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Showing posts from March, 2013

A Question Concerning Homosexuality

Q: How should we be engaging and responding to the gay marriage debate, as Christians? I know what I believe as a Bible believing Christian, but how do we show that stance, in love? How do you think the civil recognition of gay marriage affects our spiritual definition and our culture. You must admit with the current divorce rate, in and out of the Church, the meaning of "marriage" is already watered down. Is this a battle the Church has already lost in our society? In my experience, I'm often quieted by words like "bigot", "narrow-minded" and "right wing kook", but I want to be bold in speaking and upholding the Truth, in a loving way, even when we are "losing the battle" on moral issues like this and abortion (to name a couple).

A: Another great question. Definitely a difficult one. The difficulty is not the interpretive issue. It's because the "debate" is often so inflammatory. The name-calling that the Questioner…

More Info... Please!

Question:

"Hi, I have come across this passage again and it confuses me.

1 John 5:16-17 - "If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death." (NLT)

Particularly the last part...I thought ALL sin led to death. (Romans 6:16 is an OK verse talking about it.)


Answer:

This is a really interesting and difficult question to answer. It involves one of the more difficult passages to translate. Also because John just didn't give us all the information we would need some 2,000 years later to understand exactly what he was talking about. I've wrestled with this for a few weeks now and haven't gained much ground! I don't believe there is any hidden or secret truth to be revealed or dug out. Which is good because that&#…

A Note on Translations

Q: I was studying in Philippians 1 when I came to verse 6. In the NASB version the verse reads, "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." In both the NIV and the KJV, the word "He" is not capitalized.

Why is it different? Are the NIV and KJV indicating that God is not the "He" that began a good work?


A: This is a really great question and actually touches on a very important aspect of Bible study that is often neglected. I say that up front because you may be disappointed with how simple of an answer this really is!

At the outset, I must say how thrilled I am to hear that a part of your "studying" method is to compare your passage in different translations. This is a really excellent practice. It is very helpful. As you've noted, the translations often read slightly differently. In this particular case, you'll see that the difference isn't substantive.…

Am I Really A Christian?

Q: How can I truly know that I am a Christian?


Paul says to test yourself and see if you are in the faith … what is the “test” and how can I know if I’ve passed it?

A: What an incredibly important and sober question!

I know that I am often shaken by the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'" (Matthew 7:21-23, NASB)

I'm not kidding when I say that this passage chills me to the bone. What a terrifying declaration from the lips of our Lord and Savior! The scariest part to me is the word "many." It means the number of people who profess to follow Jesus but don…