Ask Your Preacher
Last week in Sunday school, we were discussing how it seemed like the nature of God in the Old Testament seemed different than the nature of God in the New Testament. (The New Testament nature of God seemed more forgiving and less wrathful). My pastor mentioned there was a second century heretical movement called “Marcionism” that actually taught there was a difference. Supposedly, this man named Marcion actually broke away from the church and began his own movement. My pastor said the early church fought against this early heresy, and it eventually died out. I’m not good with history, so I didn’t want to ask my pastor to explain this further in front of the Sunday school class. Could you explain this a bit further? How were these early christians able to keep the true biblical teachings on track and avoid these early heresies?
Mad At Marcion
Dear Mad At Marcion,
Marcionism was a real movement, and it was combated by the early christians the same way all false teaching is – by comparing the teaching to the Bible. The Bible teaches that God is the same today, forever, and always (Heb 13:8). It teaches that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (who were all Old Testament people) is the same God of the New Testament (Acts 3:13). New Testament christians compared the Scriptures to what Marcion was teaching… and found Marcion to be wrong.
We are told to do the same thing today. There are lots of people who say they believe in Christ but teach a different gospel (Matt 7:21-23). Paul said that such false teachers distort the Scriptures and are bound for hell (Gal 1:8). Our job is to test all preaching against the Bible (1 Jn 4:1). There are lots of churches, but only one Bible. God never intended for all the religious confusion we see today (Eph 4:4-6). If we want to be confident of our salvation, it is important that we never accept what people say unless it matches the Bible. The Bible is the ultimate standard of faith (Rom 10:17); accept no substitute.
I have a Jehovah's Witness co-worker who denies the Trinity. He says the word "Trinity" is not found in the New Testament. He claims nowhere does the Bible say God is one but in three persons. He also mentioned the church only developed the idea of the Trinity many centuries after the New Testament was written.
My question is: where did the word "trinity" originate, who was the first to use it, and why was it accepted as an orthodox Christian belief even though it is not explicitly defined in the New Testament?
Dear Three Questions,
Your Jehovah Witness co-worker is right about the word ‘Trinity’… but wrong on the nature of God. It is disingenuous to say that just because the word ‘Trinity’ isn’t found in the New Testament that the concept of a trinity Godhead isn’t biblical. The concept of the Trinity is that there are three distinct persons that are all equally deity. That principle is found throughout the Bible. Jhn 1:1 points out the deity of Christ. Gen 1:2 shows the eternal nature of the Holy Spirit, and Lk 3:21-22 shows all three Deity working independently of each other. The Scriptures also show that all three members of the Godhead are of equal authority (Matt 28:19). In short, the Trinity is expressly defined in the New Testament… that is where its origins lie.
Does it work for a christian to be a cheerleader? Some people say it's wrong, but I don’t know.
Dear Cheery Disposition,
The Bible never specifically says anything about cheerleading, but we can look at verses that may be pertinent. There are certain things associated with cheerleading that must be considered before deciding whether or not it is appropriate. The biggest issue to consider is modesty. Many cheerleading uniforms are designed to be immodest – this is wrong (1 Tim 2:9). Furthermore, many of the moves, kicks, and tosses involved in cheerleading inappropriately expose a cheerleader’s body and are meant to be sensual. Cheerleading hasn’t always been this way, but unfortunately, in today’s society, cheerleading has become very inappropriate. Pr 11:22 says that a godly woman should show discretion – cheerleading is often anything but discrete. Instead of letting their inner character adorn them (1 Pet 3:3-4), many young women are being taught that beauty is only skin deep. Modern cheerleading continues to further that shallow and ungodly worldview.
5 minutes a day
5 days a week
1 New Testament in a year
There are 261 weekdays in a year, and there are 260 chapters in the New Testament. By reading one chapter, Monday through Friday, you will read the whole New Testament by the end of the year. The Daily Cup series is to help with that goal.
"The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup." -- Psalm 16:5
Click here for a pdf of the study schedule - CLICK HERE
Should my pastor ask me how much I make on my job and how much tithes and offerings I will be giving?
Not An Open Pocketbook
Dear Not An Open Pocketbook,
No, it isn’t right to grill people in regards to their income… in fact, tithing isn’t even a commandment in the New Testament. In the New Testament (which is the law that christians follow), we are told to “give cheerfully” and “give as we have purposed” (2 Cor 9:7). Ten percent is a good rule of thumb because we see that being the standard in the Old Testament, but it isn’t a requirement. If any congregation teaches that you have to give ten percent (or any specific amount) to be a member of the church – it is a false church. That kind of teaching goes beyond the Scriptures and should be condemned for its arrogance (1 Cor 4:6). On the first day of the week (Sunday), the church should take up a collection from the christians, and each member must decide for themselves to give as they have been prospered (1 Cor 16:1-2). The religious world is full of greedy and covetous religious leaders, and they are wrong (Tit 1:10-11). If you would like help finding a congregation that is faithful to God’s Word in your area, please e-mail us at email@example.com.