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October 16, 2020 1:00 am
Episode 555 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.
1. What book of the Bible should I introduce to the youth group that I am a leader in?
2. I know as a Christian we should read the bible ourselves but what do you do when you’re scared that you will interpret it wrong? What do you do when you have trouble navigating your bible for answers as well?
3. Did Jesus mean for us to repeat the words of the Lord’s Prayer, or is the Lord’s Prayer merely a guideline for the things we ought to pray about?
4. I have encountered people who accuse Christians of not knowing their Bible when they are pro-life “because Exodus 21:22 only calls for a fine if a baby is aborted” — obviously they are mistaken in interpreting “miscarriage” as being anywhere equivalent with abortion. But my question is: in the Hebrew, is there grounds for some of these Bible translators to use the word “miscarriage” instead of something like “premature birth” — as translations like the NASB do?
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With all the controversy about abortion in our culture you help me understand what the book of Exodus is about it.
That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity by 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 or you can email us your question at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today as winter approaches in the days get shorter. Psychologists are concerned that coronavirus lockdowns could cause more people to experience seasonal affective disorder, or sad that disorder typically affects people during the winter months with reduced sunshine increase time indoors and fewer daylight hours is more common in the northern parts of the northern hemisphere. Well, to help find a solution for this problem, researchers have been looking to the people of Norway were only a small percentage of the population seems to suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Jerry Leibowitz is an American psychologist studying Norwegians attitudes toward their long sunless winters above the Arctic Circle residing in the Norwegian town of Tromso. She observed how the people there tended to view their winter they see it as a challenge or even more like an opportunity for growth and of course a drill since you live in San Diego, a lack of sunshine is never been an issue for you and I'll you start complaining when the temperature drops below 65 yeah I actually do it so funny that. Well I guess not funny it's it's sad but it's true around here in San Diego. We did get those in a week or two weeks of rain and overcast weather.
I do start to feel a little bit of the blues you know it.
So one of those. I don't know that I could I could survive in Norway. It would be tough. I can say that.
Well, I'm so glad that you got 300 and something days of sunshine there in San Diego will be down there next week, so to listen to our first question of the day.
This is a call that came in from Wayne in Depew, Oklahoma voters shall be last to help with you studies of 12 adults, but I have no idea what you talk to the field wall, around town and they seem to know very little about God who Jesus is what the grand idea is they seem to only come to hang out buddies.
Where would be a good starting place in the Bible with the commandments with the gospel. If you have any resources or any great advice for me. I appreciate you guys. Thank you. Yeah well I appreciate you and your willingness to serve and to serve the youth of your church. I think that this is so important and as you already said they really need to understand who Jesus is and a lot of times, for whatever reason, you know that the young people growing up in our churches don't really have a strong understanding of the gospel of who Jesus is what the word of God teaches and so you have your work cut out for you brother but there's good news. There are great resources out there.
And ultimately it's a work of the Holy Spirit. And I think the first thing I would want to say to you is commit to praying.
I may not. I can tell you as as a pastor and as the host of this this radio program you know you should go to this book or that book but but really I don't know the youth in your church as well as you do. And so this is to be a question you're really going to have to think through. Pray that God gives you wisdom and and pray that the Lord lead you to the perfect resource to the right book. I oftentimes do recommend that people start in one of the Gospels, like the gospel of John in particular. I think John is just an excellent excellent gospel to help introduce people to who Jesus is and of course you know the very beginning of John's Gospel makes it absolutely clear that Jesus wasn't just another good moral teacher. He's the word, the eternal son of God, God himself who came down to us and assumed human flesh. There's a lot there but that's what John teaches us and that's who John introduces us to and by the way, we have an excellent resource that we can offer to you with the Bible study through the gospel of John would help you and maybe help some of the youth in your church to really get a grasp of that gospel. And so you might want to check that out and then as far as other books are concerned. If you if you wanted to do a study through a book or suite we like to recommend core Christianity. That's another wonderful resource that I think would be really accessible to the to the youth in your church and would introduce them to the core doctrines of the Christian faith. You're right. So many youth and and even adults don't understand the cardinal Christian doctrines that make Christianity what it is, the incarnation, the resurrection, a theology of God's word why we believe that it's inspired and God speaks to us in it.
Well, we have to understand these things in core Christianity. The book is a great resource that you might want to consider leading your youth group through another really good resource and to be more related to defending the faith in thinking through a Christian worldview. We recommended this book on the programs several times. It's great. Coco's book the story of reality. And that's another really good becoming. That's one of those books that I think you could hand to even a non-Christian, and it would be helpful for them in terms of thinking about why they believe what they believe about the world and and why the Christian worldview makes the most sense and there are also a lot of great arguments for the Christian faith for why we believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ things that I think are really important for young adults to grasp and especially at that stage in life brother. I think the were often asking questions wrestling through why we believe the things that we believe in. So we I think his teachers and leaders in the church need to help by answering those questions are providing solid answers to those questions, and grounding young men and women in the truth of Scripture and defending the faith so that they can truly understanding why why we are compelled to believe these things, so those are some resources rightly the gospel of John is great. And then there's two other books there that I recommended that you might want to take advantage of.
I pray that the Lord blesses you and your labors Mankiw is really not occurs as a pastor I know you have a lot of younger families in your church. Do you have any families with teams and if so, what are the parents telling you about what their kids are being bombarded with in today's culture that we do have a few families with teens and archers immediately as you said most of the demographic of our church, let a young family. So we do have an enormous amount of the sort of toddler age and elementary school age, but especially with I think media cell phones in the stuff that you can find on YouTube and I think that's one of the biggest challenges that parents of young adults face is is just everywhere and were being bombarded with this sort of system and philosophy of the world. This sort of narcissism and this love of a lot of things that were called not to love. John says it very clearly in first John chapter 2 not to love the world anybody loves the world, the love of the father is not in them in and we see that is that that sort of system that's everywhere around us and that is just filling our minds through media and social media is. That's not to say that that media or even social media is totally bad.
I think that there are just harmful ways in which these tools are harming a lot of young people has been research done on this bill ensure you know me just leading to depression, leading to a really low self-esteem as young adults are comparing themselves as just, you know, young Christians are comparing themselves with others and and feel like they're just not good enough like they don't measure up. And that's why they really need to understand their identity in Jesus Christ.
That's why they need to be grounded in something deeper than what society throws at them what they're saying on Instagram or twitter or Facebook. They need to know Jesus and they need to know their standing in Jesus. That's key and I think that's one of the biggest reason and I know you have teenagers right so cute. I'm sure you have a lot to say about this as well and were discovering more and more great resources on YouTube to help kids understand Christian worldview, and to really get into the gospel and were finding that because our kids are teenagers are so immersed in that world that often video was one of the best ways to come to reach them.
We we try to read the daily devotions at our dinner table, but we have found that if we can find an engaging video on Christian worldview or apologetics.
That's one of the best ways for our kids to really learn and engage with God's word.
That's great advice Bill. Let's get to another question. This is a Facebook post came in from Amber and she says I know as a Christian we should read the Bible ourselves. But what do you do when you're scared that you'll interpret it wrong.
What do you do when you have trouble navigating your Bible for answers that, thank you for that question. And we want to encourage people to read the scriptures. I think it is really important for us to study the Bible to read the Bible for ourselves and what a privilege we have, to be able to do that throughout the history of the church you know many, many people were not able to just open up a Bible and read it partially because they may have been illiterate and partially because they just didn't have access to books like we do were so blessed.
But then as you ask Amber how do we rightly interpret the Bible.
But there are therefore attributes of Scripture and I think it's really helpful for us to know these. I like to use the acronym cannons to remember them, CA, and S. C. The Scriptures are clear. Clarity is an attribute of Scripture, a authority Scriptures are authoritative.
God is speaking to us in his holy word.
We don't judge the Bible put Bible judges us and guides us and leads us and necessity. The Scriptures are necessary for us to understand what God requires of us in order to be saved. You can understand the doctrine of salvation apart from the holy Scriptures you can't look up at the stars or no gaze at a beautiful tree and and recognize that Jesus came to die for your sins know God has given us more than just what we sometimes referred to as general revelation in the created world around us is what Paul talked about in Romans chapter 1 where he talks about the fact that we know despite by nature that God made all things that he's great. His invisible attributes of me all of these things we have an experience of them in the created world, but we need more than that to understand the gospel and that's why God gives us his word. That's why his word is necessary. In the last attribute is asked there sufficient sufficiency that is the Scriptures alone are able to lead us to guide us into the fullness of the truth of who God is and what we need to know in order to follow him faithfully so CA NS clarity, authority, necessity and sufficiency in that first one. Amber is the one that your thinking about are the Scriptures clear can I rightly understand them and I think one of the things that we need to understand that you need to understand is that as you approach the Bible prayerfully and with humility that it's like the psalmist says a lamp to your feet and a light to your path and of the beautiful thing about the Scriptures is that, especially in regard to what we need to know in order to be saved. They are clear. This is why Jesus right at the end of Matthew 11.
He's praying and he says father, I thank you that you've hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them to the baby's to the little children even a little child can understand the gospel because the word of God. God's revelation is for everyone is not just for people who are college-educated or have a PhD or or whatever it no all of us should open up the Scriptures with humility prayerfully and say, God, help me to understand and and just read as a pray for understanding the Holy Spirit is is your guide in the church provides us with these guardrails. That's why this is that I think another thing that should come for you Amber. If you're in a good church that loves God's word and is faithful to teach God's word. The benefit of that is you're not going to go off on the deep and believing some weird doctrine that you for sort of come up with on your own as you've been reading the Bible. That's what were meant to read the Scriptures in community and the community were meant to read the Scriptures in is the body of Christ where there are pastors and elders and people who can help you answer questions for you when you do have a question about a difficult passage of Scripture.
I remember for myself as a new believer, I just fell in love with the Bible was reading the Bible every day, but the result of that was. I had a lot of questions so I would go to my pastor's office. Sometimes, you know, probably a little bit too frequently.
I think that he was getting tired of me. After a while, but I would go to him and asked these questions and you would give me answers you would encourage me and so I think it's really important and really helpful when you have a Christian community around you it's helping you as you read the Scriptures and I think that's your encouragement. Knowing one that the Scriptures are clear to that the Holy Spirit is your guide that he lives in you. As Jesus said, and guides his disciples into all truth. The church provides us with these guardrails so that we don't go off on the deep and believing something silly or something. That's not true. In accordance with the Scriptures to make sure you're part of a good church and rest and that if you're doing those things. Reading the Scripture humbly praying for the Spirit's guidance in your part of a good church. I think your on the right path so God bless you and keep digging into the word. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and you know there are a lot of voices in our world today, claiming that either God isn't all-powerful, or he isn't truly good while today we are offering a great resource that explains why he is actually both of those things that's one of our most popular Bible studies over it. Core, Christianity.com. It's called is God great and good. You download it for a donation of any amount. This is a great study to go through with the group of friends or by yourself or with the youth group is how we heard in a previous question about that during recent days.
Many people have been struck by this very question. This studies can help you look to the Scriptures and grow in your faith that God is good and great that we can trust him with all of our hearts, minds, and strength side over the core, Christianity.com/offers the download is God great and good and of course you can always call us for that offer or any one of our officers. The phone number 833-843-2673.
That's 833. The core matter what people call the Lord's prayer. You therefore pray like not to keep repeating a prayer over and over and over and over they just repeated don't even seem to understand this is when you pray Babylon like the pagans think I will hear them better. They talk a lot. Don't be like them because your father knows what you need before you ask him. You therefore pray like this pray I question to you Bill, thank you for that question have spent a lot of time in recent days studying the Lord's prayer and I think it's really important that we rightly understand it and Martin Luther said something sort of funny but also pretty sad news funny just because of the way he said it together with the name and word of God, the Lord's prayer is the greatest martyr on earth for everyone, tortures and abuses. It you joyfully use it correctly for comfort me.
Luther just had a way with words is the Lord's prayer is the greatest martyr on earth because everybody tortures and abuses it in few people rightly understand it SSME like your question is if it okay to just pray it as it's been given to us in places like Matthew chapter 6 verses nine and following or you know is is it wrong to recite the words as is. And maybe this is just more of a general guide to pray why I think it's both. I don't think there's anything wrong with with praying the Lord's prayer as is, in fact we do this in our congregation every Sunday.
Prior to taking the Lord's supper. We pray the Lord's prayer as a church, but there's also I think ways in which we can just use this as a general guide. Sometimes I think taking each petition one at a time in an expanding on them can be really helpful.
In fact, Martin Luther. That's that's precisely what he did. He wrote a letter to his barber. A simple way to pray sort of encouraging his barber on how to pray and he just took each of the petitions in the Lord's prayer and basically expanded on them. And so I think there are different ways that we can approach this now. Prior to giving us the Lord's prayer in Matthew chapter 6 Jesus did give us two warnings related to prayer right when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your father knows what you need before you ask him and then he says pray like this then just prior to that he said don't pray like the hypocrites, either no praying for that other people can see what your question is related to this prohibition that Jesus gives us don't pray like the Gentiles keeping up empty phrases vein repetitions now, repetition in prayer is not necessarily bad vein repetition in prayer is bad. The Lord's prayer is not a vein repetition because everything that Jesus is commanded us to pray is in line with God's word and Willoughby. This is precisely the kind of thing that we should pray, and we should repeated in prayer something wrong with them in historically the church of this practice of praying the Lord's prayer, three times a day.
I think we should commit to praying throughout the day and if if you want to pray the Lord's prayer is a part of that well wonderful.
This is how Jesus taught us to pray, but we don't want to be mindless when were praying. I think that's the idea with vein repetitions. It's the Greek word Bartolo Gail it's it's an odd amount of PAs is this is the will were sort of mimics the sound it makes you think of babbling or muttering something sort of empty words and phrases in the New Testament them in the word means something like praying mindlessly or without even thinking in the fact of the matter is brothers and sisters that something we can do in a you sit down to pray and even if if you're saying good things. Your mind is totally wandering. I think Jesus is challenging us here the issue though is not repetition. The issue is our hearts and making sure that when we pray, whatever it is were praying you know whether it's the Lord's prayer our own prayer that were offering up to the Lord that our mind and our heart is engaged that were coming before the Lord sincerely and honestly, through his son Jesus Christ and so brother I'm an essay is nothing wrong with just praying the Lord's prayer as is. There's nothing wrong with expanding on and using it more as a sort of guide for how to pray and do both do both, but however it is that you use the Lord's prayer.
I think you do want to examine your own heart and ask yourself, am I just bring this mindlessly or am I truly and honestly coming before the Lord through his son Jesus Christ and offering up this prayer in faith with prayer that the Lord Jesus taught his disciples to pray and brothers and sisters. Let's let's all commit to doing that because Jesus calls us to pray to the father and our father wants to hear from us.
Thanks for your question bill and be safe on top of the radio station. This is core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez time for one more email. This is from Joshua and he says I've encountered people who accused Christians of not knowing their Bible when their pro-life because they say Exodus 2122 only calls for a fine if a baby is aborted. Obviously there mistaken in interpreting the word miscarriages being anywhere equivalent with abortion but my question is in the Hebrew are there grounds for some of these Bible translators to use the word miscarriages instead of something like premature birth as translations like the NASB, do yeah Joshua, I don't think that there is at a think miscarriage would be a very helpful translation here, nor would it be I think faithful to the Hebrew text. The ESV reads Exodus 2122 when men strive together and hit a pregnant woman so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her, shall surely be defined as the woman's husband shall impose on him and he shall pay as the judges determine verse 23. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe sesame like people are trying to say. The message translates this is a miscarriage and there's nothing wrong with that and so there's no difference here between an abortion miscarriage or something like that but miscarriage which is not. I think you helpful translation as I said here that the Hebrew word just simply means to come out or go out in the ESV I think translates it just sort of face value for their children come out the idea there is that her children have come out and and there's no harm done to them and so they're okay you know typically when when we think of a miscarriage.
Today it's the premature death of a child in the womb. And so that's different than what is being spoken of here in Exodus chapter 21 and especially right now. Around this time of the year with with elections. What I abortion is is an issue that comes up and that we talk about in the church and frankly it's one that we need to talk about because I think is one of the most grievous things in our society.
It's it's so absolutely heartbreaking how we how we don't care for human life and that's really what this is about. It's about life and I think the Scriptures are pretty clear about the fact that life begins at conception and so you people might try to appeal to passages of the Bible like this one in order to say you know you Christians don't even know your Bible, but the fact of the matter is Joshua. Sounds like you understand this. The Bible is very clear even in the womb, God is at work in us.
Think of the story of John the Baptist in Elizabeth's womb, Mary goes to meet Elizabeth Hurley in the Gospels we read that John the Baptist left in Elizabeth's womb. It's as if John the Baptist in the womb is able to recognize the presence of Jesus Christ. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit firstname.lastname@example.org and click on offers and the menu bar 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