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Should the Church Be More Vocal about the Conflict between Israel and Palestine?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 7, 2023 1:30 pm

Should the Church Be More Vocal about the Conflict between Israel and Palestine?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 7, 2023 1:30 pm

Episode 1375 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

 CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

 

1. At what point does the production of a church service become performance?   2. How can I overcome doubts about my salvation?   3. How do we approach people with special needs in communion?   4. Is cremation a pagan practice that christians should abstain from?   5. Should the church be vocal about the conflict in Israel and Palestine?       Today’s Offer: 5 Reasons Christmas Isn’t a Pagan Holiday   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Should the church be more vocal about the conflict between Israel and Palestine? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now you can also post your question on our social media sites. In fact, you can watch Adriel live right now on YouTube and send him your question through our YouTube channel, and you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners. This is from Tori. Hi, Pastor Adriel.

My sister and I love your podcast. My question for you is regarding manipulative church photography and videography. Last summer, I went to a church, and I found it very distracting. They had the very expensive hammer equipment, and they were videotaping the worship team, and they were taking all these amazing photos, but they were in front of the church, and I just wonder, is that okay? Do you think that God views that of him being glorified? I just don't want to get into the mindset of that church after God's heart, because I bet that that's what they want to do, but is there a balance between following and glorifying God and then also not distracting the importance of worship, which is ultimately God, and not drawing attention to the worship team? So I would just like to get your thoughts on that.

Thank you so much, and have a great rest of your day. Hey, Tori, thank you for that question, and certainly I would say that there is a balance. We can use media and social media in a way that's honoring to the Lord, and I don't think that there's anything wrong with... Think of the sermon, for example, the sermon being recorded and that being shared with others so that they could hear it, or even the service as well. Our church has video of the whole worship service, but can you go overboard?

Can it become this sort of production where we're trying to put on a show in order to get publicity? The answer, I think, is yes, and so we have to be careful that that's not what's happening, that this isn't worship being turned into a performance or a show to get the attention of others. I think Jesus has something very strong to say about that in the Sermon on the Mount when he says don't practice your righteousness, your good deeds, in order to be seen by others, including things like prayer. So if a church is praying and worshiping, but the whole intent is not really to honor the Lord, but to draw attention to themselves and then to platform themselves, then I would say, yeah, there is a serious issue there, and I get why you were uncomfortable. It can be distracting even in the worship service, too, if you're trying to fix your eyes upon Christ through the singing and the prayers and the preaching and you've got a camera guy walking up and down the aisle capturing those great photos for social media. That's a problem.

That shouldn't fly. And so as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14, when it comes to corporate worship, all things should be done decently and in order for the edification of the saints, for the building up of the saints and the glory of God. And I think that there are instances where we do go too far with media and trying to get a social media following and making the worship service this big performance to get attention. That certainly doesn't honor the Lord. And so I appreciate your reaching out to us and grateful to receive that encouragement that you had for the work that we're doing.

May God continue to bless you as you seek him. And thanks for your question. How about a drone? You okay with the drone?

No, I mean, yeah. Now that would be distracting if you're in the church service, but there are drones flying around the sanctuary. Yeah, let's try to avoid that. Now, don't tell me that they do that at your church. No, no, the sanctuary is not big enough. I was just thinking about your church and how interesting that would be. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We would love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Doctrine, theology, Christmas. We get a lot of calls about the celebration of Christmas this time of year. Give us a call at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's an email from one of our listeners, and this is a serious one. It's from Taylor. She says, I've been struggling with doubts about my salvation and general depression for months. I did something a few months ago that I believed was God's will and the right thing to do with the time. But after I did it, I felt awful. Now I'm struggling with doubts about whether I'm saved, doubts about God, and I feel cold to him.

How can I overcome this? It's like every day there's a voice in my head telling me to give up. Well, Taylor, the first thing I would want to say to you is that voice that says give up is not the voice of the Lord, not the voice of the Holy Spirit.

I was just thinking about this the other day reading through the Gospels, and you think of the temptation that our Lord Jesus underwent in the wilderness. What was it that the evil one, Satan, was trying to say to him? Are you really the son of God? Are you really God's child? Are you really the son of God?

I mean, if you are, then do this. In essence, what Satan was trying to do was get him to question his identity. And this is one of the devil's chief tactics, I think, even for believers, for Christians today, is to get us to question our identity in Christ, to say, God doesn't really love you. You don't really belong to Jesus.

Your sins haven't really been forgiven. He wants us to question God's sure word. And isn't this exactly what he did at the very beginning of the Bible in the book of Genesis, right? Did God really say that?

Did God really promise to forgive your sins through faith in Jesus Christ? And so we begin to doubt. We begin to question. And that voice, again, is not the voice of the Lord. It's not the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to you.

That can just be our own worries, or it can even be spiritual attack. And so I think you have to distinguish there between, okay, is this coming from the Lord? Is this a sense of overwhelming condemnation that's making me feel hopeless? Or do I have a sense of conviction over my sin? You see, the Holy Spirit will and does convict us over our sin, not so that we'll be cast aside and condemned, but so that we might repent and turn from it with hope to the Lord. And so it's one thing to be convicted when you sin, and when you experience the conviction of the Holy Spirit, that comes with the hope of forgiveness and grace, the hope of the Gospel. So you can say, Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner, and know that when you confess your sins, as John says in 1 John 1, when we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.

And so there's great hope. You think of what the Psalm has said. If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness that you may be feared. The devil wants to convince us that there is no hope and there is no forgiveness for us, that our sins are too bad.

That's a lie, and that's not true for you either, Taylor. God's grace, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, is sufficient for you, and if you've trusted in Him, you are forgiven, and you have that hope, that hope of eternal life, take that reality, the reality of the forgiveness of your sins, the reality of your identity, your new identity in Jesus Christ, and live in light of that and pursue a life of godliness and holiness. And when you fall short, when you sin, as we all do, and you take that to the Lord, and you say, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner, knowing that He is merciful and gracious to you, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. And so I would just encourage you not to trust in your feelings, but to trust in God's word and promise, to sink your teeth into that, and to continually take your own feelings, even your own struggles and sins, to the promise of God and His word. You know, we've often talked about the fact that we cannot base our Christian faith on our feelings at the time or our circumstances, and we hear from so many callers who say things like, I don't feel that God is there, I feel cold to God, as Taylor said.

And you've stressed so many times that it's not how we feel, it's the finished work of Christ on the cross. Yeah, and I think that's just growing in maturity as a believer. I know for myself, even as a newer Christian, I was so tempted to tie my relationship to the Lord with my feelings, so that if I felt the presence of God, and I felt really spiritual and excited about reading my Bible, then that was good. But if I didn't have those feelings, if I didn't sense the presence of God, maybe I lost my salvation, maybe God abandoned me. And so so much of it was just a rollercoaster ride, because if we're not grounded in God's word, if we're not trusting in His word, regardless of how we feel, because sometimes we're just not going to have those feelings, then we're going to be all over the place. And so I think a part of maturing as a Christian is learning to go to the word of God and rest in it, to believe it, to trust it, even when it doesn't line up with our feelings. And that's just the reality for us sometimes. It doesn't mean it's always going to be like that, but we have to choose the word of God over how we feel.

So well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, maybe something going on in your church life that concerns you or you have a question about, here's the phone number to call, 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. John called in from San Diego with this question. He says, how do you approach people with special needs taking communion? Hey John, this is an excellent question. And what I would say is, do special needs keep us from the gospel of God's grace or from the covenant family of God?

I don't think so. Now in particular with the Lord's Supper, there is this sense of, you think of the exhortation that we get in 1 Corinthians, where Paul talks about examining oneself, having a sense of understanding. What is it that we're doing here as we're gathered around the table, taking the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Who am I in the midst of this community of faith? And so I think there is a sense of understanding that needs to be there. But my concern, one concern that I have is a lot of times when people talk about that, I think that maybe they go a little bit too far, as though we're going to be able to fully grasp the mystery of the sacrament of Christ's body and blood and the presence of Christ with us.

No, I think if there's a basic understanding of the gospel, I'm a sinner and Jesus is God and I need His grace, I think that's what I'm looking for. And different people have different capabilities in terms of being able to articulate that. And so this is where I think it's going to be up to the wisdom of the Church in particular, the elders of the Church working with an individual who maybe has special needs and maybe is a communication barrier there. But I wouldn't want to say that someone with special needs is kept from the sacraments of the Church just as a rule person. I think this is where, again, it's going to be up to the wisdom of the Church and the family working together with this individual. Certainly, the gospel is for all of us.

It's for the children. You think of what Jesus Himself said in the gospels, this message, right? Unless we become like little children, we're never going to enter the kingdom of God. There's a simplicity to the grace of God and to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and it's for the helpless. And so I would want to, in a situation like this, I would want to work with the parents and I think it's something where the elders of the Church would need to think through, okay, what is this going to look like?

Is there an ability to communicate? And is there even a rudimentary understanding of the gospel or is that off the table? And so it's going to be a case-by-case basis, but I think it's also an area where we would want to extend a lot of grace to. And so, hey John, God bless you and God grant wisdom to you and to your church if this is something that you guys are working through. Good counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Quora Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Laura calling in from Iowa. Laura, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi. I was just wondering about, there's a lot of people being cremated now and I read the Bible, I was trying to find in there if that's okay and a girlfriend told me she thought that was more pagan. So I'm kind of worried about that. Can you help me with that? Is it okay for us to be cremated now?

Hey Laura, thank you for that question. I mean, historically in the Christian Church, because Christians had such a high view of the body and a belief in the resurrection of the body, you typically had just the sort of normal, I guess if we would refer to it that way, the burial practices. And so you had these ancient catacombs that were built in places like Rome and elsewhere where the body would be buried with the hope of the resurrection. But what I would want to add is, so what I'm saying there is Christians have always had a high view of the body and this belief in the resurrection of the body. But being cremated doesn't keep someone in Christ from the hope of the resurrection because we're raised by the power of God himself. So it's not like the way in which you're buried is going to have a bearing on your eternal rest, truly. We believe that a believer, the moment you die as a Christian, your soul is immediately perfected in holiness and you enter into the presence of God, perfect joy, waiting for the time of the resurrection of the body.

Your body goes into the ground. It's buried or it's burned or it's in the ocean, wherever it is. But you still have the hope of the resurrection of the dead through what Christ Jesus has done for us. And so I think it's wrong to say if you're a Christian and you go and get cremated today or you opt for that option as you're preparing for death or your family is preparing for this, I don't think that that's pagan or sinful per se. I think that you can still have a high view of the body and the hope of the resurrection and for practical reasons say this is something that we're going to do. But that's part of the reason why this has been a debate throughout the history of the church and especially early on was that question about the resurrection of the body and wanting to be different from whatever the pagan practice was in the ancient world. But certainly that's not a thing per se for us today. And so Laura, I appreciate the question. May God give you grace and wisdom as you continue to think about this. And of course historically there were Christian martyrs who were burned at the stake, right? I mean that's something to consider right there. Yes, they were cremated, Bill.

They didn't choose that. But again, you know, sometimes growing up I used to go to this museum nearby here in San Diego where I live, the Museum of Man. And they had, the reason I love this museum is because they had all these, you know, coffins, these sarcophagi, you know, mummies and whatnot.

I just thought it was the coolest thing as a little boy seeing these things. And of course, you know, when the Egyptians would be buried, when these great kings and whatnot would be buried, they were often buried with these special practices, you know, this idea that the way I'm buried is going to have a bearing on my afterlife. I'm going to take these treasures with me in the tomb and I'm going to get to enjoy these things in the world to come.

Well, that's just not true at all, of course. It's not the way that you're buried that gives you hope for, you know, the future beyond death. It's knowing Christ now. It's faith in Him. That's the anchor.

That's what keeps you. And so, yeah, for those martyrs, as you say, Bill, who were burned at the stake, or for others who died in horrible ways, they will be raised bodily, glorified. And that's the great hope that every Christian has had, regardless of how it was that they were buried. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Christmas just a couple of weeks away, and we've been getting a lot of calls about the celebration of Christmas. Some people saying that it's wrong to celebrate Christmas. So we've created a special resource for you, an online document you can download, that will help you or someone you love understand what the Christmas celebration is all about. That's one of the claims we hear time and time again, just as Christians, but on the broadcast too, especially this time of the year. Well, is it okay for Christians to, you know, enjoy Christmas, to celebrate the holiday season? And so that's why we created this resource. It's called Five Reasons Why Christmas Isn't a Pagan Holiday.

And maybe you've heard the opposite. Maybe you've heard it's a pagan holiday, and you Christians have tried to Christianize it or something like that. Well, get a hold of this resource. It's a free resource over at corechristianity.com, and it'll shed some light on that question for you.

Again, it's called Five Reasons Why Christmas Isn't a Pagan Holiday. By the way, when you go to our website, make sure to browse around. Check out some of our other resources. We've got some great core guides and core questions on a variety of different topics. Also our Bible studies. And as we're coming up to the end of the year, if you are a regular core Christianity listener and you feel that God might be prompting you to make a year-end gift to this ministry, we would really appreciate that.

You can learn more at corechristianity.com. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core. You can call us 24 hours a day and leave your voicemail question.

And here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Desiree. My question was, are we doing enough to help Israel with the attack that was committed October 8th in murdering over 1,800 innocent people? And as Christians, pastors, are we doing enough to talk about the anti-Semitism hate, to have a conversation with people about what anti-Semitism is? I believe Jewish people pray to the God in heaven, the Father. As it is as a Christian, we should pray our Father who art in heaven.

So I feel like as Christians, that's the question I really would like answered. Thank you. Desiree, thank you so much for that question. And what a horrible and tragic day that was. I mean, to see some of the footage that continues to come out just is absolutely heartbreaking. And all injustice, all evil, all murder, those are things that we as believers should stand against. The darkness, wherever it is, we should say, no, that's wrong, that's wicked, that's evil. We should cry out for those who are oppressed, those who are treated unjustly, whether they're Jews or not, frankly. I mean, this is just something that we're called to as believers, as Christians, for all people everywhere. And the question, are we doing enough? I mean, you can think about all of the different kinds of injustice that are out there and the horrible things. You think of abortion, for example.

You think of, I mean, there's so much out there, and it's fair to say, are we doing enough? But some of the things you said in your question, it seems to me like maybe you're suggesting, well, because they're Jews, they have this special standing, and we have an obligation as Christians, a spiritual obligation. The Church has some kind of spiritual obligation to them in particular to do more. And this is where I think that sometimes there's confusion today, and one passage of Scripture that's really, really helpful is what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 11, where he talks about God's relationship to the Jews, to ethnic Israel. And there in particular, Paul is grieving.

And it started really back in chapter 9. At the beginning of chapter 9 of the book of Romans, he says, I have this unceasing grief and anguish in my heart because so many of my kinsmen according to the flesh, so many of the Jews, rejected Messiah. You know the story of the Bible. You think of what John says in John chapter 1.

Jesus, the Messiah, came to his own, and his own did not receive him. And so it seemed like this great tragedy. It seemed like the Word of God. I mean, it was this great tragedy, and it seemed like the Word of God had failed. But Paul says there in Romans chapter 9, it is not that the Word of God has failed. And he begins to talk about God's plan and purpose, even through all of those things, highlighting the sovereignty of God and the fact that God was using the inclusion of the Gentiles, that is, salvation going out to the whole world, to bring Israel back to himself, to create this jealousy in his covenant people, in the Israelites. And he says in chapter 11 verse 1, I ask then, as God rejected his people, by no means I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. But one of the things he highlights so clear here is that there's only one people of God, and the people of God, biblically speaking, are those who are attached to the vine, Jesus Christ, those who are faithless, those who reject the Gospel.

They aren't the people of God in the sense that Paul is speaking of in Romans 11, united to Jesus Christ, a part of God's kingdom. And so I think we do two things. One, we cry out against injustice wherever it is, whether it's in Israel or anywhere else in the world, we should say, no, that's wrong, that's evil, that's wicked.

We should have no problem calling it what it is and crying out for justice on behalf of those who are oppressed. But additionally, we should also say, Lord, bring your salvation, the light of your Gospel, to those who don't know you, those who reject you. And those who reject Messiah, those who don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ, Jew or Gentile, are not a part of the people of God. They don't have this special standing or privilege. Some people are saved by grace through faith, other people are saved by their ethnicity.

No, that's not how it works. And so we pray for God's mercy also to be poured out upon our friends and Jewish neighbors that they would come to see the grace of Messiah, the grace of the Gospel, and grow in that. And so God help us as Christians to stand against all evil and to proclaim the Gospel with clarity and love. God bless. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-07 17:45:50 / 2023-12-07 17:56:13 / 10

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