
Ever since Jesus lived, people have been trying to create stories to alter His life and smear His reputation. However, when we go to the Bible, we see that Jesus was never married. Mary Magdalene was one of many women that followed Christ and supported Him in His preaching, but He was not married to her (Lk 8:1-3).
I give offerings every time I have money during worship, and I set aside funds for it beforehand. But there are some who become disappointed in me and crucify me for not putting in the amount they often believe to be sufficient. How can I deal with those of the brethren who bring this kind of condemnation?
Condemned For Finance
Dear Condemned For Finances,
When people question the amount of money you put into the offering, show them 2 Cor 9:7 which says that each should give as “he has purposed in his heart”. You must stand before God and answer to Him for what you gave and what you didn’t. You are responsible for what your heart purposes, and they are responsible for theirs. Show them 2 Cor 9:7 and then kindly walk away.
How can we be 100% certain the Bible is real, complete, and unchanged?
Best Evidence Please
Dear Best Evidence Please,
The best way to show it is to show the uniqueness of the Bible. The writers of the Bible admit that it is their hands that wrote it (Gal 6:11), but they also explain that God’s Spirit guided those hands (Eph 3:3-4). If that is true (and it is!), then the Bible would show signs that it was written by God and not man. Here are some simple reasons that the Bible is unique from every other book:
- It is 100% scientifically accurate. Isa 40:22 mentions the earth being round. Job 36:27-28 explains the water-vapor cycle. These and other verses mention scientific principles that were not understood until centuries later.
- It never contradicts itself. Over 40 different writers penned the pages of the Bible. They came from different walks of life and different eras, yet no one has ever found a contradiction from Genesis to Revelation.
- It has been perfectly preserved throughout history. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint are copies of the Bible written 1,000 years apart, and yet, there is no difference in the text.
- No book is as widely distributed as the Bible. Written in over 2,500 languages and sold by the billions, the Bible is the most published book on the planet. No other book comes even close.
- The Bible is accurate in prophecies. The prophecies of Tyre (Eze 26:3-21) and Babylon (Isa 13:19-22, Isa 14:23) give specific, detailed accounts of the fall of those cities. Those prophecies were written many years before the events took place, and yet they came to pass exactly as the Bible foretold.
These are only short answers to the question ‘Why is the Bible unique?’, but they are a good start when discussing the issue with someone. If you want a more detailed answer, I recommend I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Geisler and Turek, Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell and Has God Spoken? by A.O. Schnabel as great reference material on this topic.