Can the church turn America back to God? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Here's our phone number.
It's 833-THE-CORE. You can feel free to leave a voicemail at that number as well, 1-833-843-2673. Of course, you can always email us your question as well at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Jared calling in from Texas.
Jared, what's your question for Adriel? So today my question is actually about tattooing. I know it says in Leviticus 19-28, you shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves, I am the Lord. It's mentioned elsewhere in Deuteronomy 14-1, 1 Kings 18-28, and a few other places. I was just wondering how that carries over to today, because it seems to be connected with the occult practice there, so how that, if it's even wise for something, like something that we should do today or not. Yeah, well, I mean, and that gets straight to, I think, the answer, Jared, and thank you for calling in with that question.
We're talking here about a wisdom issue. You can't just carry over that Levitical prohibition to today and not understand it in its context, and in part the context there is forbidding the people of Israel as they're coming into the land from adopting the practices of their pagan neighbors with regard to religion, with regard to worship, and it does seem like there, at that time, there were these practices, these rituals that the Canaanites and the others would have related to tattooing your body on behalf of the dead. It was this spiritual thing, and of course there's a whole history there, and so sometimes people will say, well, look, Leviticus 19-28, you know, if you're a Christian and you get a tattoo, you're sinning, but that would be, I think, an improper application of Leviticus 19, not understanding it in its context, and so I think when we're asking this question for ourselves, this is a question of wisdom. What am I putting on my body? Why am I doing this? Am I wanting to draw attention to myself?
Is this vanity or is it something else? And so I wouldn't tell someone, you know, it's just wrong for you to get a tattoo generally or it's just sin. If somebody came to me and they had this question, I'd just be curious as to sort of what their reasoning was for getting one and what they were tattooing on their body. I mean, obviously, if you're tattooing something that's blasphemous or offensive to God or is itself, you know, an image that is itself would be sinful, then I would say, well, yeah, what, you know, this is, but of course that's not, you know, typically what's going on is this is a cool, you know, I don't know, anchor or, you know, it's, there are many types of tattoos, you know, and Bill can tell you because he's got several, just kidding, Bill doesn't have any, but, so it's an issue of wisdom, Jared, I would say, and good on you for recognizing the context there of Leviticus 19. I think when we understand that, it helps us to take a step back and say, okay, so this isn't a question of sin or not sin, it's just a question of wisdom, and that requires more of a discussion if you're thinking of getting one or if a friend of yours is getting one. Now, speaking of taking Old Testament law and applying it to our lives today, last night my wife and I went out for shrimp tacos, and I know that, you know, that really, from an Old Testament perspective, is probably not a good idea.
Yes, yeah, Bill, that would not have been a good idea. Thank the Lord that, you know, all foods have been declared clean because shrimp tacos are good, and so I'm happy, happy that you also understand the context there, Bill, and that you're able to enjoy shrimp and all those other yummy things. Okay, so the shellfish prohibition no longer applies?
That's right, yeah, some people just don't like shellfish, and so, you know, that might be their personal preference, but don't blame it on God's law, so. Okay, this is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Micaiah, who's calling in from Minnesota. Micaiah, what's your question for Adriel?
Hi, Adriel. Well, I just wanted to put it out there that I'm 18, so I'm very young, and like, being in this generation and the world we live in right now is very hard being a Christian, and I just, I want to know how to fully surrender myself to the Lord, and let him take the wheel, and let him take control, because I feel like I've tried, and I say it, and I claim it, and I believe in it, but it's just, I feel like I start to take control, and I mess up, and I sin, and I just don't know how to fully surrender myself when I want to. Micaiah, thank you for that question, and God bless you in wanting to walk with Jesus, and to do so wholeheartedly. I've been reading through First and Second Kings with my kids, and you know, you have that language throughout First and Second Kings, where kings would follow the Lord, but not wholeheartedly. They weren't wholly devoted to the Lord, and it sounds to me like what you're saying is, I want to be wholly devoted to the Lord.
How do I do that? Well, first, before we even get started, I just want to pray for you, and ask that the Lord grants that wonderful desire, not just for you, but for all of us. Father, I thank you for this question coming in from Micaiah, and I thank you, Lord, that she, as a young woman, wants to be wholly devoted to you, wants to follow you, and Lord, we know the challenges that we all face, and that so many younger people face today, challenges that older generations didn't necessarily have to deal with in the same way, and I pray that you would give her wisdom and the filling of your Holy Spirit, and Father, that she would more and more each day grow in the grace and the knowledge of your Son, Jesus. Bless her, Lord, keep her, be with her, and Lord, that desire to be wholly devoted to you, give that desire to each and every one of us, and fulfill that desire in us. Lord, help us to do just that, we pray in Jesus' name.
Amen. In terms of this question, and specifically, you know, you said just as a young woman with the many challenges that we face in today's culture, in today's world, I want to say being devoted to those things that God has given to you to fix your eyes upon Him, to ground you in your faith in Jesus Christ is primary, first and foremost, and so that's growing in your understanding of Christ, of the Gospel, of His Word. That happens, Micaiah, in the context of a community of faith, a church community where you're growing together with other believers, where you're hearing sound preaching week by week, where you're able to use the gifts that God has given to you for the encouragement and edification of the body, where others, brothers and sisters in the Lord who are your same age, but even even older saints who can speak into your life and encourage you, where they're there caring for you as well. So I guess the first thing I want to say is in terms of being fully committed as Christians and walking with the Lord as God intends, that can't happen in isolation, and I think that that's so important because one of the things that I'm seeing, and I'm speaking as, right, I'm 34 years old, and so even when I was in college I saw this with a lot of my my peers, and I'm seeing it more and more with the younger generation, Micaiah, is I feel like there are so many people that are trying to do the Christian walk apart from a local church, apart from being in the church and growing together with other believers there, and so that just should be a given that we can't do that because the New Testament assumes that we as Christians are growing together with believers in the body of Christ. I want to encourage you, maybe a good place for you to camp out in your own Bible reading these days would be Paul's letters to Timothy, 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy, because there you have Paul the the the aged saint, you know, encouraging young Timothy to grow and be committed to Christ in his walk with the Lord, to flee temptation and to pursue godliness with all those who call upon the name of the Lord, and there's so many exhortations there specifically that that I think are fitting for all of us, but really for the younger generation. They're coming from the apostle Paul to Timothy. You also see that focus on the word of God and the importance of the word of God from childhood, you know, from a young age. Timothy, you have known the sacred scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation, so you need the community of faith, but you need to be rooted and grounded in the word of God. There are so many voices, Micaiah, that we hear and especially with social media and the amount of time that we spend on social media and just every kind of media, right, there are so many voices that are coming in. Let me encourage you, let the primary voice that shapes you and your life be the voice of God speaking to you through scripture. That's so hard right now. It's so hard right now when there are so many other voices and they're just right there in front of us, but being grounded in the word of God.
Now let me just close with this. Throughout the Christian life you're going to feel like, man, am I totally devoted to God? Have I fully surrendered everything? Because the truth is the truth is we still have, you still have, we all as believers still have indwelling sin. Even our best attempts at full surrender, at being wholly devoted, are still tainted with that indwelling sin and that discourages us and that's why you need to fully understand the grace of God for you in the gospel. That it's not on the basis of your perfect devotion that God loves you and accepts you into his family.
It's on the basis of what Jesus has already done for you. The perfect devotion of your Savior, your great high priest Jesus Christ who has made a way for you and for me to have communion with God and by the grace of the Spirit to walk with the Lord. That reality, that promise, that good gospel needs to ground everything and you got to remind yourself of it every single day.
I have to remind myself of it every single day because it's so easy to drift and to lose sight of that. And so being grounded, sister, in the promises of God, in particular the forgiveness of sins that God has given to you through the perfect work, through the perfect surrender of Jesus Christ and then obeying the Lord and doing those things that scripture says are going to help you to continue to grow. Being in a faithful church, growing in your understanding of the scriptures, growing alongside of other believers and that's the way it happens. And I hope that you stay on the line. I'm sure that there are some resources that we would love to send you and we'll keep you in our prayers, Micaiah, and feel free to reach out at any point. We want to support you and encourage you as you seek the Lord. We're right there in the saddle with you wanting to be wholly devoted to Jesus. So well said and so true for all of us regardless of our age and how far along we are in our Christian walk, man. It's not an easy thing in today's culture.
I'm so glad you said that to her because I have a 20 year old, an 18 year old, and a 16 year old and they are dealing with these things every day. Yeah and that's why again it's so important for us to think about the influences that we have and the voices that are speaking to us and trying to drown out frankly the truth of God and of His word. And so we just have to be vigilant and we need the help of others within the body of Christ in that and so may God bless Micaiah.
There are no Lone Ranger Christians, you know, and people that think they can do it on their own. Oh it's just between me and God. It's just, you know, my relationship with Him that's ignoring the whole of scripture on the importance of the body of Christ. Amen. Peter says that the evil one goes about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour and when you separate yourself from the pack or from the herd, distant from the chief shepherd Jesus, you make yourself vulnerable, susceptible to His lies. And so we definitely need the body of Christ and the community of faith. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to John calling in from Oklahoma.
John, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, hi, and my question is I take my grandson to church and have for years and now he's 15 and he's breaking out on his forehead like pretty bad so he's been wearing this little beanie cap to church, like a winter beanie cap. And is it, is it, you know, Paul says we are the males or to pray with their head uncovered or whatever, you know, and of course we don't usually allow hats and so is there a problem there or should I just tell them not to wear it or let them feel comfortable until we get this problem under control.
It's not bad but I mean it is noticeable. Yeah, hey John, God bless you for taking your grandson to church for all of those years. I mean I just mentioned a little bit ago Paul's words to Timothy that from, you know, his earliest years he's known the scripture, he's had the scripture, those scriptures which are able to make him wise for salvation. And Paul commends his grandmother and his mother who were instrumental in probably bringing Timothy to church, in sharing the scriptures with Timothy so that he could grow in his faith and God used that and may the Lord use you and your desire to teach your grandson about the Lord and to share the word of God with him.
Boy, may the Lord bring a lot of fruit out of that. With regard to this question specifically, I mean it sounds like he's self-conscious about his appearance and so he doesn't want to be there and he feels uncomfortable and so this is just, you know, a way of covering up a little bit. I don't think that there's, one, I don't think that there's anything wrong with him wearing, I mean I know that, you know, in terms of different churches there are some that, you know, where you go to the church and people are dressed really nicely in suits and I don't think there's anything wrong with that either. I think that when we come before the Lord, I mean there's something very special about this and so taking time to prepare our hearts for worship and to go into the presence of the Lord and if that for you looks like dressing up then there's nothing wrong with that. But I wouldn't go as far as to say that, hey, him wearing this beanie or there's something wrong, that God is displeased by him or dishonored. I think that this is an area where you can be patient and understanding with him in seeing, you know, okay, he feels uncomfortable, it's hard for him to be there, you know, maybe talking about, sort of helping him through this, talking about the fact that, I mean ultimately, right, that the main reason we're there is to worship the Lord, that, you know, appearance and how we look, we can be self-conscious about that, but maturing in our faith and in our understanding of the Lord so that that doesn't become such a thing for us, but understanding for a lot of young people, you know, that's hard. And so I think this is an area where you could be patient with him, Bill, you know, as a father to teenagers.
I don't know if you would have something specifically to add here if there's, you know, you could maybe speak from experience. I think that's really well said and I wouldn't be concerned about it because at that age kids are so self-conscious and the fact that he wants to go to church and is willing to go to church is probably the most important thing, not that what he's wearing in church necessarily. Yeah, and you also wouldn't want it to be a total distraction, you know, if, you know, he doesn't have that and he's distracted now because he's thinking, what's everybody thinking about me?
And I'm embarrassed and I just don't feel comfortable. Well, that's, I think that's a bigger issue, right? You want to, you want to address that too and maybe, again, there's some maturing there that can happen, but I would say, man, if he's there and he's hearing the preached word and he's growing together, this just helps him to be there and to focus on what he needs to be focusing on, I would say, not to make a big deal of him.
Well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, I want to let you know we are a listener-supported ministry. We don't receive any financial support from a major church or denomination or radio station. We count on people just like you to make donations to keep this program on the air and we actually have a group of folks that are committed to regular giving because they believe so wholeheartedly in what we do here at Core Christianity that they've decided to give a monthly gift and we call those people our inner core.
Yeah, I mean, it's not a ton of money. It's a $25 or more gift. I mean, you could give more if you want, but it's a monthly donation, a monthly gift that helps us in the ministry, this work that we're doing, to broadcast Q&A about the Bible, to produce materials, written materials that will help you, hopefully encourage you in your Christian walk, answer difficult questions that you have about the Christian faith. We want to serve you and we want to build you up in your faith in Jesus Christ and so if that's happened as a result of the work that we're doing, would you prayerfully consider joining the inner core?
Again, I mentioned it's $25 or more as a thank you. We'll send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity, written by Dr. Michael Horton, a friend of mine, a theology professor, and he just does such a good job in that book of talking about what is Core Christianity? What are the fundamentals of the faith that we, even from different Christian traditions, we can all agree on and say amen to this because it's central to the gospel, to who God is and what he's done. Boy, we want you to know those things and so please prayerfully consider joining the inner core and we'd love to send you that book. You can learn more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core, again corechristianity.com forward slash inner core to learn more about joining that special group of folks.
We really would be appreciative of it. Well, we do receive voicemails here at Core Christianity and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Juan. The question I have is, I hear a lot of preachers and people that they speak of revelations as the things that are going to happen. Well, I wonder, like say the United States, the Christians in the United States come about and turn things around and get God back in the country and become a strength again that this just isn't bringing back Christianity to the people. I hear a lot of people because they're thinking that the end times are coming, they aren't even willing to do much about things. Well, that's the way it's going to be. I feel that a lot of Christians are stopping their evangelizing just because, well, it's almost the end, there's no sense in doing anything. I just wondered how you thought about that.
Thank you. Yeah. Yeah, I love this question and one of the things that it demonstrates, Juan, is that our eschatology, that is what we believe about the end times, can play a role in, and I mean naturally, right, would play a role in how we engage with our neighbors right now. Now, that's not always the case. I mean, there are some Christians who, I think, regardless of their eschatology, they're good evangelists and they love sharing Jesus. There are others who you'd think, boy, they have such an optimistic eschatology, but they're always so pessimistic about the world and they're just all about retreating from society and sort of building your own thing.
I've seen that a lot today, too. So I'm concerned with any sort of stance that says, yeah, whatever. The world is just going south. Look at how bad this state or that state is. We need to just get out of there and do our own thing and build and maybe down the line, you know, they can be reached.
I've heard people talk that way about my state, California. Look, I'm a pastor in Southern California and I have great confidence in the power of God's Word and Spirit to change lives. I've seen it happen.
I pray it continues to happen. I want to see people connect with Jesus Christ. And look, you can say, well, things just seem so bad in this area. How is anybody going to connect with Jesus or whatnot? And I think that's just viewing things too faithlessly, frankly. We believe that all people, even people in quote-unquote moral places, are spiritually dead and that they need a work of the Holy Spirit to grant them life, to open their eyes to the power of the Gospel. That's what we should want. We're not just looking for this like nice society.
Nothing wrong with that, right? We're looking for the Gospel to be preached and we can be confident wherever we are that as we're faithful to Christ and the Word of God is going out and the Spirit of God is working, that the Spirit of God can and does do great things in the lives of our neighbors, in our city, in our state, and even in our country. God bless and thanks for listening. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833 the CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-21 17:12:28 / 2023-03-21 17:22:00 / 10