Ask Your Preacher
Does the Bible give us an explanation of why God allows natural disasters to happen and sometimes even take the lives of loved ones?
Dear Shaken Up,
Natural disasters are a byproduct of sin. When God created the universe, He made everything good (Gen 1:31). The world didn’t have disease, thorns, suffering, and all the other problems we see today. Originally, Adam and Eve lived in the perfect paradise of the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:8). It is only after Adam and Eve were cast from the Garden because of their sin that all the problems we see today began. The first recorded earthquake didn’t happen until the days of Noah when all the world had turned to violence and evil (Gen 6:5-7). When the world was flooded because of sin, God broke open the fountains of the deep, which would surely have quaked the planet (Gen 7:11). The first recorded natural disaster (Noah’s flood) was caused because of sin. It was mankind’s sin that forced God to flood the Earth to save Noah’s righteous family (1 Pet 3:20). God wanted paradise and peace for mankind, but we have warped His creation because of our sin.
Did God create evil? If so, is there evil in Him?
Dear Dark Detector,
God didn’t create evil; the devil did. The Bible says that Satan is the father of lies (Jhn 8:44). Sin only exists when we turn our backs on God. Sin is a lot like darkness. Darkness isn’t really a thing – it is the absence of light. God is the Father of lights and every good thing (Jas 1:17)... there is no evil in God. When we stop following the Lord, we no longer walk in the light. Evil is the absence of godliness. Evil is what you get when you remove God’s design.
I am a teenager, and I’m getting into wearing makeup… is it bad to wear makeup? I know it is, but where in the Bible does it say this? That’s what I want to know. Thanxx!
The Naked Eye
Dear The Naked Eye,
There is nothing wrong with wearing makeup – if it is worn properly. Makeup usage is a matter of wisdom, and first and foremost, you should consult your parents and abide by their wishes (Eph 6:1-3). They will have perspective and wisdom that can only be acquired through experience.
Wearing makeup is an issue of modesty. When women overly adorn themselves with lavish clothing and accessories, they give the wrong impression (1 Pet 3:3-5). All of us have seen women that dress in a provocative and lustful way… you do not want to send that kind of message! All makeup, jewelry, clothing, etc. should be worn in a way that shows self-control and appears respectable (1 Tim 2:9-10).
Is going to poker rooms sinful? I believe poker is wrong and that it is sinful.
Dear All Out,
The Bible never specifically mentions gambling as a sin, but it doesn’t have to be specifically mentioned to be wrong. There are a great many things surrounding gambling that are sinful. Consider that:
- Gambling focuses around money and greed. God warns us clearly about being fixated with money (1 Tim 6:10, Heb 13:5). God wants us to be satisfied with our income (Eccl 5:10). Contentment is a major component of spiritual maturity (1 Tim 6:6).
- Gambling is used as a means to gain money without working for it. God finds pleasure in people working for their livelihood (2 Thess 3:10-12, Pr 10:4).
- Gambling wastes money because, ultimately, the house does always win. God expects us to be good stewards (1 Cor 4:2) and save for the future (Pr 6:6-8).
- Gambling and the places where gambling occurs are often associated with other sinful things. There is a reason Las Vegas is called “Sin City”. That industry is not one that a christian should be supporting (2 Cor 6:16-17).
- Gambling is addictive. We can only have one master (Lk 16:13).
Do church buildings help or hinder our evangelistic effectiveness?
Dear In Escrow,
Both. Having a church building is an issue of wisdom – sometimes renting, meeting in a home, park, etc. is a better option. Other times, owning a church building is the most effective way for a congregation to fulfill the command to assemble (Heb 10:24-25) and further their responsibility to be the pillar and ground of the truth in the community (1 Tim 3:15). A church building can also just be a weight holding a congregation back from being effective. It is a wisdom issue that must be assessed by each congregation individually. Read “Keeping The Lights On” for a detailed explanation of the purpose of having a church building.