Ask Your Preacher
Why do we, believers, sometimes act like Pharisees?
There are lots of reasons that people can behave Pharisaically. The Pharisees chose their traditions over the Bible (Mk 7:8), and the Pharisees also cared more about appearances than they did about genuinely serving God (Matt 23:25-26). Sadly, there are still people like that in the church today. The key is to not be that way yourself.
Are there any scriptures that instruct us on fellowshipping with other Christians (i.e. where to fellowship, what to do when we fellowship)? I've been meeting with a group of Christians here and there, and it seems all we do is eat, talk about random things, and go home. I have yet to see a Bible opened at one of the fellowships; we don’t even speak about God and His Word. If someone walked in on our fellowship, they would think we're just a bunch of friends sitting around and having a good ol’ time. I want to bring this up before the group. Any suggestions?
A Different Kind Of Hungry
Dear A Different Kind Of Hungry,
The Bible talks a lot about fellowship but not in the way we often use the word today. The word ‘fellowship’ means ‘the share which one has in anything, participation’. In short, the word fellowship doesn’t have anything to do with social gatherings; it is about partnership and sharing in a common goal. The Greek word for fellowship is sometimes translated ‘communion’ (2 Cor 13:14) or ‘contribution’ (Rom 15:26) because when we share in a common work or contribute to a common work, we are in fellowship.
The church must be in fellowship with one another constantly. We must work together for a common purpose at all times. However, that doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not you socialize… in the case of Php 1:3-5, Paul said he had fellowship with the Philippian church because they financially supported him even though he was in a distant land.
Now that we know what fellowship is and isn’t, let’s talk about this group getting together. There isn’t anything wrong with Christians just spending time together for fun and social enjoyment. However, if you are getting together for the purpose of studying and spiritual growth, it sounds like this group isn’t meeting those goals.
What is the role of a brother in Christ with regard to a sister in Christ who is not his wife, daughter, sister, mother, or any other female family member? I'm a sister in Christ. I don't want to be husbanded or fathered. I just want a brother and a friend, not someone who is trying to manage my life like he does a wife or one of his children. Shouldn't there be a difference?
Dear Not Yours,
The Bible teaches that men in the church should treat women in the church like sisters and mothers (depending on their age). Paul clearly says this in 1 Tim 5:2. It isn’t the job of a Christian man to manage the lives of all Christian women – frankly, we’ve got enough work just taking care of ourselves!
We aren’t entirely sure what your complete question is, but it is possible for men and women in the church to have friendships, as long as they are careful to avoid anything inappropriate (1 Thess 5:2). Both genders in the church are to seek healthy relationships with all Christians… whether male, female, young, or old.
The only people within a congregation who would have a responsibility to “manage” you would be the elders, who are given the task of watching over the saints (1 Pet 5:2).
When a person is saved, what causes them not to have compassion in there heart?
When we first become Christians, we are only babies (1 Cor 3:1). It is only after time and practice that we become mature and full-grown adult Christians (Heb 5:14). Becoming a Christian doesn’t fix all over your shortcomings, and consequently, many Christians struggle with being compassionate, showing love, becoming unselfish, and a host of other internal battles. We must be patient with one another as we all grow toward the Lord (2 Pet 1:6).
I am worried that my wife is getting burnt out. We have always tried to involve ourselves in doing good work such as visiting the sick, helping the elderly, cleaning the church building, helping people get to worship who can't drive, etc. It makes me feel good to do these things. We have something going on just about every night after we get off work. My wife said she feels overwhelmed. My question is: as her husband, is it biblically wrong in any way if I tell her she could slow down? We are members of the Lord’s church, and just like any congregation, few people are willing to do work. It makes me happy to help, and I believe it makes the Lord happy. I just don't want my wife to get burnt out. Any suggestions or Scripture that may help?
Dear Concerned Husband,
There is a time and season for everything. Burn out is a real issue, and Solomon said that there is a time for everything – that would include a time to rest (Eccl 3:1-8). It is good that you are workers in the church, and you shouldn’t stop working, but it may be time to pace yourselves. After all, Christianity is an endurance race, not a sprint (Lk 21:19). There is a season for everything, and your wife’s health and well-being must be factored in as you decide what level of work your family can handle.