Sunday, September 5, 2010

FAQs Part 1

Today began my church's new series entitled FAQ (frequently asked questions). Our congregation has had the opportunity to submit their own personal questions to the pastor for him to answer as many as possible within the next month.

The first question answered this morning was: Should a Christian have a tattoo? We then turned to Leviticus 19:28, which says "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am Lord." If you look at this passage literally, you would answer the question with no, Christians should not have tattoos. Then again, you would also have to say that Christians should not have pierced ears or any other piercings. My pastor then went on to explain that the Israelites during this time period were surrounded by many different religions and cultures; one of them being Egyptians. Egyptians believed in order for their God to recognize them in the afterlife, that they needed to tattoo their bodies. Taking this into consideration, God was telling the Israelites not to tattoo images of other Gods on their bodies, kind of like the commandment for idolatry. The part of the scripture that refers to "cutting yourself" goes back to the Pagan ritual of them actually cutting themselves to honor the dead.

The second question we came to was: Should a Christian be cremated? The scripture used for this question was Genesis 2:7, and 3:19. There is belief by some that say that when God resurrects our "bodies" after we die, that He won't know where to "find" those who have been cremated. We ended this question by saying that our God is powerful enough to resurrect us from wherever we are, so that cremation did not make us any less of a Christian.

The final question we had time for today was: Is suicide an unforgiveable sin? Our pastor put some statistics on the projector which go as follows: there are 1 million suicide attempts each year, 1 in 15 succeed. This statistic has doubled within the past 10 years. From there we talked about several suicide attempts in the bible. A couple examples are King Saul "fell on his sword," Samson, and Judas. According to Jesus there is only one unforgiveable sin, and that is the sin of blasphemy. The scripture we talked about was Matthew 12:30-32. The sermon was ended by saying that if anyone was in such a dark place as to think about suicide, that not to bet their life on this part of the sermon. Our lives are not our own to take away. Christ bought our bodies at a price and we are forever His.

More Q & A to come next week! Until then, keep reading :)

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