Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

MARRIAGE

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The Color Of Souls

Friday, July 13, 2012
     Does God see it as wrong or sinful for interracial couples (black/white) to be together, dating, or married?

Sincerely,
Color Blind

Dear Color Blind,

There is absolutely nothing wrong with interracial marriage.  We are all descendants of Adam and Eve (Gen 3:20), and, therefore, race is a moot point.  Secondly, in Christ, such things as race have no significance (Gal 3:27-28).  The only concern you should have when falling in love and marrying is whether or not they are “in the Lord”, i.e. a Christian (1 Cor 7:39).

The Storms Of Marriage

Thursday, July 12, 2012
     I am so hurt right now and confused.  I don’t know what to do; all my husband wants to do is yell and cuss at me for the least little thing; he gets angry easily and then tries to come up and love and wonders why I am not talking.  It is hard to love on someone who is always angry, yelling, and cussing.  I have talked to him about it, and he will do good for awhile; then it is the same all over again.  I love God.  I pray; I try to be patient, but it is hard.  What do I do?

Sincerely,
Feeling Raw

Dear Feeling Raw,

Our hearts really and truly go out to you – you are obviously “unequally yoked” in spiritual matters (2 Cor 6:14).  There is no simple answer in this case, but there are some principles that you should consider.  It is a very difficult road to be married when it isn’t the fairy tale that people expect.  So what is the answer?

God says that your greatest tool of influence on your husband is your godly behavior.  1 Pet 3:1-2 says that the most effective influence a wife can have is her behavior.  It isn’t the words that you say that will have the most impact; it is the godly life you live.  When your choices show that you put God first and that your fear and respect of the Lord is the guiding light of your life, it will influence your husband.

Being faithful in a difficult marriage is hard, and our hearts go out to you in your struggle.  You are doing the right thing, and how you feel is totally normal.  Just remember, all things can work together for God if we trust in the Lord (Rom 8:28).  You mentioned that your husband has tried to change in the past.  That is a wonderful thing because it means that he wants to be better.  That is hope for the future.

Sinking In The Carpool

Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I want to ask.  My husband and I go to different churches, but we are both Christians (just a difference in styles), but our churches are not too far from one another.  Well, I don't drive, so my husband takes me on Sunday morning.  My church starts at 10 AM; his also starts at 10 AM, but he gives a ride to some of his church members… which I don't mind at all, so I go at maybe 9:30, so he will have time to pick them up, but he wants to drop me off at 9 with no one there, but I don't want to stay that early with no one at the church yet.  I just want to know: am I asking him to put me before God

Sincerely,
Asking Too Much?

Dear Asking Too Much,

Your family’s religious struggles are deeper than just figuring out how to carpool.  The problem is with the idea that the differences between churches are merely “style” differences.  There was only one church in the first century, and today there are well over 33,000 different denominations all professing to belong to Christ.  This is not only tragic; it’s wrong.  Christ died for one church, and He gave us one doctrine (Eph 4:4-6).  Christianity can only be preserved in the “unity of the Spirit” (Eph. 4:3).  This means that the only way we can have unity is to use the standard the Holy Spirit has given us – the Bible.

All the denominations have their own creed books, statements of faith, organizational structures, and opinions.  Christ’s church has none of those.  It has one book, the Bible, as its rule and standard for all behavior.  It is our guide for all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3).  It is the book that was handed down once and for all to the saints (Jude 3).  We cannot have faith without hearing this Word (Rom 10:17), and we cannot please God without obeying its commandments (Jhn 15:14).

The Catholics trust their Vatican leadership, the Protestants reform a broken system, and the community churches pledge loyalty to their communities and social programs.  The only solution to the religious confusion is a radical step… restoration of Bible-only principles.  Let us go back to the Bible for everything that we do, and if we cannot find Bible authority for something… we must refuse to practice it.  A church that finds its roadmap and structure in the Bible alone is the real solution to the division that exists in the religious world.  When the Bible speaks, let us speak – and when it is silent, let us be silent.

Everything a church does (worship, membership, how they teach to be saved, how they spend their money, even their name) needs to have Bible verses backing them up (1 Tim 3:15).  A church needs to be able to explain the reasons for why they do what they do (1 Pet 3:15).

Our congregation here in Monroe goes by the name ‘Monroe Valley church of Christ’ because ‘church of Christ’ is a Biblical name for a congregation (Rom 16:16).  We worship by singing (Col 3:16), studying the Bible (1 Tim 4:13), praying (2 Thess 3:1), taking communion (only on Sundays – Acts 20:7), and taking up a collection (also only on Sundays – 1 Cor 16:1-2).  We teach that you must hear God’s Word (Rom 10:17), believe God’s Word (Jhn 3:16), repent of your sins (Mk 6:12), confess Jesus as your Savior (Lk 12:8), and be baptized to be saved (Acts 2:38, 1 Pet 3:21).  We do all these things because they are practices found in the Bible.  We can help you and your husband find a church that does these things and settles for nothing less than total adherence to the Bible.  Just email us at askyourpreacher@mvchurchofchrist.org and we’d be happy to get you in touch with someone that can study with you.

The Dating Game

Monday, June 25, 2012
     Is it okay to date a married man if he is in the process of a divorce?

Sincerely,
Interested Party

Dear Interested Party,

He is married.  Married people don’t date anyone but their spouses.  No matter how close he might be to a divorce, or how serious the separation is – he is still married.

Though it is unlikely that he will reconcile with his spouse if he is filing for divorce, he is still married.  If you begin dating, you will be dating a married man.  That looks bad to everyone else, thus tainting your relationship in the eyes of others (Rom 12:17).  Furthermore, it doesn’t just look bad – it is bad.

All of this makes it wrong even without addressing questions like why he is getting divorced, if it’s scriptural, etc.  The fact is that even without those issues, now is not a time to be starting a new relationship.  God designed a husband and wife to work through their marriage problems together (1 Cor 7:10-11)… until those problems are resolved (either by reconciliation or scriptural divorce), he is committed to that relationship.  With all that turmoil involved in divorce, his life and mind are not in a good position to be entering the dating world even if it were appropriate.  Since you truly care for this man, the greatest gift you can give him is to step away and let him get things in order.

The Children Are Watching

Sunday, June 24, 2012
     My husband and I were raised in different churches.  We recently had a discussion about alcohol: those who drink it, those who don't, and what kind of example we want to set for our children.  Can you clarify what the Bible states about alcohol consumption?

Sincerely,
United Front

Dear United Front,

God never specifically condemns all alcohol, but He does condemn ‘strong drink’ (Pr 20:1), drinking parties (1 Pet 4:3), and drunkenness (Rom 13:13).  Almost all alcohol that is consumed today would fall into the category of ‘strong drink’ because our alcoholic beverages are artificially fermented to increase their alcoholic content (unlike the wine of Jesus’ day – read “That’s Just Grape” for further details on the wine Jesus drank).  We would all do well to heed the words of Pr 23:31-32 and avoid alcohol as much as is possible.

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