Should Christians abstain from clapping and shouting during worship? 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. Our phone lines are open right now. You can call us for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the phone number. It's 833.
The CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, you can also post your question on our social media sites. In fact, we have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel live in the studio and send him your question that way. And of course, you can always feel free to email us your question.
Our email address is questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Susan calling in from Tennessee. Susan, what's your question for Adriel? Hello. Hi, Susan. How are you? Hi. Hi. Hi. I'm doing very, very well.
Thank you for putting me on the list to answer my question. My husband and I are very, very strong Christians. Our daughters went to Sunday School at the Baptist Church, and I'm sure both of them heard the gospel. Our oldest daughter is 26. We know 100% that she's saved and she's married. We're just not sure about our youngest daughter, who's 23. She went away to school. School's not far from here to join a sorority, a very good sorority.
We vetted it. But, you know, she doesn't go to church anymore, and then the pandemic happened. And my oldest says, don't talk to her about spiritual things. But my heart is not settled. Susan, are you there?
I'm here. Yeah. And so, what's your question? Is this common? Is this common among kids that went away to school? That's what my oldest says.
You shouldn't have sent her away to school, and she didn't go far. So, you know, the pandemic, the age. Yeah. So, Susan, what I'll say is, it is something that we're seeing quite a bit of.
In fact, there was a book that just recently came out called The Great Decherching. It's a helpful resource, and it kind of gives different profiles of people who've stopped going to church, people who once were in church, but now, like your youngest, have for whatever reason stopped going. And there are different reasons that people will give. And it's a tragic thing. I mean, it's a sad thing to see people falling out of church and spiritual life and being disconnected from the Lord. It sounds to me like you and your husband sought to raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And of course, we do have those promises that are given to us in Scripture, places where wisdom says in Proverbs 22, verse 6, train up a child in the way that he should go.
Even when he is old, he will not depart from it. And oftentimes, that's what we're called to as parents, is this training, this discipline in the instruction of the Lord. And nobody does that perfectly.
We don't do that perfectly. We wrestle to do that, but we seek to be faithful to God. And even when we are faithful to God in that, sometimes, you know, for one reason or another, a person wanders away. And my encouragement to you would be to continue to pray for your daughter. It sounds to me like maybe there's a wall up there and you've been counseled, you know, not to talk about spiritual things with your daughter. I would encourage you, I mean, I would say it's good to ask questions and try to understand, okay, what's going on here? What is it that you believe?
What is it that you're wrestling with? That'll give you some clarity about how to pray for her, but it'll also hopefully provide some insight into the kinds of questions she's asking and where to go to in God's Word to provide answers. You know, for many people who have left the church, they began to wrestle with something or to have questions, and they didn't know where they could go to ask those questions. And so, you know, that sort of became the rock in the shoe that became more and more uncomfortable until after a while, they just said, okay, I just, you know, I don't know how to deal with this.
And so, you know, I couldn't just say, well, here's the answer. I'm not sure what's going on, but I can say continue to pray for her and to pursue her and maybe, as I said there, to ask some questions, not just to let her talk and then not have any input, but to know how you should, as a mother or as parents, care for her and encourage her and where in Scripture you might point her to, but prayer is going to be key here because ultimately it is the work of the Holy Spirit to open our hearts. And we are seeing this great de-churching, if you will, happening all around us, and so we ought to pray. One thing that is encouraging with some of the statistics that have been coming out is that many of the people who, for one reason or another, stopped going to church are still willing to come back.
There is an openness there, but that's going to require some pursuit and engagement, and so I might even recommend that book for you as well as you think about some of these things. Again, it's called The Great De-Churching by Jim Davis and Michael Graham, and let me just take a moment right now to pray for you and to pray for your youngest father. We lift Susan and her family up to you. We thank you, Lord, that they love you. We thank you that her and her husband are seeking to follow you and are believers, strong believers. And Lord, like so many, their hearts are broken. They want to see their daughter back in church and growing in her faith.
And so we pray for their youngest, Lord. Would you be at work in that situation? Would you bring healing? Would you bring clarity? Would you cause the light of your truth, the light of your word, to break in, Lord, and to bring restoration? We ask for your blessing in Jesus' name.
Amen. Susan, thanks so much for your call. We will continue to pray for you.
By the way, I want to mention a great free resource that we have available on the CORE website. This would be for other parents and individuals who have friends or loved ones who maybe are, you know, considering leaving the faith or have left the faith. It's called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. It's a booklet you can find at corechristianity.com forward slash booklets, so check that out if you would. Our phone lines are open. You can call us if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. The number is 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Miles, who's calling in from Pasadena, California. Miles, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Why does it say in John that only Jesus has seen God, but it says in Moses, and Abraham has seen God in other parts of the Bible? Hey, Miles, what a great question.
You're absolutely right. In the Gospel of John, in John chapter 1 verse 18, it says, No one has ever seen God. The only God who is at the Father's side, He has made Him known. In other words, no one has ever seen God as He is in His essence, in His perfection, in His glory, such that we could fully comprehend or understand Him. That would make us equal to God. Miles, one of the greatest things about God is that we're not like Him. There's a distinction between God as the Creator of all things, and you and I, we're creatures made in God's image. And so we couldn't ever fully comprehend or grasp God, and yet here's what God does for us, Miles. He reveals Himself to us in various ways, and so in the Old Testament, when it talks about Abraham or Moses seeing God, that's God coming down on our level and giving them a vision of His glory, but even that vision doesn't encapsulate all that God is, if you will. It's not that they thaw Him as He is in His perfection, in His essence. Otherwise, they too would be God.
And so there's a distinction. We say, well, we can see God in one sense. Through His revelation, we gain an understanding of who He is, like what we read in the Bible. That's another way that God has revealed Himself to us, is through His special revelation in Scripture. But none of us can grasp God as He is in His essence. We can't see God in that way, because that would make us like God. And so it seems like there's a little bit of a contradiction there between what we're told in John 1, verse 18, no one has seen God, and then those Old Testament passages where God revealed His glory to Moses and to Abraham. But when they say, we've seen the Lord, they're talking about that revelation, God coming down to them and revealing Himself to them in a special way.
But it wasn't that they were made equal to God in that moment, or that they had the ability to see Him in all of His perfection. And so it really should, Miles, make us just wonder at the fact that God, who is infinite and glorious, and we could never wrap our minds around Him, He's just so amazing, and yet that God has come down to us and revealed Himself to us in very real ways, so that we might know who He is, even though we couldn't fully ever grasp Him in all of His glory. Thank you for that question, Miles. I love that you're studying the Bible and wanting to grow in your faith in Jesus, and may God bless you. Miles, thank you for your call and for listening to Core Christianity. We really do appreciate you. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, or theology, we'd love to hear from you.
Maybe there's something going on in your Christian life that you're struggling with. And you've got a question for Adriel, or could you use some prayer? Give us a call, 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Donna in New York. Donna, what's your question for Adriel?
Hi, thank you for taking my call. So, I work basically a minimum wage job, and I don't make much money, and I have three daughters that I'm taking care of. My bishop told me that the reason why I'm living in lax is because I don't tithe my 10% weekly, even though I get paid every two weeks, and that I have to tithe in order for God to bless me to get a better job and to grow in my faith. So, my question is, is that true that God sees that I'm living in lax and won't bless me because I only can tithe a certain amount of money, or is it a myth that he's telling me? I also think I tithe in time because I clean the church, I participate in functions, I give my time to the church in anything that you're doing, so I'm wondering if God honors that.
Donna, hey, thank you for reaching out to us. Let me say that the Lord is pleased with that, when we serve him, and you giving to the church, even in the midst of your own need. I think about the widow's mite that Jesus talks about in the Gospels, that woman who gave the little that she had, but Jesus says, you know, she's giving more than everyone else. She's giving out of her need.
And it sounds to me like that's precisely what you're doing. Now, we're all, as Christians, called to cultivate a heart of generosity, of giving, and that can be time as you're giving time to serve the church or resources, but there are also instances where it's really important that the church comes alongside of individuals who are struggling financially, and instead of saying, okay, what can you give to me, where the church needs to come alongside of single mothers or those who, you know, you said you're caring for three children right now and working a minimum wage job. I would love to see the church that you're a part of saying, okay, how can we come alongside of you and help you with groceries, help you with whatever it is that you need? And so it sounds to me like you're wrestling with this burden of, you know, am I cursed because I've not been giving the 10 percent tithe? Listen to what the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians. This is really, I think, one of the key passages to go to when we think about generosity and giving in the New Testament, in 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9.
In particular, in chapter 9, verse 6, he says, the point is this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, but whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And so I think what you ought to do is ask yourself, okay, Lord, what does it look like for me to cheerfully give to you of my time, of my resources, while still also making sure that I'm taking care of my responsibilities? And that's something that you determine in your own heart.
And God is pleased with that. You don't want your giving to be under compulsion. You know, you feel like your arm is being twisted and you don't know how you're going to make it.
How am I going to buy groceries and also do this? No, this is where the church should come alongside of you and say, how can we minister to you, sister, and help you in this time of need? And so, you know, one of the things that Jesus, in the gospels that he rebuked, the religious leaders for us, he said that they devoured widows' houses. You know, these poor widows who didn't have very much to live on, they were saying, okay, what more can you give?
What can you do? When in reality, what they should have been doing was ministering to them and helping them and giving to them. And so it sounds to me like you're in a situation of need, and this is where the church can step in and say, hey, we want to help you meet some of these needs. Sister, may the Lord bless you. Let's just take a moment to pray for our sister Donna that the Lord would give her wisdom and that the Lord would bless her and provide for all of her needs.
Father, we lift Donna up to you. Thank you for her desire to honor you. Thank you for her service to your church, volunteering her time, and even giving, Lord, as she is struggling to provide for her own family. Lord, Jesus, we know that you see her and that you are pleased with those acts of love and service. Would you encourage her? Would you fill her with your spirit? And would you, Lord, provide for her in this time of need, provide for the children that she's caring for and minister to her? And use the church, Lord, to minister to her as well and to encourage her, we ask, in Jesus' name, amen.
Wow, what a difficult situation. My heart breaks for Donna to be told that by a leader in the church. I don't know what your response is to that. Well, you know, my response is, again, considering what Jesus said in the Gospels about giving, what we see also in that text that I read in 2 Corinthians 9, I think it's not helpful when we say, well, your problem is, you know, here you are in this situation where you're struggling to provide for your own family and your problem is you're not giving enough to the church. And that's why I said, no, we're all in different positions and there are individuals who are really struggling and that's where the church needs to step up and provide some help and assistance. Rather than saying, no, you need to do more, that's where the church, I would say, needs to step in and say, hey, here's a brother or sister who is in need. What can we do to serve you and to help meet those needs, to minister to you as the people of God? And that's precisely what you see in the book of Acts as well, where those who had an abundance were helping those who had great need. And it's precisely, you know, what wasn't happening in the ancient world, which is why Jesus said that the Pharisees were devouring widows' houses. And God forbid that we would do that today as churches.
So well said. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Also, I want to mention a great free resource we have available.
This is particularly apropos for parents or grandparents. It's a way of using music to help your kids really saturate themselves in God's word. Yeah, again, this is a free resource called Ten Songs to Sing as a Family that you can get over at corechristianity.com forward slash radio. It's a free download, and it'll give you some devotional material about these ten different songs. Just a great opportunity to sing together as a family, but also to dive deeper into some of the hymns that we know and love, to understand them better, and to understand the theology, the good doctrine that lies beneath each one of them.
So get a hold of this resource again, Ten Songs to Sing as a Family. You can find it at corechristianity.com. By the way, when you're at our website, browse around. Check out some of our other free resources, some great core guides and core questions, and of course our core Bible studies, which you can order on a variety of different books from the Old and the New Testament.
To find that particular song resource, just go to corechristianity.com forward slash radio. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the Core. You can call us 24 hours a day and leave us your question on our voicemail system.
The number is 833-THE-CORE. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Angel. I am blind and visually impaired, but it is not going to stop me from praising my Lord and seeing what Jesus Christ. The Psalmist says, Oh, clap your hands, all you people, shout unto God with the voice of Christ. I thank God that I go to a church where I am allowed to clap my hands and shout, jump, stomp, etc.
to the Lord. But should people go to a church where they are allowed to clap their hands, shout, and stomp? Angel, praise God for your enthusiasm to serve the Lord, to worship Him. I love that and just want to encourage you in that. Your question is, well, should you go to a church where people aren't jumping and clapping?
I'll just be honest with you. The church that I pastor where I'm a minister, there is clapping at times. Usually, you know, somebody gets baptized or something like that and people are celebrating, praising the Lord. We don't do a ton of clapping and jumping during the songs that we sing. We sing a lot of hymns, psalms even, but that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with shouting to the Lord for joy. And of course, you see that language throughout the book of Psalms in particular, shouting, making a joyful noise to the Lord. Of course, we're not trying to create this distraction in worship, and it's not about drawing attention to ourselves.
That's not what it's about. And I've seen that happen in some contexts as well. But I think when we're just overwhelmed with the grace of God and we're singing to the Lord and it fits with the songs that we're singing, those kinds of shows of emotion, there's nothing wrong with those things. Of course, in worship, you have the encouragement of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 14 at the very end of the chapter where he says, All things should be done decently and in order. And so the goal of worship is not to draw attention to ourselves, but to fix our eyes upon the triune God through the preaching of the Word of God. That's what should be happening during the worship service. And as through the preached word, through the songs, through the prayers, as our eyes are fixed upon Jesus, that can be an emotional experience where we're filled with joy or sorrow over our sins and there are tears. There's nothing wrong with that. The Bible is not against that. I think sometimes in some churches we can get into this kind of emotionalism, if you will, where the Spirit's only moving if people are jumping and clapping and crying.
But that's not the case either. Angel, we're all different. We're all wired differently. I know people who just don't shed a lot of tears, but that doesn't mean that they're not intimately engaged with the Lord as they're worshiping Him. And so I think we want to have room for that kind of emotional expression.
We don't want to just dismiss it whenever we see it, but we also don't want to run into the error, we might say, of emotionalism and try to conjure up these things as, well, that means that the Spirit is really at work. But what I will say again is, may the Lord bless you and praise God for that love and enthusiasm that you have in worshiping the Lord. And I just pray that God would continue to bless you and strengthen you in your faith as you worship Him in spirit and in truth with joy. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We do receive emails here at the Core, and you can send us an email anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
Here's one from one of our listeners named Sarah. She says, If the Holy Spirit never leaves you and you're always saved, how is it that He doesn't forgive you if you don't forgive others? What does that mean? You're talking about a couple of passages here. One is what Jesus said in the context of talking about the Lord's Prayer. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 6, right after He introduced the Lord's Prayer, and of course in the Lord's Prayer we say, Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, He says, If you don't do that, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you. And so the question is, Well, is my forgiveness from God contingent upon how well I forgive others? I think that the focus there, why Jesus can say that, is because there is a close correlation between our being forgiven and our willingness to forgive others. And in fact, when Jesus tells a parable later in the same Gospel of an individual who had been forgiven so much but wasn't willing to forgive others, that's exactly what He's highlighting. And so we forgive first and foremost out of that place of having been forgiven by God. So it's not that you're not going to be forgiven. The reality is you have been forgiven. Now we're under this obligation, this call from God to forgive as we have been forgiven. And that's precisely what we see throughout the New Testament. That's confirmed in places like the book of Ephesians, for example, where Paul says that we ought to love and forgive as we have been forgiven. And so may God help us.
Forgiveness is not an easy thing, but He calls us as we've been forgiven to extend that grace and that mercy to those who have sinned against us to forgive others as well. God bless. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, go to corechristianity.com forward slash radio, or you can call us at 1-833-843-2673.
That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, let us know how we can be praying for you and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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