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76-100 out of 100 Tough Questions

08 Jun

76. How was the Bible put together? +

We are not sure how the Old testament canon was compiled. We have no record of the process taking place but we must rely on the fact that God had people in place to safeguard His words so that they would not be lost during all the upheavals of that took place over the generations.

For the New Testament we have record of which books were recognized and accepted by the true churches in existence at the time.  The many councils that followed which produced the modern canon were not a great conspiracy to thwart other people’s works from being including or to keep ‘the truth’ from being known but were merely putting together an official canon  of books that were already considered scripture.

It should be noted that the real works were so well known that not one false gospel, gnostic work or other heresy were nominated for inclusion. We also have to remember God’s word that He would not let His word pass away till all was fulfilled.  We must have confidence and faith in God to keep His word and make sure that His word was kept pure, whether it be the Old or the New Testament.

77. Does archaeology confirm the Old and New Testaments? +

This is a difficult question but the main answer is yes it can.  Can it prove all the events of Abraham took place not really but it can show that the bible is consistent with the times it was writing about and we have records of names used in Abraham’s time are the same as the Bible used them. We know that the price quoted in the Bible for selling Joseph into slavery was the going price at the time.

There has not been 1 archaeological discovery which has shown the Bible to be false or having erred.  There are a great many secular archaeologists who use conjecture, theory, hypothesis to claim the Bible has erred but when closely examined, it is the archaeologist who is in error not the Bible.

78. How reliable are our modern Bibles? +

For the most part our modern Bibles are very accurate.  Many years ago Gabriel Barkay discovered on one of his archaeological sites a small silver scroll and stamped on it was a verse from the book of Numbers.  The scrolls date to about the 6th or 7th centuries B.C. and when compared to the accepted modern Christian versions the verse was identical.

I say, ‘accepted modern Christian versions’ because, like in the disciples time and after, many people today write their own versions or paraphrases and they are not lead by God to do so nor are they inspired by God to make any changes to His word or even write the translation.  Most false works tend to side with the agenda, views or beliefs of the translator or cult doing the translations.

These people may be respected scholars but the key is found in their work and their beliefs and the evidence of their false work is found in the verses themselves as they continue to change controversial passages or passages they do not like to fit their own sensibilities.

Recently 2 such works have gained fame, not for their accuracy but for whom did the work.  The problem with these works is that they were done solo, with no independent oversight, and contributions from those scholars. They also relied upon their choices for the definitions of words, often opposing the accepted meanings done by more qualified men over the years.

Another clue to knowing which works are false, not one false translation claims to be lead of God to do the work or that God was part of the process. We know that the fairness, the justice of God and the fact that God does not change rules out the idea that God would make changes 2,000 years later and not sooner–if there were errors done by His writers or other translators.

79. Is truth knowable? +

Simply put–Yes.  Jesus tells us very clearly that ‘ we will know the truth and it shall set us free.’ We do not need an intellectual discussion on this issue, the simplest of minds can read and grasp what Jesus said, all people can know the truth and with that knowledge we can have confidence in God and the Bible and that they are telling us the truth.

80. Can the Bible be wrong?+

No and for the simple reason if the Bible is ever wrong, we would not be able to trust any part of it, have no peace of mind, and would wonder if God was fooling us with His plan of salvation. If there was an error in God’s word then God would not be God, He would not be perfect and we would be left with no hope.

People love to cite the idea that there are errors found in the Bible but they just do not see the ramifications of such accusations.  These people are deceived by the devil and are telling lies so that the devil can cause doubt and then do his destructive work on God’s creation, getting them to turn from God and end up in hell.

One has to have faith in God that His word is true, without error then they have to live their lives trusting what He has told them to do.  Faith is the key and God has given us enough evidence to strengthen our faith but not enough to destroy it, all we have to do is stand with God and accept His word as completely true and never depart from that decision.

81. Is tithe for today?

The simple answer is, of course, yes and that is for many reasons.  One, if a believer is selfish with God then how can they expect to be generous to those in need?  Two, Jesus stated clearly that we are to give to God’s what is His and three, Jesus did not revoke the giving of tithe. In fact, nowhere in the New Testament do we read that the giving of tithe was revoked. Jesus does say that God loveth a cheerful giver and we see in acts people giving of their own wealth to help the less fortunate. One does not have to give all of their possessions away for they still have to provide for their families but one does not ignore the needs of others.

The book Twelve Voices for the Truth has this to say: “Malachi’s criticism of abuses and religions indifference is still valid today”  And Hayford’s Bible Handbook adds: “Tithing as a New Testament practice is even further verified in the Book of Romans. We are specifically admonished to walk “in the steps of faith which our father Abraham” walked (Rom. 4:12). ” Along with a much more compelling argument. Vine’s Complete Exp. Dict. Topic Finder says:  The giving of possessions (alms; boon; bounty; collection; contribution; supply; tithe) and of hospitality (host) is a vital part of Christian worship and witness. Sacrificial giving is pleasing (odor; savor) to God. Givers are to be cheerful, giving freely (liberality) of their own accord and not grudgingly, in recognition of the fact that human beings are stewards of what belongs to God and will one day give account of that stewardship.

The book, When Critics Ask: A Pop. Handbook of Bible Difficulties provides a guideline when it says: The Bible does not command us to give away all our money to God and others. The OT laid down the tithe as the minimum all should give (cf. Mal. 3:8), and proportionally blessed those who brought more offerings (cf. 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 8:14–15). In addition to this, we should help those in need, especially our own family and other believers (1 Tim. 5:8).

Again one must reiterate that the New Testament, Jesus and the disciples did not revoke the giving of tithes and offerings thus it is safe to conclude that all believers need to tithe today and take the warning/command found in Malachi 4:8-10 seriously: “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me! But you say, ‘in what way have we robbed you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse. For you have robbed me, even this nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse. That there may be food in my house…”

82. Must Christians attend church?

Once again, we do not see a direct command in the New Testament for believers to attend weekly services at the local organized church and one can conclude that mandatory church services is a form of legalism not devotion. If one wants to show devotion to God then keep His commandments. Anyone can attend church and claim to be devoted to God but it is a different matter altogether to live the Christian life as God wants and commands.

The Bible does say, ‘forsake not the gathering together…’ but that is not a command to attend church weekly, daily or otherwise. God loves a cheerful giver and that includes their time as well as their money thus one attends church because they want to be strong in God and worship Him not because they have to go each time there is a service. A good Christian is not one who attends church every day or week, but one who obeys God.  Do not use the Bible to justify one’s failure to obey.

83. Should Christians judge the teachings of their leaders?

If by the word judge one means to: “To try; to examine and pass sentence on. ” (Webster’s Dict.) then no, we should not do that BUT if one means: To compare facts or ideas, and perceive their agreement or disagreement, and thus to distinguish truth from falsehood. (Webster’s Dict.) then yes we can do the latter or how else will we know if we are being led astray into some false teaching?  Believers are not to sit blindly lapping up what their leaders say for they too must be watchful to make sure that their leaders do not get enticed to a wrong doctrine or idea.

Believers are not to be brained dead people but are to be educated, wise, full of wisdom, understanding and so much more. All the Biblical passages apply to them as well and are not the domain of the church leader to use as a hammer to force the congregation to follow or do things against God or His commands.  But a word of warning, the believer must make sure they are right and are following God’s leading when they contradict their leaders. They must do so scripturally as well so that God may be glorified and that evil does not get an open door to come in and wreak havoc in the church.

84. Why do Christians worship on Sunday rather than the Sabbath day?

The day was changed from Saturday because the ancient believers saw a lot of God’s acts take place on Sunday and not Saturday and they started calling Sunday, ‘The Lord’s Day’ because of this. Answers.com has this to say, and they quote someone else: The “Lord’s Day” is one of the traditional Christian names for Sunday, the first day of the Judaeo-Christian seven-day week, observed by most Christians as the memorial of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is said in the four canonical gospels of the New Testament to have taken place early on the first day of the week. Very early in the history of Christianity, the tradition of Christ’s Sunday morning resurrection gave rise to the Christian custom, later to become an obligation, of gathering every Sunday morning to worship the Christian Lord, Jesus — hence the name “Lord’s Day”.

Now I like what Spurgeon had to say on this topic because it is very close to what i think about this topic: D. L. Moody (1837-1899) made the following appeal in regard to the Sabbath:

“I honestly believe that this commandment is just as binding today as it ever was. I have talked with men who have said that it has been abrogated, but they have never been able to point to any place in the Bible where God repealed it. When Christ was on earth, He did nothing to set it aside; He freed it from the traces under which the scribes and Pharisees had put it, and gave it its true place. ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’  It is just as practicable and as necessary for men today as it ever was-in fact, more than ever, because we live in such an intense age.

The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. The fourth commandment begins with the word remember, showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote this law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding? (http://lordsday.org/)

It must be remembered that God remains consistent with His own word and does not hypocrisize Himself and we must ask if raising Jesus on the Sabbath would be an violation of His commandment found in Ex. 31:14 ‘Observe the Sabbath because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people…’

The Sabbath day was not originally given at Sinai, back in Genesis 2:2-3, we find the establishment of the

Sabbath at creation thus it is not a legalistic matter if one observes the Sabbath day, it is a matter of obedience. I agree with Spurgeon when he said that he found nothing in the Bible or Jesus’ words that repealed that day and believers today should carefully seek God about when they should rest and worship.

85. Is creation consistent with the Christian worldview?

The short answer is- yes.  The Christian ‘worldview’, (which i do not believe we should have) is one of being a servant of God and doing His will. We are to be the lights unto the world thus we preach, speak, write what God has said in a manner that is easily understood, in line with God and His word and is not hindered by ulterior motives or pet theories etc.

Throughout the bible, from Genesis to Revelation, God has said He created the world thus that is where the Christian stands forsaking all alternatives, even those that marry secular scientific ideas with Biblical thinking. A Christian cannot be effective (or a light unto the world) and say they believe God if they are saying something different than what God said. A Christian’s ‘worldview’ must include creation as God described it or the Christian is not speaking the truth.

It must be remembered that the believer is not here to talk about continued existence in this world but have a duty to bring the gospel to all as our mission is eternity with God not continued living in this world. I do not believe a Christian can have a world view and that such an idea is of secular origin meant to distract the believer from their purpose, duties and position in God.

86. Can human cloning be harmonized with a Christian worldview?

This is a wrong question as I do not believe a Christian can have a worldview. It should be changed to- is human cloning possible and scriptural?  At that point a believer can answer the question. The Christian is not supposed to deal in ‘worldviews’ but right and wrong, God’s morality and stay in line with God’s message to the world. I do not think it is possible for scientists to clone humans for they are missing a vital ingredient-the breath of life from God but then we shall see if God allows it to happen or not.

87. Is euthanasia ever permissible?

God said: “Thou shalt not kill” and there is no exemption for euthanasia.  God did not grant the believer, or anyone, the right to choose who gets to live or die, that choice remains in God’s hands alone. Yes people kill every day and the believer can disobey and practice euthanasia if they want to  but it would be sin.

If one cannot bear to see a loved one suffer then they need to honestly pray to God to deal with the problem and let Him remain in charge of life and death. Implore Him to heal or take the person or relieve the suffering but do not sin to help another person no matter how humane it sounds. Believers serve and obey God and this area is no exception.

88. How could Jesus be tempted?

How is not the question here for we do not know all the details about Jesus’ body and personality. he was both God and man at the same time thus it stands to reason that He would be vulnerable to temptation and we do see in the Gospels how Jesus was tempted. Now some people say that Jesus was tempted basically to thwart His purpose in coming to earth and that may be a part of it but in Hebrews 2:18 we find these words:  ‘For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.’ If Jesus was not tempted, and He did not overcome such temptation how could He understand what we are going through when we face the temptations hurled at us each day? How could we have confidence in His help if He was not successful in defeating each and every temptation that came his way? Who could we turn to if Jesus was not tempted, and who defeated each attempt to get Him to sin?  We would feel alone, thinking we have nowhere to turn.

But since Jesus was tempted, since He was successful, we now have someone who understands, who has been through it all and has shown how such attacks can be defeated. All we have to do is look to Him for the right words, the right actions and lean on His strength to see us through. Knowing that His power is greater than the temptation we face gives us hope, courage and perseverance to make it through.

The real question, is not how could He be tempted, but why was He? The answer is simple, to provide strength to His followers so they can be victorious, be happy and at peace.

89. How should Christians respond to Halloween?

They should keep it within Jesus’ and God’s commands. Festivals have been around since nearly the beginning of time and the unsaved will celebrate something but Christians need to make sure their words, actions and reactions are in line with the Bible and not condemn those who participate in such festivals. They should pray against evil and protect themselves and their families spiritually because sometimes people mistake their desires with God’s leading and get themselves into a lot of trouble because they made a mistake in discernment.

Follow Jesus and the Bible in this matter and use the following to help guide you: 1. Is this spiritually uplifting and strengthening?; 2. Would God approve?; 3. Is this bringing glory to God?; 4 is this in line with what Jesus and the disciples taught? and so on.

The key is not to condemn the secular world for their activities and be all self-righteous but treat the unbeliever as you would want to be treated. I see no harm in handing out candy to children or even lighting off fireworks but again, it should all be done in a context that brings people towards Christ, not turn them away.

90. Who made God?

No one. He has always existed.

91. Are images of Jesus idolatrous?

In Exodus 20:4 it says: ‘You shall not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the waters below…’ Making an image of Jesus is basically making an idol as 1. we do not know what Jesus looked like thus any image would not display His correct likeness and 2. one would be praying to that image, not Jesus. Thus the short answer is ‘yes, it would be idolatrous.’  We also find in that

passage no exceptions for images of Christ or God which means that we have no exemptions for manmade objects depicting the artist’s conception of what Jesus looked like.

We are to follow Christ’s and God’s instructions when it comes to communicating with them and those are found throughout the Bible and at no time do we find permission to disobey the  commandment given in Exodus 20. it is best for the believer to  avoid owning, using, borrowing any image of Christ.

92. Did demons have sexual relations with women in Genesis 6:4?

First off, there is no mention of demons in that passage and second, the bodies of demons are not the same as humans and there is no word that they have the same ability to reproduce as humans do.  Jesus needed a human body to interact in this terrestrial world, to eat, to feel, to do the same as any human and it would be the same for demons as well as angels. Keil & Delitzsch have this to say on the topic: Now if, according to the simple meaning of the passage, the Nephilim were in existence at the very time when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, the appearance of the Nephilim cannot afford the slightest evidence that the “sons of God” were angels, by whom a family of monsters were begotten, whether demigods, daemons, or angel-men (Vol. Genesis pg. 91)

In other words ‘no they did not.’ People get confused by the terms sons of God and daughters of man and think they refer to spiritual beings when they do not. Basically and most likely those terms refer to the same situation we have today–Christians look at the beauty of non-Christians and disobey God by marrying them.

93. Is religion the root of all evil?

No, for the Bible has never declared that to be the case. Religion is full of misguided people, fanatics, ill-informed adherents, and so on and one cannot blame Christianity for the evil men and women commit in its name or the name of Christ/God. One must put the blame where it really belongs on the sin nature in all people and the evil that influences people to do bad things to others.

1 Timothy 6:10 says, ‘For the love of money is a root* of all kinds of evil…’ and more harm and evil has been done to people concerning money and greed than all the acts of evil done by religious people. Unfortunately, the love of money has driven many a believer to do evil as well, they are not exempt here. People need to be sophisticated and the unbeliever, especially the atheist, is not for they lump all religious people into one category and blame Christ, God, and Christians for things they did not do nor granted permission to be done. This is just wrong and demonstrates the unjust nature of the unbeliever and their unwillingness to differentiate between those who do follow God and His word from those who claim to be Christian yet do not follow God or His Son. Their condemning and punishing the innocent provides the reason to the believer on why they should not follow the unbelieving words and ideas–they are contrary to God’s way.

* Only the KJV says: The love of money is the root of all evil, which would indicate that religion plays a small part in the evil that men do.

94. Should abortion be permitted in cases of rape or incest?

In a word, ‘NO’. There is a verse in the Old testament where God instructs the Israelites on whom to punish for the crimes committed and He is very clear that the parents are not to be punished for the crimes/sins of their children and the children should not be punished for the crimes/sins of their parents and abortion would be violating that command. The child is innocent of the criminal act and ending its life is making it pay for a crime it did not commit nor even knew about and that is wrong.

Most Christians who allow this exemption in abortion cases do so to gain favor with the unbelieving world and that is a compromise and is also wrong. Believers must stand by God’s word and proclaim it so that all will know the correct way to go, even if they do not choose that path. Christians need to remember that they have freely chosen to follow God’s path and they must allow the unbeliever the same freedom of choice, even if it is not the one a believer wants to see made and since the unbeliever does not accept God’s ways and violate His instructions and commands, that in no way releases the Christian from following the morality they have chosen (God’s way) and they must deal with this issue in the way that God wants, not in the way their emotions or desires dictate. For they no longer serve themselves but are now God’s servants who are to do His will not their own.

Thus the believer cannot allow this compromise to enter into their thinking for though the act is horrendous, the child did not sin, nor commit the crime and there are better options available to remove the child from the woman who was violated and keep it alive but again, the believer can only follow God’s way in implementing those alternatives and remember that the mother/father have free choice to decide what they will do and cannot be forced, manipulated, abused etc., into choosing the ‘Christian’ way.

95. Is the New Testament anti-Semitic?

No, but people get this idea because the New Testament does speak against a lot of the actions committed by Jewish people.  It must be remembered that the NT was written by all Jewish men and nothing in its pages speaks against the Jews (God’s chosen people) in a racist or anti-Semitic way. It talks about how grace has come upon the earth, how physical sacrifices of animals are no longer required and it speaks on how people should live, which frees up their lives, and so on, but nothing in its pages can be construed as being anti-Semitic.

96. Is the New Testament authoritative or authoritarian?

I like to quote Dr. Metzger, who said in an interview with Lee Strobel: ‘You have to understand that the canon was not the result of a series of contests involving church politics. The canon is rather the separation that came about because of the intuitive insight of Christian believers…When pronouncement was made about the canon, it merely ratified what the general sensitivity of the church had already determined…These documents didn’t derive their authority from being selected; each one was authoritative before anyone gathered them together.” (The Case for Christ, pg. 69)

No, the NT is not authoritarian for one is not being made to follow its words, that is done be free choice by those who want to escape the clutches of the devil and sin and follow what is the authority and the right way to go for salvation and freedom from sin. Both the OT & the NT are books that come with authority, an authority that no other work possesses and when one chooses to follow their words, they are in obedience freely, not mandatorily.

97. Should Christians support a ban on embryonic stem cell research?

The Christian needs to put Christ’s words into action: 1. do unto others…; 2. pray for those who do evil…; 3. do good to those who do evil…; and so on. Supporting a ban is not the Christian thing to do unless God clearly instructs one to do so.  The believer is to preach what is right or wrong and allow others the right of free choice just as they are allowed to exercise their free choice to obey God or not. In this preaching right or wrong, the believer must also treat others who do not follow God in the manner that Jesus showed and instructed.

98. Is Intelligent Design really science?

It is possible that they do some science within their boundaries but then I do not believe that evolutionary science is science because it does not provide any truth and seeks to lead people away from God to false alternatives. One must make up their own minds on this issue and use the Bible to help them come to the right determination. God is very clear about how He created the word and science in its present form does not allow for the miraculous to be considered and that is just wrong thus if I.D. does the same then they are not practicing true science.

Science is subject to the Bible, not vice versa, thus if any scientific experiment disagrees with the Bible then the experiment, not the Bible, is wrong no matter who conducts it.

99. Is the Big Bang Biblical?

In the secular form the answer is ‘no’, for it removes God from the picture and contradicts Him on how all things originated. it was not by chance that the world and the universe came into existence. it was not by chance that the details we see each day came into existence, they all originated because God wanted to create us and the universe, providing us with the comfort that we are wanted even if our human relatives reject us.

The big bang theory and other secular alternatives deprive and rob people of the truth about why we are here and they cannot be accepted in any form for they destroy hope, love and other things we need to survive.  Now it is known that astronomers have seen scars in the fabric of the universe which gives them the idea that the Big bang took place* but they are misguided and ignore the option that those scars are the results of God speaking and the universe and the world came into being. (*see Hawkins book ‘A brief History of Time’)

100. Is suicide an unforgivable sin?

On this issue i do not know, for the Bible does not give us details about what is the unforgivable sin and it is best that we do not know or we may be tempted to commit it and be destroyed for no reason other than we are weak or wanted to fool around with God and His word. It is best to stay as far away from sin as possible and not open the doors to being destroyed forever because curiosity got the best of us.

Suicide is sin for it violates the commandment, though shalt not kill, but as to being unforgivable, one cannot say for we are not God and He set the limit not humans. If you are having or you know of someone who is having suicidal thoughts get or get them help because this is an issue one does not want to play with for one cannot change their minds and undo the act once they are successful.

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