Ask Your Preacher
I go to a church called "church of Christ" which has the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. I never take bread or drink anything because I don't understand the Lord’s Supper. Is it wrong that I never eat or drink anything for the Lord’s Supper? Can you explain to me what and why there's a "Lord’s Supper"?
What’s All This?
Dear What’s All This,
Christ told us that whenever we take the Lord’s Supper, we should do it in remembrance of Him (Lk 22:19). In the book of Acts, we see how often the church observed the Lord’s Supper. In Acts 20:7, we see that Christians ‘broke the bread’ in remembrance of Christ on Sundays. That is when they did it, so that is when we do it.
Paul says that we are to take the Lord’s Supper when the church is gathered together (1 Cor 11:20). Taking the Lord’s Supper is an act of worship done by every congregation of the Lord each Sunday. When we take a look at all the teaching on the Lord’s Supper, we get the truth (Ps 119:160). Christ commands that we do it in remembrance of Him (1 Cor 11:23-28), the church gives us the example of doing it on the first day of the week, and Paul teaches that we should do it when we are assembled as a church.
I have a question. I just joined a new church, but my preacher sounds gay. But he’s married to a woman with kids. But he sounds gay. What do you think?
From The Pew
Dear From The Pew,
The Bible specifically says that it is wrong for a man to purposefully act in an effeminate way (1 Cor 6:9). Men should act like men, not women. Women are meant to be feminine, and men are meant to be masculine.
Having said that, it is also important to give people the benefit of the doubt and not be too quick to judge (Matt 7:1). As you said, he is married and is living an obviously heterosexual lifestyle. We don’t know exactly what you mean by “sounds gay”, but there are certain aspects of the voice that people have no control over whatsoever. If his vocal patterns are the only thing… you might just want to cut him some slack. After all, we are all works in progress.
We have no men in our small congregation qualified to be elders. Yet, one of the men appears to have taken on that role to the point of reprimanding other men and women for choosing to not attend every Bible class offered. It's causing problems because some are feeling pressured into coming to the classes rather than being there because they want to be (I am one of them). I don't like attending any class because I feel like I have to. But to avoid causing this man (who has a lot of influence on other members) to think I'm getting weak, I'm now going to all of the classes and church-related events with a really bad attitude. I've had to stop being in charge of the bulletin each week – which I loved doing and grew so much from the experience – for lack of time. What should I do?
Got A Beef
Dear Got A Beef,
If this man is not an elder, he only has as much authority as the congregation of believers allows him to have. In other words, if you listen to him, he has power, but if you don’t, he doesn’t. As you said, your purpose in attending all the classes is out of fear of what this man and others think. 1 Cor 4:3-4 says that we need to learn to not care so much what others think of us – it is the Lord who judges, not man.
It was Jesus’ enemies who feared what others thought of them (Lk 20:19), but our Lord spoke without fear of others’ judgment (Matt 22:16). Php 2:12 tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling – that is the fear of God, not man. You need to decide what is the right thing to do, and then let people’s opinions fall where they may.
Is it okay for Christians to meditate? If you pray to relieve stress but also want to just take a few minutes a day to picture a nice scenery or something to bring zen, is that okay?
Mind Over Matter
Dear Mind Over Matter,
God wants us to dwell upon positive things (Php 4:8). There is nothing wrong with meditating on the good and beautiful of this life. Ps 77:12 talks about dwelling upon God’s creation and His handiwork as a positive thing. Meditation isn’t a replacement for prayer – but it can be pleasant.
What about mixing incense with the prayers of God's people? I try not to get caught up into things which I don't understand until I get further understanding. One Sunday, our pastor brought into the sanctuary a replica of the Ark of the Covenant, and he walked around the sanctuary with incense like the Catholics do; we are not Catholic. Then he said we were to write down prayers and place them in this replica of the Ark of the Covenant. It still sits there today; now he says that he is going to burn those written prayers since its been eighty-one days, and they will ascend unto God. And then he said he’s going to do the same practice again. Can you tell me if this ritual is practiced today and what he is doing? And should I participate in this? I didn't before.
This is definitely not a New Testament practice… nor is it an Old Testament practice for that matter! The Bible teaches that our prayers are the incense God wants to receive (Ps 141:2, Rev 8:4). We never see the New Testament church burning incense as a form of worship, and the only people who were allowed to burn incense in the Old Testament were descendants of the high priest, Aaron (Num 4:16, 1 Sam. 2:28). This preacher is adding to God’s Word and is absolutely in the wrong (Rev 22:18-19).