Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Stuck On Saturday

Sunday, July 29, 2012
     We were having a discussion at work with regards to which day is the Sabbath day, and what we picked up on Google is that Saturday is the Sabbath day, and if so, we would really like to know why it is now on a Sunday and which verse in the Bible states that Saturday is the Sabbath day.  Thanks for your time in educating us in the Word of the Lord.

Sincerely,
Weekend Wonderer

Dear Weekend Wonderer,

Saturday is the Sabbath day… but Christians don’t have to worry about keeping the Sabbath.  The word ‘sabbath’ means ‘rest’.  The Sabbath day was a day that the nation of Israel was told to rest, stop working, and make holy to the Lord (Ex 31:15).  This rule was so strict that a man was once stoned for collecting firewood on Saturday (Num 15:32-36).  However, this was a Jewish command, not a Christian one.  The Sabbath was part of the Old Testament law – a law that Christians are no longer under (Gal 3:23-25).  We are specifically told not to let anyone bind the Sabbath on us (Col 2:16).  Christians worship Christ on the first day of the week – Sunday (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:1-2).  If you’d like more information on the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament, we have a video tutorial on the subject here.

Clear Judgment

Saturday, July 28, 2012
     What does it mean to judge and to condemn?  Give me an example.

Sincerely,
Always Learning

Dear Always Learning,

To judge means to form an opinion or conclusion on something.  Oftentimes, it is used to refer to forming an opinion or coming to a verdict regarding someone.  The Bible makes it clear that having good judgment is important.  For example, Pr 24:23 says that a person who is biased in his judgments (i.e. treats one person more favorably than another) is not wise or good.  Pr 29:26 says that all righteous judgment comes from God.

It is impossible to go through life without making judgment calls, and whenever we judge something (or someone) as bad, we are condemning.  To condemn means to express disapproval of.  For example, when Jesus judged that the Pharisees were false teachers, He condemned them and expressed His disapproval.  We all use judgment, but the key is what type of judgment we use.

Matt 7:1-2 says that the judgment we use will be applied to us.  If we are mean, selfish, or hypocritical in our judgments, we can expect the same treatment from God.  That is why Jhn 7:24 says that we shouldn’t judge based off of appearances, but instead, we should always use righteous judgment.  The goal for Christians is to make judgments based off of the wisdom found in the Scriptures.

All The Verses

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
     I know there are verses in the Bible that condemn homosexuality, and the church is fervent on that.  The Bible also says in Deuteronomy 21:18-21 to put to death rebellious children, and in Lev 24:16, it says to stone foreigners, and in Deut 13:5-10, it says to kill false prophets and anyone that serves false gods.  I’ve also come to understand that the Bible endorses slavery.  Why aren’t all things being preached about, and why aren’t we held accountable for all of them?

Sincerely,
You Forgot Something!

Dear You Forgot Something,

You bring up a fair point.  It isn’t okay to fervently support the beliefs in the Bible that we like while ignoring the ones we don’t.  That is called subtracting from God’s Word, and it is strictly condemned (Rev 22:18-19).  God expects us to take the total sum of His Word and apply it (Ps 119:160), and part of taking the sum of God’s Word is keeping it in context.

Here are a couple of things to remember:

  1. The Old Testament laws should never be used as proof verses for Christian practices.  The Old Testament laws were for Jews, and the New Testament laws are for Christians.  Click here to watch a short video on the difference between the Old and New Testament.  The Bible does clearly condemn rebelling against parents (Col 3:20), idolatry (1 Cor 10:14), and false teaching (Jas 3:1)… but the commands to stone those who did such things were given to the nation of Israel, not the kingdom of Christ.
  2. The Bible doesn’t endorse slavery, but it does make provision for how a godly person can live in a culture that has slavery.  After all, when a slave becomes a Christian, he doesn’t automatically get yanked from his bondage and made free.  The Bible teaches us how to live godly in all cultures and scenarios (1 Pet 3:21).  You might like to read our post, “Freedom Is Better”, for more details on the slavery question.

The Bible does make it clear that we can’t pick and choose the verses we like and the sins we prefer to condemn.  The apostles taught the whole counsel of God, and so should we (Acts 20:27).  At our congregation in Monroe, that is exactly what we strive to do every day.

You Thinking What I'm Thinking?

Sunday, July 22, 2012
     What does it mean when God comes into your mind and thoughts?

Sincerely,
Thinking

Dear Thinking,

It depends on what you mean by “God comes into your mind…”  If what you mean by that statement is that you begin thinking about God, then it means that you are doing a good thing!  It is a wonderful thing when people dwell upon God, the Bible, and every good and pure thing (Php 4:8).  That is how we renew our minds, so we become the people we ought (Rom 12:2).

On the other hand, if what you mean by that statement is that you believe God is controlling your mind directly from heaven… that is an entirely different subject.  The days of dreams, visions, and prophecy have passed.  In the past, God spoke to various people through dreams, visions, and prophecy, but today He speaks to us through His Son, Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1-2).  Now that we have the complete and perfect Bible, there is no need for God to give people individual, divine messages.  It is through the Word of God that we learn how to live faithfully (Rom 10:17).  God simply doesn’t directly speak to us anymore.

Marking Our Days

Thursday, July 19, 2012
     Why does the Church teach God created all things in six, twenty-four hour days when time was not created until day four?  In the beginning, God did not create time until day four when He made the sun, moon, and stars, so we could mark the passing of seasons, the passing of time.

Sincerely,
Time To Answer

Dear Time To Answer,

The sun and the moon don’t create time anymore than a watch does.  It is true that the sun, moon, and stars were created on day four (Gen 1:17-19), but they were set to signify time (Gen 1:14), not create it.

Your watch signals you what time it is, but if you don’t wear a watch, time still ticks on whether you keep track of it or not.  On day one, we are told there was an evening and a morning – one day (Gen 1:5).  Time already existed on day one.  The sun and moon just make it easier to keep track of that twenty-four hour day we know so well.

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