Faith Related Q and A|
|» ||Is it alright to pray for friends or family whose religions are different from yours? Thanks.|
Certainly. We can pray for anyone. In fact, Scripture directs us to do that (1 Timothy 2:1). Biblical fellowship principles enter the picture when it comes to praying with others.
So, do pray for friends and family. When it comes to their spiritual lives and the spiritual lives of others, you can follow the example of the apostle Paul and pray that the eyes of their hearts may be enlightened (Ephesians 1:18).
|» ||Does a pastor have to do the Lord's Supper? What if you can't get to church?|
Several people have raised this question—and variations of it—in the past few months. You will find their questions and the answers they received in the “Lord’s Supper Questions” category of the “Topical Q & A” section on the website.
|» ||I would like to know what is the church’s position on immigration? Many people use Leviticus 19:34 as a justification for immigration. What is the church’s position on it?|
There is no official church position on immigration to which I can point you.
Leviticus 19:34 is part of the civil law code that governed the Old Testament people of Israel. As New Testament followers of the Lord, God’s moral law to love all people is applicable to our lives today. We see that directive to love all people reflected in Jesus’ teachings (Matthew 22:37-39; Luke 10:25-37).
You might be interested to know that German immigrants were a vital part of the origin of our church body in 1850. That historical background can help explain the lack of an official position on the subject of immigration.
|» ||Who wrote the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed and why?|
Because the wording of the Apostles’ Creed developed over several hundred years, its authorship is unknown. It is clear that the apostles did not write the creed. Rather, the creed expresses the biblical teachings of the apostles. The Apostles’ Creed offers a simple summary of the Christian faith. For that reason, it has a long history of being associated with Baptism and instruction in God’s word.
The Nicene Creed was the result of a church council that met in Nicea in 325 A.D. The Second Article of the Creed is much longer than that of the Apostles’ Creed because the council was addressing false doctrines about the person of Jesus Christ.
|» ||I have not read through all the questions so I'm not sure if this question has been posed yet. My husband and I are struggling with how to respond to all of the things going on in the world right now. Covid and Protests and so on. He thinks it is all political, and what they are telling us is a lot of lies. He feels we need to stand up for what God would want and not just listen to what the government tells us to do. I know I am supposed to listen to authority. I am so confused and need some guidance on all of this. Can you offer any answers.|
I don’t know if I can provide any answers, but I will offer some perspective. The Bible tells us that we are living in the last days (Hebrews 1:2). The Bible’s description of the last days is not pretty: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). There is no limit to who might possess those attributes: those who are governed and those who are in positions of governmental authority. Because of the sinful nature in all people, the potential for abusing governmental authority and unlawfully resisting governmental authority is always present.
Might some people in positions of governmental authority abuse their power? Certainly. History provides plenty of examples of that kind of behavior. Yet, the Bible gives this instruction: “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right…honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:13-14, 17). Interestingly enough, the emperor when Peter wrote those words was Nero. He has name recognition with the persecution of Christians. By no means did Nero deserve respect or honor because of his sinful actions. On the other hand, Nero occupied a position of honor. He was in that position because of God’s allowance (Romans 13:1-7).
Today there might also be individuals in governmental positions whose personal behavior does not generate respect. Still, they fill positions of honor, and we are to render obedience unless their directives conflict with God’s (Acts 5:29).
The combination of unfaithful governmental authorities and disobedient citizens can produce chaos in life. As Christians, our comfort is that “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him” (Psalm 115:3). God will carry out his will in spite of powerful or weak people who oppose him (Psalm 2:1-4). As Christians, our comfort is that God is working in history for the good of his Church (Romans 8:28).
So, where does this leave us? As Christians, we recognize that God’s Fourth Commandment requires our obedience toward his representatives in the government—as well as in the home and the church. We acknowledge that God’s representatives are imperfect, as are the people they serve. We see the need for praying for governmental authorities at all levels. We realize that we can voice our concerns to governmental authorities, seeking change in laws and policies.
The Bible reminds you and me: “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14). With all that has happened so far this year, I think we would agree that it is a good thing this world is not our permanent residence. We look forward to a perfect and glorious eternity with our Savior-God. For that reason, Christians throughout the ages have said, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
|» ||Why did Jesus have to be a man/male?|
Without offering explanation, the Bible calls one person of the Trinity “Father” and another “Son,” and speaks of the Father “begetting” the Son (Psalm 2:7; Hebrews 1:5). Along with the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son are eternal—having no beginning and no end.
In the Old Testament, God delivered many prophecies about the promised Messiah, his Son. Those prophecies included masculine pronouns. It comes as no surprise, then, that the angel Gabriel informed both Joseph (Matthew 1:21-23) and Mary (Luke 1:31) that the child born to Mary would be a son.
What a blessing it is to be able to call Jesus our Brother (Hebrews 2:11-12).
|» ||I would like to get a biblical view of the book "Twisted Scripture" by Andrew Farley.|
I am sorry, but I am not in a position to provide book reviews. Perhaps your pastor can be of assistance in offering feedback on the book or recommending a reliable review.
|» ||What Scripture is used to deny women's suffrage?|
Elsewhere on this website you will find This We Believe: A Statement of Belief of the WELS. The “Church and Ministry” section addresses your question on the basis of Scripture: “We believe that women may participate in offices and activities of the public ministry except where that work involves authority over men (1 Timothy 2:11,12). This means that women may not serve as pastors nor participate in assemblies of the church in ways that exercise authority over men (1 Corinthians 11:3; 14:33-35).” One of those assemblies is the voters’ assembly.
Do keep in mind that the relationship between women and voters’ assemblies does not speak to women’s status in God’s sight. Scripture says to Christians: “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29)
You may be interested in reading Male and Female in God’s World, a restatement of Scriptural Principles of Man and Woman Roles. The document will address your question in greater thoroughness than I can with this question and answer forum.
|» ||While I know WELS tends to remain silent on anything political, I am wondering if WELS has looked into the organization Black Lives Matter. Thank you for your time.|
The silence on the synod’s part that you acknowledged is applicable to your question. We trust that the members of our church body are equipped to evaluate organizations of any kind to determine any involvement on their part.
Through the office of our church body’s president, WELS recently issued a statement addressing the unrest in our country. The statement included these thoughts: “We ask God’s forgiveness for our own lack of love and compassion for our neighbors and for taking for granted the peace and freedom that God has provided to us. We ask God to confirm in us the conviction that racism in any form is contrary to the Christian faith and inconsistent with the love that God expects us to have for all. We pray for a government and for institutions that strive to see to it that all people are treated with equality and justice.”
At its meeting in October, the Conference of Presidents will be discussing these issues and how they might be addressed in keeping with biblical principles and our mission. Your question will be part of that discussion.
|» ||What are your thoughts on the Guideposts books and pamphlets? Thinking of buying some. Thank you.|
As Guideposts was founded by Norman Vincent Peale and its content can still be influenced by his beliefs and teachings, you will want to read any information very carefully. The content is ecumenical in nature and often goes beyond the teachings of the Bible. I would encourage you to check out the wide variety of trustworthy materials from Northwestern Publishing House.