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).
Can it be possible that God did create a beautiful universe but then somehow lost control? Could that be why we see the terrible world in such a mess with no justice or fairness?
This world is full of all sorts of disease, pain, violence, and strife – but God didn’t cause those things; sin did. All bad things are a result of sin. When God made the world, He placed mankind in the Garden of Eden and gave us a joyously blissful existence in that paradise. Who caused the pain? We did. It is sin that has brought all of the death, disease, decay, pain, suffering, troubles, and heartaches into our world. We all, in varying degrees, are reaping the benefits of a world with sin in it. Sickness is a consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. One of the curses of their sin was that we all must face our own mortality – life is finite. Sickness, disease, and pain are a part of the human existence. When God gave us freewill, He gave us the right to cause problems for ourselves and others, and if He simply removed all the consequences for our actions, He would be removing our freedoms as well.
However, God also planned before the foundation of the world to save us by sending His own Son to die (Eph. 1:3-4). Even though He isn’t responsible for our choices, God sent the perfect cure. This world isn’t fair – if it were, it would be heaven. Instead, we live in a fallen world where man has been exiled from paradise. This world is not our home; Christians await a better world (Heb 11:16).
I believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. I didn't always, but after having two beautiful, healthy children and seeing so much beauty in the world, I decided it wasn't an accident. I decided that it was all real. My problem is, I'm a huge sinner. I smoke and drink and fight with my mother sometimes. I've had three abortions... one just recently. I can't understand how God or Jesus can forgive me. Is it possible? How do I accept Jesus as they say? I thought I had, but apparently I haven't. I don't know how to. I feel so lost. How do I accept Jesus as my Savior, and what if I keep sinning?
Yes, you can be forgiven. Yes, you do need to start making changes in your life... and yes, we can help.
We recommend two things:
- Read our article "What Must I Do To Be Saved?" to see what the Bible teaches on salvation. Read the verses we reference for yourself (that way you can see that we aren't just making this stuff up!).
- If you feel comfortable, e-mail us back, and we can get you in touch with a congregation near you that can answer your questions, support you as you seek the Lord and make changes in your life, and help you get to heaven. Not all churches are faithful, but we know of many congregations all over the country that will show you what the Bible says and make sure that you get Bible answers for your questions.
We wish you the very best. You are doing the right thing by reaching out, and you are being very courageous in trying to change your life.