Ask Your Preacher
What does the Bible mean when it says that it is better for a man to marry than to burn with passion? I got married, and I am still burning with passion. I lust all the time, seems that I can’t help it. I ask God to forgive me every day. Please pray for me.
Dear On Fire,
1 Cor 7:9 is the verse you are referring to, and it is warning that it is better for a man and woman to marry than to burn for one another. We will never be able to remove all lusts or sexual temptations from life, but marriage was designed as a safeguard against those temptations. 1 Cor 7:1-5 states that marriage is a God-designed defense against fornication. Don’t think that by getting married, you miraculously remove all struggles and lusts of the flesh – that isn’t what that verse is dealing with. 1 Cor 7:9 is simply stating that it is better for a man and woman to marry if they find themselves struggling to stay chaste and pure in their courting.
I know that I cannot change my husband's mind about being a Mason and a Shriner, but I do worry about his salvation. He reads those books, but never, I mean never, picks up the Bible to read. I have mentioned to him about reading the Bible as well as the Masonry book, but he does not say anything. Because of the Masonry and Shriners, he believes that if he works, he can be saved that way. I have tried to explain to him that we are only saved because of God's grace and that we have to believe in Jesus alone in order to be saved, that our works will not save us. He is a good man, and I pray for him. Is there anything else I can do? If not, would you please pray for him as well? Thank you.
Dear Worried Wife,
A Christian should never be a Freemason. There are those who believe that the two are compatible, but this is typically because they haven’t reached a level of the Masonry organization that reveals the occult and anti-Scripture practices involved in the organization. Ignorance is the reason for most involvement with Freemasonry, but it isn’t an excuse. Everyone is responsible for seeking the truth for themselves (Php 2:12) and testing all teaching against Scripture (1 Jn 4:1).
Which brings us to your question – what can you do for your husband? You can show him Scriptures like Tit 3:5 and Rom 3:27 that teach that we can’t be saved by works or any great acts of virtue – all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). However, it sounds like you have done that. All that is left is to pray for him and let your quiet life of godliness work on his heart (1 Pet 3:1).
Why is the Old Testament put together with the New Testament? Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian. Jews did not or do not put the New Testament with their Torah, Tanakh, Halakha, etc. Jews see Jesus as a great prophet, not the Messiah. Christians only see Jesus as Messiah. Different religions, different books.
Apples And Oranges
Dear Apples And Oranges,
There is a great dispute in the religious world about what parts of the Bible to follow. Some people follow just the New Testament, some the Old Testament, and the majority fit somewhere in-between those two positions. The answer is in the word “testament”. Testament means ‘covenant’ or ‘contract’. There is the old contract that people followed before Christ came (Gal 3:24-25), and Christians are under the new law that Jesus set up (Rom 8:2). If you are going to be a Christian, the New Testament (i.e. new contract) is your rulebook.
So what use is the Old Testament to Christians? It is still a great teaching tool for several reasons:
- Examples of good and bad lifestyles (1 Cor 10:1-6, Heb 12:1)
- Prophecies about Jesus and His church (1 Pet 1:10-12)
- Explanations of where we came from (Gen 1:1)
- Knowledge of the world Jesus lived in
- God wrote it!
The Old Testament is not the place to go to find the specific standards you should live by, but it is a wonderful place to see God at work, interacting in the lives of men. God’s character never changes, and how He valued His old contract should impress upon us how important the new one is (Heb 2:1-3).
I have a son who is married, but he and his wife are separated. He is seeing other women and having sex with them. He stays with us, and so if he’s living with us and we know that’s what he’s doing, will that stop the blessing from coming in our house?
When a child becomes an adult, they are responsible for their own sins… but you are responsible for your household. Eli was sharply rebuked and cursed by God because he honored his sons above God’s law (1 Sam 2:29). When a love of family supersedes our love for the Lord – we’ve got big problems (Lk 14:26). You cannot control what your son does when he leaves your house – but until then, remember the words of Joshua: “As for me and for my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:15).
Why does it feel as though single parents aren’t accepted in the church? I’m a single parent of two boys, and when I go to church, it seems that people there are distant from us. Nobody, I believe, was asking to be placed in this type of situation.
It is hard to say why anyone feels like they aren’t accepted in their congregation. There are many reasons, and here are just a few:
- It may be because the congregation really is distant and are treating you unkindly. Of course, this is wrong. We are told that we shouldn’t have favoritism within the church (Jas 2:1-9). Christians should always strive to show love and kindness to all of mankind.
- It may be that your situation makes you feel isolated even though people aren’t trying to be distant. We often super-impose our own fears upon others, and our perceptions of reality aren’t always correct… especially when we have struggles that make us feel out of place – such as being a single parent in a congregation with few others facing that same difficulty. Each heart knows its own sorrow, and we can subconsciously isolate ourselves (Pr 14:10).
- It may also be that some people have been unkind or uncharitable to you in the past, and that has left a bad taste in your mouth. Eccl 7:21-22 warns us not to take to heart everything that others say – after all, we all stick our foot in our mouth from time to time. That being said, a poorly chosen word or action can certainly create distance.
These aren’t all the reasons that cause people to feel detached from a congregation – but they are some of the primary ones. We are sorry things have been so difficult for you. Hopefully, tomorrow brings better things.