Saturday, 10-Dec-2016

Every day is a good day to praise God. What about formal worship?

The correct day of worship is always a hot topic among religious people. We have received numerous inquiries into this important area. But, we want to warn everyone of any 'Bible professionals' who want to prefer one day over another according to his or her Bible-based guidelines. One can easily interpret various passages in the Bible to make it look like you are falling short unless you tow the line and worship only on a particular day selected by the 'professional.' Romans 14:5-6 is the passage that neutralizes such strategies.

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Thoughts and words are the currency of the spirit

What makes mankind different from animals? It is our God-given ability to think rationally and communicate verbally. How, then, should we think and speak?

The Gospel

The Bible Gospel message is very simple: God loves you so much that He died for you on a cross, gaining victory over sin and hell on your behalf.

This good news is found throughout the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments. A concise summary appears in I Corinthians 15:3 and 4, the Apostle Paul speaking:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures

Sometimes human teachers take away from the Gospel saying, for instance, that our sin is not the reason Jesus died. More often they add rules and regulations to it, furthering their own agendas. But the true Gospel is very simple, and believing it brings new life.

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Pending Question

Angel 7 asks: Im struggling with smoking but theres a urge to go into ministry its keeping me back
Question about Right and Wrong in the Bible: God's laws
Motivation - Curiosity: General interest; Guidance: Making a decision
Bible view - The Word of God - [question 243, Friday, 06-Jan-2017]

Smoking's tough. Nicotine is a powerful drug. Christians are discouraged from smoking, and certainly Christian leaders set a bad example if they smoke.

'No other gods before me,' the first Commandment (Exodus 20:3), is an obvious injunction against any kind of addiction, including smoking. But drug use is even more sinister than that. The works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:19ff includes witchcraft, or pharmakeia (i.e., pharmacy, drugs) in the Greek, so there are occult implications with drug use.

The question is, what to do? Or, more specifically, how to quit?

There are three choices. First, if you believe God does miracles today (I sure do!), ask Him for a supernatural deliverance from your drug habit. A woman from our church was delivered from heroine addiction, and she is serving Jesus today. All things are possible! Second, you can attend a Christian addictions program or get addiction counseling (click to this page [Press Here]. Third, you can do it yourself, either cold-turkey or with various purchased aids.

'Be ye therefore perfect' (or 'mature' or 'complete'), Matthew 5:48, is the goal set for every Christian, and the indwelling Holy Ghost gives us power to attain it. Do not be an immature Christian leader, since immaturity cannot lead others to maturity.

Does the Bible say anything about housework and who is supposed to do it? Surprisingly, yes.

HENRY SHANER asks: MY WIFE SAYS MEN ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO CLEAN AND IT MAKES A MAN A WOMEN. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY. ONCE AGAIN MY WIFE SAYS CLEANING THE HOUSE IS WOMENS WORK
Question about Right and Wrong in the Bible: Marriage and divorce
Motivation - Curiosity: Sincere curiosity
Bible view - The Word of God - [question 157, Friday, 27-Sep-2013]

The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
- Proverbs 14:1 [NASB]
Wise woman builds her house
Proverbs says 'The wise woman builds her house.' Does this really include housework?

Would the God of the universe be concerned about who does the housework? Henry wants to know. Does the Bible say anything about cleaning the house and who should do it? Surprisingly, the answer is 'yes.'

The book of Proverbs in the Old Testament has one primary purpose: to encourage people to follow the ways of wisdom rather than the ways of folly. Wisdom is defined as 'skill in living everyday life,' and folly is the opposite. Read Proverbs and you will get practical, down-to-earth guidance about living in this world. But don't expect it to be all common sense. There's a lot of material in Proverbs that runs counter to our intuition.

In the book of Proverbs short, one-sentence ideas contrast wisdom and folly. A great example is Proverbs 14:1 (in the box above) which states 'The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.' This is pretty sobering for any wife and mother who takes the Bible seriously. It seems, from this proverb, that a woman has the power to make or break her household. Anyone who is married long enough knows this is true.

But is this for the woman only? Of course not. The husband must be wise as well, or the house crumbles:

By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong, And a man of knowledge increases power.
- Proverbs 24:3ff [NASB]

So home building is a two-way deal. Husband and wife must both make wise decisions to keep the household strong. But you don't need the Bible to tell you that. This one is, after all, common sense. If either party messes up, the home is weakened.

Who does the housework? Proverbs says both husband and wife must contribute to a household. We will have to look further to find out how the contributions are made. Does the husband contribute in ways different than the wife, and vice versa? Do both do the housework, or only one? The Bible lays down roles and responsibilities for husband and wife, and from this we can draw conclusions about housework.

Who Buys the House?

Before you can clean the toilet, you must have a toilet to clean. Modern culture aside, the Bible does not permit 'single parent' households. Mom-Dad-Kids is God's formula. Single parent situations are not to be sustained and, when they occur, the only Bible-prescribed remedy comes from family members and good people outside the family, not commercial institutions or government programs. Check this verse:

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
- James 1:27 [NASB]

Single moms with children are to be honored, as long as they are closely associated with their own family and live respectable lives:

Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day. But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives.
- 1 Timothy 5:3ff [NASB]

So, then, who buys the toilet? This is clearly the man's job. There is no room in the Bible for female breadwinners, that is, women who provide primary finances for the family. Women in the Bible do amazing and wonderful things (we will see momentarily), but God holds the man responsible for the financial well being of the family:

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
- 1 Timothy 5:8 [NASB]

Men, more than women, thrive on respect earned from others. Work is honorable and entreats respect. So honest labor not only provides for the family, but builds the husband's character at the same time.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
- Ephesians 4:28 [NASB]

Who Builds the House?

Man doing womens work
Ugh. This is women's work, isn't it?

Assuming there is a toilet to clean, who should clean it, the husband or the wife? To find out, we glean general principles from the Bible, then apply those principles specifically to the topic of housework.

We have already seen that the Bible calls out specific roles for the husband. In the verses above, one of the husband's roles is to provide primary finances for the family. Secondary finances, if any, can be supplied by the wife, and that's great. But women supporting men is not biblical.

As for the wife, nowhere in the Bible is the role of a virtuous woman better described than in Proverbs chapter 31. Such a wife gains the trust and respect of her husband and all those around her. The passage in Proverbs cites a lengthy list of roles, responsibilities, duties, initiatives, and characteristics of an excellent wife. It is the Bible's version of a modern-day trophy wife!

  • She respects her husband to the point where he trusts her implicitly (verse 11)
  • She loves her husband and does him good, never evil (v 12)
  • She buys raw materials and makes them into finished products (v 13)
  • She buys good, even exotic, food (v 14)
  • She feeds her household (v 15)
  • She considers investments and buys the good ones (v 16)
  • She grows a garden (v 16)
  • She keeps herself strong and healthy (v 17)
  • She knows the value of her inner and outer beauty (v 18)
  • She works into the night, working with her hands (v 18, 19)
  • She gives her time and her abundance to the poor and needy (v 20)
  • She protects, uplifts, and nurtures her entire household (v 21)
  • She decorates her house and dresses with class (v 22)
  • She supports her husband in his business (v 23)
  • She operates her own business (v 24)
  • She radiates strength and honor (v 25)
  • She looks to a bright future (v 25)
  • She speaks wisdom with kindness (v 26)
  • She manages her household well (v 27)
  • She is far from lazy (v 27)
  • She cherishes praise from her children and her husband (v 28)

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
- Proverbs 31:30 [NASB]

There is no parallel passage in the Bible which calls out sample roles of a virtuous husband. We may, however, construct one from divers portions of scripture, but the list is shorter by far.

  • He loves his wife as Jesus Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25)
  • He assumes a leadership role in the local church (I Timothy 3:2)
  • He trains the children (Ephesians 6:4)
  • He provides finances for his family (discussed above)

The first two items in these lists summarize the Bible's view of a perfect marriage:

  • The wife respects her husband to the point where he trusts her implicitly
  • The husband loves his wife as Jesus Christ loves the Church

The woman respects the man and the man loves the woman. The formula is really that simple. Mountains of theological doctrines, most of them erroneous, have been built around husband-wife Bible passages. A particularly dangerous one is known as headship and submission which based on a few of the New Testament letters. Taken to extremes (as it sometimes is), headship and submission makes the wife a slave of the husband. This, quite obviously, contradicts the Bible mandate of a husband loving his wife as Jesus Himself loved those He died for.

Who Cleans the Toilet?

To answer, at last, Henry's question, we look at the lists above. In general, the biblical roles and responsibilities for the wife are more home-centered than those of the husband. This means the wife should clean the toilet. But, since Jesus set an example for husbands by laying down His life for those He loves (Matthew 20:28), the husband must pitch in when his wife asks him to.

by Paul Richards

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Does the Bible prohibit collecting interest on loans?

Is it ok to charge interest on commercial loans? The Bible says 'yes.'

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horseshoe canyon

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Did God create Adam out of dust, and Eve out of Adam's rib? This seems very far-fetched!

Questions about creation are super-important. They form a dividing line between people who believe the Bible has value, and those who believe it is worthless. We hope you believe the Bible has value.

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What the Bible says -- concisely.

The Bible makes it clear that once an embryo reaches the biblical stage of unformed substance, adoption, not abortion, is the proper way to avoid a grievous sin and minimize the effects of unwanted pregnancy. The precise time of unformed substance is not specified in the Bible, but it is surely early in the pregnancy. Further, the Bible is full of encouragement for loving parenting of young children. Remember: God is for you. He loves you beyond measure.

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Buying Gold and Silver

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