What does the Bible say about Tattoos?

July 12th, 2021

What does the Bible say about getting tattoos?

Thank you for your question.  Here are some pertinent Scriptures:

Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:28

Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. Romans 6:13

I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. Romans 6:19

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Corinthians 6:19

Thanks,

Owen

Should I Praying For Healing, or See a Doctor?

June 21st, 2021

I have question about Luke 7:1-10: 

The centurion had great faith in Jesus, and believed that if Jesus would just “Say the word,” his servant (who was sick and ready to die) would be healed. The servant was then cured by Jesus.

Here is my question: Suppose that I become ill with, say, “sinusitis” which causes headache and difficulty in breathing, and possibly will cause loss of vision in the long-run. The doctor’s recommendation is to have a surgery to fix it. Should I pray for Jesus to cure my illness and not to have surgery? Or, should I follow my doctor’s recommendation to have a surgery and pray for the mercy of Jesus to put me in the good care of my doctor?

Thank you for your question. This is a difficult subject, but I will try to be as definitive as possible.

First of all, when we are stricken with illness, I believe that the first thing we should do is to pray for healing, including claiming God’s promises such as in 1 John 5:14-15.

At this point, and throughout this process, we can certainly also see a doctor about our condition if we feel like God might use the doctor as an instrument in accomplishing His healing. Although I do not believe that doctors can do much in the way of true healing, they can often help our bodies fight the sickness and ease our suffering–in short term situations such as with colds and the flu; and, sometimes in more serious long-term circumstances. However, we know that doctors are sometimes wrong, and they can sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help, despite any good intentions that they may have. So, since we know our own bodies better than the doctors do, we need to accept the responsibility for making the best decisions about our health (using the common sense and wisdom that God gives us).

If God chooses not to heal us, we should ask others (such as our church leaders) to join us in prayer for our healing, according to James 5:13-15 and Matthew 18-18-20.

If God still chooses not to heal us, we need to review 1 John 5:14 again, and pray specifically about the part that says, “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us…” We need to think through our situation and ask ourselves whether or not we believe that it is God’s will for us to be healed. This is because there may be something else that God has in mind for us, such as a blessing even greater than being healed; and, perhaps this greater thing can only come about by way of our illness. If we really believe that the illness is God’s will for us (according to Romans 8:28), then we can be satisfied and cease praying for healing. However, if we are not satisfied that this illness is God’s will for us, then we need to examine ourselves to see if there might be some sin in our lives that is inhibiting our healing (James 5:15), or if we perhaps have sin in our lives that we have not confessed (1 John 1:9).

I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Owen

If I were the Devil

May 20th, 2021

Paul Harvey, March 18, 1993:

“If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness. I’d have a third of its real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apples on the tree. So, I would set about, however necessary, to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would
whisper to you as I whispered to Eve, ‘Do as you please.’ To the young, I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I’d confide that what’s bad is good, and what good is square. And the old I would teach to pray after me, ‘Our father, which art in Washington.’

“Then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors on how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

“If I were the devil, I would soon have families at war with themselves; churches at war with themselves; and, nation at war with themselves, until each in turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings, I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.

“If I was the devil, I would encourage schools to teach young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions. Just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door. Within a decade, I’d have prisons overflowing, and judges promoting pornography? Soon I could evict God from the courthouse, and the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in his own churches, I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I’d lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church
money.

“If I were the devil, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

“If I were the devil, I’d take from those who have, and give to those who wanted, until I killed the incentive of the ambitious. What would you bet that I couldn’t get folks to promote gambling as the way to get rich? I would caution against extremes in hard work; in patriotism; and, in moral conduct. I’d convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, and that swinging is more fun; that what you see on TV is the way to be; and, that I could undress you in public, and lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.

“In other words, if I were the devil, I just keep right on doing what he’s doing. Paul Harvey. Good day.”

The Bride of Christ

April 12th, 2021

I would like to know if we are the bride of Christ in a spiritual since and Christ is our spiritual husband. Is worship how we are spiritually united to our spouse and become one with Him? Is worship like spiritually making love to God in a nonsexual way?

Thank you for your question.

Yes, the “bride” in Revelation 19:7-9 is the Church, and the “wedding of the lamb” refers to Jesus Christ (the bridegroom) and the Church (the bride). Ephesians 5:22-24 says, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Christ is the head of the Church and the Savior of believers. He will be united with His Church forever in eternity, and we are to submit to Him, both in this life and in eternity.

Christ died for His Church, and words cannot express the full love that He has for us believers. The love of this relationship is so deep that the best way for us to understand it was in using the analogy of marriage. Marriage is the biblical relationship where two people can express their true love for each other in the most intimate of ways. This love is expressed over the course of their lifetime in many ways, including physically (sexually), mentally, and spiritually. A man and his wife grow forever closer by sharing their thoughts, their spiritual experiences, and their bodies (1 Corinthians 7:5). Likewise, Christ lives in us, guiding our souls, spirits, and bodies (Romans 1-2). Although we are incapable of grasping this concept to its fullest extent while we are still in this life, the analogy of marriage was the best way to relate it to us.

Thanks,

Owen

Which Democratic Scandal is Worse?

March 19th, 2021

I watched a TV news show last night that had a Democratic pundit as well as a Republican one. The commentator asked the question: “Which scandal is worse: 1) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 / nursing home scandal, where 15,000+ elderly people died; or, 2) Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandal, where at least seven accusers have come forward?”

The Republican pundit said it was definitely worse that Cuomo “killed” over 15,000 elderly people.

The Democratic pundit quickly retorted that nobody (and certainly not Governor Cuomo) “killed” anybody in that scandal. Of course, she was also hesitant to say that his sexual harassment scandal was worse.

Well, I submit that there’s a scandal (mostly Democratic) that’s far worse than either of these: The 1,000,000 innocent babies that we kill by abortion each year, because:

1) There’s no question that these babies are in fact “killed.” The only question is whether or not they are “murders” of human beings. Currently, the Supreme Court says that they’re not, but the Bible says that they are (Exodus 21:22-25 – Abortion article).

2) The 1,000,000 number of babies is over 65 times larger than the 15,000 elderly people.

3) The babies are totally innocent of everything.

4) We are destroying about 80 years of life for each of these 1,000,000 babies, but Governor Cuomo destroyed only about 10 years of life for each of these elderly people.

What’s Worse than Governor Cuomo “Killing” Old People?

March 19th, 2021

I watched a TV news show last night that had a Democratic pundit as well as a Republican one. The commentator asked the question: “Which scandal is worse: 1) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 / nursing home scandal, where 15,000+ elderly people died; or, 2) Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandal, where at least seven accusers have come forward?”

The Republican pundit said it was definitely worse that Cuomo “killed” over 15,000 elderly people.

The Democratic pundit quickly retorted that nobody (and certainly not Governor Cuomo) “killed” anybody in that scandal. Of course, she was also hesitant to say that his sexual harassment scandal was worse.

Well, I submit that there’s a scandal (mostly Democratic) that’s far worse than either of these: The 1,000,000 innocent babies that we kill by abortion each year, because:

1) There’s no question that these babies are in fact “killed.” The only question is whether or not they are “murders” of human beings. Currently, the Supreme Court says that they’re not, but the Bible says that they are (Exodus 21:22-25 – Abortion article).

2) The 1,000,000 number of babies is over 65 times larger than the 15,000 elderly people.

3) The babies are totally innocent of everything.

4) We are destroying about 80 years of life for each of these 1,000,000 babies, but Governor Cuomo destroyed only about 10 years of life for each of these elderly people.

Money Has Never Been a Motivator to Dak

March 15th, 2021

Dak Prescott recently signed a four-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys for $160,000,000. His deal includes $126,000,000 in guaranteed money, and a signing bonus of $66,000,000 – the highest in NFL history. The 2021 NFL season alone will bring him $75,000,000. That’s far above his $31,000,000 in 2020, but, after all, that was for only five games. In this Superbowl-crazy league, Dak is 1-2 in postseason play.

Dak spent two of his 27 years negotiating this deal. His comment was, “Money has never been a motivator.” Somehow, that’s difficult to believe.

Purgatory

March 4th, 2021

Is there a purgatory?

Thank you for your question. Although the doctrine of purgatory is valid, I don’t hold to it in the Roman Catholic sense, as a process of purification where believers acquire the holiness necessary to enter heaven. This doctrine is somewhat complex, but I’ll try to summarize it here.

When Old Testament people died, their bodies went into a grave, but apparently, there was a temporary holding place for their souls. The Bible uses a term called hell, such as in Matthew 5:22, but the terminology is slightly different than what we normally use. Hell is the lake of fire where all unbelievers will spend eternity (Revelation 20:14-15). Apparently, however, the temporary holding place (sometimes called Sheol, or Purgatory) had separate compartments for believers and unbelievers. (This is where the Catholics (mistakenly) built their doctrine of purgatory.) Those who died were taken to one of these temporary chambers, awaiting their transaction: either from Paradise to heaven; or from Hades to hell. We learn more about this in the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. Unbelievers spent this period in the part called Torments, or “Hades” (Luke 16:23), which is where the rich man was. However, the believers spent this time in a place called Paradise (Luke 23:43), or “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22), which is where Lazarus was.

However, with the resurrection of Jesus (the first resurrection), these Old Testament believers were transferred from paradise to heaven. This is apparently what was going on in Matthew 7:53, which is a very difficult passage. Now, for us, it’s completely different. Since the resurrection of Christ has already occurred, and He has ascended to heaven, when believers die today, our bodies go to a grave, and our spirits go straight to heaven (2 Corinthians 5:1-8) to be with Christ.

I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Owen

Faith amidst Questions

February 9th, 2021

How Can We Have Faith in God and the Bible When We Have So, Many Questions About Reconciling Science to the Bible?

In the first 37 chapters of Job, Job asked many questions. In chapters 38 through 41, God answers Job’s questions with questions.

For example: Job 38:2-12: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?  Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.  Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.  Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?  On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—  while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?  Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,  when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness,  when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place,  when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt?’  Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?”

He goes on like this for five chapters, then we finally see Job’s reply in chapter 42:1-6: “Then Job replied to the LORD:  ‘I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.  You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.  You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’  My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.  Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

In other words, God’s thoughts are far above man’s thoughts. Consequently, there are many things that man cannot understand, although we continue to learn more through scientific study. So, God was telling Job that even if He answered Job’s questions, Job wouldn’t be able to comprehend. God was saying, “OK, I’ll be glad to answer your questions, but first, in order to qualify yourself as one who will be able to understand the answers, let me ask you some questions. Then, after you answer My questions, I will answer yours.” Then Job had to admit, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know… Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

This makes perfect sense to me because I realize that there are so many things that I do not understand. These things strengthen my faith, rather than weakening it, because they remind me of how big God is, and how small I am. My lack of knowledge actual brings me comfort rather than anxiety, knowing that God is taking care of the things that I cannot even comprehend.

Why Does God Allow Congenital Diseases?

January 14th, 2021

If we believe that that Psalm 139:13-16 is true, then why do we have inherited diseases? The issue is the omnipotence and omniscience of Jehovah. If he knows that a person and / or animal will be born with a congenital disease, why not stop him if he can do so? Psalm 139:13-16 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful. I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”

Sickness and disease are some of the results of sin. Instead of obeying God, and living forever without toil, struggle, sickness, and death, Adam chose to disobey God. When he sinned in the Garden of Eden, he brought death upon himself, and all mankind (Genesis 2:17, Genesis 3). He would now be subject to toil and struggle; aging; sickness; and, death (Genesis 3:17-19). God is indeed omnipotent, and He is just. If He had decided to let man die in his sin, with no hope of redemption, justice would have been served, as there would have been no payment for man’s sins. However, He put into place a plan of grace by which man can be redeemed through the blood of Christ on the cross (John 3:16). Believers will indeed live forever with God in eternity. However, meanwhile, we still have to finish this life in a sinful world, subject to sickness and disease.