Ask Your Preacher
Is it okay to date a married man if he is in the process of a divorce?
Dear Interested Party,
He is married. Married people don’t date anyone but their spouses. No matter how close he might be to a divorce, or how serious the separation is – he is still married.
Though it is unlikely that he will reconcile with his spouse if he is filing for divorce, he is still married. If you begin dating, you will be dating a married man. That looks bad to everyone else, thus tainting your relationship in the eyes of others (Rom 12:17). Furthermore, it doesn’t just look bad – it is bad.
All of this makes it wrong even without addressing questions like why he is getting divorced, if it’s scriptural, etc. The fact is that even without those issues, now is not a time to be starting a new relationship. God designed a husband and wife to work through their marriage problems together (1 Cor 7:10-11)… until those problems are resolved (either by reconciliation or scriptural divorce), he is committed to that relationship. With all that turmoil involved in divorce, his life and mind are not in a good position to be entering the dating world even if it were appropriate. Since you truly care for this man, the greatest gift you can give him is to step away and let him get things in order.
The people of Babel stated, “If we build the tower to heaven, God will scatter us.” How did they know this?
The people of Babel stated the exact opposite of that. In Gen 11:4, the people decided to build a tower, so they wouldn’t be scattered. It is ironic that the building of the tower forced God to scatter them (Gen 11:8-9).
My husband and I were raised in different churches. We recently had a discussion about alcohol: those who drink it, those who don't, and what kind of example we want to set for our children. Can you clarify what the Bible states about alcohol consumption?
Dear United Front,
God never specifically condemns all alcohol, but He does condemn ‘strong drink’ (Pr 20:1), drinking parties (1 Pet 4:3), and drunkenness (Rom 13:13). Almost all alcohol that is consumed today would fall into the category of ‘strong drink’ because our alcoholic beverages are artificially fermented to increase their alcoholic content (unlike the wine of Jesus’ day – read “That’s Just Grape” for further details on the wine Jesus drank). We would all do well to heed the words of Pr 23:31-32 and avoid alcohol as much as is possible.
After Cain killed Abel, he said, “Those who come after me will slay me.” My question is: the only law was regarding the eating from the tree of good and evil. How did Cain know about revenge if there was no law then?
Dear Questionable Payback,
Revenge isn’t a matter of law; it is a natural emotional reaction. After Cain killed Abel, God punished him by forbidding him from farming (which had been his previous livelihood – Gen. 4:2) and by forcing him to wander as a fugitive (Gen 4:10-12). Cain feared that others would kill him because that is what he did when Abel made him mad (Gen 4:8). It is natural to fear that others would do to you what you have already done.
According to 1 Timothy 3:12, if the candidate recently went through a bankruptcy (and not paid his bills, walked away from a home, etc.) due to mismanagement of his finances, does he fall under the words "beyond reproach"?
Dear Fairly Frugal,
1 Tim 3:8-12 discusses the qualifications for a deacon. Deacons are required to be men of exemplary character. Your question deals with the relationship between a deacon and money. The Bible says that deacons must not be greedy for dishonest gain (1 Tim 3:8). Sometimes, when someone doesn’t pay their bills, it is because of a desire to cheat people or to avoid paying what they owe. If that is the case, the man is definitely not qualified to be a deacon.
However, as we all know in these difficult economic times, sometimes people are unable to pay their bills, but it isn’t for lack of trying. When someone is unable, but willing, to meet their financial obligations, the issue isn’t as clear-cut. If the man in question is careless and frivolous with spending, he may very well be disqualified. However, if he is a good man that has simply fallen upon hard economic times, it wouldn’t necessarily disqualify him from becoming a deacon.