26-50 of 100 Tough Questions

08 Jun

26. Can women be ministers or preachers?

Recently, the news published a story concerning the R.C.C.’s latest remarks concerning women and the priesthood, , and in reading the article one can find the following quote:

“Proponents of women’s ordination say Christ was only acting according to the social norms of his time”

This same argument is used by the protestant church as well (see the article on Culture in another section on this website) and it is troubling.  For this idea, presented above, brings with it many dangers which are damaging to the church and the work of Christ.

One such danger is that the idea in the quoted words tells the world that it is okay to disobey God and that is not so.  If the church disobeys, then how can they expect the world to follow Him?  They can’t. Another danger here is that it is telling the world and church members that it is okay to change what God says because culture demands it. That also is wrong for the church is not instructed to follow culture but God’s word.

One last danger to be looked at is that this idea is saying that Jesus submitted Himself to culture’s ways and changed what he wanted to fit the times.  That is basically accusing Jesus of lying and deceiving and that is just out of the question.  Jesus taught exactly how He wanted the church to be run and did not say one thing for one culture while meaning another for a different culture.  That would be unfair, unjust and hypocritical, all things that are not of God.

Yes it is done to ‘fit in’ with the secular world more but that is one of the problems, for the church is not to ‘fit in’ with the world but are to ‘be the light’ so the world knows which way is the correct direction to follow.

The church tends to get creative in bending the rules and getting around the criteria God laid out for the church to obey.  They create interesting titles such as; minister of Christian education or minister to children, thus they are not technically pastors but in reality they are and women are given positions God did not intend.

God is very consistent in all His ways and we see that throughout the Old Testament and into the New that God does NOT break His own rules nor does He allow culture to dictate how He teaches His people what to do.  Jesus was not acting in accordance with the ‘cultural norms’ but was teaching the way His church is to be run. Which means that the example set by Him and the criteria given through Paul are the way things are to be.

Many cite Jesus treatment of women as an excuse to elevate them beyond what they are to be.  That is wrong as Jesus was showing His followers that women are not to be excluded and have an important role in His church, they just do not have the right to be appointed an overseer, pastor or elder.  That is not their calling and the church CANNOT use culture as an excuse to disobey God and ignore Jesus’ example.

The church is not here to please the world and be accepted by it, they are to please God and to do so must follow what God has said to do. Does this mean that women are to be ignored and excluded from the church’s activities?  NO, Jesus showed that women do have a role in the church and that they are to be included in His work.  They are not second class citizens of the kingdom of God but equal partakers but that does not disqualify the rules that God set forth.

This is the mistake that many churches make as they consider women who want to be ministers So the answer to the question is– NO, they can’t be pastors or ministers but they do have a role which Jesus has called them to and by sticking to following God’s ways they will find out that role and aid the church.

The church needs to remember that God does not break is own rules nor does He bend them, He allows things to take place even though some actions are against His wishes but it is the church that suffers as their impact is far less than it should be and their reaping is far smaller than it could be.

God said, ‘It is far better to obey than to sacrifice’ and that is the key even in this issue.  The church needs to obey ALL of God’s ways, not just the ones that are culturally acceptable and in so doing they will please God and the world WILL see how it is to be done. As it stands, the unchurched world can ignore Christ’s words, message and conviction because the church does and the church should not be providing excuses or justification for the world to continue sinning.

#27.  Why doesn’t the Bible mention __________?

This question is a part of one of the more common arguments  many people use who defend their scientific methods which contradict what the Bible has said. The argument is usually used to justify or excuse sinful behavior as well.

God is a God of practicality and if He mentioned every little thing He did, at creation, at the flood or even what all the main characters (for lack of a better word) did and said, then the Bible would be too big to pick up, let alone read.

In the Gospel of John we read how if ‘all of Jesus’ works and words were recorded, there would not be enough books to contain those acts and comments.’ Plus no one would be able to afford to purchase such a large book and that would defeat its purpose in having it written.

God wants people to own the Bible and read it or they will not hear the good news or grow strong in Him. Such omissions do not mean that the Bible is wrong, it just means that the omission of the extra details do not change the overall truth of the words or that God did everything through His power.

#28.  What about mutations and disease?

Many evolutionists or unbelievers (even theistic evolutionists) use these little facts to prove that the process of evolution exists. Sometimes it is called, ‘micro-evolution’.  Those that do, forget one very little but important detail that happened after creation.

God created all things and they were good (perfect, very good etc.). There was not a blemish or corruption on or in anything until that day in the garden when Adam and Eve sinned.  At that point corruption and the effects of sin entered into the world and started to have its effect on what God has created.

When people observe and study these mutations or diseases, all they are seeing in action is the result of the fall of man, not evolution at work.  Then when a germ or bacteria becomes impervious to measures designed to kill them, they are not developing  super bug status via the evolutionary process, they are just becoming IMMUNE to the drugs or chemicals.

Just like humans who become immune to certain childhood diseases.  These people are not said to be evolving, they just cannot get sick by those germs anymore.  The same it  is with germs and bacteria, they cannot be hurt by the drugs or chemicals anymore.

#29. How old is the Earth?

This is a question that goes back to the Babylonian times and I would not be surprised if the Sumerians did not discuss this question as well.  No one knows for it was created outside of human time thus it cannot be measured by human standards that are accepted by today’s scientists and evolutionists.

It just won’t work, because the human dating systems are looking for natural answers not  the correct ones and the present dating systems are not calibrated for the difference.  Yes these dating systems can find the approximate age of many things that came into existence after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden since human time but it cannot hope to discover what God has hidden.

All the Bible says about the age of the earth is ‘IN the beginning…’; in other words there is no age that we can determine at this time.  God did not tell us and we will never find out while here on earth because it isn’t germane to the issue.  The issue is GOD created everything and that is what is needed to be focused on, not how old the earth is.

#30. Can we use secular scientific models or methods to study creation?

The quick answer is NO.  Why?  Because creation was a SUPERNATURAL act and secular science is designed to seek out NATURAL answers.  Not only is secular science looking in the wrong place, it is not even attempting to look for the right answers.

Creation does not fit any secular scientific mold either as it was not done via secular science.  This is a point that people ignore, science was/is a creation of God and unbelieving people have taken the field over and allowed the devil to corrupt its work enabling him to lead many, many astray to destruction.

Science is not science and all science is not good science.  It is fallible, corruptible, easily manipulated, subject to people’s beliefs, or lack of them and so on.  Science was not given a pass on the effects of the fall thus one cannot blindly accept its conclusions or theories nor can they conclude that just because the person is a scientist they are automatically correct.  THEY ARE NOT.

The world wants to elevate science to the status of ‘Final Authority’ for the secular world is looking for an alternative to God and the Bible in hopes of escaping the coming punishment for those who do not accept Christ as their Savior.  They do not want or need the Bible to be true so they will do anything they can to find fault with its words. If we want to study the creative act then we must do it under supernatural rules not the natural ones.

#31. Why are there so many denominations in the Christian world?

First, people cannot accept Christianity as laid out in the Bible and must have it their own way according to their own beliefs. So when their interpretation contradicts the Bible or another denomination, they either split and start their own church or are kicked out and still start their own sect. Not all denominations or sects are Christian and one must be careful comparing the beliefs of a church with what the Bible says it is to be.

Second, not everyone who calls themselves a Christian, is one.  Do not be fooled because a person refers to themselves as Christian, they do so because they want to believe that they can find their own way to salvation and go to heaven on their own terms. This people just can’t bring themselves to accept God’s way to salvation.

#32.  Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene married?

This is a constant question that has been raised over the decades and the last few have seen many books published on the idea.  It is safe to say that the books are wrong and the two were never married.  This is so for several reasons: 1. The devil uses the idea to try and ruin Christ’s message and deceive people away from salvation; 2. Jesus had too many enemies and they would have uncovered any conspiracy eventually and told the whole world.  In fact there is no ancient expose published or any other record saying the resurrection was false; 3 There were too many eye-witnesses to Jesus resurrection and ascension, believers know where Jesus went.

We know that Jesus was tempted ‘every way’ {Heb. 4:14-16} and romance would have been one of those temptations.  Mary M. could very well have been that person who was used to tempt Jesus and see if He would depart from His purpose?  Since He was not selfish, and suffered on the cross, we know that when we face temptation for the wrong romantic interest we can gain strength and courage from Him for He understands those situations.

#33. Should Christians advocate the Death Penalty?

To the physical world and its inhabitants, this sentence seems like the fair thing to apply to those who have taken a life and in the Old Testament we have God setting the criteria for its use.  BUT this does not mean that we blindly apply it or that we do so because it is the popular idea and will win friends among the secular world, nor does it mean we get to use it for revenge, vengeance or any other unjust attitude that may arise in a person.

Here is 1verse a believer needs to consider when facing this issue. Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, o man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Here we see that justice needs to apply to all, no matter how vile one considers the crime, then to be merciful to all, no matter the crime.  No one is left out, there are no ‘excepts’ here and finally one needs to walk with God and with that walk one will be able to see clearly what they are to do when death penalty advocates raise this question.

#34 Are children really innocent?

The secular world has been harping on this more and more recently. They feel that because children do not or have not experienced life like adults have that they are immune to its temptations and desires.  They keep say how children as victims are innocent as if adult victims were guilty of something so they deserved their attack.  In crimes, most victims are innocent whether a child or an adult and there is no difference between the two.

Yet in the spiritual world, children are not immune to the effects of the Fall of Man and are under the same curse until they choose Christ’s salvation. They are not innocent as they lie, steal, cheat, kill and commit other immoral acts.  We know from Romans 3:23 and 6:23 that there are no exemptions for children, they are included in the ‘for all…’ or ‘there is none…’ they do not get a free pass from God’s judgment because of their age or innocence.

We know this to be true because NOT ONE child responded to Noah’s preaching and went upon the ark for safety and they perished with their families when the flood waters came. The way of salvation is the same for all.

#35 Were the books of the Old Testament copied from other sources?

Minimalists or those who do not accept the Bible as true have put this idea forth for some time now yet not one of them can produce one shred of evidence that that is so. We as believers know it isn’t true for we accept God’s word that all of scripture was inspired by God and the Holy Spirit aided the human authors.  There was no copying of other texts or other religion’s sacred works, for if there was then God would not be God and He would have sinned in producing the Bible then saying He did it all.

Most likely, the scribes of the false religions saw something in the Bible that they liked and they copied for their own purposes.  We know that the ancient Babylonians were great copyists (Mesopotamia and the Bible, ed. by Chavalas and younger) and that the Israelites did not have that reputation at all.    Secular people are always looking for some sort of an excuse to dismiss the Bible but they fail each time because they are not looking for the truth but an escape from it.

#36 When non-believers bring up the Salem witch trials and the Inquisition and attack Christ, what can i say in answer to them?

This is a common point that is raised by those who do not believe as they look to charge Christ and Christians with sinful behavior and  to undermine the claims of believers. The answer to these accusations are several: 1. Why accuse Jesus for the acts of those who do not understand or mis-apply His words. A separation must be made here to show that what Christ taught and what people who claim to follow Him do.  Not everyone who claims to be a Christian follows Christ’s teaching but their own version of it.  2. This is a part of history which no one can change, it happened and can’t be changed. They are a good example of what takes place when people do not follow Christ but their own desires. 3. Modern Christians did not participate and are not responsible for the actions of others, especially those of the long dead. A believer should then place the eyes of the unbeliever off the human failure and place them upon Christ.  For a person is to follow Christ and His words NOT humans. 4. Jesus did not command or give instructions for such injustices and these events go contrary to what He taught. Jesus is not responsible for the choices people make or the actions that they commit. Such responsibilities lie with the individual since Jesus already gave His instructions on how to act  2,000 years ago and it is up to the believer to choose to follow them.  If they do not choose to do so, then sin abounds. 5. Such accusations are merely an attempt to justify the accuser’s own choices to follow sin and not Jesus. They look for excuses to remain in their unsaved lifestyle and  a believer has to point out that the actions of others is not a justifiable excuse for one’s own disobedience and that they are being called to follow Christ not other people.

#37 How can we know that the Gnostic writings are false?

Since the discovery of the Nag Hammadi manuscripts (mss.), many people think these are the lost writings of the ancient Christians.  Not so and one main reason is God’s promise to preserve His word.  We have over 5,000 complete and fragmentary mss. copies of the New Testament where as we only have minimal fragments {and not many copies} of the Gnostic writings.  Having incomplete work is NOT keeping His promise nor is having part of His word discovered after centuries of inaccessibility by people. God is fair and honest which means we can be sure all people had access to all His words and teachings throughout history or God would not be fair, honest, just and sin by being deceitful and failing to keep His promise. Thus we can be sure that the Nag Hammadi library is not part of the inspired words of God.  There is a reason they were buried for 1800 years or so.

Also, in his lecture Archaeology & the Extra-Canonical Gospels, Dr. Craig Evans points out that archaeological discoveries (he lists the important archaeologists who made the discoveries) all support the 4 gospels held  in the New Testament and not one supports the gospel of Thomas or any other extra-gospel.  This is important as too many people make claims that these extra writings shed light on early Christianity but there is no proof for their arguments.

One has to get the complete story of the discovery and history of the extra-biblical works and see how their claims do NOT line up with the message of the Bible. Most supporters for the extra-biblical texts rely on hearsay, conjecture, theory and have nothing with which to support their perspective.

#38 Why do some churches ignore the social aspects of Christ’s teachings?

To be fair, most churches do not do so, they just place a higher priority on preaching or evangelizing than helping others out of tough situations but still have departments which provide aid quietly to those in need.  They feel that there are other Christian and secular organizations who focus on those problems and that they need to focus on preaching the word.  Realistically, all believers should be aware that not everyone is an evangelist and not everyone can preach thus planting the seeds through good works is just as important as presenting the four spiritual laws. Many, Many non-Christians have been preached to and preached to and know the Bible better than most Christians BUT their heart has not been ‘primed’ to receive the good news.  Sometimes it takes acts of kindness, the experience of the love of God through believers before those seeds take root.  God works in many different ways as He knows the hearts of those who do not believe thus the believer cannot restrict themselves to just one method of reaching the lost.  They must be in tune with God and listen for His direction while doing good works.  Matthew 5:16 tells us to do good deeds and let men see it for God’s glory not our own.  Thus aiding people is not a part time evangelistic tool but a part of everyday Christian life.

People are NOT always open to preaching  but they will become open if they see Christians doing what Christ tells us to do and that is good deeds all the time. Remember Christ STOPPED preaching to 1. heal the sick, 2, feed the crowds, 3. raise the dead, 4. talk to others, 4. receive children,  and so on.  Preaching is only 1 part of winning souls and one must be listening to God for the right time to do that while good works are to be done all the time.

#39 Does not believing in Genesis 1 affect my standing with God or my salvation?

Let’s deal with the latter part first.  Does it affect one’s salvation?  I do not know for who enters into heaven is His choice alone and He has left a way to make one confident and sure of their salvation if they follow that  path.  The former is easier as if one says they are a Christian yet decide not to believe God’s word then what do you think? Yes it will affect your standing with God as you are calling God a liar when you say creation did not take place as He said it did.

How can you expect to have fellowship with someone you have declared has mis-stated the truth and sided with those who do not believe in God at all?  It is very difficult and practically impossible.  one cannot claim to be a servant of God then turn around and dismiss what their master has said as fairy tales.  Nor can one add into what was recorded because again you are doing the exact same thing, saying that God hid the truth from some of the people and only let a few in on the whole truth.  That tells the world that God is unjust, unfair and plays games, all of which He cannot do.

How can one have fellowship with God when they have called him a sinner? One’s fellowship, standing and possibly salvation are affected by not believing any part of the Bible, {though that does not mean one has to be an extreme literalist, it does mean you accept it all as God ‘s word and it is not wrong or over-ruled). One’s testimony is ruined as well as it tells the unchurched world that they do not have to believe God or His word either.  The ramifications are immense when one dismisses any part of the Bible.

#40  If there is only one God, why does the Bible mention more than 1?

The Bible is very clear that there is only one God and that is the God of the Bible but that does not mean that given the right to free choice and the devil’s influence that sinful man will not create their own gods. These gods are those which cannot hear, see, talk and so on and are not real Gods, they are inventions of man as they follow the deception of the devil and his minions.

In the Old Testament, we read how the Israelites followed after other gods yet what did it get them?  They did not receive any rewards or a luxurious lifestyle, they received punishment for their disobedience.  The Egyptian gods were shown to be worthless by God during the plagues that set the stage for the exodus.  God showed all who will listen that He alone is God and that there is no other.

The same lesson is learnt with the Philistines as their statue of their god, was thrown down when the ark of the covenant was placed in the same room, telling us that there is no one higher than God.  The Bible has to mention other gods to show that the ways of secular man are folly and a waste of time and if one joins their unbelief then what they can expect to receive is punishment not reward.

At no time does the Bible state that any of these other gods had power, control or supremacy nor are they cited as being equal to God or that they participated in any supernatural act.  The Bible is not mentioning other gods, but exposing false beliefs which lead to nowhere. The fact that these gods have names is inconsequential, as names do not change the reality that these gods do not exist.

#41 Why is Christianity so divisive?

This was a question from one person who thought that Christianity should work together with all the other religions and achieve some common ground or consensus.  He/she did not realize that the other religions are false and are meant to deceive people while leading them away from God.  Christ came to earth to free men from the power of sin NOT to keep them enslaved to it which is why Christianity cannot work with other religions.

Jesus said that ‘he came not to bring peace but a sword…and that families will be divided…’ This is not to be taken that Christ is going to destroy the family or ruin lives. No, it means that those who truly follow Him will be lead in a different direction have different beliefs, attitudes and so on from other members of their families. God’s ways do not compliment the world’s or man’s and lead people into a new way of life which doesn’t fit the understanding or expectations of others.  Thus the believer, if he or she continues with Christ, will find that they will be at odds with their family on many issues.

The world’s religions are earth centered and run by human thought which is often deceived and influenced by the devil so their agenda is not the same as God’s.  This difference makes Christianity incompatible with the world’s alternatives as Christianity is to shed light upon a dark world, leading it to the truth and salvation.

Now the verse referenced above uses the same word ‘peace’ as does the verses proclaiming Christ’s birth but the meanings are not the same.  As in the verse referenced, that word is talking about no conflict, no battles but all live in harmony whereas the word ‘peace’ used in the angels conversations with the shepherds means ‘do not worry’, ‘let your mind be at rest’ and so on.  Quite a difference.

#42 What is the Apocrypha? Why aren’t they included in the Protestant Bibles?*

The Apocrypha are extra- Biblical books written by men other than the apostles or appointed Old Testament writers.  Their works contribute very little to the overall message of the Bible and are written in a humanistic style without the leading of the Holy Spirit.  They are not included in the Protestant Bibles for the simple reason they are not divinely inspired or of God.

#43 How could Moses have written the book of Deut. when it contains the account of his death?*

Just because an account of the author’s death is included in the book does it disqualify a person from writing the rest of the pages. This is a minor point which unbelievers use to try and discredit the Bible.  It is an unrealistic accusation as it means throwing common sense out the window in hopes of dismissing the words of God.

#44 Most people say that Moses did not write the first 5 books of the Bible. What do you say?*

This is a charge to deny the claims of the Bible.  Those who disagree with Mosaic authorship have no evidence to support their theories on who did.  Many claim the Bible was copied from Babylonian myths, yet they cannot prove it so and this idea flies in the face of reality as the Babylonians had the reputation for being copyists not the Israelites.   There is no credible evidence to show a late authorship by scribes who could not possibly know the exact terms, prices, and other daily details supplied by the author of the Pentateuch. Plus, there is no evidence for the imaginary Documentary Hypothesis either.  critics of the Bible make all sorts of fantastic charges yet always fail to provide the same proof they demand of the supporters of the Bible.

We will go with tradition on this one and say it was Moses who wrote the first five books BUT it must be realized that the author is NOT as important as the words, the message and the acts of God.

#45 How can you believe a Bible that is full of contradictions?*

When people make the accusation that the Bible is full of contradictions, they do so based upon a surface reading and the ignoring of the fact that different men were the authors.  If a skeptic did a close investigation and honest research, they would find that the supposed contradictions are not that way at all but are describing different details.  If the Bible was exactly the same, and written the exact same way with the exact same words then its words would be open to charges that there was only 1 human author of all the books who could not possibly be an eye witness to everything that took place  and all its words are meaningless for it would be a fabrication.

One cannot expect to find the exact words, style and format for each book.  They were written at different times by different people who had different educations which emphasized different writing styles and ideas.  It is ridiculous to expect every author to record the same events in the exact same manner.

#46 Hasn’t the New Testament changed since it has been copied and recopied throughout history?*

This would presume that God was incapable of keeping His promise of preserving His word until the end of time.  It would also presume that God lied about being able to protect His word and it would remove all hope for those who believe the Bible.

People throughout history have tried to change the canon, or even the text of the books, {the Jehovah Witness translation is a modern example}  but their erroneous ways have been uncovered by careful scholarship and their works discarded.  God keeps His word and the New Testament has not changed and we can trust its words but one must be careful and not just accept any new translation or paraphrase for the simple fact a ‘Christian’ or ‘expert’ produced their own version. {the Message and the Source are two such examples}. Stick with the quality translations like the KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV and now the ESB and you will be okay.

#47 How can anyone believe the N.T. account of the life of Jesus since it was written so long after His death?*

Actually if you do some careful study you will find that the accounts of Jesus were written within 30-40 years of his death.  Not a large gap when you compare that most ancient mss. we have date to 400 to 1000 {or more} years AFTER the death of the supposed author.  Books to read on this subject are: The N.T. Documents: are they reliable? by F.F.Bruce; The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, there are other good works out there that explain in better detail how close the writings are to Jesus life.

#48 Why is Jesus the only way to God?*

The best answer is to ask another question.  What better way is there to demonstrate one’s love for one’s creation? Wouldn’t you want to send the clearest message to those you loved so there would be no misunderstanding and one’s motives very clear?

To make Jesus the ONLY way to God demonstrates how deep the love of God is for His creation and also tells Him that people who reject His only Son are being just as clear in their decision.  They do not want any part of God.

#49 Where did God come from?*

This is a common question as people want to understand origins and they cannot comprehend that someone always existed. Because they had a beginning, the world had a beginning and the universe had a beginning, they conclude that God had to have a beginning.  Yet that is not the way it is with God, He has no beginning and no end. He has always been.

#50 What was God doing before He created the universe?*

We do not know.  The Bible does not give us any information on that as it has nothing to do with our existence, God’s plan of salvation and our lives.  This is one of those topics that are good for intellectual exercise but that is about it.  Such a question serves no purpose for there is no answer till we get to heaven and talk with God.

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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in academics, Bible, church, comparative religions, controversial issues, faith, leadership, theology


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