Ask Your Preacher
Is artificial contraception a sin?
Not Ready For Children
Dear Not Ready For Children,
There are two ways that using birth control would be a sin.
- It is a sin if it is a type of birth control that is ‘retroactive’, meaning that it forces your body to reject an already fertilized egg. God says that life begins in the womb after conception. God said that Samson was a life even while in the womb (Judg 13:7); the same is said of David (Ps 139:13). John the Baptist was even described as a ‘baby leaping within the womb’ (Lk 1:41). As the old saying goes, “If it isn’t a baby, you aren’t pregnant.” Mary was ‘with child’, not ‘with embryo’ (Matt 1:18). Carefully discuss with your doctor any birth control that you might use and make sure that it does not function by aborting a fertilized egg in the early stages of development. The only birth control acceptable to a christian is one that prevents fertilization.
- The other reason you couldn’t use birth control is if your conscience bothers you. If you can’t do it in faith, then it is a sin (Rom 14:23). Many christians believe that they are thwarting God’s will by using birth control. Others are concerned that the birth control may accidently cause a miscarriage. If you or your spouse fall under this category of ‘conscientious objector’, then you must refrain from using birth control.
Having considered these factors, make a thoughtful, informed, and prayerful decision.
All the major faiths of the world preach that only through following their teachings and believing in their god will one reach heaven. This means everyone else goes to hell. To a christian, all the muslims are hell-bound. To a muslim, all the christians are infidels and will never reach God. I find it hard to believe that a loving God would set up half the world for failure. Each faith is strict about the requirements to spend eternity with God. How do we come to terms with this concept that ours is the only way?
Dear Too Exclusive,
One of the key components to any religion is that we accept that particular religion’s god as he is. It isn’t fair to simultaneously try and find which god is real (Allah, Buddha, Jehovah, etc.) and also have a pre-conceived notion about how we want God to behave. If the Muslim’s are right, then Allah exists, and it doesn’t matter whether Allah is loving or not – Allah is what Allah is. If the Buddhists are correct, it doesn’t matter whether we like reincarnation or not – reincarnation exists. The same is true with Jehovah, the God of the Bible. God is who God is, without regard to our opinion of how we feel He ought to be. We may feel that He has “set up” a large portion of society for failure, but if the God of the Bible is real (and we feel confident He is!), we must take Him at His Word that all have evidence of His existence and are without excuse if they don’t follow Him (Rom 1:20).
The key to finding which god is the true God is to look at the evidence – primarily the key documents for each religion. When you compare the Koran, the Dharma, the Veda, and other books of faith to the Bible… there is no comparison. The Bible is accurate scientifically, prophetically, historically, and contextually consistent; it never contradicts itself and contains truths that only God would know and yet can be proven true by practice. We highly recommend you read our article “Who Wrote The Bible?” for further explanation of the proof that the Bible is from God. When analyzing religion in the search for truth, follow the evidence, and it will always lead you to the Bible.
Is there a certain age to get baptized with the Holy Spirit?
You do not need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit in order to be saved. In fact, the book of Acts gives a clear example of a group of people who were christians but hadn’t been baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:12-16). The baptism of the Holy Spirit was a miraculous event that endowed people with the ability to perform miracles. Holy Spirit baptism happened to the apostles on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), and it happened to Cornelius and his household when the first Gentiles were preached to (Acts 10:44-45). Holy Spirit baptism doesn’t save you; water baptism is what saves you (1 Pet 3:21, Mk 16:16). In fact, when Cornelius and his household were filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter said that they still needed to be baptized in water (Acts 10:46-48)! Holy Spirit baptism was a temporary, miraculous gift used to spread the Gospel in the first century before we had the completed Bible, but now that we have a perfect Bible, there is no longer any need for miracles (1 Cor 13:8-10). If you want to have your sins forgiven, you need to be baptized in water. Read “What Must I Do To Be Saved” for further details.
I would like to know: if you never got baptized and you passed away, would you go to heaven?
Dear Admit One,
We can only tell you what the Bible says about the topic of salvation. Our opinion doesn't matter. God will be the final judge of every soul, but He tells us that His Word has the power to save us if we will follow it (Rom 1:16). According to the Bible, baptism is a requirement of salvation. Peter said so in Acts 2:38 when he preached the first sermon after Christ’s ascension. In 1 Pet 3:21, it specifically says that baptism saves us. Mk 16:16 says that baptism is as integral a part of salvation as belief, and Paul tells us in Rom 6:4-5 that baptism buries us with Christ, so we might be born again without our sins. The Bible clearly teaches baptism as a prerequisite for salvation.
Why did God make pain?
If the pain you are talking about is the human body’s ability to feel pain, our pain reflexes are a healthy thing. Those who can’t feel pain have a disease called congenital analgia, and it is a devastating disease. As the parents of one child with this disease said, “Pain teaches; pain protects; pain can save you from a lot of bad things in life.” Our nervous system is a tremendous gift from God, and it is part of what makes us “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:14).
On the other hand, if you are talking about the emotional trials, suffering, and pain that people go through on this planet – God didn’t do that. God didn’t create the world imperfectly. When God finished the world, it was perfect (Gen 1:31). All imperfection that we find in this world is a consequence of our sins (Gen 3:17-19).