Our church has an early childhood program serving about 50 plus children. Recently a parent asked that their son be excused from the classroom when prayers are being said. Our literature given to all parents at enrollment states our beliefs and procedures. The program has children sponsored by state agencies so we do receive government money but have not changed any policy as a result of these children nor have we been asked to. We suspect the parent may be Muslim but has not given that as a basis for the exclusion. Our question is: are we required to comply with the request ? If the child is excused, we will have to provide an adult to be with the child while he is out of the classroom.
If the handbook for your congregation’s early childhood program is typical of other, similar programs in our church body, there is information in the parents’ handbook that addresses this situation. Handbooks typically state that when parents who do not belong to the congregation enroll their children in our programs, they submit to the stated policies. Continued.
Christian ethics question: when what God says conflicts with federal marriage laws and abortion laws, would it be OK that a Christian taking the oath of office just lie and say he will uphold those laws that conflict with what he knows God says? Or, should he not seek offices where he will be expected to disregard what God says when it conflicts with laws of the United States?
Lying under oath is not an option. When we use God as our witness to assure people we are telling the truth but lie instead, we break God’s second commandment (Exodus 20:5). (See also Leviticus 19:12.) When it comes to Christians serving in government positions, we want to keep in mind that Christians live in Continued.
A few months ago, I graduated from a Christian college where I was surrounded by like-minded Christians and was able to freely talk about my faith. After deciding to take a year off, I had to find a full-time job to support myself. I found a decent job, but often find myself in great fear/anxiety about truly showing my faith. I've talked it over with a few family members and friends and they've talked about living by example. While I know that we only have "control" over ourselves and what we say and do, aren't we also to use the Word to teach, rebuke, and train in righteousness? Is simply living "by example" enough for our Christian faith to be known? Is there some easy way to let our faith be known without "soliciting" or "imposing" on others?
Fear and anxiety in showing our faith can result from different factors. There can be the fear of ridicule and verbal persecution. There can be the anxiety of wondering whether I will be able to come up with a response if someone asks me a question about the Bible or the Christian faith. Since I Continued.
If you are looking for Bible verses that state that Jesus Christ is God, here are some: Matthew 1:22-23 – “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).” Continued.
I previously asked if the land of Israel belongs to the Jews. You stated that the Bible does not provide any evidence for or against this question. However, Genesis 12:7 seems to contradict your assertion. Can you provide additional background on the meaning and context of this verse? Thank you in advance!
Genesis 12:7 reflects two promises that the Lord gave Abram: that he would have offspring and that his offspring would, one day, live in the land of Canaan. Because God always speaks the truth (Numbers 23:19), those were not idle words. God fulfilled his promises: giving Abram offspring and giving the promised land to his Continued.
How can our pastors be trained to focus on our doctrine without seeming to "bad mouth" other denominations? My daughter and family have left WELS partly in response to denigration of other denominations. Having come from a non-Lutheran background myself forty plus years ago, I understand her concerns. I have had moments over the years of seeing WELS Lutherans as self-righteous. Along with this, how can we follow the teachings of Luther without seeming to worship or elevate him? My children asked me once when young whether we were Lutherans or Christians. That was a red flag to me. Thank you.
Our pastors are trained to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). That includes speaking about others and other church bodies. Since I do not have personal knowledge of what the pastors in your question might have said and how they said it, all I can do is offer a general response. Pointing out error Continued.
Hi, I have a question that I've been ashamed to ask a pastor in person. I've been living with guilt for the past few years, and it's gotten to a point where it's controlling my life and my emotions. Reason being: I've been dating someone for eight years, but in the beginning of my relationship I cheated on him. I know he would never do that to me. I also know I would now never do that to him. I have not yet accepted Christ into my heart, but I'm working on it. Once and if God forgives me, will he be able to wipe off my guilt? Also, is "adultery" in the Bible only referred to as cheating in a marriage? Or also a relationship? I'm afraid of the consequences, even though I have proven to God that I've changed through repentance, and actions. Lastly, I have not told my boyfriend because I know he will not forgive me, and I don't want to lose him. Please do not make me consider this option because I will not do it. I don't want to lose him for something I did in the past, knowing I am a completely different person now. What should I do? Best regards.
To begin with, the Bible teaches that we cannot accept Christ into our hearts. By nature, all people are enemies of God because of sin and unbelief (Romans 8:7), spiritually blind to the truths of God’s word (Acts 26:17-18) and spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). People naturally lack the power and desire to approach God in Continued.
Is it OK to pray for death? My life is pointless and without meaning. My kids are older and my wife is self-sufficient. I have no reason to stay alive but won't take it myself. Is it a sin to pray for God to end my life and take me away from here?
I do have to say that I am very concerned about your question and your situation. While I am relieved to read that you recognize and intend to keep God’s fifth commandment, which includes forbidding self-harm, I am troubled to read that you believe your life is “pointless and without meaning.” This question and answer Continued.
In our church, laymen assist the pastor in distributing the Communion bread and wine. Are there reasons why women can't assist the pastor with Communion?
You might be interested to know that your question is asked and answered in a Northwestern Publishing House publication: A Bible Study on Man and Woman in God’s World. The question and answer follow: “It is clear that the Lord’s Supper should be administered by the pastor or by a man authorized by the congregation Continued.
I know without the Holy Spirit we are blind, dead, enemies of God, so I'm just curious about the Holy Spirit's role in the Old Testament. I was listening to a pastor from another synod and it sounded like he thought the Holy Spirit wasn't responsible for creating faith during Old Testament times. Based on the conversation, I'm thinking he wasn't including the prophets, etc. I tried to do research on my own, but it seems like scholars are all over the place on the Holy Spirit's role before Pentecost. Can you tell me what our synod believes the Bible says regarding the Holy Spirit's work in Old Testament times?
In This We Believe, a statement of belief of WELS, we make this confession: “We believe that people cannot produce this justifying faith, or trust, in their own hearts, because ‘the man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him’ (1 Corinthians Continued.
I have read the WELS response to the question of Martin Luther's anti-Semitism. I have also read about his anti-Semitism on Wikipedia. I do think that Wikipedia did a fair treatment of the subject without adding their own opinion. I have not read the book, "On the Jews and Their Lies," but have read some of the passages online and was surprised by Luther's inflammatory rhetoric. He was not "anti-Judaism" as you have suggested, but truly anti-Semitic. The surprising aspect of his harsh feelings about the Jews are that those feelings came late in his life. His aforementioned book was published three years before his death. An even more disturbing aspect is that the Nazis used his book to justify their "final solution." So, my question is this: how many Lutherans know that he was virulently anti-Semitic? (And, if you disagree with "virulently anti-Semitic," read his book.) Thanks for taking my question.
The starting point in my response is that Martin Luther is not the foundation of our faith. Our doctrine or practice has not resulted from any of Martin Luther’s writings. We certainly do not rubber-stamp everything he wrote. What we do is recognize that Luther was a highly gifted individual whom God used at a Continued.
I understand the idea that humans are unable to see the hearts of others and so we base our decision to fellowship with others based on their religious affiliation. In other words, we would only pray with a person who belonged to a church that believed and taught according to the truths in the Bible as the WELS does. My question is: is it OK to pray with someone who belongs to a WELS church, but seems to have rejected some of the teachings of the Bible? In this case the teachings in question are the Biblical teachings of the sanctity of life and fellowship. I hope this question is not too vague. Thank you for your time and consideration!
You are correct in noting that membership in a visible church sends the signal that people have committed themselves to the doctrine and practice of that church. If a person’s individual profession of faith departs from the church’s doctrine and practice, one has to ask if that is because the person is weak in faith Continued.