Ask Your Preacher
I’ve heard that Mormons wear magic underwear… is that really true?!
Indeed, Mormons do have “magic underwear”, although we are pretty sure that they aren’t very fond of that terminology. Mormons prefer to call them ‘garments’. These ‘garments’ are special underwear worn by Mormons that have passed through their endowment ceremony (a ritual where a Mormon pledges to lead a righteous life), and even though it sounds entirely ridiculous, many devout Mormons take their sacred underwear very seriously.
Mormon underwear/garments is a perfect example of what happens when you stop following the authority of the Bible. Mormon ceremonies, traditions, and rituals are not found in the Bible. The Mormons says that they got all of their teachings from the angel Moroni. It is ironic that the apostle Paul says that if even an angel teaches you something other than the Bible message, they are accursed (Gal 1:8).
I was studying the Bible with my friend (she is a Mormon), and she showed me a verse that talks about baptizing dead people (1 Cor 15:29). What is that all about?
Dear Coffin Dunker,
God does command baptism for the dead… but not how the Mormons teach it. Baptism for the dead is a Mormon practice where they baptize a living family member on behalf of a dead relative. The Mormons then profess that “proxy-baptism” saves the soul of the dead relative, turning them into a Mormon. There is nothing in the Bible that teaches this doctrine, and they misuse 1 Cor 15:29 when they refer to it.
1 Cor 15:29 is in the middle of a discussion Paul is having with the Corinthian church about life after death. Paul just got done explaining that Jesus died and lived again (1 Cor 15:15-18). Paul will then later explain that he is willing to be persecuted even to death in order to preach the gospel (1 Cor 15:30-32). The statement about baptism for the dead is smack-dab right in the middle of that context. Therefore, whatever “baptism for the dead” is referring to must have something to do with life after death and the willingness to die for the gospel because you have such a hope.
Baptism removes our sin (Acts 2:38). Baptism saves us (1 Pet 3:21, Mk 16:16). When we are baptized, we move from a state of spiritual death to spiritual life (Eph 2:1-5). That spiritual death (i.e. eternity in hell) is what Paul is referring to in 1 Cor 15:29. People are baptized for death, to remove spiritual death, and live in the hope of eternal life (Tit 3:7). Jesus came and preached to those living in the “shadow of death” (Lk 1:79). When we obey the gospel, we have passed out of death and into life (Jhn 5:24). Jesus even went so far as to say that we will never see death if we keep His word (Jhn 8:51). In the context of first Corinthians chapter 15, Paul is talking about this eternal death. When people are baptized, they are baptized to avoid the eternal death that awaits all who are outside of Christ.
My son is in the military, and one of his platoon mates is a Mormon. My son was told by this young man that he was fasting. When my son asked him why he was fasting, the other soldier said the Bible says to fast every first Sunday of the month. He said it is a sin not to fast. What verse is he using? Is this a verse out of the Mormon Bible? Is it a sin not to fast? When is an appropriate time to fast?
MREs For Me
Dear MREs For Me,
Your son’s platoon mate is referring to a verse in a Mormon book called ‘Doctrine and Covenants’ (D&C), specifically D&C 59:12-13. D&C is one of the Mormon religion’s major holy books and is most definitely NOT part of God’s Word. God condemns any book other than the Bible. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, said that he was a prophet that was guided by the angel Moroni. It is ironic that the apostle Paul says that even if an angel says something different than what is in the Bible, they are to be condemned (Gal 1:8).
Fasting is a Biblical practice, but there are no specific guidelines for when to do it. Fasting is the practice of not eating for a designated period of time. Jesus once fasted for forty days (Matt 4:2). Fasting is often associated with times of grief and difficult decisions (Joel 2:12). Jesus’ disciples were noted for not fasting as often as the rest of the Jewish community (Matt 9:14). There is a time for fasting, but it is purely up to personal discretion.
Why are there so many churches on the earth today? Shouldn’t we all be unified and agree on what Christ said we should do?
Dear Unity Matters,
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.
Is it wrong for a church to employ a youth minister? In the Bible, we have examples of those who labor in the Word being paid for their efforts. I understand that the term ‘youth minister’ is somewhat denominational-sounding, and many times those who hold that position are nothing more than activities directors. That being said, if the ‘youth minister’ is in charge of actually putting together curriculum and teaching, then is it appropriate for a local congregation to pay for that service?
Sincerely, Youthful Exuberance
Dear Youthful Exuberance,
If you have someone doing the work of a minister, then he is worthy of his hire (Lk 10:7, 1 Tim 5:18). The title of ‘youth minister’ is indeed often used for those who are party planners for teens or activities directors to motivate the younger generations. That sort of ‘youth minister’ role is completely unbiblical and never seen within the New Testament.
If you have a ‘youth minister’ in charge of teaching and preaching in the local congregation, then he is a minister – just call him by that title. One of the great tragedies in religion has been to add titles and classifications that simply don’t exist within the Bible. Popes, archbishops, reverends, cardinals, etc. are all positions that were created by adding new titles and terminology that doesn’t exist within the Bible. Very often, the path away from the Word of God has been paved by simply adding things that aren’t necessary (Rev 22:18-19). We don’t need youth ministers, mission leaders, small group pastors, etc. – we need deacons, elders and evangelists (Php 1:1, 2 Tim 4:5). If a man is doing the job of a minister/preacher, then call him a minister/preacher and leave it at that. And yes, a congregation certainly can support someone fulfilling that Biblical role.