Recent Questions

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I am a confirmed WELS Lutheran. However, I was raised Catholic. One of the most frequent questions I'm asked is how do Lutherans view Mary, the mother of Jesus. What is the Lutheran teaching regarding Mary? I have gotten conflicting opinions on this subject and would like clarification. Thank you!

We view Mary as the woman God graciously chose to give birth to Jesus Christ. Mary received that honor and privilege only because of God’s grace to her (Luke 1:26-38). Roman Catholic Church teaching is that Mary entered this world as a baby without a sinful nature. The Bible does not teach that. The Bible Continued.

I enjoy attending church as an opportunity to grow and foster my faith, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed by attending church so frequently. Is there a standard for how often I should attend worship?

As Christians, we recognize that our sinful nature is hostile to God and wants nothing to do with worshiping God (Romans 8:7). As Christians, we also recognize that our new self delights to do what God says, including worshiping him with fellow believers (Psalm 122:1). When it comes to worship opportunities, then, Christians can be Continued.

When God raises the bodies of the dead and reunites them with the soul, is the judgment of each individual made public for all to see? If so, would I then be aware of the damnation of a family member? Assuming I will be in heaven by the grace of God, wouldn't the knowledge of a loved one going to hell affect my happiness in heaven? Thank you so much.

When people die, they face judgment from God (Hebrews 9:27). As you correctly noted, that personal judgment will be made public on the last day (Matthew 25:31-46). How might Christians react to the realization that a loved one is not among the sheep of Jesus’ fold? We do have to keep some Scripture passages in Continued.

What are the possible questions for social issues?

Questions are placed into categories like “social issues” and “marriage” after they are answered. Those submitting the questions do not designate a category for their questions. I hope this clarifies matters for you. (Since there really isn’t a category for this question, I put it in “Christian living”!)

Is it okay to drink wine that is mixed with myrrh for flavor? I have heard that it tastes great, though I have heard some say you should not drink it because Jesus denied it when he was on the cross. I have heard others say you can drink it because there are are no dietary guidelines in the New Testament, and the reason Jesus denied it is because it would have taken away his suffering on the cross.

There are no New Testament ceremonial laws. Colossians 2:16 states: “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.” When it comes to diet, sanctified common sense and the desire to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31) Continued.

I need information from WELS on the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong.

I can point you to a brief paper on the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Essay file titled “Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God.” This link will take you to that paper. Because the audience of the paper was pastors in our Synod, there are some references to the original languages of the Bible: Continued.

Is it okay to read for spiritual advice?

I would exercise caution. The website explains that its responders include “pastors, youth pastors, missionaries, biblical counselors, Bible/Christian college students, seminary students, and lay students of God’s Word.” One of the descriptions of the organization is that it is non-denominational. False beliefs are evident in Sections 8 and 9 of their “Statement of Faith,” where Continued.

Good morning. Can you please tell me if your church baptizes in Jesus' name?

Following Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 28:19, we baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Is it okay for a Christian to celebrate their 21st birthday with alcoholic beverages, provided they do so in moderation?

“Moderation” is an important word in your question. The Bible does not forbid the use of alcoholic beverages. It forbids the abuse of alcoholic beverages (Proverbs 23:20, 31-33; Ephesians 5:18). A 21st birthday—or any birthday—is an opportunity to thank God for another year of grace. We want to express that gratitude with consistent Christian attitudes Continued.

Are people higher than the angels? I have always believed and been told that this is true as we are God's children and they are God's servants or messengers. My pastor disagreed, quoting psalms 8:5. I discussed this with my ELS family, including my sister, a former Christian day school teacher married to an ELS minister and she too believed we are higher than the angels. I have read 1 Corinthians 6:3 and other NT references and now I am confused.

You will want to define what you mean by “higher” or (“lower”). Are people the crown of God’s creation (Genesis 1:26-2:3), the objects of God’s redeeming love in Christ (Hebrews 2:10-18; 1 Peter 1:12), the beneficiaries of angels’ service (Hebrews 1:14), and, along with Jesus, future judges of the evil angels (1 Corinthians 6:3; Jude Continued.

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