A Ready Answer (Part 3: Anxiety)

Ok this next question is another hard one:

Is it an injustice to God to have anxiety and still have a particular fear when I do believe and I do have hope? I feel as though I must really not have faith in God when I feel these uncomfortable feelings.

This one kind of hits close to home because I often deal with anxiety.  My first instinct is to fall back on the “it’s a chemical imbalance thing and there is nothing I can do about it” answer.  But there does seem to be something to it beyond just hormones.  Anxiety or worry in anything is in essence doubt.  And doubt keeps you from God.

The Bible says:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-8 NASB).

And:

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34 NASB).

That seems like a pretty strong command.  God doesn’t want us to worry.  Those of who have dealt with anxiety, however, will read that and say “Well, that’s easy enough to say, but HOW do I ‘be anxious for nothing’?”  Am I condemned if I do worry?

Maybe this will help:

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Cor. 10:13

The temptation to worry is common.  Every person in the world has worried at some point or another.  Even some of the greatest “heroes” in the Bible often dealt with worry.  You cannot read though Psalms without reading about many of David’s worries and anxieties.  Can you imagine going to bed every night wondering if someone was going to kill you in your sleep?  I think the key here is what you do with your worry.  Do you continue to wallow in it and have no hope of ever ridding yourself of that worry, allowing it to disable you or do you do what Peter says and “[cast] all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6 NASB)?  God offers us hope even when we don’t see a way out.  What is awesome is that we don’t have to fight anxiety on our own.

“But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.  In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness…” (Rom. 8: 25-26 NASB).

The Spirit helps us in our weakness.

For me, that in itself helps me with my anxiety, knowing that I am not alone.

In conclusion, I think that wallowing in doubt is wrong, but believing and hoping in God even when you are scared is Faith.

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A Ready Answer (Part 2: Is the Bible True?)

As I mentioned in the last post, I was asked some questions by my friends, as per my request, about the Christian Faith, the Bible, etc.  They definitely didn’t spare me the hard ones.  Here is the next question:

Why do you believe that the Bible is true?

The really, really short answer?  Because I simply have no reason not to.  Now, since I know that answer would not really hold up in court, let’s see if I can give a more involved answer.

The Bible has been proven accurate in every way that it can be tested: geographically, scientifically, historically, archeologically, etc.  For example, most places in the Bible are exactly where it claims them to be (as far as we can determine from the ones that are still around today).  The people in the Bible can be proven to exist using other secular historical documents.  The events can likewise be proven.  (The book of Luke is an excellent history book if you want to sync up secular history with Biblical history).  You would be hard-pressed to prove that Jesus did not exist.  And the events that the Bible promised would happen, happened, enough times that you would have to be pretty stubborn to just call them “coincidences”.  New archeological evidences to support the Bible are being found every day.

Now, I know that not everything in the Bible can be proven using the earthly tools we have at our disposal.  So how can I know that the rest of the Bible is true?   I’ll answer with another question.  If you can check the facts of 99.9% of a news story, doesn’t it follow that the rest of the story can safely be accepted as truth, as well?  Since we can check the Bible on all these fronts and it constantly rings true, I think it can safely be assumed that the rest of the Bible is true as well.  Can I prove it?  No, not really, but that is what Faith is for.

 

A Ready Answer (Part 1: Women in the Church)

In 1 Peter, we are told to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have (1 Pet. 3:15 NASB)”.  The only way to do this is to study continuously, always testing what you have been told with what is actually in the Bible.  Today, I asked my friends if they would provide some questions for me about the Bible, God, and the Christian faith so that I may test my knowledge of the Bible and know where I should study.  I wanted to share these questions here because I thought they might be beneficial to others.  Feel free to comment with any questions you also might have.

Question #1:

Why do you believe women can’t pray out loud in church or take more if a leadership role in the church? Don’t you think that was more custom than God’s command?

The short answer is simply what the Bible says:

“The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.  If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church” (1 Cor. 14:34-35 NASB).

The trouble comes when deciding which verses in the Bible to take literally and which verses we should deem “cultural” or “figurative”.  Almost all of us will say that Jesus spoke figuratively when He said

“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell” (Matt. 18:8,9 NASB).

However, when it comes to gender roles, people seem to want to read more into it.  Mainly, because the Bible often does not mesh well with our politically-correct society.

When it comes to women’s role within the church, the conclusion I have currently come to (though please understand this is my opinion in so far as I have studied) is that the reason why certain woman have leadership gifts but aren’t allowed to express them over men is connected to the curse placed on us at the Fall. Women were to desire to rule over their husbands, but their husbands would rule over them. It’s a submission thing that carries over all aspects of our lives.  It isn’t just a “cultural” thing, it’s a God mandated thing.

That being said, there are many things that women can do (and will do), even in submission to men.  We can’t allow our position to make us envy or even resent others (or ourselves), but use our gifts right where we are to glorify God in the best way that we can.  He has wisely given us our gifts and position in life, it is up to us to figure out how to use that in the manner He intended us to.