Divorce, leadership, and scripture

Some say that abuse is an acceptable reason to divorce. Yes, there are times when we need to separate to protect ourselves or our children. But God has made it clear if we separate, we should not necessarily divorce. The only biblically acceptable reasons for divorce is adultery by your spouse, or being left by an unbelieving spouse. And even if its acceptable, this does not mean we should pursue it. And it does not mean there are not consequences to it.

Some complain that local churches disqualify people who have been divorced from being an elder/pastor/deacon.

I speak as a man who was divorced before Christ, and divorced with biblical reasons after becoming a Christian. The local church does not disqualify divorced men from being an elder, pastor, or deacon – scripture does. Scripture is clear one must be a one woman man to be an elder (or pastor) or a deacon (1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:12, Titus 1:5-7).

There are three POSSIBLE exceptions a divorced man might be able to be a pastor/elder/deacon: divorce before becoming a Christian (2 Corinthians 5:17), being left by an unbelieving wife (1 Corinthians 7:15), and being cheated on by his wife (Matthew 19:9). But that depends on how one interprets one woman man.

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Sin and health

Certainly not all illness is caused by our sins or by demons. But there are scriptures which show at least some illness is caused by our sin.
 
Is your health adversely affected because of your unconfessed and unrepented sin?
 
Deuteronomy 28:58-62
58 “If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, the Lord your God, 59 then the Lord will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses. 60 He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they will cling to you. 61 Also every sickness and every plague which, not written in the book of this law, the Lord will bring on you until you are destroyed. 62 Then you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, because you did not obey the Lord your God.
 
 
Psalm 107:17
Fools, because of their rebellious way, And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.
 
1 Corinthians 11:27-31
27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.
 
James 5:13-16
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much

Demons and health

There are examples of people whose health was badly where affected by demons. Jesus healed these people by casting out demons.

How many of our illnesses are caused by the enemy and we are oblivious to it?

Is your health affected by demons and spirits?

Matthew 12:22

22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw.

Matthew 17:14-18

14 When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.” 17 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.

Luke 13:10-16

10 And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” 13 And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God. 14 But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him? 16 And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?”

 

Why do young adults leave Christianity in college?

Someone asked why do I think so many young adults leave Christianity while in college?

 

  1. It is easier for a camel to go thru the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25).
  2. Many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14).
  3. There are false prophets and false teachers among us (2 Peter 2:1).
  4. At least some who leave do so to show they were never of the church (1 John 2:19).
  5. Some who leave show they are prodigals who will return (Luke 15:11-32).
  6. The disciples had a three year period as adults of living with the Christ and learning from Him before they were sent out into the world to make disciples. Our children (as young adults) only have 2 hours a week (if that) for much of their lives of being taught and few actually are discipled. They dont have sufficient discipleship so they are not prepared for the rigors of facing so much sin and so many attacks on faith from supposedly educated people. They have little or no experience with debate, or even discussion of applying scripture to real life situations. They have little or no training in apologetics.

Church, cliques and tithing

Someone complained they didn’t go to church because the churches are full of cliques they are ot part of and are always trying to get into their wallets.

Yes churches are filled with imperfect people and some have cliques (not all do). Yes some churches focus on tithing. But sometimes we feel convicted and they aren’t focusing on it all the time, we are just extra sensitive to it.

The true church is made up of the people of God. Any given individual church is made up of the people of God and those who are not the people of God – some will become the people of God in the future but are not there yet. God only has imperfect sinners to work with in fulfilling His plan. And its filled with people who can love on us and whom we can love on. Its filled with people who should call us to live holy righteous lives. Its a group of people who will teach us and encourage us and help us. And God’s word says we should not stop gathering together.

Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near

As for tithing, 10% is the old testament goal (actually I think someone counted up all the offerings and givings and it came out to 23%). In the new testament, we are taught we should give sacrificially and gladly, and God will provide for every good deed.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8
6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

The money goes to rent/mortgage, utilities, salary, supporting missionaries, church programs. Pastors spend hours and days preparing sermons and lessons and visiting the sick and imprisoned, counseling people, trying to rescue marriages and help people, etc.

Jesus said the worker is worthy of his pay.

Matthew 10:9-10
9 Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, 10 or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support.

Paul said the same thing.

1 Timothy 5:17-18
17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.

Its understandable that sometimes its hard to get to church. But God has said we need to gather together with godly people – so its not something we should purposefully avoid. We need to seek godly people to fill our lives and to encourage us and to pray for us and to challenge us and to teach us and exhort us. We also need to give sacrificially.

The age of the earth and appearance of age

Genesis 1 indicated God created certain things in an evening and a morning, which God called a day. In Hebrew, the word translated as ‘day’ is ‘yom’. Every where this word is used in scripture with a number in front of it, it indicates a morning and evening, one day. Here are scriptures to show that God created the universe and the earth and everything in it in six days:

Genesis 1:5

God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Genesis 1:8

God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day

Genesis 1:13

13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

Genesis 1:19

19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

Genesis 1:23

23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

Genesis 1:31

31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Exodus 20:9-11

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 31:16-17

16 So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ 17 It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.

Some people say that God could not have used six literal days, and that the age of various things show that the universe and earth are older than six to ten thousand years.

Can the radiometric dating methods used to say how old the planet or the universe is be trusted?

 

To measure the decay of any isotope, there are a number of assumptions:

  1. The assumption is that what is being measured is in a closed system.
  2. The assumption is that the initial known amount of material being measured is known.
  3. The assumption is that no new material being measured was introduced.
  4. The assumption as well as the assumption that no existing material has exited in any way other than decay.

Many variables which are not known to be true in any system.

But even if radiometric dating processes could be trusted, God is capable of creating everything in a way which have a certain level of maturity in order to sustain life.

Maturity does not mean age. A man might appear to be 20 years old, but only in fact be 1 day – not so as to fool anyone, but to be able to sustain his own life – eat, drink, walk, communicate, gather food, protect self from heat/cold, etc.

In the same way, the universe was created with a level of maturity to sustain the galaxies. Our galaxy was created with a level of maturity to sustain solar systems. Our solar system was created with a level of maturity to sustain our planet. Our planet was created with a level of maturity to sustain life. Adam was created with a level of maturity to be able to do what is necessary to be able to ensure his own survival and that of his family.

So even if radiometric dating method could be trusted, God could have created everything in a way which appears old, even though it would not be deceptive, but necessary for sustaining life.

Thanking God in the midst of difficulty

I look at everything that has happened in my family’s lives and recognize that God has allowed so much to happen (even while I recognize that people have made their own choices and those choices have affected them and others).
 
I know that what man and the enemy meant for evil (or even selfish pleasure), God meant for good (Genesis 50:20).
 
I know God will use these things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
 
I am comforted by the fact that my family can be comforted by God so they can comfort others with the godly love and comfort they have received (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
 
So even in the difficult times, we can easily find ways to be thankful to God and praise Him.
 
I thank God for what He has done, is doing, and will do in our lives.
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