Questions and Answers About Church Matters

Questions and Answers
Questions and Answers about the church

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Question asked by - Gordon M. Haight
Location - West Jordan, Utah 
Question - When I first went through the temple over 60 years ago a lecture was given which stated that the notion that Eve was created from Adams rib was an old sectarian belief and wasn’t true. If that is the case why is it still taught in the temple today? I feel it is a put down of women. I am not going to quite the church over this but I have wondered about it for a long time. Thank you.

Our Answer - Since you are from Utah, it sounds like the temple you are referring to is the Mormon temple. The Mormon religion is considered a cult by most fundamentalist Christians because it adds to the original Word of God. At the end of the book of Revelation it says: “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19 NIV).

In regard to Adam and Eve, the Bible clearly says: “So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man’” (Genesis 2:21-23 NIV). The Bible also says, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21 NIV).

So the Bible was written under the anointing and inspiration of God. It is confusing sometimes because God uses a lot of metaphors (John 16:25). However, there is no implication of a meta pore here. Obviously, human beings cannot increase something without diminishing the original. The only thing that can do that is fire. A small flame can start a forest fire. However, “...our ‘God is a consuming fire’” (Hebrews 12:29 NIV). God can increase something without diminishing the original. That's how Jesus was able to feed thousands of people with just five loaves and two fish (Matthew 14:17).

Also consider that the Bible says: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27 NIV)

The original man, Adam, was both male and female, but with a muscular body. God just made a female body for Eve and separated her from the man. I hope this answers your question.

Question asked by - Onyekachukwu ndubuisi Edwin
Location - Lagos, Nigeria
Question - Who is the doctor of the church?

Our Answer - There is no “doctor” in the Christian church. You may be thinking of a witch doctor which some pagan tribes have. If you mean what is our doctrine, here it is:


Question - What is the spiritual growth in the sacrament?

Our Answer - As far as sacraments are concerned, you must be thinking of the Catholic Church. We are a nondenominational Protestant ministry. We don’t call them “sacraments.” However, Holy Communion and adult water baptismal are the two most important ceremonies in the church. As far as spiritual growth is concerned, that is done through the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26).

Question asked by - Tylor
Location - Orlando, Florida
Question - I recently started attending a church affiliated with the Association of Related Churches. Yesterday at their Wednesday night service I observed the pastor say their ministry team had “words of knowledge.” He went on to say that God had revealed to them specific “words” of people that were in the audience. They began naming specific physical ailments and situations and for those people to come down for healing. They even named a person by name. Is this biblical/doctrinal?

Our Answer - It’s hard to tell without really knowing the people involved. The answer is that it is possible that it is from God, but very unlikely. Their term “word” comes from the King James Translation. The Apostle Paul is referring to specific spiritual gifts that God gives to those believers who love Him so much that He has baptized them in His Holy Spirit.

Paul wrote, “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:8 KJV). In this sense, “word” means a small amount of knowledge or wisdom. A word of knowledge pertains to past or current situations. A word of wisdom refers to future events.

We know that the devil likes to counterfeit the gifts of God. Jesus said, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24 KJV). “So how do you know? Jesus told us the secret. He said, ‘By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit’” (Matthew 7:16-18 NIV).

Jesus is referring to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as described here. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, faction sand envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Galatians 5:19-26 NIV).

Jesus didn’t say “by their gifts you shall know them.” Look at their fruit, their actions, and lifestyle. If what they are saying is from God, to have that kind of anointing they would have to be more than just moral and ethical. They would have to be Holy. Their lives would have to radiate Christ in all they do. And make sure they are doctrinally correct by asking for Bible references and checking them out.

Question asked by - Hayley
Location - Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Question - What is it called when you question the church doctrine?

Our Answer - You may be thinking of the word “heresy.” It’s a word that the Catholic church used a lot during the days leading up to the Protestant Reformation, when Catholic theologians would study the Bible for themselves and see the difference between the teachings of the Bible and church doctrine. The Bible teaches that “...there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men...” (1 Timothy 2:5-6 NIV). However, the Catholic church was teaching that they were the mediator between God and mankind. And they didn’t want anyone questioning their authority and teaching something different, even if they backed it up with Bible scripture. In fact, in those days, only the church leaders were able to read the Bible. It was not written in a language spoken by the people.

William Tyndale (1494-1536 AD) was an English scholar who translated the Bible into the language of the people, so they could read it for themselves. He was then arrested by the Catholic church and burned at the stake. For the Church taught that they were the authority of God and no one dare question their teachings. That is despite the fact that Jesus taught His followers that when they were filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit would teach them. He said, “...the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26 NIV). And, the Apostle John wrote to new Christians, “As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in Him” (1 John 2:27 NIV).

The Apostle Paul wrote to the new church he stated in Galatia, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:6-8 NIV). Therefore, if you have any doubts about the things you have been taught, ask for a scripture reference for the doctrine. When the difference is so important that your eternal destination (Heaven or Hell) is at stake, it is our advice that you question it until it makes sense. Here at Bible Believers Fellowship, Inc. we back up every doctrinal position we take with scripture. So, when in doubt, don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. If the person spreading the doctrine is so pompous that they don’t like to be politely questioned, I would not listen to them. “...That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6 NIV).

Question asked by - Byenkya Samuel
Location - Kampala, Uganda
Question - Praise the good Lord! I have a question. If someone gets married in Anglican church when they are a born again Christian, is that marriage valid in the eyes of the Lord?

Our Answer - According to my research, the Anglican church in Uganda is traditional in its doctrine opposing gay marriage, especially among church leadership (see information about the Church of Uganda in Wikipedia). It adheres to the scripture which states, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders” (1 Corinthians 6:9 NIV. Also, see Romans 1:18-32). The Ugandan church has grown closer to Christ than many Anglican branches in the western world. For it has come out of terrible persecution through leaders like Idi Amin. There, unless your church has adopted some unorthodox doctrines that I am unaware of, I would say, absolutely, it is valid in the eyes of God!

However, make sure you check out everything they teach with a good Bible translation, because many churches that were once grounded firmly in the Word of God have tended to backslide into whatever is considered popular or politically correct. Jesus and His apostles warned us of this (Matthew 15:7-9, Matthew 7:15, Acts 20:29-30, Galatians 1:6-9, 1 Timothy 1:3, 6:3-5).

However, you don’t need to worry about marriage in the Ugandan Anglican church. The original church came about as a result of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. And in its basic, original form, it is sound in true Biblical doctrine. Nevertheless, remember that the church is not the mediator between God and man. Jesus is (1 Timothy 2:5). So your faith in God should revolve around Christ, not any structure built by human hands (Acts 7:49-51). And the Holy Spirit should take up residence in the heart of every believer! Best wishes for God’s blessings on the marriage!

Question asked by - Mark Gadett
Location - San Mateo, California
Question - Do I need to be baptized in water in order to be saved in Christ?

Our Answer - Your question is one that many people are confused about. There has been a lot of conflicting doctrine on the subject. But let me put it this way. Suppose you are at a church and become Born Again. Then on the way home you are hit by a truck and killed. You never had a chance to become water baptized. Does that mean that you will not get to Heaven? No! The thief on the cross never had a chance to be Born Again and he still got to Heaven. Yet Jesus said to him, “...I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43 NIV). Paradise was the waiting area where the Old Testament righteous went when they died. They could not get into Heaven because Jesus had not paid for their sins yet. The Lord spoke of Paradise in Luke 16:19-31 and Abraham was there, among the righteous. After Jesus died His spirit went into the depth of the earth, where Paradise was, and took those awaiting Him up to Heaven (Ephesians 4:7-10). So we know that the thief on the cross was saved and was among those whom Jesus took with Him when He ascended into Heaven.

As Christians we are to follow Christ’s example (1 Peter 2:21). And Christ was water baptized. It is a ceremonial act stating to the world that you love Christ and, through Him, you have died to sin (Romans 6:1-5). That’s why, during the procedure, you are placed quickly under the water, signifying death, then raised up out of the water, signifying that you died to sin and now have new life in Christ. Therefore, we are encouraged, in the Bible, to be water baptized. However, the mere act of water baptism will not save you if you are not sincerely committed to live for Christ and have repented of your sins. God know our hearts and is aware of whether we are sincere or not (1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Peter 3:12). Let me also say here that infant water baptism is not biblical, although many people think it is sufficient. Infants should be dedicated to the Lord, as the baby Jesus was in Luke 2:22. The person must be old enough to think for him or herself and make their own decisions to accept Christ as their Savior and live for Him. Jesus was an adult when He was water baptized.

I know that very often Christians are pressured into making a speedy trip to the church baptismal tank. However, the location at which you are baptized does make a difference to God. If the church is backslidden and the Holy Spirit is not present, the pastor may be on an ego trip to glorify himself by having mass water baptisms that he can brag about and gloat over in front of his peers. In that case, the Lord may choose another location for your water baptism. Because God wants all the glory for Himself (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11, 1 Corinthians 1:26-29). Here’s a personal example of my experience with it. Back in my single days, the church I attended had occasional water baptisms. But, even though God had baptized me in His Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11, John 14:16-17, 26, 16:7, Acts 18:24 thru 19:7), for personal reasons, I did not feel led to become water baptized at that time. However, through a friend of mine, I became acquainted with a young Christian man who did not attend my church. When he found out that I had not become water baptized, he began to reprimand me sternly. Yet, despite his rebuking, I did not feel any confirmation from the Lord that He wanted me to become water baptized at that time. Then, in 1984, several years after Eric and I were married, we had an opportunity to go on vacation to the Holy Land. It was with a non-denominational Christian touring group. They were planning to have a water baptism service in the Jordan River. The same river in which Christ Himself had been baptized (Matthew 3:13)! It was as if God spoke to my heart and said, “That’s where I want you to be baptized!” And we were! It was not done through any specific church denomination. But it was in a location that all Christians can agree was a very special place to the Lord!

Now this is very important. Water baptisms should not be confused with the baptism in the Holy Spirit! At the time of John the Baptist, Jesus had not yet died for our sin. So all that John the Baptist could do was to baptize people with water. “People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance... The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come One who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor, gathering His wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire’” (Matthew 3:5-12 NIV).

The Pharisees and Sadducees were the powerful and hypocritical religious leaders of his day. They claimed to be righteous but they had all the attributes of the proud, arrogant, sinful life that Jesus hates (see Matthew 6:1-7, 23:2-7). Therefore, John knew that they were not sincere in their relationship with God and he refused to water baptize them. It’s the same worry that Paul had when he wrote, “And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Corinthians 11:12-15 NIV). Paul knew that the religious leaders in his day wanted to pretend that they were just as righteous as Paul was. It was what Jesus described metaphorically in Matthew 13:24-30. When you tell someone that you’re a Christian, they may say, “Oh, I’m a Christian too.” You know that they are not really living for Christ because Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:16 NIV). Spiritual “fruit” is described in Galatians 5:19-24. So the Apostle Paul wrote, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25 NIV).

The reason why I am emphasizing the distinction is because there is a doctrine going around that claims that after you are Born Again, and water baptized, that is all you need in your relationship with God. However, the book of Acts tells us that Paul, on one of his missionary trips, “...arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ They answered, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ So Paul asked, ‘Then what baptism did you receive?’ ‘John’s baptism,’ they replied. Paul said, ‘John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:1-6 NIV). The subject of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is vast, but I hope to go into more detail about it in the future.

Going back to water baptism, see how the Lord leads you. It is a ceremonial act, and Jesus always gave a certain amount of leeway in such things (Matthew 15:1-9, 12:8-14). Jesus was more concerned with the condition of the person’s heart (Mark 2:16-17) than their righteousness in front of men (Mark 12:38-40). Nevertheless, when you feel in your heart, through the Holy Spirit that the Lord has prepared a place for you to be water baptized, I recommend that you do not ignore Him on this matter. God wants the glory for Himself & will lead you to the placed where He knows He will get the most glory. And there you should be water baptized.

Question asked by - June
Location - Indianapolis, Indiana
Question - I am looking to move my membership. I have attended this church for almost ten years, and it seems like every time we get new members, the Elders and the Pastor runs them away insisting they tithe 10%. I believe in giving and I believe it should be with the spirit of joy. Love and kindness mean a lot to me and I want to be obedient to the Lord. I am saved and I love God. I want to know if I should allow my pastor to make my decisions. I believe in Jesus and what He has done for me. I just need info.

Our Answer - Your attitude is the right one. I wrote about this kind of thing in an article entitled “The Popular Sin of Churchianity” in our Autumn 2008 issue of “The Good News Letter.”

“My mother once told me about the pastor of a large, wealthy church she had stopped attending. She said that he had preached so much about prosperity and how God will bless people who give to their church that a woman in his congregation had asked him, “Pastor, I don’t have much money for giving. I have to pay the mortgage on my house. But should I give the money to the church instead and trust God that He will provide the mortgage money?” The pastor told the woman yes. My mother said that, as a result, the woman lost her house and her husband divorced her. It’s what Jude was talking about when he wrote, “These men are... shepherds who feed only themselves... without fruit and uprooted - twice dead” (Jude 1:12 NIV). Faith is a good thing (Hebrews 11:1,6) when God tells us specifically to do something, and we obey Him. But when it comes to something as important as a house payment, the Holy Spirit is the only one who has the right to tell you not to pay it, but to trust God. Does that mean that a pastor cannot tell a member of his congregation that God has told him to tell them to do such and so? No. It is a minister’s job to hear the Word of God, even in the lives of specific individuals, and tell them about it. However, if it’s really coming from God, the Holy Spirit will confirm it in the heart of the recipient!”

To sum it up, when the Bible says to give a tithe to God, first He is talking to Old Testament believers. So it was under the old laws of God. We no longer live under the law, but by faith (Romans 3:19-24). However the law must not be totally disregarded (Matthew 5:18-20). It is a guideline for us. Our love for God should be our determination. You should be guided by the Holy Spirit. Also, your donation should go to God, not a hypocritical church led by wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15 and Acts 20:29-31). So spend time in prayer and ask the Lord to lead you to the right entity to donate to someone who is truly getting the Gospel out and not just puffing up their own ego and false teaching (2 Peter 1:21 thru 2 Peter 2:3).

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