I have been dating a man who is interracial. He is White, Black and Indian. I am an active member of my church. I teach children, sing and use my talents for the Lord in any way that I can. I have prayed about this issue, and have felt no condemnation for our relationship. A few people in my church have come to me expressing their displeasure about the relationship. My questions are:
What is your opinion concerning interracial relationships?
How do I biblically respond to these questions?
Further information: We are not intending to have any children together. I have obtained a biblical divorce from my husband. I am 35, he is 40. He and I are both saved.
There are no scriptural prohibitions to interracial dating or marriage. The only major hurdle to be crossed is that of social acceptance. In many areas of the country such is frowned upon and those who contract such relationships often suffer rejection in the community. We can not find a single scripture that condemns interracial marriage. It oftentimes is not wise due the vastly different backgrounds and the adjustments necessary to make such a relationship work. That is something you will have to determine for yourself. Are you willing to pay the price socially? How is your biological family going to accept such? At your age you know that the glamour of a relationship can soon disappear when the long term realities begin to set in. Try to look at the possible long term realities and then decide if you are ready to pay the price that such a relationship will exact.
What shall I do when I feel everything is closing in on me. I love my mother and now I want to talk to my sisters because they would not help me take care of my mother when she was living, but after her death they took over everything with out asking me anything.
You have asked a hard question. Sadly this seems to be a rather common experience today. So many times siblings will not help with caring for an aged parent but when they die the ones who did nothing to help become greedy and take just about everything that is left. What kind of relationship do you want to have with your sisters? If you fight them you can kill any kind of reasonable relationship goodbye. If you just ignore their actions and suffer the loss quietly you may have some relationship with them, but it will probably never be what it once was. You have to ask yourself the question, Is it worth a fight with my sisters and loss of any future relationship. You may need to ask a minister who knows the situation personally for some assistance in this matter. By all means seeks God's guidance and help.
Is the structure of a Christian household the same as the structure
of the church? If so what is that structure and since we have dysfunctional
families today is the church also dysfunctional in some cases? (women pastors)
What is the primary teaching of 1 Corinthians 8?
I conceived a child out of marriage and have since come back to the church
and to the Lord. I know that this is a sin. Does the Bible say anything
about marrying for the childs sake?
No, the Bible does not deal with this particular situation. The first step in making a decision as to what to do has taken place through the conviction of sin and restoration of the sinning individual. Whether to marry or not, though, is something that must be studied very carefully. If one marries just because the child has been conceived out of wedlock is not the best basis for marriage. The marriage can work, but many marriages based solely upon this one issue often fail. If divorce occurs this could be more traumatic for the child than being raised in a single parent home. Marriage must grow out of a deep love and commitment to the other person. If those things are present, the marriage has a much better chance of succeeding and a happy home for the child provided. Therefore the couple must decide some things.
Do you really love each other? Are you committed to each other
to the point that you want to seek the best for the other individual? Are you
willing to make the commitment to work to make the marriage strong? Will you
together raise the child to be a Christian? These issues must be settled before
making the decision to marry.
One of our children recently had a tattoo put on his arm. What does the Bible say about such things? He was told the Bible speaks against damaging ones body, does this mean tattooing is not right, even though it is merely another way of adornment, however permanent? Would ear piercing and the like fall in the same category?
Tattooing is mentioned in Leviticus 19:28, where it was forbidden by God, "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks upon you." Such cuttings were associated with pagan cults that tattooed their followers while they mourned the dead. Bodily disfigurement is also spoken against in Leviticus 21:5 and Deuteronomy 14:1. The point was their association with the pagan practices of the Canaanites. Gods people were to act differently. Perhaps there was more to it than this, though. Gordon J. Wenham, in his commentary on Leviticus in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series, writes, "God created man in his image and pronounced all creation very good (Gen. 1). Man is not to disfigure the divine likeness implanted in him by scarring his body.
The external appearance of the people should reflect their internal status as the chosen and holy people of God (Deut. 14:1-2). Paul uses a similar line of argument in 1 Cor. 6. The body of the believer belongs to Christ, therefore glorify God in your body (1 Cor. 6:20)." In regard to pierced earrings, the Jews wore them. Piercing was the only means of attaching them in that day. But the danger here is the purpose for which they are worn. The Bible condemns the wearing of such for merely the purpose of drawing attention to oneself or to show off ones riches. (You cant condemn there wearing of them altogether for then the verse would also condemn the wearing of clothes!) Ones body and clothing should reflect ones relationship to Christ
This is a very touchy subject for many people. Parents often equate any difference of
opinion with dishonor and disrespect. As you know this is certainly not always true. There
are several Biblical principles that are instructive on this issue.
First, the Bible teaches that there comes a time when a person is no longer under the authority of her parents. This is a principle as old as creation, for in Genesis 2:24, God says: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Both man and woman leave one family to begin a new one where they are the authority figures. Now certainly this does not mean that all debts to her parents are off, but it does mean that she is no longer subject to their authority. Unpaid debts include things like attention, respect, and care in old age. After all that's the least we can do for all they have done for us.
Next, the Bible teaches that obedience to parents should never interfere with obedience to the Lord. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:1: "Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." In this discussion, the key phrase is "in the Lord." The Lord commands us to obey our parents, but if obedience to them requires disobedience to Him, His will takes precedence.
I do not know your parents, and I do not know your particular situation, but there comes a time in every person's life when they are no longer subject to their parents' authority. They continue to owe their parents respect and honor, but respect and honor may sometimes be given without obedience. Honor your parents by listening to their advice and respecting their opinions, but make your decision based on what the Lord wants and not what your parents want.
During family get-togethers (sometimes for days at a
time when on vacation), my wife and I find ourselves at odds with what other family
members consider to be acceptable movies/videos for the children (ours and theirs) to
Could you provide Scriptural references to us support your position?
I admire your position on this issue. Some may think that the videos and movies that fill the minds of our young people are unimportant, but as the old saying goes: "garbage in, garbage out". I still struggle with what to watch and what not to watch. I am a youth worker and even my BEST kids constantly watch movies that are unfit for Christians to watch. Satan has fooled us and lured us into a false sense of safety where these things are concerned. As far as scripture references are concerned, I believe that the one you cited for me (I Thess 5:22) is sufficient on its own. There are countless scriptures that could be used in this situation, but the heart of the young person who WANTS to watch this garbage is the real issue.
I suggest to you that if your kids and other family members are followers of Christ, sit down with them and turn to Romans 8:5-17. This passage explains the two natures of man: the sinful nature and the nature living according to the Spirit. The passage goes on to explain that the sinful nature leads to death and the Spirit-filled nature leads to life and peace. It also says that those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. I believe that it is sinful to watch sin on a movie or any other kind of media and NOT be bothered by it and I'll tell you why: because it shows a heart that doesn't care about pleasing God. If I watch a baseball game on television, it's usually because I enjoy watching baseball. I support it with my money sometimes (by attending games, buying souvenirs, etc) and I associate myself with that sport by talking about it, joking about it and sometimes even wishing I could play it. I think movies are the same, whether we like it or not. When you watch sin, talk about it with your friends, joke about it at school and sometimes even wish you could do it, are you trying to please God? God hates sin. It is what separates us from Him. Do you think God thinks sin is funny? Should we?
Talk to your kids. Address the real problem and not the EFFECTS of the problem. The hearts of your children have to want to please God before they'll listen to what you or even the Bible has to say about movies. Make sure they know how much God loves them and what he's done for them. Show them by your example how to have a heart for God. Kids do a lot of things that even a 25 year old doesn't understand anymore. Satan is getting a grip on young people, even in the church. Spend time in the Word with your children and safeguard their souls. "Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not turn from it" Proverbs 22:6. God bless your efforts, and thank you for wanting to raise godly children.