Thursday, September 8, 2011

“There’s Someone Out There for Everyone (to marry)”


It sounds good; it sounds romantic—unless you’re being bugged the thousandth time by your great aunt about when you’re ever going to find a husband or wife.

The New Testament doesn’t put the emphasis on getting married that most societies do. Once a person is married there are definite expectations, however. Jesus said that some people are to be married and some aren’t, that it’s a good thing if they aren’t but not everyone has the gift of celibacy.

Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” Matthew 19:11,12

Paul said that it’s better not to marry so that men and women can give their full attention to pleasing God rather than their wives and husbands.

I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:32-36

So while marriage can be wonderful and is holy and to be honored by everyone, (Hebrews 13:4) it’s not for everyone.

Going Through Hard Times

"One of the reasons we go through hard times is so we can comfort other people who are going through hard times."

Not quite

This one is almost true but just misses. It’s usually based on experience and the verse that says we are to comfort others with the comfort we have received.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

One person “rewrote” it in her mind to say, “We go through troubles so that we can comfort others with the comfort we have received.” That’s not what it says, that’s adding to the Word of God. This concept has prompted people to actually seek out hard times, to embrace hard times rather than overcome them when they do come and/or give others who are going through hard times a rather cold comfort—that hard times are good for you.

In addition, the context of this scripture is “sharing in the sufferings of Christ”—persecutions received for being obedient to Jesus’ teachings.

“It’s a Sin to be Sorrowful”

It’s a sin to be sorrowful since the Bible says we are to,”rejoice in the Lord always.”

The Bible does instruct us to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4) but every admonition in the Bible doesn’t have a reverse formula as though we were working mathematical equations. Jesus himself expresses great sorrow on a number of occasions (Luke 19:40-42, John 11:34-36, Matthew 26:37-39) yet was without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). Paul taught that we are to “mourn with those who mourn”. (Romans 12:15)

The Bible makes the distinction, however, between Godly sorrow and worldly sorrow.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. 2 Corinthians 7:11

“As Christians, We Don’t Need to Please God Because He’s Already Pleased With Us.”

It’s true that we come to God the Father through the sacrifice of Jesus who paid the penalty for our sins and God the Father is definitely pleased with Jesus. However, that’s not where it stops.

The New Testament often urges us to do what’s pleasing to God.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. Romans 14:17,18

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1

But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 1 Timothy 5:4

So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 2 Corinthians 5:9

Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:8

“Christians Are a Bunch of Hypocrites”

To be a hypocrite means to play a role, put on an act, as in Greek theater--to wear a mask. The Greek actor only played his role while he was on stage, living an entirely different life the rest of the time. Yes, this can be said of many who are called by the name Christian and of many who are in any other religion—or no religion. And there are many Christians of whom it cannot rightly be said.

In order for a non-Christian to pass such a judgment on a Christian, it would take the non-Christian’s knowing how a Christian is supposed to live, acknowledging that such a life is a good thing, then walking away from it, unlived—just because someone else did.

Hypocrisy comes from a lack of spiritual maturity. Christians struggle too. No excuses, just reasons.

If you are a non-Christian who has been hurt by Christians who didn’t “walk their talk”, as a follower of Jesus (a.k.a. Christian) I apologize to you. I invite you to become a follower of Jesus and walk in his good ways. It won’t be easy but it will be wondrous.

“The Christian Trinity Consists of God, Jesus and Mary”

Not at all! The term “Trinity” does not occur in the Bible but is used to describe God in the three “persons” of the Father, his Son Jesus (not by sexual union) and The Holy Spirit—all God. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was simply God’s servant to give birth to Jesus—though she was a very special and unique servant (no one else had such a privilege).