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August 20, 2003

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Q/A's
Q/A Topics:
Going into Debt?

READER QUESTION:
I am wondering if it is wrong to borrow money, for example a car loan. I didn't find anything on your topic search about this.

READER QUESTION:
I've read several scriptures that speak quite clear about debt, none of them seem to agree for one to get into it. During the last few years I've been able to stay out of it, however things have been opening for me to buy a house (mortgage) .... I guess that I have a mixed emotions-scripture thing right now. Buying a house is a hughe investment that I'm not able to do in cash and I've been paying rent for several years already. Enough of this. Could you share with me your scriptural knowledge about this, thanks.

VW ANSWER:
There's a lot of Christians who believe that -any- sort of borrowing/loans/indebtedness is wrong. As I think on the 'why' of this, I think they hinge pretty much their entire argument on "Owe no one anything except to love one another..." (Rom13:8) That little phrase is in the context of our relationships to the civic world, following the discussion about paying taxes faithfully. But it also follows in the context of "honor" to the 'position' some people have as they hold office. And as such, it could just as easily be speaking of non-monetary indebtedness, since the indebtedness condoned in the context is "love".

On the other hand, in the O.T. there are some lengthy laws/provisions regarding those who become indebted, due to coming into hard times. That's what the whole "Jubilee" thing is all about...when such a person reaches the 7th year/s and/or the 50th year, that their indebtedness is to be erased, and where they had sold themselves to servitude to pay their debts, they were now 'free'. (Ex21:2-6, Lev25:8~~,etc)

(Lev25:35-37) speaks of when a person needs to borrow to get through hard times, that fellow-Israelites were not to charge interest to each other.

God speaks of when Israel was obedient and experiencing blessing that they would be in a position to lend, and not borrow; but if they were disobedient, part of their punishment would be their need to borrow. (De15:6, 28:12)

And in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus exhorts to "give" to the one who asks to "borrow". (Mt5:42)

Thus, I suspect the concept of lending/borrowing, in-and-of itself is not anti-Scriptural. After all, the servants who are praised with "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Mt25:21,23) had engaged in business investments; which certainly involves a certain level of risk, as there is a lending/borrowing aspect to business finance.

On the other hand, there is a Scriptural concept of being "content" with what we have: wages (Mt3:14), situation/s in life (Php4:11, 1Tim6:8), and "..be content with such things as you have." (Heb13:5) And exhortation against lusting after "unjust gain". (Eze33:31, Ps119:36, Pr1:19,28:16, etc)

Each Believer must live before God in "good conscience" (Ac23:1, 1Tim1:5, etc) whatever one does in conducting one's life must be from "faith" before God. (Rom14:23)

The one mentions "car loan". The things a Christian would want to consider are things like: Do I now have adequate transportation? What do I use it for? Is it reliable for my needs? Or, if it is getting old, is the cost of repairs starting to overtake the car's value?

There are many people who have very -good- reliable transportation, but go lusting after the newer, shinier, ones with more gadgets, cooler look, etc. Or they are seeking to elevate their perceived 'status' before others by having an 'expensive' car. If those are the reasons, then it would obviously be 'sin'. But if a person has a car, but needs a truck for hauling things regularly; that might be a legitimate reason. Perhaps a vehicle is becoming mechanically unreliable, and one wants something safer for a loved one with less mechanical aptitudes to deal with breakdowns...then it might be good.

To take out a mortgage to buy a home is another wise 'investment'. Certainly, the way the world's finances work, by the time a home is paid for, one has put 3-times as much money into it as its market value was originally. However, 'buying' in the end, one "owns" the house...whereas, if a person didn't take out the mortgage, and only continually paid "rent" to somebody...after the same period of years, there is no equity to show for all that money out-lay. But there, too, what sort of home is being purchased? Something to 'impress' others? Or something that is adequate to one's needs, for "contentment"?

All these variables is the reason why each individual case/decision is a matter between the Believer and the Lord. Does a Believer 'need' a "Hummer"? Most likely NOT! Does a Believer need a mansion, with an $80,000 motorhome parked in the driveway which is used scarcely a week out of the year, and a $50,000 boat that is used just as rarely, and a Jaguar, Corvette in the garage, and olympic-size swimming pool in the back yard? Now, if the Lord has happened to shower them with financial wealth, such that they have inherited these things, well, there is nothing intrinsically sinful about any of these 'items'. But does a Believer go into hock up-to-the-neck-in-debt in order to have these things, because he feels the 'need' (lust) to keep up with the proverbial "Joneses"? Definitely not!

Also, the concept of running up credit-card debts because a person HAS-TO have it -NOW-, and can't wait a couple of months to save up for it, that also does not indicate a Christian "contentment" with what one has. On the other hand, the simple act of 'owning' credit cards is not necessarily sinful. For some people, the card, and the monthly statements they receive makes for a more concise 'handy' way of managing their finances, as they pay the card off each month. However, for such things, perhaps a debit card is better, so that one is spending what one "has", and not what he "does not have". (2Cor8:12) ??

Now, since you specifically mention "car loan" (and the second person their house mortgage)...if -you- are considering the matter for yourself...I cannot answer the question for -you-. But I think the above comments are based on Scriptural teaching...and your specific matter is between you and the Lord.

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Goth

INTRODUCTION:
A subscriber wrote awhile back, asking what I might know about the Goth; having had interaction with people where a daughter had gone with them to the mall at times when various questionable type of people/kids hang out there; and when expressing concerns over the matter, among other things, said:

"The girl (from another family), without asking for an explanation replied with a statement along the lines of, "They're not satan worshippers, they're Goth. Even some of my christian friends are Goth". She did not need an explanation from my wife as to who she was referring to, but already knew, which to me says if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's not a dog."

VW ANSWER:
I was not familiar either, so just now went and did a quick search at go.com (google) With this sort of thing I usually find that the people themselves pretty much explain who/what they are, in their own words, at their own websites. If a person is a Christian, and knows the Scriptures, even if some of these use deceptive terminology, it is pretty easy to see through them.

But the few Goth websites I found right near the top of the listing were pretty explicite, I felt. They may not sacrifice virgins and whatever else satan worshipers do, but they are obviously in the "kingdom of darkness". The term "darkness" was a recurring term I saw...whereas God is light. (1Jn1:5) If some so-called "christian" is a goth, they are not -really- a "[C]hristian". At one of the sites was a list of their music...several with "nephilim" in their titles...that's what characterized the earth before God destroyed it at Noah's time. (Gen6:4) The word "giants" in Hebrew is "nephilim" coming from a verb meaning "to fall" (also violently). Instead of saying "giants", it might as easily say "fallen ones", as the next sentence goes on to speak of the "sons of God". If they truly -believe- they are not worshiping satan, they are deceived.

"When wisdom enters into your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul....those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the perversities of the wicked, whose paths are crooked, who are devious in their tracks;" (~Pr2:10-15)

"The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. It is not possible to serve God and mammon." (Mt6:22-24)

Ro 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
Eph 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

A Christian is one who is walking in the light: "You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness." (1Th5:5)

I think it's these same ones, before they acquired the label "goth", who would retort to the establishment regarding their manner of attire and makup, "Don't judge a book by its cover"

Well, in fact, a book -IS- 'identified' by its cover. A person publishing a book does not design a cover totally different from the book's contents. A vehicle manual typically has pictures of the vehicle it covers. A romance novel typically has some romantic/sensual picture. A text book has artwork appropriate to the subject it covers. Or, if there is no art work, at least the -label- tells what it is. When a person sees a book on the shelf that says "Dictionary" on its binding, one does not pull it out hoping to read a history book.

So, indeed, these so-called "goths" -ARE- known by their appearance. If they didn't possess in their hearts the 'darkness' they readily admit to, they would not dress as they do.

There are only two masters: God or satan. Most unbelievers seem to live their lives oblivious to 'spiritual' matters. However, by their attire and culture, the goths are not merely living life 'passively' without -considering- 'what' it is they do; according to their own words, they are making a 'statement'. They've obviously thought about what it is they are doing enough to make purposeful decisions and -drastic- changes regarding their lives. They are not "oblivious" to spiritual matters. If they are not serving God, there is only one other master they can serve. Satan.

They may not admit it... but then, that, too, is one of the guidlines of their behavior: to "not admit" to being what they are, when asked. If, by their 'doctrine' they will not admit to "being goth" in certain circles, then, why should they also not admit to being satanists. Perhaps not all goths are satanists... but by their own doctrine of behavior, if they were, they wouldn't necessarily admit to it.

From what I've seen of them (and the 'spirit' that is evident whenever I've been near any of them), and what I read just now....this is how it is appearing to me.

Not to tell you what to do....but if she was -my- daughter, she would not be having sleep-overs with those people again.

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What to do about Mormon missionaries at the door?

READER QUESTION:
Do you have any information on the Morman church? Two missionaries have been stopping by and talking to me in an effort to get to believe their way. Why did I even get involved? They are likeable young men who wanted to know why I wouldn't ask them into my house. I need some help showing them the error of their ways because they insist their salvation is only in the Lord.

VW ANSWER:
1/7/04 Addendum: There is now a new file in the Discernment Archives compiled from the video "The Godmakers" with a 'list' of Mormon beliefs and docrines.

First of all, just because they come to your door, you are not obligated to talk to them. In fact, if they have identified themselves to you as being "Mormon", you can tell them that you will not speak with them, and close the door. Having encountered them myself, I know that they can become obnoxious and cuss you out. But according to 2Jn10 "..do not receive him into your house nor speak a blessing to him.." (Don't worry that you are not being "nice" or "polite" to them...most cults prey on the Christian presumed concept of "love", and use that as a pretext to get their foot-in-the-door.)

Since -they- are the ones on the 'offensive', you will not "win" them by spending time arguing with them. They are not of a frame-of-mind to hear God's Word. If you try, it will be like Jesus said about casting pearls before swine: "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. (Mt7:6)

For your own information: Their doctrines came from Joseph Smith, supposedly given to him by the angel Moroni (I think was the name?). Heed Paul's warning about any other gospel... "even if we, OR AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN..." (Gal1:8) They believe that God evolved from man and that all Mormons when they die become gods and goddesses. Their women 'officially' desire to be "perpetually pregnant" in order that they can give birth to more gods and goddesses. They believe that Jesus and Lucifer are essentially on equal footing with each other. I've heard it said that in a true mormon wedding, that the couple stand at the altar, naked, and partake in certain pagan demonic rituals. (the name "mormon" is the name of a demon) A few years ago, they had TV ads going, where they were giving away the Book of Mormon free. The basic gist of the commercial was that God had given His revelation through the Scriptures (showing a KJV Bible), and then they continue spinning words saying, essentially, that for these latter days there are "new revelations", as the image fades out the Bible, and there appears the Book of Mormon. In the same way that "tradition" and papal decrees usurps the Bible in catholicism, the Book of Mormon usurps the Bible in mormonism. They claim the Bible is God's Word...but the Book of Mormon is 'more' relevant.

I know there's a lot more mormon doctrine I don't know...but for my own mind, these few basics have always been 'plenty'....to not waste my time with them. If a Mormon were to approach me, asking to know the way of God...I would speak with them to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them. But I will not converse with them to "learn" from them their beliefs. Thus, if they approach me, wishing to 'convert' me to mormonism...I shut the door...or if they walk into my store, I ask them to leave...and do not engage them in conversation...AT ALL.

If they insist their salvation is only in the Lord...they are lying. That's what pretty much all the cults do...they will pretend they are just another "Christian" group, speaking of Jesus and faith....and it is only after they have "hooked" the naive, that the real indoctrination occurs.

From Encyclopaedia Britannica 2002

    Doctrines.
    Mormon doctrine diverges from the orthodoxy of established Christianity, particularly in its polytheism, in affirming that God has evolved from man and that men might evolve into gods, that the Persons of the Trinity are distinct beings, and that human souls have preexisted. Mormons accept that Christ came to earth so that all might be saved and raised from the dead but maintain that a person's future is determined by his or her own actions. Justification is by faith and obedience to the ordinances of the church, repentance, Baptism by immersion, and laying on of hands for the Spirit gifts (including prophecy, revelation, and speaking in tongues).

    The Mormons believe that faithful members of the church will inherit eternal life as gods, and even those who had rejected God's law would live in glory. Mormons believe that the return of Christ to earth will lead to the first resurrection and the millennium, the main activity of which will be “temple work,” especially Baptism on behalf of the dead. After the millennium and second resurrection, the earth will become a celestial sphere and all people will be assigned to the eternal kingdoms.

    Mormons regard the Christian churches as apostate; lacking revelations, miracles, and Spirit gifts; and maintaining corrupt rituals, priesthoods, and teachings. Smith came to restore the institutions of the church and God's law in society. Although calling people to repent, Smith's creed reflected contemporary optimism in emphasizing man's inherent goodness and limitless potential for progress. Smith tempered millennialism by calling the faithful to gather and labour to build Zion as a new social order. The successive presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have continued to claim divine inspiration. Institutions and practices of the Mormons.

    The Mormons eliminate most distinctions between the priesthood and laity. At the age of 12, all worthy males become deacons in the Aaronic priesthood; they become teachers when 14 years old and priests at the age of 16. About two years later they may enter the Melchizedek priesthood as elders and may be called upon for 18 months of missionary work. A Mormon man may afterward become a “seventy” (a member of a larger priesthood quorum composed of 70 members) and ultimately a high priest in the church's First Quorum of Seventy. Each rank of Mormon boys and men is organized into a quorum and has its own activities. Young men between the ages of 18 and 20 come under strong pressure from the Mormon community to temporarily serve abroad as missionaries.

    Adult Baptism, signifying repentance and obedience, has acquired additional importance as a ritual that may be undertaken by a proxy for the salvation of those who died without knowledge of the truth. The Mormons' interest in genealogy proceeds from their concern to save dead ancestors. Baptism for the dead, endowment, and sealing (which may also be undertaken by proxy for the dead) are secret but essential ceremonies that take place in the temple. At endowment, the person is ritually washed, anointed with oil, and dressed in temple garments. Initiates witness a dramatic performance of the story of creation, learn secret passwords and grips, and receive a secret name. The sealing ceremony, which was of special importance in the period when Mormons practiced polygamy, seals Mormon men and women in marriage for eternity. Although committed to millennialism and Spirit gifts, Mormons engage in worldly pursuits, business, and politics. Despite prohibitions (on alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee) and a vigorous work ethic, Mormonism is not ascetic; recreation, sport, and education are positive values. The positive attitude toward recreation, together with the emphasis on order and moral integrity, has been of great importance to the Mormons.
    Copyright © 1994-2002 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

So... with such trappings and rituals as one typically reads/hears about from the various demonic/cultish secret societies, combined with charismatic and apostate [c]hristian self-esteem and ultimate restorationist doctrines, is there any question as to 'why' a Christian should not invite them into one's home? Does this little summary not sound every bit like flavors of a mix between Free Masonry, Charismania and apostate [c]hristianity? Would it not make for an 'ideal' one-world type of religion! Something the antichrist could be proud of!

And again, Check out:
The Godmakers
Baptism for the Dead?
Talking to Mormons?

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Inter-racial marriages?

Regarding a Q/A from "Answers In Genesis" (June 8,03)

--Paste--
Q: What about 'inter-racial' marriage? 

A: What if a person who's Chinese wants to marry someone who has very 
dark skin. Some people think that the Bible teaches against this. 
Actually, it doesn't.

First, the Bible doesn't even talk about races but 'groups' of people.
We're all descendants of the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve. The
book of Acts also teaches that we're of 'one blood' (Acts 17:26). Even
evolutionists today are saying that we're all closely related, and that
there's only one so-called 'race' biologically. That being the case, 
there
really is no such thing as 'inter-racial' marriage.

Also, the Bible is clear that the only marriage God forbids would be
between a Christian and a non-Christian.

The church really has the answer. If our church leaders would proclaim 
that all of us descended from Adam and Eve--that we're all of one blood 
and equal before God--this would help solve the racism problem.
--EndPaste--
READER QUESTION:
It was to my understanding that inter-racial marriages where not allowed. Also, I thought that it was only recommended that Christians and non-christians don't get married, not a command.

VW ANSWER:
Yeah...there's been a couple of things from AiG lately that I've finally had to disagree with. Another one a week or so ago where they spoke of respecting the "elders" of the Reformation....or something like that.

However...the thing I disagree with on 'this' item about "race" is in definition of terms. And in reality, it's not a 'disagreement'. [VW: They've addressed this a couple of times recently...not just 'this' item that was pasted here] While they may have a certain degree of correctness technically...the way the word "race" is used, even when looking it up in the dictionary...well, they are making a strong case for only one narrow aspect of "race"...that which differentiates "man-KIND" vs other "kinds" of creatures of the animal kingdom. Thus, the -human-"race". However, there is legitimate use of the word "race", which AiG doesn't seem to allow for, to distinguish between regional characteristics... since those traits are passed down genetically...such as skin color, eye color, hair color/type, tendencies to giantism or pygmyism, various bone structures, and all the things that make for what people typically call "race"...caucasian, oriental, middle-eastern, african, etc. Using the word "race" in this way is also technically correct...according to the dictionary.

Otherwise, if we ignore what could be considered a discrepancy in how most people understand and use the terms...AiG is quite correct. As Paul states, we are all (ethnic/regional races of the human-race) of "one blood". (Ac17:26) And that is significant, since the "soul is in the blood". (Gen9:4, Lev17:11) And the soul is part of what makes us what we are, that God knows us in the distinction between "soul and spirit" (Heb4:12-13) Thus, when Jesus became "flesh and blood" (Heb2:14) and shed His blood to atone for sin (Heb9:22,28, Rev1:5, 1Pt1:19)...the fact that the blood of all mankind is "one blood", is how Jesus' blood could cleanse all mankind, no matter the nationality or status. (Col3:11, Gal3:28)

AiG is correct in stating that Scripture does not condemn inter-racial/ethnic marriages. And they are also correct in saying that a Believer not marrying an unbeliever is a 'command'. Let's look at this briefly to understand why...

When God commanded Israel not to intermarry with the surrounding nations, the context makes it clear that it was not a 'racial' issue, but a Godly one. Ex34:13-17 places intermarriage and idolatry into the same context. The passage is speaking primarily about idolatry, and includes intermarriage in the context. Some years later, as Moses is reviewing the Law to Israel, just before he is about to die, and they are about to enter the land, he says, "Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; and the anger of Jehovah will burn against you and quickly destroy you." (Deut7:3-4) The primary problem with Solomon's multiple wives, as he married "foreign women" was that they "..thrust his heart aside after other gods.." which was the reason God divided the kingdom and gave the northern tribes to Jeroboam.(1Ki11) When Israel came back from Babylonian captivity, they were intermarrying women of the land and defiling themselves in idolatry, and in Ezra ch9-10 they carry out a mass-divorce. And this O.T. command Paul re-affirms for the Church in the N.T. by saying that a Believer should marry "only in the Lord". (1Cor7:39)

Thus, when racial supremacists proclaim that people should marry "their own -kind-" (meaning white w/white, black w/black, etc) they are in error. When God created Adam and Eve He "called their name mankind" (Gen5:2) I know, many translations say "Adam" there; which is a legitimate translation. But the Hebrew word is slightly different from the places where the first man's name was "Adam" (e.g. Gen2:21) We all came from one of Noah's three sons (Gen9:19); one family or "kindred". Thus... what is typically called "inter-racial marriage" is perfectly Scripturally permitted.

But what is NOT permitted is a Believer inter-marrying with an unbeliever. It is the same concept we continually repeat about congregations keeping the unbelievers 'out' of the assembly for fellowship/worship, where Believers are "One" in God through Christ. (Jn17) Of not being "unequally yoked with unbelievers". (2Cor6:14) Keeping holy. If in marriage the two become "one flesh" (Gen2:24, Mt19:5-6, 1Cor6:16) how DARE a Believer knowingly pollute his spirit and soul with an unbeliever? God's Holy Spirit indwells the Believer. (Rom8:9) When the Believer brings an unbeliever into that fellowship, God's Holy Spirit gets pushed into a corner and does not have full-reign in the life. And believe me...from personal experience...I know all about this! And when my unequal yoke took off, it was like Ezra ch10 in reverse (I did not initiate it, it was done to me)...whatever the case, I was released from that pagan compromise in my soul and spirit.

So yes...to answer your subject field: Yes, this is correct.

If "white" represents the clean redeemed heart of salvation, and "black" represents the heart in sin (like the old Sunday school "wordless book" song), then indeed... whites should marry only whites.... "spiritually"...not 'racially'.

Amen!

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