October 2014 Questions / Answers
The following questions are taken from emails and are printed below exactly as I received them. Names and contact information has been removed. The answers are in note form (sorry for any of my grammar errors) to be studied through. You’ll have to examine each Scripture below to see the points.
1. “I know a fella who is a needer. He is a recurrent member of the church asking for help. He is 30 something. He is not handicapped. He is capable of doing things. But he is on disability for having vision problems and for a neck injury. He reads in services from a small bible with so small print that I can hardly read it. He is not allowed to drive. He gets rides often and takes busses. I have known him for a few years. He has gone hunting, fishing, and other things that are dangerous and he sees just fine. He can use his neck to turn and look around. Do you see where I am coming from? Is he really needy? Should I judge him like I am?”
Š It is very hard to answer this question without knowing all of the details. Sometimes things are not as they appear and judging on appearances is wrong (John 7:24).
o I am not sure what you mean by “recurrent member of the church”. If he falls away and comes back just for financial help that would indicate something is up (Matthew 7:15-20). If you mean he is recurring in asking repeatedly that could mean something else, if he is a faithful member of the body.
o Being capable of doing things doesn’t necessarily mean one is not handicapped. Sometimes places won’t hire someone because of previous injuries, etc.
o Also, being able to read doesn’t mean he is capable of seeing colors or judging distance, etc.
Š Having made the observations above, the first thing for you to do is talk to this person, inquire of your concerns, and if your suspicions prove out; handle it Scripturally (Matthew 18:15-17, Galatians 6:1, James 5:19-20, and Jude 1:22-23).
Š As to whether or not you should judge him as you are, I am not seeing and hearing what you are seeing and hearing to make such a declaration. Cases like this are sometimes suspicious. I would be careful for sure (I Timothy 6:3-5). You need to figure out if he is weak spiritually, what you need to bear with, etc. (Romans 15:1-3).
Š If this brother cannot work, even if it is just the doctors and employers who are not allowing him to work, you cannot overlook that he is needy (Acts 11:27-30, Acts 20:33-35, Galatians 2:10, and James 2:14-17).
Š If he is able to work and employers would hire him, he needs to work (Ephesians 4:28 and II Thessalonians 3:10).
Š If he can work and is lying, that is a whole different issue (Romans 12:17, II Corinthians 8:21, Ephesians 4:25, and Revelation 21:8).
2. “BROTHER. SHOULD A MEMBER LEAVE A CONGREGATION OVER NOT LIKEING THE PREACHER?”
Š First off, as addressed in the first question, any problems amongst brethren must be dealt with and not overlooked or bypassed (Matthew 18:15-17 and I Corinthians 12:25).
Š If the preacher is teaching error it has to be handled correctly:
o A mistake without the intentions to teach error needs to be handled immediately in one way (Acts 18:24-28).
o Error taught intentionally needs immediately handled in another way (Romans 16:17-18, I Timothy 5:20, and Titus 1:10-14).
o Error taught by example handled too (Galatians 2:11-17).
Š If the problem is resolved, it must be forgiven (Luke 17:3-4).
Š Leaving a congregation is the last resort and only if there is error that cannot be handled. There are few laborers already (Matthew 9:36-37). Cutting yourself off from a faithful congregation handicaps that congregation (cf. I Corinthians 12:14-27). The Lord does not authorize us to be spiritual prosthetics of the body that get put on and taken off at our pleasure (Ephesians 4:16).
Š On the other hand, why would a member of the local church not like a preacher if he is sound (I Thessalonians 5:12-13)? How can someone not only like, but love a brother (I John 4:11-21) who has dedicated his life to helping that person get to Heaven (Philippians 2:14-18 and I Thessalonians 2:1-12) at potential risk and heavier judgment for his own soul (James 3:1)?
o Is it because he is preaching the truth and they don’t want to hear it (Galatians 4:11-16)?
o If that is the case, who has the real problem (I Kings 18:17-18, I Kings 22:1-38, Proverbs 15:12, John 3:19-21, and II Timothy 4:2-5)?
Š Real preachers feel like this: “For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (III John 1:3-4). If the man is faithful, and I say if, how can anyone dislike someone like that?
3. “If a employer sometimes shorts his employees on paychecks is he wrong from the bible?”
Š An employer who withholds pay from his employees is sinning (Leviticus 19:13, Deuteronomy 24:14-15, Jeremiah 22:13, Malachi 3:5, Colossians 4:1, and James 5:1-4).
4. “Was there any rain before the flood in the Bible Gen. 6?”
Š Not that I know of (Genesis 2:5-6).
Š Be sure not to get caught up in “trivial pursuit” on this or like matters and neglect the matters that will impact your soul (Hebrews 2:3).
5. “There are many books on the Truth and other printed material available today. I read a lot. Is it possible for a believer to study too much? My wife thinks I study too much. I don’t see how it is possible.”
Š Yes, (Ecclesiastes 12:10-12).
Š We are supposed to study (John 5:39) even daily (Acts 17:10-11).
Š We need breaks too though (Mark 6:31-32).
Š The truth is, sometimes the realization of studying just is so saddening (considering how many are lost, etc.) that you need to distract yourself at times (Ecclesiastes 1:18 and Revelation 10:9-10).
Š Regarding “many books on the Truth”, I cannot concur with you there. More error than truth (II Peter 2:1-3 and I John 4:1). Study THE BOOK more (Psalms 119:127-128).
Š Be taught by men who teach God’s word rather than their own (I Corinthians 2:1-5).
© 2014 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager