Showing posts from May, 2010

Praying in the Spirit

In Ephesians 6:18, what does Paul mean when he says “pray in the Spirit”? Is he referring to speaking in tongues or something else? I was once of the opinion that when Paul spoke of “praying in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18) he meant the same thing as when he spoke in First Corinthians about “praying in a tongue” (1 Cor. 14:14), that is, praying in a language which the Holy Spirit has supernaturally enabled a person to speak. However, I have since come to think that this interpretation is much too narrow an understanding of the phrase “praying in the Spirit.” The Bible frequently mentions people doing things (or exhorts people to do things) “in the Spirit.” For example, Jesus says that David was “in the Spirit” when he called one of his descendants “Lord” (Matt. 24:43). Jesus himself is said to have “rejoiced in the Holy Spirit” (Lk. 10:21). In Luke 2:27 we are told that Simeon, a righteous and devout man who waited for the consolation of Israel, “came in the Spirit into the temple” at just

What would Washington do?

You have probably heard that the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday approved (by a 16-12 vote) a provision to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The measure will go before the full Senate and must also pass the House. If passed, the bill be signed into law by the president, allowing open homosexuals to serve in the military. Ever wonder what our first commander and chief thought about "gays" in the military? At a General Court Marshall, on March 10, 1778, a Lieutenant Enslin was "tried for attempting to commit sodomy with John Monhort." He was also tried for "Perjury in swearing to false Accounts." Enslin was "found guilty of the charges exhibited against him, being breaches of 5th. Article 18th. Section of the Articles of War." He was dismissed from the service "with infamy. His excellency the Commander in Chief [George Washington] approve[d] the sentence and with Abhorrence and Detestation of such infamous

The "Age of Accountability"

What is the age of accountability? The idea of an age of accountability is the notion that there is an age before which young children are not responsible for sin, and therefore are not counted as guilty before God, so that if they die prior to this age they automatically go to heaven. And the question which is often asked is: What is this age? How old must a child be before he is charged with guilt? Now, most people who accept the notion of an age of accountability are reluctant to specify a particular age. Instead, they see it as a relative matter that depends upon the growth of an individual’s moral consciousness—his ability to know right from wrong; to understand the consequences of moral behavior; and to reason from general moral principles to specific situations; etc. Some suggest that this normally takes place around the age of 12 or 13. And sometimes they will point to the Jewish practice of Bar Mitzvah for support of their position. Others suggest that the age is younge

On self-defense and turning the other cheek

When Jesus says that we are to turn the other cheek, does that mean we are never to act in self-defense? No, it doesn’t mean that at all. Let’s look closely at what Jesus says, and try to set it in the context of the Bible as a whole. In the Matthew 5:38-41 Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ ” They had heard this because this was a legal principle that God gave Moses for the purpose of guiding judges in the administration of justice (Ex. 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21). The principle is this: punishment should fit the crime. It should neither be too light so as to make a mockery of the law (because no one is going to have any respect for the law if punishments are a joke), nor too severe as to commit an injustice against the criminal. For instance, a thief shouldn’t be executed for stealing a hundred dollars, otherwise he’s being punished more severely than he deserves. The principle of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for

On Killing Abortionists

I was wanting to know what the Bible says - and how you felt - about the murder of Dr. Tiller by Scott Roeder. Scott Roeder was clearly in the wrong for killing George Tiller. And the reason is not because George Tiller wasn’t deserving of death. He most certainly was. He had taken the lives of countless preborn babies, many of them by some of the most gruesome methods imaginable. And the vast majority of these abortions were performed, not because the pregnancies posed any real danger to the life of the mother; but merely because they were inconvenient, which is to say, the babies were inconvenient. It’s not as if a tragic decision had to be made between saving the life of the mother and saving the life of the child. No. The babies were sacrificed on the altar of convenience. In a just society, men who wished to make money the way George Tiller made it would be driven underground. The law would be against them. The law would protect the life of the innocent by threatening the lif

Clerical Celibacy

We have heard a lot in the last few weeks about the scandal of pedophile priests in the Roman Catholic Church. Do you think the fact that the church insists on the celibacy of the priesthood has contributed to the problem? Without question. In requiring celibacy of her priests the church is requiring something which is quite unnatural. Marriage should be looked upon as the norm, not only for men in general, but also for ministers of the gospel in particular. The creation narratives of Genesis 1 and 2 give us a paradigm for properly understanding God’s intention for the relationship between men and women. In Genesis 2, the Lord is represented as saying, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18). This suggests that marriage should be considered the norm. It should be considered the ideal. Further, it suggests that marriage should be considered a holy relationship, if for no other reason because it was instituted before the Fal