Ask Your Preacher
My boyfriend and I started off the wrong way by living together before marriage. We have taken that back a hundred fold, and we no longer live together. However, after a year of living apart, it is extremely hard now! We are struggling very badly right now. He says I am not on the same spiritual level as him… though I am a believer in Jesus and the Word! I am not, however, focused nearly as much as him in the Word. He said he will not be unequally yoked again. Because we argue still about me wanting him to spend more time with me and the kids, I am pulling him away from constantly being in the Word. Am I supposed to forget life because he says there is nothing else to talk about? Is it all about God, and we are only supposed to talk about Him? Am I not supposed to talk about our future as a married couple or what our wedding will entail? Now, because I am not 120% focused on just God, we are unequally yoked. Is that true? Am I wrong because I still desire to live life and talk about baseball and what the kids did at school and everything that life involves? Am I really supposed to be so focused on God I forget all that is around me? And if I am supposed to... how do I? I love God, and I am so grateful for Jesus, and I study and learn more everyday. I am very confused. Are my boyfriend and I unequally yoked to the point that we should not be together any more?
First of all, good for you for making changes in your lives and no longer living together before marriage. You did the right thing, and though it is hard, remember how pleased God is with your choice (Lk 15:7)!
Now let’s deal with the “unequally yoked” issue. The verse that talks about being unequally yoked is 2 Cor 6:14, and it is dealing with a believer being connected to an unbeliever – from what you have said, that is not your situation. A ‘yoke’ is a ‘harness used to tie oxen together, so that they can pull a plow or cart’. When God tells us not to be “unequally yoked” to an unbeliever, He is warning us not to put ourselves in a position where we are committed and tied to someone who doesn’t share our values. The most poignant example of this is marriage. If two oxen are yoked but they are pulling in opposite directions – disastrous things happen.
In your case, you both care about the Lord, but he seems convinced that caring about the Lord means that you neglect all other things. God tells us the opposite. If you two eventually get married, God says that married people must divide their time between caring for the Lord’s work and caring for each other’s needs and future (1 Cor 7:32-34). This is a concept that your boyfriend isn’t grasping. Show him 1 Cor 7:32-34, and then see what He says about “dividing” his time.
What does you do when you have friends that drink and you are not much of a drinker? I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. My husband and I are not big drinkers, just maybe one every so often, but we met some friends while riding bikes, and they do. What do we do?
Trying Not To Wine
Dear Trying Not To Wine,
Pr. 20:1 says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” Alcohol has caused more problems, deaths, sin, etc. than could ever be fathomed by the mind of man. 1 Cor 15:33 says that we should be very careful with the company we keep because bad company can corrupt good morals. The best thing you can do is make your stand on this issue in a kind way and make it clear that drinking isn’t going to be part of your lifestyle. If these friends are real friends, they will respect your views, and at the least, not do it around you or push you to do it. If they can’t respect that… they probably aren’t real friends.
Will those who are mentally handicapped and cannot grasp the conditions given in the Bible to be saved go to heaven or hell? If all humans are born with the sinful nature and HAVE to trust in Jesus to forgive their sin, how can they have that understanding if they are mentally handicapped?
You aren’t born in sin, and those with mental handicaps would fall under the same rules as children. In order to obey the gospel, we must have the maturity to:
- Take responsibility for our sins (Acts 3:19).
- Hear and understand the Word of God (Rom 10:17).
- Be responsible for our own spiritual growth (1 Pet 2:1-2).
Children and those with mental disabilities do not have that ability, and God only holds us accountable for what we are able to do (2 Cor 8:11-12).
The teaching that we are born sinful is a Calvinist teaching called ‘Total Depravity’. Total Depravity means that Calvinists believe that everyone is born completely sinful and depraved. A totally depraved human is incapable of doing good or pleasing God. This is completely false. All babies are born without sin and perfect in God’s sight (even David recognized that his dead child was going to be in heaven [2 Sam 12:23]). Sin is not a birthright; it is a choice (Gen 4:6-7, Jas 1:13-15). Humans sin when they choose to do wrong; they are not born in sin.
The false teaching of ‘original sin’ is very common in today’s society. If a congregation teaches that you are born in sin, they are false teachers. Sin is a choice we make in life (Isa 7:15-16), and all humans are born upright and good (Eccl 7:29).
I have the most wonderful son in the world; he is seven and has Down syndrome. My question is: after he dies and goes to heaven, will he still have Down syndrome, or will he be like us?
Down syndrome is a body issue, not a soul issue. Your wonderful son is a soul (Gen 2:7); he has a body. When we die, our spirit separates from our body (Jas 2:26). At that moment, your son will never again face the health issues he does now.
I am sick with allergies (environmental and food), bronchitis, and stomach issues that include GERD and IBS. I have also found out that I have chronic ear disease with a hole in one eardrum. I have all sorts of little things going on. My question is: is it something I have done? I want to fix it whatever it is, but I first need to know what it is that I have done. How do I find out if it is my fault?
Sick Of Being Sick
Dear Sick Of Being Sick,
You might be hurting for living unfaithfully… but that is only one of several reasons why people suffer. Here are the two other reasons why people suffer:
- Sometimes bad things simply happen because they happen. Job suffered greatly, and his children died, but it wasn’t his (or their) fault. Job hadn’t done anything wrong, nor had his kids. It all happened because Satan wanted to do evil (Job 1:6). As long as we live in this world of sin, there will be troubles. Sometimes, there isn’t anyone at fault… just time and chance wreaking havoc in a sinful world (Eccl 9:11).
- Sometimes people suffer so that God can be glorified. Jesus’ disciples asked Him why a certain man had been born blind, and Jesus answered, “So that God’s works might be revealed in him.” (Jhn 9:1-3) This man’s ailment provided an opportunity for God to show His glory. There are times that we suffer, so God can teach us and teach others through our pain (Eccl 7:2-3).
You are doing the right thing by examining your life and making sure that you are right with God. If you would like to have Bible classes or need a congregation, we can help you find a faithful one near you (our e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org), but unfaithfulness isn’t the only cause of suffering.