Should Christians boycott Target? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. 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. We would love to hear from you. Our phone lines are open right now, and you can call us on this Friday. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THECORE. That's 1-833-843-2673, and you can call us for the next 25 minutes or so, or you can go to our YouTube channel, watch Adriel live in the studio, and send him a question through YouTube. And of course, you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Timothy. I would like to ask about 2 Samuel 12, verse 7 and 8, where the Bible tells us that God gave David his master's wives into his bosom. And I was wondering, wouldn't that be the definition of adultery, especially since God had established the Ten Commandments about 400 years before that? I would like to know your thoughts on why God gave David wives into his bosom.
Thank you. Well, one, God is rebuking David. Nathan the prophet went to David after David sinned in the matter of Bathsheba, and Nathan confronts him and says, And so is God condoning adultery here, or multiple wives? Is he even saying, I gave this to you, David?
Is that the point here? We know that elsewhere in the Torah that God told Israel, and especially the kings in Israel, not to take multiple wives. I'm thinking back to Deuteronomy chapter 17, in verse 17, you have these laws concerning kings, and one of them, this is verse 17 again, says he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold. This is the problem that we saw with Solomon after King David, of course, his turning away from the Lord because of his many wives. How do we make sense of this specifically, though, the Lord saying, I gave you your master's house and your master's wives?
I think there's a simple answer. In the ancient Near East at that time, successors of kings often took their brides. This was kind of symbolic in one sense. It was saying, I'm taking over.
I'm the one who's in charge now. Sometimes that related to physical relations, sexual relations, but it didn't necessarily have to. It could have been just this very symbolic thing of, okay, now I'm taking over the household. This was actually later on what David's son tried to do by force, later on in 2 Samuel chapter 16, in verse 22, you have Absalom.
What does he do? He pitched a tent, and Absalom went into his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel. It's his attempt to usurp the kingdom, to take the kingdom, to say now they're mine.
This is mine. Of course, it went poorly for him. He was rebelling against his father, and ultimately rebelling against God as well. I would say there in 2 Samuel, the focus is just David inheriting the kingdom, taking the kingdom, and the fact that God had elevated him to this high position. Nathan's rebuke is, God has given you all of these gifts, and yet you've rebelled against him, and you've sinned against him. You need to humble yourself and confess your sin. Thanks for that question.
Great answer. You mentioned Solomon, who really messed up with all of his different wives and concubines, many of whom were from foreign lands, and it did turn his heart away from God. It's interesting how you have both David and Solomon. Here are these guys who are wise in many ways, and David, a man after God's own heart, and yet they did make mistakes in their lives and their kingdoms. I think we can learn from that, can't we?
Yeah, absolutely we can. This is just what you see again and again and again with the kings of Israel, with the judges of Israel, with the prophets and the priests and just everybody, except for Jesus. In one sense, all of these different offices and individuals are pointing us forward to the true Savior and highlighting the fact that we desperately need a good king, a righteous king, who's going to rule over the people of God. That's precisely what Jesus came to be and is for us today.
Amen. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. We would love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THECORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
If you get our voicemail system, feel free to leave a voicemail, and of course, you can always email us. Our email address is questions at corechristianity.com. Got an email question from one of our listeners named Ben, and he says this, Adriel, why are there more than 40,000 different Christian denominations? Hmm.
Well, that's a great question. Now, sometimes that number is exaggerated. I've heard, especially coming from Roman Catholic apologists and others, they'll say, you know, there are 50,000 Protestant denominations, you need to come back to the true church, or there are 40,000 Protestant denominations and so forth. I don't know that that's exactly the case, but the fact of the matter is we've been splitting. This wasn't just something that happened during the time of the Reformation. I mean, the church in the east and the church in the west split in the 11th century, and prior to that, even in the days of the church fathers, there was a church father named John Chrysostom who basically said, sometimes people come to us and they say, you guys are all divided. How do I know which church to go to?
That sort of a thing. So this is an issue that the church has had to deal with ever since the days of the apostles. I mean, when Paul writes to the Corinthians, he says, you know, some of you are saying I am of Paul, some of you are saying I am of Apollos. There's division.
And the question you're asking is why? And I think the answer is simply, well, it's just it's human sinfulness. We know that Jesus prayed in John chapter 17 that the church would be one. The unity of the church is so important. And the reality is we have that unity through Christ and through holy baptism.
So there really is only one church, all those who have called upon the name of the Lord in faith together with their children. I mean, that's the universal body of Christ, if you will. But the fact of the matter is here on earth as we're continuing to seek the Lord to pursue him, we wrestle with sin, we struggle with pride. I mean, at the root of a lot of the schism in the church today and throughout church history has been pride.
And so I would say it's sin, it's pride, it's unbelief, it's blindness, it's not embracing God's word truly or misunderstanding God's word. I mean, those are all things that get in the way of the unity that God has acquired for us through Jesus Christ. And so we ought to continue to pursue that unity and to pray for it as the body of Christ.
Thank you for that question. Of course, one of the dangers is when we accuse other denominations, you know, you guys don't have it right. Or, you know, especially if they're not critical issues, not critical doctrinal issues, just because we have differences of opinion on, let's say, worship style or whatever it might be. We don't want to be blasting our brothers and sisters in Christ at another church, do we?
Yeah. Yeah, we just don't want to be blasting each other within the church period. I mean, it's fine to disagree.
And even on this broadcast, we've done that, right? People call in and we can have disagreements, we can search the scriptures together. But in everything we want to exercise charity, humility, we want to prioritize God's word. And so it's not just about my feelings, how I feel. Let's dig into the scriptures and humbly let the word of God shape us and our beliefs.
Amen. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Maybe you have a question about doctrine or theology, something that your church believes or a church you visited believes, and you're kind of confused about that.
Or maybe there's a Bible passage that's always kind of stumped you. Hey, feel free to give us a call right now. Our phone lines will be open for the next 15 minutes. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. We'd love to hear from you. And by the way, if you're the parent or grandparent of a teenager, we have a great resource that we'd like to tell you about today. The resource is called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. And it's just a few chapters, a handful of chapters.
Let me just read the titles. The first chapter, part one, Get the Gospel Right, part two, Belong in a True Church, part three, Know What You Believe and Why, and part four, Cling to the Goodness of God. And in each of those parts, highlighting different things like what the gospel is, what the gospel isn't, the importance of what a true church is, belonging, believing. It's really practical stuff, really helpful stuff, especially for those who are going off to college wanting to continue to be grounded, rooted in their Christian faith. And so get a hold of this resource.
Once again, it's called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. You can find that by going to COREChristianity.com forward slash offers. And there are a lot of great resources on our website. We would encourage you to browse around, look at some of our CORE questions, our CORE guides, our CORE Bible studies, some wonderful ways to help you grow in your faith. And you can find them all at COREChristianity.com. While we do receive emails here at the CORE, our email address is questions at COREChristianity.com. Here's an email from one of our listeners named Vince. And it's really a very appropriate one for today's culture.
He says this. Many Christians and conservatives today are choosing to join boycotts of companies like Target, Disney and others. Being in a fallen world, it seems impossible to spend money with businesses or organizations that align with our beliefs. How should Christians spend money in a secular world in light of companies that support issues that God opposes? And then he asks, would Jesus join a boycott? Well, you're really picking up on something. And Bill, you're totally right. This is something that a lot of people are talking.
I mean, this is just happening. I know a lot of companies have been hit hard. Target being one of them.
Bud Light, right? The whole thing with that and the amount of money that they lost. It's the reality, right? There are large corporations that support many of the things that are contrary to the beliefs that we hold as Christians. And many of them are intentionally aiming to teach, influence our children as well. There's an attempt at indoctrination, we might say. I remember when I was a kid watching cartoons. It just seemed sort of innocent, you know, like it was just entertainment. As a parent now, I'm very careful about the shows that I let my kids watch. I mean, we're pretty reserved when it comes to TV in general. But careful about what we let our kids watch because it's clear that many people, not everybody, but many people just have an agenda. It's not just entertainment anymore. Unfortunately, a lot of it is propaganda. And Bill, I don't know if you've noticed that as well or how it was with your kids.
Your kids are a little bit older than mine. But certainly, you know, like I've seen some things that have just shocked me. And in addition, what I would want to say is, you know, we have, say, an influence as consumers to make our voices heard through what we choose to spend our money on. And many people and companies are beginning, it seems to me, to get the memo. And I think that that's a good thing. I don't think that's a bad thing.
I think it's a good thing. So I would say parents, one, be vigilant. Be vigilant. Be aware of the fact that this stuff is out there, that there is an attempt to sway people, to sway the culture, to sway your kids, to sway our kids. And again, it's not everyone, but it's there. And so we have to be vigilant.
We have to be wise. And I would just encourage people to exercise their freedom. I see this as a matter of more of Christian liberty. So it's not like if, you know, you went to Target, that's an issue of sin or something like that. But exercise your freedom to vote for what you want to see supported and platformed by how you use your resources, the money that God has given to you.
And I think that's a right that you have as an individual, as a citizen. And certainly one that we should exercise as Christians, wanting to see the world shaped a certain way and certain things platformed and certain things not platformed, frankly. Additionally, just two texts that I think are helpful to bring up in this discussion. The first is what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5, verses 9 and following.
I think that this is helpful when we're thinking about this. He's right at the Corinthians and he says to them, I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. Not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But I am now writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother. That is within the church. If he's a Christian, anyone who bears the name of brother, if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed or is an idolatry.
So write in line with your email, Vince. It seems like Paul is picking up on like at some degree or some degree, we are going to be rubbing shoulders with the world. We're in the world. It's inevitable that we're going to have to have some association with, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, with the sexually immoral of this world because we're in the world, but we're called to not be of the world. That is to be characterized by the sinful ideologies and practices that are out there in the world. So again, I think there's a level of freedom here, but while we're in the world, seeking to engage the world for its good with the gospel and with the truth of God's word, we also ought to not be desensitized to the evil that is in the world. I think of how Peter describes Lot who lived in Sodom in 2 Peter 2 verse 7.
It's so interesting how he describes him. He says, If God rescued righteous Lot greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked, for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard. See, Lot is depicted as this righteous individual here, living in the midst of this society that was very contrary to God in terms of how it functioned just across the board.
I mean, thinking of Sodom specifically, and Lot is depicted as this righteous individual who day after day, his soul was tormented as he saw the things happening around him. And I think, brothers and sisters, we have to not be desensitized to the evil around us, to the evil things that are celebrated and platformed. And then people say we need to be proud of this, you know, that kind of thing.
No, we should grieve, frankly, and lament like Lot did. It should torment our souls. And we shouldn't want to, the fact that the reality is we're in the world, so I mean, we're exposed to it, but it's not like it's something that we celebrate. And so we're trying to be in the world as salt and light and to engage broader society with the truth of the gospel, with the love of Christ, knowing that the gospel is for all people, all kinds of sinners.
And it's powerful enough, the blood of Jesus is powerful enough to cleanse us of our sins, whatever they may be. But at the same time, as I mentioned earlier, we have influence as consumers to say, hey, I'm okay with this, and I like this, or you know what, I don't appreciate that. I don't appreciate my kids being targeted in this way or this being platformed. And I think we should use that influence that we have. So thanks. Really well said. I appreciate that so much, Adriel, and I'm sure many of our listeners can totally relate to what you're saying and feel the same way.
So thanks for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Here's our phone number. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we've just got about five minutes left. You can feel free to give us a call at 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Michael. I was just wondering about a comment. If I said something like, if faith alone and once saved, always saved is true, then why did Jesus Christ heal people and then tell them to sin no more? I would say faith alone is true in terms of, you know, when we're talking about salvation, the grace of God that we receive, we don't receive it on the basis of our righteousness or the righteousness of our works, which is imperfect. We receive it by the hand of faith. What is faith? Faith in Jesus Christ, it's a saving grace whereby we receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He has offered to us in the gospel. And so you think of faith, not so much as a work, as something that you do. It's not the strength of your faith, the righteousness of your faith, the amount of your faith.
Think of faith as an empty hand that reaches out to receive the gift of God in Jesus Christ. And that alone is what saves us, what justifies us. We're saved by the instrument of faith. That's technically, you know, when theologians talk about this. And oftentimes in the gospels, you're right. Jesus would heal an individual and He would say things like, go and sin no more. Your faith is saved, you go and sin no more or less, a worse thing come upon you. And I think the principle there is not you're saved by faith and works, it's just there are consequences to our behavior.
And when we sin, when we continue sin, and especially when we sin against God's goodness, the light that He has given to us. I was talking earlier about when Nathan confronted David after he had sinned in the matter of Bathsheba. This was a serious, serious thing, not just because of the fact that it was a transgression against God's law, but it was, well, who's the one transgressing God's law? It's the king.
And not just any king, but this king who has been blessed and privileged in so many magnificent ways. David, that king, is the one who has gone and done this heinous thing. And there were serious and terrible consequences to David's sin. And so that's the point that Jesus is making. I think there are consequences to your sin. Repent, turn from it so that a worse thing doesn't come upon you.
I don't think it has any bearing specifically on, you know, you're justified by your works or that idea, or that it calls into question our understanding of salvation by grace through faith. Thank you for that. Thanks, Michael. Appreciate that question, and thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. Let's go to Alice calling in from Tennessee.
Alice, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, I am reading through 2 Samuel, and I got to chapter 24, and that's where David takes a census of the people. And I was kind of bothered by it because it says that the Lord incited David to do this because he was angry at Israel and wanted to punish them. So does God cause people to sin so that he can work his will, or is something else going on here? I just can't understand that.
Well, you know, it's interesting. When you brought up this text, there's the parallel passage in 1 Chronicles where it talks about the evil one, Satan, being the one who incited David. So it seems like there's this interplay here where God is using the angelic hosts, and particularly the fallen angels, in this situation here where David sins. And he is guilty of his sin. It's not that God has forced him to sin.
That's not what God does. Nevertheless, there's a situation, this circumstance here, where God's judgment is falling upon the people, and David takes this census. As a result, the Lord is angered, and there's a great slaughter.
The angel of the Lord comes as his judgment on David's sin. And so verse 1 of chapter 24, the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them saying, Go, number Israel and Judah. So the king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, Go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people that I may know the number of the people. But Joab said to the king, May the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my Lord the king still see it. But why does my Lord the king delight in this thing? Joab is even challenging King David here.
You shouldn't do this. And there have been many people who have said, Well, what exactly was David's sin? I think probably what we're getting into is this sort of self-reliance, this boasting in numbers, perhaps numbering the people to prepare for battle, but self-reliance, trusting not in God who had delivered him over and over and over again, but in himself, in the strength of the horse, if you will, to quote the psalmist, I believe. That's not what God delights in.
It's not the numbers, per se, and how often has God, throughout redemptive history, won the victory, not through numbers, but through the few, through the remnant, through the weak. And so this is a judgment that's falling on David. I think we'd have to say that, yes, the Lord is in control. He's sovereign over all of these temptations, but David is still responsible.
And Joab even tried to stop him and didn't avail. And so there was a judgment. And this is one of the reasons why we pray, recognizing that God doesn't tempt us in the sense of forcing us to sin or tempt us to do evil. James makes that very, very clear. But God is sovereign over the circumstances that are in our lives and around us that do have a bearing on our being tempted. And that's what we say, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. And may God help each of us in that on this day. Have a great weekend. 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.
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