Ask Your Preacher
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.
Hey, it's me again. So there is this extremely weird guy on my bus, and he is an atheist. How do I lead him to Christ? God is not dead.
Trying To Teach
Dear Trying To Teach,
Ironically, the Bible doesn’t say much to those who believe that we are all a cosmic accident. The only verse in the Bible that specifically deals with atheism is Ps 53:1 which says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ ” From God’s perspective, there is so much abundant evidence of a Creator that an honest heart will admit it. Statistically, this is also true – even with the rampant spread of evolutionary teachings, only a miniscule percentage (1.6%) of the American population consider themselves atheists. Rom 1:20 states that God built the universe, so it might stand as ever-sufficient evidence of His existence.
Studying Creation evidence is an enjoyable and wonderful thing. We here at AYP have an entire section devoted to Bible Evidences, but ultimately, if someone has totally disregarded the existence of God… Psalm 53:1 says they will be a very hard nut to crack. If he is honestly willing to look at the evidence though, we have found some luck in referring atheists to the books Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel and Has God Spoken? by A.O. Schnabel. Both books are well worth the read, and well worth sharing.
I wrote to you once before. I have a problem with blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I believe I am guilty of it, but I want to believe in Jesus. I am trying to understand if His blood covers this, or am I damned to hell? I don't want to believe He will forgive if He won't, and I don't want to stop believing in Him because I know I am supposed to. This started three years ago, and it stopped the first year I had it, and then it came back. Now it is worse than ever. It's like I am chattering in my head. I know it is stupid, but that it is what it is. It started because I was afraid that God wouldn’t forgive me for something else, and it grew into this. I don't know how to stop. I am asking God for help, but I am still doing it. Will God still let me come to heaven?
The unforgivable sin is the sin against the Holy Spirit, and the fact that you are visiting this website is a pretty sure sign that you haven’t committed it. Jesus says that any sin will be forgiven except for someone blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mk 3:28-30). Jesus said this to the crowd that accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Mk 3:23). That crowd could have been forgiven of any sin, but instead they rejected the miracles that testified that Jesus was from God. Contrast that crowd’s attitude with Nicodemus’ attitude. Nicodemus understood that the only way that someone could perform a miracle was if God was with him (Jhn 3:2). When that crowd rejected the evidence that the Holy Spirit provided (in this case, the miracles), they rejected any chance to receive the forgiveness found in Jesus’ teachings. When we reject the truth of God (the Bible), we reject the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit’s primary job is to bring the truth of the gospel to mankind (see the post “What the Holy Spirit Does” for more details). Someone blasphemes the Holy Spirit by rejecting the truth that the Holy Spirit sent us in the Bible. Any sin can be forgiven if we will turn to God’s Word and obey it (Rom 10:17, Heb 5:9), but there is absolutely no hope for someone if he or she will not accept the Holy Spirit’s Bible.
Therefore, since it seems that you are actively seeking the truth and trying to study and learn what God’s Word is – you have not committed the unforgivable sin.
What does the Bible say about cremation?
Hot Around The Collar
Dear Hot Around The Collar,
Both cremation and burial are acceptable Biblical practices. The Bible makes it clear that your body is merely a tent that is discarded at death (2 Cor 5:1-4). Peter recognized that at death we leave this ‘tent’ of a body behind (2 Pet 1:14). Ultimately, your physical body will return to dust and dirt (Gen 3:19). It may sound morbid, but cremation simply speeds along the natural process of decay that will occur to all bodies eventually.
Furthermore, we have at least one account of cremation occurring in the Old Testament. Saul and his sons were cremated after they died in battle (1 Sam 31:12). The men that cremated Saul and his sons were later commended by David for their behavior (2 Sam 2:5). That same verse in 2 Samuel shows that David considered cremation a form of burial. David’s endorsement of cremation as a godly practice is worth noting.
The Bible does not seem to place much focus on how someone is buried. God’s emphasis is upon how we live (Gal 2:20), not what is done with our body after we die.
What would constitute as an unbeliever? This term is brought up a lot in the Bible and in biblical conversations, but what would constitute an unbeliever?
Dear Define It,
An unbeliever is someone who doesn’t place their faith in Jesus. In 2 Cor 6:14-16, believers and unbelievers are compared. Believers live according to the light of the Word; unbelievers walk in darkness. Believers live for God; unbelievers’ lives are led by idols. That is the contrast between the two.