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Is Forgiveness Opposed to Justice and Accountability?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
August 24, 2020 1:00 am

Is Forgiveness Opposed to Justice and Accountability?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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August 24, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 516 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Key questions answered in today's show:

1. Is it God’s will for His saints to be poor, or to live paycheck to paycheck? I felt God lead me to go back to school since I lost my job during the COVID shutdown. I don’t feel that God wants me to work and go to school full-time on top of caring for my family, but my husband only makes enough money to cover our very basic needs. Should I get a job even though I don’t feel like that’s what God is telling me to do, or is it God’s will for my husband to make more money?

2. I have a friend who is really into the affirmation cards. It seems like a New Age belief. They are a Christian, but I’m not really sure how to talk to them about that. Do you have any Bible expertise or guidance on the topic of affirmations?

3. I am a social worker working in child protection, and I also work in my local church as their safeguarding advisor. Sometimes we have people attend the church who have historical offenses against children or vulnerable adults. While we encourage them to be part of the church, they are not allowed to take on positions of responsibility or work in parts of the ministry where they would come in to contact with children or vulnerable groups. This often causes a lot of tension as they feel that they are a new creation and should not be judged on their past sins. Am I correct in insisting that they do not take on these roles, or am I going against God’s will and what forgiveness really means?

4. My five-year-old daughter asked me, “How was the Serpent able to enter the Garden of Eden if it was for perfect creatures like our first parents? Was the garden of Eden only for sinless creatures?” How can I help explain this to her?

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The Bible says, anyone who's in Christ is a new creation. So how should we treat those in the church you have a past history of criminal abuse.

That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 and you can email us with your question at questions at core, Christianity.com will. Many businesses have been forced to find new ways to earn income due to the coronavirus, for example, a German circus that is been closed for months due to the pandemic is making some extra money by selling lion poop chrome circus desert selling jars filled with big cat droppings, which officials say can be spread in a home garden to keep pets and wild animals from damaging plants. The circus says that customers can visit their store during special business hours and the jars of lion poop can also be purchased for shipment online. The circus has even erected a large sculpture dubbed Mr. poo outside their building to celebrate the new venture and a drill. I know your dad owns a circus in Mexico. Perhaps you should let them know about this potential huge moneymaker yeah I don't know that he would be very interested in that but I can ask Bill.

I wonder how much a jar of lion poop is going for now and I have not checked on that but you know we we do have animals in our garden who tended to eat up the tomatoes and stuff. So maybe this is the answer for you were laughing about this bill but I guarantee there's someone listening right now who's googling this because they thinking about their garden and how beautiful I say let's get to our first question of the day. This is an email we received from Lauren and Lauren says is it God's will for his saints to be poor or to live paycheck to paycheck, where a family of five with three teenagers. I felt God lead me to go back to school since I lost my job during the covert shutdown. I don't feel God wants me to work and go to school full time. On top of caring for my family, but my husband only makes enough money to cover our very basic needs. We were just starting to get what we could save a little money before covert came along.

Should I get a job even though I don't feel that's what God is telling me to do or is it God's will for my husband to make more money. Lauren, thank you so much for your questioning and why don't we just begin by saying a prayer for Lauren and her family. I know this is been such a difficult time for so many people code 19 crisis and and how it's affected jobs and families.

Let's pray for Lauren right now. Father, we left Lauren up to you with your family up to God were grieved by the fact that she lost her work because of this pandemic. We pray for her. You would continue to provide for her family. All that they need Lord Jesus, we ask that you would grant them grace father that that in the midst of this time that you would guide them that you would give her and her husband wisdom about the right decisions to make and where to go. What kind of work to pursue what kind of decisions to make and in this difficult time will give them your wisdom and and above all else, we give them your peace and contentment in Jesus Christ and bless their family draw them closer to you in this time we ask in Jesus name, amen Lauren, this has been a very difficult time for a lot of people have a couple verses that come to mind the question of what Jesus taught us to pray when in the Lord's prayer. He said give us this day our daily bread I take from that that the reality the sense that as the people of God were to pursue this contentment, God give me enough for today so interesting because we think about money and possessions and how so many people in our society say think about money and possessions and how Jesus talked about money and I think they're totally different in the fact of the matter is Jesus really challenged the way people view money meeting about the different stories he tells. In the Gospels is just a story of the of the rich fool stores up all this money and he has all these resources any Evite thousands of you and II have enough I can just relax now because I have these storehouses of riches and and he's viewed as a fool, whereas I think a lot of people in our society today would look at that guy and so you just was why he was financially savvy. He was a good steward of things that God gave to him. And yet Jesus is no he wasn't.

He was storing up treasures here on earth. And then you think about the poor widow who gave her last little bit of money that she had to the temple. The might the widow's mite and Jesus pointed her out and she said you see her. She's given more than everyone else. He commends her now she's the one that I think in society today we might be tempted to to look at and say what a fool.

And yet Jesus flips, everything on its head and so I think that when we ask these questions, we think about you. What is God want from me and especially related to possessions and money.

We have to say.

Let's go to the teaching of Jesus and be prepared to be challenged.

Jesus taught us to pray.

Give us this day our daily bread, which is not to say that there's anything wrong with with having more than enough and that and that God sometimes does bless us and that we want to be good stewards and that it's okay to plan and to put away that's that's totally fine. Listen to what Paul said in first Timothy chapter 4 verses six through eight godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world and we cannot take anything out of the world, but if we have food and clothing with these we will be content now again not saying here.

We don't want to be a good steward and that there's anything wrong with pursuing making more money and it sounds to me like your husband. If there's an opportunity for him to to find a better job or to work more hours. That's something that he's gonna want to do but don't let anyone tell you that it's God's will for us to be richer that we should be able to save X amount of dollars and and again some of the stuff is just totally subjective. It's with what people in our society have said the rules that they've made. I think Jesus calls us to contentment and to wisdom. So I would say in your present situation continuing to trust the Lord. Lauren, continuing to look to Jesus to say to him give me this day my daily bread. I trust you, help, and also with that to be able to look to the Lord and say God is nothing wrong with saying helpless kid into a better position, a position where we are able to to put away for our children for ourselves.

Retirement those kinds of things think that those things are important. It's a part of being a good steward of the gift that God has given to us, but there's so much teaching out there right now in the church. This is God wants you to be rich and healthy and to have more and that if you don't have those things somehow your cursor you're not blessed I just don't want you to think that not cursed.

It's not that you're not blessed by the Lord because of the current circumstances, no God calls us to trust in him and so is my prayer for you that you would trust in him and a guy would continue to provide for you and for your family, especially in this very difficult time and that he would give you both you and your husband wisdom about the right decisions to make for your family so that you will be provided for well God bless you Lauren, thank you so much for your question. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and we had a call that came in a drill from John Frank who is really into the affirmation cards calico New Age type police and I'm not sure there a Christian, but I'm not real sure how to talk to them about that because even though affirmations are good. Now I do not believe there from the Scriptures, wanted to hear your feedback and is one of the year just any Bible expertise guidance on the topic of affirmations I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much hey John yet thinks that question.

Here's some of the examples of affirmation cards that I found just online is a card with no typically, this kind of a cool picture image you waterfall something pretty up the beach or something like that with words like this. I am strong kind and fearless, or is another one.

My heart is open to miraculous things happening around me or I am committed to my soul's purpose me this kind of stuff.

You are like a furtive hyper spiritual. I am IM my heart I am you know have light beams and rainbows. You know, just flowing from me.

That kind of thing will here's my problem with this.

It focuses the attention on me.

I am wonderful and not on God.

It's too high of a view of the self limit give you some of what the Bible says about me and you. This is what Jeremiah said in Jeremiah chapter 17 verses seven through nine. Blessed is the man to trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord, he is like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream. I get that again. The man who trusts in the Lord is like a tree planted by the water, not who trusts in himself and that these affirmation cards. I think always to his trusting in ourselves, viewing ourselves as able as strong enough as wise as wonderful as beautiful as all these other things.

Jeremiah goes on, he is like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream and does not fear when heat comes for its leaves remain green and is not anxious in the year of drought for does not cease to bear fruit.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick. Who can understand it and talk about an affirmation your heart. My heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick. I don't even understand it. It's that bad. Paul said in Romans chapter 7 verse 18 for I know that nothing good dwells in me that is in my flesh, for I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. See one of the things so devastating about these kinds of things.

The affirmation cards telling yourself that your wonderful and that you're the best thing since sliced bread, and so on and so forth, is that deep down inside I think we know that were broken.

I know that actually I'm I'm not strong I'm weak. I'm not perfect and pure I'm I'm sinful. I'm selfish. I still do bad things, things that I don't want to do.

Like Paul says in Romans chapter 7 and in it's almost as if were trying to lie to ourselves, to tell us that were better than we are, and yet deep down inside there's this tension that were wrestling with because we know we know were broken. I need a Savior.

I need help.

So the Bible does it points us to what we really are. The truth about humanity were broken were sinful.

We need God's grace. I know that in me no good thing dwells not to crush us, but so that we would look away from ourselves and to Jesus the kind of affirmation cards that I would like once to tell us about Jesus. He is strong he is righteous. His blood is sufficient to cleanse all my sins, fill your mind with that turn away from yourself and turn to him, trust in the Lord, not in yourself and when you do you will be like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream and does not fear when heat comes for its leaves remain green that's we want to focus on is a with your friend know what I do encourage you to do is just to say look, there's something better than just telling yourself that your great.

The reality is, none of us are great were broken. We need help and it's okay to admit that because there's a God in heaven who, despite the fact that were broken sinful loves us and is strong. Good and pure look to him. Thanks John, great counsel, a drill, you know, I asked my wife for an affirmation card and she gimme five tour cards yet I be scared to know what my wife would say if they cannot come affirmations easily give you some bet. I got to read limit to go so kind of scary things I mean they they seem on the surface like they're just, you know.

So sweet. Butterflies and unicorns, but in reality they're very deceptive. Yeah, and then like I said, I think that there is this challenge this cognitive dissonance that people feel when they when they embrace this because they're telling himself these things over and over and try to convince themselves that these things are true of them. But deep down inside we know that were broken. We know that were were not strong in their something so freeing about the gospel because it allows us to admit that just to say I'm not enough. It's actually in my weakness that Christ is magnified, but he is power shines through and this is why throughout the New Testament, you have the apostle saying things like I both nodded my strengths, but in my weaknesses. That's the beauty of the gospel. This is core Christianity with pastor Pedro Sanchez and we are offering our new 100 page softcover workbook for the gospel of John and Pedro, can you explain why we are so excited about this particular study. Yeah, I mean I think a lot of people want to read their Bibles and find wisdom for how to live. They have a hard time knowing where to start or big it just bogged down in the process of trying to pick a book of the Bible and and finished one as they read through it with the gospel of John Bible workbook you have a reliable guide to help you along the way from the very beginning to the end. Each weekly lesson includes select passages from John's Gospel questions for reflection explanations of the key lessons I think every Christian should know about John's Gospel.

This study will give you a deeper understanding of what the Bible teaches an end of the important historical doctrines, Christian doctrines that you find in John's Gospel, and so head over to core Christianity.com/Gospel of John to get your copy of our new Bible study today for help getting any of our offers. You can call us at 833-843-2673. By the way, we should mention that we have a long time supporter here at core Christianity who was so encouraged by the study.

He gave a special gift to us and he said I want to get this out to more people. We want to give you the gospel of John study workbook for free as a special gift from us here at core Christianity is a real said take advantage of the offer by heading over to core Christianity.com/gospel of John to get your copy today.

I mean this really is it a gift to me.

Someone was so impacted by the study that they they gave money for other people to be able to have it for free and so take advantages. Bill was saying let's get back to another question.

This is an email we received from Garrett. Garrett says I'm a social worker working in child protection and I also work in my local church as their safeguarding advisor. Sometimes we have people attend the church you have past offenses against children or vulnerable adults. While we encourage them to be part of our church. They're not allowed to take on positions of responsibility or working parts of the ministry where they could come in contact with children or vulnerable groups. This often causes a lot of tension as they feel there are new creation and should not be judged on their past sins. Am I correct on insisting that they don't take on these roles or my going against God's will and what forgiveness really means Garrett.

This is such an important question.

I'm so glad that you asked it. Yes you are correct in making sure this is just a way to hold these brothers or sisters accountable and to have. I think proper safeguard protocols for the life of the church and I love the fact that in your church you're seeking to full people and were coming from all different backgrounds, things wonderful.

Your church has you in particular is as a social worker engaging and serving in. In this capacity because this is one of the things that so many churches need we hired us as a congregation know what pastoring my church for six years, replanted six years ago and we didn't have a lesser policy early on for safeguarding children of the week. We need to build out from scratch and so we hired an organization called Grace Spencer godly response to abuse in a Christian environment on encourage you if your church leader and and your church does really have anything in place with regard to safeguarding children look.

Integration is an excellent organization. They came out they help us build a safeguarding policy for our children. They taught us a lot of stuff about the prevalence of abuse in the church and in the in society today, but also in the church.

It's absolutely heartbreaking and so this is something we need to be talking about as churches and we need a plan and transparency and to exercise wisdom to protect the people of our church, especially the most vulnerable in our church. Garrett, we have people who are members of our church roof come from prison backgrounds, some of whom you know were sexual offenders or our sexual offenders and were very transparent about that and and we want to be part of what we do is give you kind of some of our our process and explain why we do is what we do is we welcome people into membership. We have these sort of policies right like you're knocking to be working with children in the Sunday school or in the nursery. Those kinds of things often times when someone gets out of prison. They also have these parole terms that that are really important for I think church workers and leadership to know be sometime some of the terms of the parole might be things like, you can go to church but you're not allowed to hang out with families of the church.

That's another one that oftentimes with sexual offenders. This is really important and to be aware of. So we have some of these things. But here's another thing that we do and were very open about in our churches. Everyone in particular, whose sexual offender we let the people of the congregation members know that we have registered sex offenders in our church and who they are and the people who are registered sex offenders. They know that were open and transparent about this.

Now that might sound like wow that's that going over the top or like you said or what are we not resting in the free forgiveness that we have in Jesus the implications of that will know we are in.

Part of what we say is look. The gospel is strong enough to create a beautiful and diverse community of sinners. We pray for this is the church for a long time member initially praying for this diverse gospel community, we first planted the church and I assumed it was in the look like you know people from all different races in particular that I was picturing what we've had over the last six years it so it so interesting as we have a lot of families.

We are growing that through ethnic diversity, but we also have a lot of families and we also have people who come out of prison with backgrounds in some of these crimes that the ordinarily you would not ever expect these two people were these two groups of people to be worshiping in the same room and yet the gospel of Jesus is powerful enough to bring us together and we can know each other. Truly, we are not to hide the fact that were broken that we have these terrible pass. We have to hide that fact because what binds us together in love is not that were perfect and sinless is that Jesus has united us together despite the fact that were all sinners, we don't have to hide. That's a beautiful thing about gospel community Christian community. We can be real with each other because what unites us is the blood of Jesus Christ. And so Garrett got gone on and on but I just want you to know it's not denying the grace of Jesus or the forgiveness of Jesus to have some of these things in place and to be transparent and to be open. This is part of how you love and shepherd the church it's it's part of how you protect the most vulnerable in the church which is the one of the things first and foremost a God calls us to do as leaders in the church and its part of the way that you love these brothers or sisters were coming into the church from these backgrounds by holding them accountable and by helping them to know that there welcomed and loved and known, and that it isn't that they know have this secret that nobody can know. Otherwise they be rejected know we know you and we know that Jesus has redeemed you were walking together in the light, and so long as at least in our church there. People are willing to do that were happy to to fellowship together.

Thanks for your question.

This is core Christianity with pastor Pedro Sanchez. We have time for one last question. This one was submitted through our website at core, Christianity.com Jerome right from the Philippines.

He says my five-year-old daughter asked me how was the serpent able to enter the garden of Eden. If it was for perfect creatures like our first parents was the garden of Eden only for sinless creatures.

How can I help explain the stir habit what you have there in the garden of Eden is is really this interesting time is like this probation.

If you will, at time of testing for humanity. So God allowed the serpent into the garden and it was man's job to cast the serpent out. It was Adams job really to drive the serpent out. He and his wife Eve were supposed to tend to keep the guard with so interesting about that word keep their guard if you will, is its use later in the Old Testament to refer to what the priest would do in the temple in terms of guarding it from idolatry from evil from the serpent creeping into the worship of the people of God. Adam is depicted as this priest, if you will of God's creation was to guard it to keep it to preserve the pure worship of God. Bear in the beautiful garden of Eden, and he doesn't. He does not drive the serpent out so you had that promise in Genesis 315 that one day someone is can they come was going to crush the head of the serpent and that's Jesus the second Adam the new Adam who came through perfectly God's law drove out the serpent if you will bite destroying him on the cross, in whom we have life.

God tested humanity there in the garden, Adam mankind failed the test, God sent Jesus into the world to redeem. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us@corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu for or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33 core when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together


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