I know a good Christian man who a while back did a very foolish thing. He desired a certain position in his local church. This was a position that the congregation voted on. He was certain he was going to receive a majority of the vote. But… alas, it didn’t happen. This man was hurt by this. He felt rejected. He felt betrayed. He was deeply offended. And he was furious. A short time after the vote, he had the opportunity to address his church family. And here is where the foolishness comes in. Instead of being gracious and accepting the outcome of the vote as the will of the congregation, he reacted in anger and bitterness. He rebuked the people of the church. He let it be known that they had “betrayed him.” He very strongly expressed his anger and his hurt. In short, he blasted the church! Continue reading
I became a Christian during the Jesus Movement of the early 1970’s. I look back with a fond nostalgia to that time. It was an exciting time to be alive, to be a believer in Jesus. Yes, there were many troubling things happening in our country, in the world. Yet despite the troubles God was moving in mighty and dramatic ways. How many thousands, if not millions, of young people came to Christ during that time? Some of the excitement of that era is captured in the film Woodlawn. (If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.) At the climax of the movie emphasis is placed on an iconic image from the Jesus Movement—the “One Way” symbol. It was a common emblem in those days. Young believers would hold up their hand with the index finger extended. You would see posters emblazoned with a picture of a hand with one finger raised, boldly proclaiming “One Way.” (I used to draw that symbol on the back of my school notebooks.) It was a simple yet effective statement of faith in Jesus. We all were declaring, “Jesus is the only way!” Continue reading
Question: “People have been saying to me that the Bible teaches the idea of karma. They say that the idea of ‘you reap what you sow’ in the Bible is the same as karma. Is the idea of ‘sowing and reaping’ the same thing as karma?” ~ D. in Afton, VA Continue reading
Question: “We live in a time when it has almost become common to hear about school shootings, deranged killers in malls, or people going ‘postal’ at work. Something must really be wrong with the people who do these things! It seems that most of them have been mistreated or abused in some way—by family, bosses, coworkers, others at school, etc. Does this explain why these people go on these killing rampages? And does it excuse what they do?” (L. in Pennsylvania)
My Answer: I remember the horror at hearing about the Columbine shooting in 1999. Thirteen people senselessly killed at the hands of some misguided, disturbed, and (yes) very evil teenagers. My sense of outrage and sorrow over this tragedy was compounded by the way some people dealt with the event. At the time the media was tripping over themselves trying to find an explanation. It was Hollywood’s fault. It was the fault of the NRA and those rabid 2nd Amendment folk. It was their parents’ fault. Perhaps most commonly heard was the hindsight analysis that these two boys had been bullied, made fun of, and picked on. Here was the reason for their outrageous behavior. I distinctly remember one lady in our church almost defending the killers—she understood what it was like to be the brunt of bullies. She felt sorry for them. Continue reading
Question: What happens to babies when they die? Do they go to heaven or hell?
My Answer: The Bible is very explicit in its condemnation of sin and its explanation of sin’s consequence. When Adam sinned, he not only sinned personally, but he sinned as the “head” of the human race. So in Adam, all have sinned, and all are condemned. The universal sinfulness of all men, including infants, is plainly taught in Romans 5:12, 19. That condemnation has come to all men is evident in Romans 5:16, 18. The Bible plainly teaches that we are born with sinful natures (see Psalm 51:5, Ephesians 2:1-3). This is the doctrine of Original Sin. And it applies to all human beings—not just adults but infants and young children also.
So, if infants are by nature sinful and condemned, what happens to them when they die? Do they go to heaven? Do they go to hell? Or is there another answer?