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September 6, 1998

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Q/A Topics:
Pre-destination:

Q.
What is pre-destination? are we as christians to believe this?

A.
Definitions:
1) to predetermine, decide beforehand
2) in the NT of God decreeing from eternity
3) to foreordain, appoint beforehand

You'll find this in Rom 8:29-30, Eph 1:5,11

Some people use this term to preach "irresistable grace" ...in other words, man doesn't have a choice, because God "pre-determined" who would be saved and who wouldn't.

But if we look at Rom8:29 "..whom He foreknew...He [also] predestined" Because God knows all things from beginning to end. (Is 46:10) He knows the heart of each individual, even before creation. (Eph1:4) Thus, He 1) foreknew, He 2) appointed (pre-destined); and in order to bring the person to Himself, He 3) calls (Rom8:30) and 4) draws (Jn6:44)

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Chemical (psychological) imbalance?

Q.
Do you believe there really is such a thing as a (psychological) chemical imbalance? And is Prozac the only possible cure??

A.
I'm certainly no expert in "psychological" matters. But for what the "experts" are calling "chemical" and "genetic" deficiencies, I'm seeing a lot more of what is described in Scripture as "demon possession" and just plain ol' ..."SIN"

I've gotta say that...just "opinion" here...most medications ought to be thrown in the garbage...especially the mental/emotional/psychic ones. Most of these kinds of problems will be "cured" when a person comes to Faith in Christ in true repentance. (Is53:5)

Some of these observations come from having driven school bus years ago for "behaviorally challenged" children. Most of what I saw there, based on parents with whom there was occasional interaction, and the "experts" from the school system...and interaction between myself and the children while they were on the bus, I was seeing essentially two catagories; 1) children who simply desperately needed Biblical discipline, and 2) cases of demon possession. But they were all on some form of medication or other...at the prescription of the "experts."

But...what do I know... I was [only] a "bus driver"

Mental Illness?

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Jesus suffered "in hell"?

Q.
My husband asked me to write & ask you if you believe that Jesus suffered in hell for the 3 days that He was in the grave. This is how he interprets Act 2:27 & 31. I question how He could or would need to suffer in hell if His shed blood was sufficient.

A.
God made Jesus "to be sin for us" (2Cor5:21) All have sinned (Rom3:23) and the wages of sin is death (Rom6:23) He "suffered for us" (1Pt4:1)

What is the nature of the death we deserve? What is the suffering the unregenerate experiences? It would seem to me from these verses that, "He bore our sins in His body..." (1Pt2:24) He suffered what we deserve.

And so yes...when it says, "You did not leave My soul in hades..." the very wording suggests that His soul "was" in hades, to either be "left", or not.

Also, we know from Peter that when He "suffered for sins" He also "preached to the spirits in prison." (1Pt3:19)

So, yes...it seems pretty clear that Jesus was "there" ...however, there is nothing in this to support one false doctrine that some preach...that "Jesus was tortured by satan" while there. I don't find that teaching in Scripture. It says that Satan has "power over death" (Heb2:14) which Christ "destroyed" ...but hell and/or "lake of fire" is a place specifically prepared for the "devil and his angels" (Mt25:41) by God. Punishment in hell is a punishment "from God." As it says "smitten of God, and afflicted." (Is53:4) Satan would not have been there "before the time." (Mt8:29)

Yes, He shed His blood, because the "life of the flesh is in the blood." (Lev17:11) But we are also told that "His soul" was a "guilt offering." That "satisfaction" was attained by the "travail of His soul" (Is53:10-12) We are made of body, soul and spirit. (1Th5:23) And it is the "soul that sins" that dies. (Ez18:4) His shed blood certainly covered the death of His "body." But His "soul" also had to be a substitute for the souls He was redeeming. (Ps34:22)

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Where to "draw the line" with Christian music?

Q.
Where, do you believe, the line is drawn regarding "christian music"? What is acceptable?

A.
Since there are so many "shadings" within the various musical styles, this cannot be revealed by printed words in this sort of communication. And, no, this is not a cop-out to answering your question.

The real answer lies in "who" is using the music. If a true Genuinely Born Again Child of God is participating in music to God, it is "acceptable." A true Christian will know, because of the "witness" of the Holy Spirit (Jn16:14,Rom8:14,16), what is pleasing to the Father.

As an example: one can take a given piece of music, assuming it is doctrinally correct, sit a Christian down to the piano to play and sing; and then sit a non-Christian to the same piano, same music...and there is a difference...a difference that transcends each individual's musicianship ability and personality. This is something that a non-Christian will simply not understand...but True Christians do on a regular basis.

The reason there is such confusion (and rebellion) over this matter is because 99% of the "performers" are non-Christian (false prophets). And a similar percentage of what goes on in the "church" meetings...even congregational singing, is no better. When a congregation of non-Christians are singing hymns and songs, that is not pleasing to God.

"I despise your feast days, and I will not delight in your solemn assemblies."(Amos 5:21)

"The sacrifice of the wicked is a hateful thing to the LORD.." (Pr15:8)

"He who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is a hateful thing." (Pr28:9)

There are many other such passages. I'll probably get a lot of flack for this next little bit...BUT...

The very fact that "churches" invite the unsaved in to "worship together" is an ABOMINATION to the Lord! They say that it is for the purpose of getting them to "hear the gospel." But they are encouraged to "join in together" with all the worship rituals. To Israel God was quite clear about "unclean" things mixing into worship. 1Chr 26 is devoted to listing the "gatekeepers" and includes the fact that they were "mighty men of valor" (vs31) and "strong" men.(vs7) And we see in 2Chr23:19 that the gatekeepers were used "at the gates of the house of the LORD, so that the unclean in any way [COULD NOT GO IN]." And lest a person might be tempted to retort that that was "Old Testament Law"... but "we" are of "grace" and the "Church" ...we can see the early Church. When the Believers were living under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit it says "and of the rest no one dared to join himself to them, but the people magnified them." (Acts 5:13) But we know this "distinction/exclusivity" was no hindrance for thousands to come to the Lord as they "turned the world upside down." (Acts17:6)

God's method was that His presence is holy. While we are told "let us come boldly to the throne of grace" (Heb4:16) this is to BELIEVERS; because we are to "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our HEARTS SPRINKLED from an evil conscience.." (Heb10:22) This "sprinkl[ing]" refers back to (9:1-7,25) concept where the high priest could not approach the Mercy Seat (symbolizing God's "presence") behind the veil, without blood. He first had to purify himself, and then take blood to sprinkle on behalf of the people. Sin having been atoned for. True Believers (those who are the "righteousness of God in Him" -2Cor5:21) gather before the Lord in worship. Worship is something the unbeliever cannot do. God does not accept it!

The scourge of today's "church" is that the unbelievers have been invited in, to help "perform" and "lead" in "worship" ...with the idea of, in so doing, that they will be "won" for God. But their "offering to God" is UNHOLY!!! Approach to God in worship cannot be done until the person is, first, a Christ's-blood-redeemed Believer. "Save them" first. THEN, bring them into the Church for instruction and growth. And don't allow them to "lead" until they've matured.(1Tm3:6,5:22,Ecc5:1-2)

When this order is followed...the "kind" or "style" of music will naturally take care of itself.

Q/A -A Cappella Music?

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Fund raisers? (update)

Comment:
I was reading last night one of the articles (ed: Q/A) on your website about fund raisers in churches, and I would like to share with you the scripture that convinced me that they were wrong and a sin.

In Deuteronomy 23:18, I found the scripture that I feel answers the question whether bake sales, car washes, raffles, etc belong in the church even when done for the sake of sending money to missionaries or putting a new roof on the building or whatever the reason we find to justify it.

If the Church goes out to the world to fund their works, to my mind they are bring the world's money into God's house. If God wants that new roof on the building or money for his missionaries He will provide it through His body of believers. If we have these bake sales etc, perhaps we are circumventing God's will.

A.
Thanks. That's the verse I've been looking for. It reads:

"You shall not bring the hire of a harlot, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD your God for any vow. For even both these are hateful to the LORD your God." (Deu 23:18)

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Homeschooling?

Q.
I put my older son in private "Christian" school this year only to find disappointment within the first couple weeks of school. My son came home and told me that IF he sold three magazine subscriptions, he would be rewarded with a half day off from school. Kids also got to draw from a lollipop tree that contained cash prizes. This is the most blatant case of bribery I've seen in a while. I was very upset about their worldly methods and called other parents to rally a complaint. No one else was bothered by it. I have a nagging feeling about homeschooling but find the idea rather daunting. It seems that you can't guarantee Christian values are being taught unless you teach your own children. Have you heard about "Exodus 2000" and what would be your take on the homeschooling issue?

A.
I bet you'd REALLY like a local church I heard of where the children were given $5.00 bills for successfully memorizing the memory verses for Sunday School..!! Not!!

For my first 5 years of school as a child...3 were "home schooled" (Calvert) and 2 were at a "Christian" school for missionary kids (in Japan -"CAJ").

Guess where I learned to lie, cheat and steal! Guess where I learned that many children could sass back to authority and get away with it. Guess where I learn some pretty disgusting/blasphemous immoral expressions! (Things I never heard since, even, in the locker rooms in public high school in North Dakota, or as an adult) And that discipline was something to laugh at and make light of! ...and this was even "way back" in the 50's.

No... If you want to follow God's ways to the fullest, "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it"(Pr22:6) ...I can't think of a better way than home schooling, if your situation allows you to be able to do it.

Yes, it can be rather "daunting" I'm sure. But what I see, today, of children who are home-schooled... they are smart, bright, very knowledgable about things, and very well "adjusted." And, depending on the nature of the parents, are much better behaved and polite, and respect authority. And when they are tested against the public norms, I have yet to hear of them testing lower...and usually FAR-SURPASS the products of the public school system.

There are curricula already assembled (for a fee) to help, as well. And many of them conduct workshops to help you get started. However, I am not familiar with the individual courses; so cannot guide you there.

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