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How Much Should Christians Care About Health and Fitness?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 26, 2023 1:30 pm

How Much Should Christians Care About Health and Fitness?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 26, 2023 1:30 pm

Episode 1388 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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Can Christians be over-concerned about health and fitness? 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. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.

We want to wish a Merry Christmas to you and your family. You can call us with your question, and you can leave a voicemail on our voicemail system anytime. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now you can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you're always welcome to email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Izzy, calling in from Illinois.

Izzy, what's your question for Adriel? My question today is, I was baptized a Catholic. I stayed with the Catholic faith up until about 10 years ago.

I just couldn't do it. It contradicts the Bible so many ways and different. Pray to this saint, pray to that saint. And God said he was the only one person to worship.

It's in the clanments. So I've pretty much been ousted. My family is all Catholics. I live in a country town where everybody's Catholic and everybody in 20 miles is a Catholic. My question is, the fact that I left the Catholic faith, am I going to hell?

Izzy, thank you for reaching out to us. You know, your story is not unique in that I've known many people who, as they began studying the Bible, you know, and they were in a church, Catholic church or another kind of church, Roman Catholic church or another kind of church, and they began to see things that they felt like didn't line up with what they were reading in Scripture. And that puts you in a really difficult situation, because at the end of the day, God's Word is the highest authority for the Christians.

That doesn't mean that other kinds of authority don't matter, or that there aren't other kinds of authority that are subordinate to the Word of God, but the Word of God is the ultimate authority, because it's God's speech to us, and so we always want to submit to and yield to the Word of God. And when it comes to church, we want to be sure that we're in churches that value God's Word like that, where worship is conducted according to Scripture, where doctrine is taught that's in line with the Scriptures. And for those of you who know the broadcast, while there are things that I, you know, appreciate about Roman Catholicism and similarities that we have, there are also significant differences.

We even created a resource about some of the differences between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. And so it really is an important question, and I think it's also important for you, Izzy, to get plugged into a good church where the Word of God is upheld and taught faithfully. And I recognize that that could be difficult, you know, given that you said you're kind of out in the country and maybe there aren't a lot of churches there, but you definitely want to prioritize getting plugged into a church. No church is perfect, but getting plugged into a church that, as I said, values the Word of God and preaches it faithfully. Now, you asked, because I left the Catholic Church, does that mean that I'm going to hell?

No, I don't think that that's the case at all. I was talking to a dear brother not long ago who, you know, similar situation to you, was going to a Catholic Church, began to study the Bible, and as a result, the parish that he was a part of got very suspicious. They ended up excommunicating him, and he says he was, you know, sort of cast out of the church, and it was there that he met Jesus Christ. It was there, you know, studying the scripture that for the first time he realized who Christ was and what Christ had done for him. And so just because the Catholic Church said, no, you're out, doesn't mean that you're out, per se, out of God's kingdom. No, it could be that you are discovering the truth, the truth of the gospel, for the very first time, and so that's where I would say I want to encourage you to press into that truth, to continue to study the Bible, but you're not meant to do that in isolation. You're not meant to do that all by yourself, and there's a danger in being isolated as a Christian, and that's why I said it's really important for you to get plugged into a good church. And we do have another resource which I want to recommend to you on, boy, Bill, my mind is blanking on the title, but I know it's how to find a good church, or what is the marks of a true church?

My producer's looking at me, he's looking at me like you're getting them all wrong, but we'll make sure to share that resource with you if you stay on the line. And the resource you mentioned on the Catholic faith is called What Still Divides Us, and that is actually a great resource if you have, if you're in a situation like he was, or maybe you have friends and family that are Catholic, and you are Protestant, and you've gotten to some disagreements on tradition and faith and doctrine, this would be an awesome resource for you to get. You can find it at corechristianity.com.

Again, it's called What Still Divides Us. Well, we'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian faith, doctrine, theology, you name it, we're open to your calls. You can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day at 833-THE-CORE, that's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Joyce calling in from Missouri. Joyce, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, Adriel. I spoke with you yesterday about the tongues in 1 Corinthians 14, but I wanted to see what your intake was on 14 and 14, for if I pray in a tongue, in a tongue, my spirit prays. That part is what's kind of confusing me. Is it saying there that there really is a language that we do not know of as far as the Christian sector, and maybe that the way they do in some churches where they speak in tongues, they call that a love language, an utterance. Can you clarify that for me, please?

Hey, Joyce, thank you. You know, I've not heard that one, that the gift of tongues is a love language. It's sort of an interesting way of putting it, because in chapters 13 and 14, the charismatic gifts, or the miraculous gifts, are being contrasted with love. It's as if Paul is saying, hey, you guys have these gifts, you're really excited and zealous about spiritual gifts, but you're not being zealous about love, and that's what you're missing. You're missing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and so that's in part what Paul is trying to highlight.

So I don't know that I would... I think that's a sort of a strange way of putting it, but what Paul is saying there... I'm going to start in verse 13. He says, therefore, he's giving some instruction about how these gifts should operate in the church. He says, therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. In other words, it's not enough or good just to have an individual speaking in tongues in church, and nobody understands what he's saying. He doesn't even understand what he's saying, because he says, if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. In other words, I don't actually know what I'm saying. This is a language that's unknown to me. And so what does he say?

What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also. I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say amen to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you're saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough. In other words, this person speaking in tongues, you might be giving thanks well enough, but the other person, the people around you, are not being edified.

They're not being built up. And then verse 18, he says, I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. Nevertheless, in the church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.

So his point is clear. He says, look, everything that we do in the context of corporate worship should be for the edification of the body of Christ. This is a time for building each other up in Christ, and if we don't understand what's going on, how is it that we can be edified? That's why he says, you know, let this person pray that there's an interpreter, and if there's no interpreter, let him keep silent. Let him speak to himself and to God, as he says in 1 Corinthians chapter 14.

So the big sort of takeaway, whether you believe in miraculous gifts for today or not, meaning, you know, that ordinarily God is not giving the gift of tongues or the gift of prophecy today, that those were gifts that were more for the apostolic era, the period right after the apostles. One big takeaway for all of us is whatever we're doing in worship should be intelligible. We're trying to edify each other, build each other up, and if nobody knows what's going on, well, they're not going to be edified. You can think about this even in churches, you know, with, you know, a lot of ritual and tradition and, you know, maybe a really high liturgy. Sometimes people say, well, what's going on? I don't understand what's happening. In those traditions, it's really important to say, here's what we're doing to explain things.

Why? Because what we're doing has to be for the edification of the body. We want to have understanding in order to bring people closer to the truth of God's word, and so that's one of the big takeaways there, Joyce. But this idea of praying with your spirit versus praying with your mind, he's talking about praying with understanding or not understanding what you're saying.

And if there's no interpreter, then there's no understanding, and that's why he says, let the one who prays in the tongue also pray that he may interpret. God bless. Great explanation and something I think all of us should bear in mind when we're talking to our friends who might be of more of a charismatic faith tradition. So thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Want to go to a voicemail from one of our listeners.

This is from Steve. My question for Adriel is, I'm getting ready to go in and have pretty serious cancer surgery, and they're wanting to know if I have a living will or advanced directive, you know, to not resuscitate. It almost seems like that would be bordering on blasphemy or maybe even, at the very least, a slap in the face to God saying, I'm going to take charge here and control when I die or not die. I just want to almost retract that from the hospital because I feel like I might be stepping on his toes and trying to control the situation of when I go see him, if I do, in all his glory.

Thank you very much. Well, Steve, let's just take a moment right now, friends, to pray for our brother Steve first as he gets ready for this surgery. Our Father in Heaven, thank you for Steve. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for his desire to serve you and to honor you and not, Lord, to do anything that would dishonor you. Would you fill him with your Holy Spirit? Would you grant him your grace and your peace in this time of sickness, Lord? We ask that you would give him healing. We pray in particular, Lord, that you would be with these doctors and surgeons who are working with him, that you would guide their hands. And Lord, God, that you would continue to just grant him faith, to entrust himself, mind, body, and soul to you, knowing that you are the Good Shepherd and that you care for him, that you love him, Lord. So please be with our brother and thank you for him in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. You know, with the advent of, or the advancement of, so much technology and medicine, it has raised more bioethical issues. You know, we have different things like this where it's maybe in the past, you know, a situation where, you know, a surgery like this or a sickness like this would have just meant, you know, a death sentence.

Essentially, there's nothing that doctors can do. Now there are other options, and we're forced to exercise wisdom to preserve life and to pursue life as something that we're called to in God's commandments. But is it wrong to say, hey, you know, this advanced directive, the do not resuscitate, you know, would this be a bad thing or a wrong thing?

And I don't necessarily think so. I think what you're saying is, God, I'm entrusting myself to you, and my faith is in you. I think of Paul, you know, Paul's words in Philippians chapter 1, where he's talking about his own impending death. He's writing to the Philippians, and he says, look, I know to depart and be with the Lord Jesus is far better, but I also know that you Philippians need my help around here, and so, you know, I don't know what I'm going to choose, whether I'm going to continue on in the flesh to help you or I'm going to go and be with Jesus, which is far, far better.

I mean, that was the thing that was weighing on his mind, and it seems like there was an option there, frankly. Now, of course, it was a different context, different situation, but I think for all of us, and for believers in particular, we're saying, God, I'm entrusting myself to you. If you're calling me home, I'm trusting you.

If you're giving me more time here to serve you, I'm trusting in you, and I think that that's an act of faith, and that's saying, okay, Lord, my life is in your hands. You know, Bill, I don't know if you want to add to this. I also know that, you know, sometimes with these DNRs, you know, one of the concerns is a person could be resuscitated but not really be capable of living a full life. Maybe they're, you know, brain dead or something like that.

What would you say, Bill, to Steve? It's so complicated, and I know, you know, some friends who are involved in the whole field of medical ethics who have written on this topic. I think, you know, one is when we're talking about resuscitation, if a person, as you said, is brain dead and you have to keep them alive through artificial means, let's say, you know, a feeding tube, a breathing tube, that seems to me to be a whole other issue. That's when you really are kind of, in a sense, superseding God, because if the person has, you know, physically would die otherwise and yet you are using these extraordinary means to keep them alive, then maybe that's a question maybe a person should ask, and I think family members need to ask, and I think John is wise in asking those questions in advance.

I think he's really being thoughtful about it. Yeah, well, I appreciate that insight, and of course it is a complex question, and you mentioned, you know, some writing on bioethical issues as Christians. One of the best books that I've found that I just want to recommend is called Bioethics and the Christian Life, A Guide to Making Difficult Decisions, written by Dr. David Van Droonen. He's a systematic theologian.

He also has a law degree and just an interest in ethics and ethical issues in the Christian life. Again, Bioethics and the Christian Life by David Van Droonen. Check out that book if you're looking to dive deeper on this question. It doesn't just talk about end-of-life stuff but also beginning-of-life stuff.

You think of IVF and whatnot, so helpful resource there. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a reminder, you can email us anytime if you have a question at questions at corechristianity.com or leave a voicemail 24 hours a day at 833-THE-CORE. We try to go through our voicemails once each day, so feel free to leave us your question there for Adriel.

I also want to mention a great resource that we have available. We do get questions about the core doctrines of the Christian faith, and many of those core doctrines are contained in something called the Nicene Creed. Yeah, the Nicene Creed is an ancient Christian confession. It came out of the the Council of Nicene in the fourth century, and it's a confession of faith, really one of the most important faith confessions in all of Christian history that focuses on the cardinal doctrines of Christianity, the doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine of the Incarnation. And this 10-lesson study gets at, you know, who is God, who is Jesus, how did God become a man? We're talking again about the doctrine of the Incarnation. What did Jesus do outlined there in the Creed? Who is the Holy Spirit, the one holy Church? What do the words Catholic and Apostolic mean?

There's a lot of confusion about that today. What do the words Catholic and Apostolic mean, and how do I find a good Church? If any of that, you know, intrigues you, or if you're thinking, how do I find a good Church, or okay, why do we use that word Catholic, or what does it mean to be Catholic or Apostolic, get a hold of this resource. Again, it's a 10-lesson study that I think you'll find really helpful, and we're making it available for a gift of $25 or more. You can find out more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers, and look for that great new resource, great new Bible study called We Believe. And by the way, when you're on our website, we would encourage you to prayerfully consider making a gift to Core Christianity. If you're one of our regular listeners, we're coming up on the end of the year, and we would really appreciate a gift in that we don't play commercials here, we don't receive money from a church or denomination or a private company. We pretty much depend on you to keep this program going, so you can check that out again at corechristianity.com.

Well, here's the voicemail that came in from one of our listeners. This is from Deborah. My question is, is it at all essential for a Christian to focus on their physical well-being prior to their spiritual well-being?

Interesting how you worded that question. Is it essential for us to focus on our physical well-being prior to our spiritual well-being, Deborah? Well, the two are not unrelated. I mean, we're one person, body and soul, and oftentimes when we're experiencing sickness or pain or weakness in our bodies, it does affect us, can affect us spiritually.

It's not like we're immune from that. And so physical health is important, and the body is important. You know, sometimes people think of religion or Christianity in particular as God saving us from our bodies, right? The old flesh, we're just so tired of it, it's old, it's sick, it's weak.

I can't wait to be delivered from this prison of the body. And they think of heaven as, right, we're just floating around in disembodied bliss for all eternity. That's actually not the good news of the Christian faith. And that's not good news, because that wouldn't be the restoration of our bodies. The biblical teaching on the body is not that the body is bad and something that we need to get away from. It's that the body is good, something that God created good, but that we've fallen. And because of sin, our entire person, every part of us, has been affected by sin. And Jesus came into the world assuming true humanity, taking a true body to restore the fallenness of creation, to restore our bodies.

And in His resurrection from the dead, we have the hope of resurrection as well. And so we have a high view, Christians have a high view of the physical world, of the body. It's not body versus spirit.

And sometimes it's portrayed that way. No, the body is a good thing. It's a part of who we are, and it's what's going to be restored at the resurrection. And so that's really important, I think, to understand. But can we go overboard at times when we think about health and physical fitness? Yeah, we can. We can also, you know, not treat the body as important and not take care of our bodies.

And I think that would also be a problem. And so we want to have the right understanding here. Listen to what the apostle Paul said to Timothy in 1 Timothy chapter 4 verse 7. He says, Have nothing to do with irreverent silly myth. Rather, train yourself for godliness, for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for and also for the life to come. In other words, Paul doesn't tell Timothy, hey, bodily exercise doesn't matter.

Who cares about that? Just focus on the spiritual life. There's no value to physical fitness or bodily training. That's not what he says.

He says, no, there is some value there. It's good. Take care of yourself. I mean elsewhere he tells Timothy, hey, have a little bit of wine to settle your stomach. Take care of yourself. Take care of your body, Timothy.

And in the church today people need to hear that. Take care of your body because it's a gift that God has given to you. At the same time, right, he says, but be sure that you're training yourself in godliness. Make sure that you're not neglecting that. And when people focus on physical fitness and bodily training and they're devoted to that but they don't exercise themselves in godliness, well then that would be quite disordered.

That would be a problem because Paul seems to indicate that one actually has more value than the other. Why? Because training in godliness is a value in every way as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. And so take care of yourself. Think about your diet.

Think about, you know, physical exercise, those things. Don't just abuse your body or neglect to care for yourself. It's something that God has given to you. And use your body as an instrument to serve the Lord.

I love this. Sometimes we think of our bodies as spiritual liabilities. It keeps me from the spiritual life. We should view our bodies not as spiritual liabilities but as spiritual instruments. The apostle Paul in Romans chapter 6 talks about presenting our bodies, every member of our body, as an instrument to God for righteousness. And so our bodies are brought into the service of the Lord. And God help us to do that.

Weak as they are, riddled with pain and sickness as they may be, God help us to use our bodies for your glory and our good and help us to take care of them, you know, to take that seriously but also to take very seriously this call to exercise in godliness. And so, Bill, I know that you have a pretty legit exercise regimen on your bike, riding around. Is that right? Well, there you go.

I think that's a good routine. Yeah, probably don't try to mix the two because I feel like that could actually be hazardous. And you're probably not going to be focused very much if you're trying to run and read the Bible at the same time. Although I know a lot of people who will listen to Christian podcasts or Christian music or even scripture like on their iPhone or whatever while they're exercising and that can be beneficial too.

So maybe consider that as well. Hey, once again, brothers and sisters, thank you so much for listening to The Core. May God help each of us to take his word seriously and to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord be with you and bless you. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-26 14:28:51 / 2023-12-26 14:39:13 / 10

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