Ask Your Preacher
If Adam and Eve were the first and only people on the planet, then how did their children have children if there were no other children around? Yes, incest is an option (which is against the Bible), but their children's children would have had defects.
All My Children
Dear All My Children,
Eve is the mother of all living (Gen 3:20). In the beginning, there were only Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve had multiple children (Gen 5:3-4). It is morally repugnant in today’s society for someone to marry his sister, but it wasn’t that way in the beginning. In the beginning, they had no other choice. God told the family of Adam to “go forth and multiply” (Gen 1:28). When Adam’s sons and daughters intermarried, they fulfilled God’s command.
Today, we worry about children having deformities if the mother and father are too closely related. This is because of genetic mutations and defects in our DNA. Adam and Eve wouldn’t have had these defects. When God made Adam and Eve, they were genetically perfect, and their descendants wouldn’t have had to worry about hereditary deformities. God didn’t prohibit close intermarriage until almost 2,500 years after Adam and Eve (Lev 18:9-17); it took that long for genetic mutations to increase enough to become a real issue.
Why do I get mad often?
Dear Short Fuse,
Uncontrolled rage, like so many sins, stems from within our hearts (Mk 7:21-23). God warns that anger has a way of creeping up on us, and we must rule over it (Gen 4:6-7). Eph 4:26 says that we should make sure that our anger doesn’t control our actions; it is okay to be angry, but it isn’t okay to sin (Eph 4:26). One of the easiest ways to cool your temper is to be quick to hear and slow to speak (Jas 1:19-20). Anger can be controlled by slowing down and listening before jumping to conclusions.
Help me explain how God teaches us, not just by commands and direct statements, but also by examples and "necessary inferences."
Trying To Teach
Dear Trying To Teach,
‘Necessary inference’ is another way of saying that something must logically be true. For example, if you saw a man walking out of a store, you could “necessarily infer” that he had entered the store at some point. A necessary inference is simply using the facts at hand and our reasoning powers to properly find an answer. This is something that God wants us to do.
- In Isa 1:18, the Lord says, “Come now and let us reason together.”
- In Acts 17:2, Paul reasoned with the Jews using Scriptures to prove that Jesus was the Christ.
- Hebrews 5:14 says that we should attempt to discern between good and evil.
All of these passages point out that we have a responsibility to take God’s Word and, using our minds, reach proper conclusions about what is right and wrong. It is important to remember that we aren’t supposed to “jump” to conclusions, but God wants us to take the sum of His Word on every topic and put the pieces properly together (Ps 119:160).
In fact, this is exactly what the apostles did in Acts 15 when they had to decide whether or not to circumcise the Gentile Christians. In Acts 15:7-12, Peter, Paul, and Barnabas gave examples of how God accepted the Gentiles without circumcision. In Acts 15:13-21, the apostles looked at an Old Testament passage that said the Gentiles would eventually be accepted by God. And finally, after looking at these commands and examples from God, they made a judgment that the Gentiles didn’t need to be circumcised (Acts 15:19). This is a perfect example of using sound judgment and necessary inference.
God wants us to use our minds and come up with necessary conclusions to resolve ethical issues and defend the faith (1 Pet 3:15).
How do you survive an unevenly yoked marriage, and if your marriage is unevenly yoked, can God yoke the relationship together?
Dear Just Surviving,
God says that we are ‘unevenly yoked’ when we deeply intertwine our life with an unbeliever (2 Cor 6:14). A prime example of this is marriage. There is no more intimate relationship on this planet than marriage (Gen 2:24), and when a Christian is married to a non-Christian, it can be extremely difficult.
If you are married to an unbeliever, things will be tough, but all things are possible through God (Lk 18:27). Remember that your role is to be a light and sanctifying influence in your marriage (1 Cor 7:13-14). It is your godly behavior that has the potential to lead your spouse to Christ.
Inversely, you must not let your spouse’s attitudes and priorities lead you away from the Lord. Remember that your relationship with Christ comes first. Stand firm in the faith (1 Cor 16:13). Set your mind and purpose in your heart that you won’t skip church services (Heb 10:24-25), won’t compromise your morals for anyone, and you won’t let your love of Christ grow cold (Matt 24:12). If you do that, the Lord will bless you, and your marriage will be blessed.
A loudspeaker system produces "mechanical" music when sound is output through speakers (technically, sound waves generated by mechanical means, not vocal chords). If a church accepts this form of mechanical music by synthesizing its singing through audio speakers, could it accept words produced and synthesized by a sound board? What would the difference be? Ultimately, the sound produced is mechanical, sound waves from an amplifier and not from the voice box.
A loudspeaker system has nothing to do with the music being made – it simply amplifies it. When a speaker system is used, it doesn’t make any sort of music; the saints still have to sing and make melody in their hearts (Col 3:16). If the Christians weren’t singing, the speakers would simply produce silence.
A speaker system is no different then cupping your hands in front of your mouth to amplify the noise. The singing is still the same, just amplified by modern technology. However, if a piece of audio equipment is being used like an instrument to produce music on its own, that would be no different than using a piano or guitar.