Ask Away!

For my Bible study group (who are the only people in the world who know what this is about). Leave your questions in the comments box, and we’ll take it from there.

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26 thoughts on “Ask Away!

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  1. is this an anything-goes thing, or do we stick to the topic (forever on page 3)?

    Benson, post mo na yung question mo! =)

    valid question ba yung “what is the essence of John3:16?”

    =)

  2. People: This is an anything goes thing (as my beloved M puts it). The question regarding John 3:16 is the lone exception. We will discuss that in our Bible study class. Finitum non capax infinitum, and all that.

  3. can anybody please help me remember my last question, the one that Ptr D will be answering on our next BS?

  4. i think B’s question went something like this…
    (buong weekend ko itong pinag isipan ha!)

    suppose someone is named Procopio, and Procopio is part of the Elect.
    In the dimension of time, point B is when Procopio becomes a Christian, therefore point A is when he was still unaware of the wrath, and point C is when he is living as a Christian, but still commits sins sometimes.
    Since he is already saved, all the sins that he committed after point B are forgiven/erased/paid for.

    Now what was the question part again…? Yun pa
    yata yung ini-internalize ni B last week. =)

  5. i do have a question. correct me if i am wrong. God give the gift of grace and obedience to the elects. if a believer sins in one aspect of life, how should he response? should he pray for mercy and grace from God to give him the gift of obedience? What if God doesn’t give him that gift, do we still consider him as “the elect”?

  6. on a different note, two things on my mind…

    1. how do you guys feel about emails that make you feel guilty for not forwarding? something like, “If You Love God… And are not ashamed of all the marvelous things HE has done for you… Send this to ten people and the person who sent it to you! ”

    2. there are a lot of songs nowadays that are sung by pop artists on the radio that are christian-y (i can’t think of the right word)… and my question is, what do you think of them, anything theologically wrong in the lyrics? sample songs:
    Jesus, Take the Wheel; warrior is a child; he ain’t the leaving kind;

    you can google up the lyrics, or i can post them here if you want. just babbling away (and typing, lest i forget)…

  7. please help me articulate / formulate my question just in case it gets crazy…

    anyway, i got confused about last night’s bible study on pleasing God.

    i agree that we can only please God in Christ. but i thought that wanting to please God is a result of salvation and it produces good works. so in effect, if it is pointless to please God, then good works are of no use?

    i’m sure that there is something i didn’t get so kindly clarify.

    as expected, i got confused with my question so kindly fill in…

  8. hey, andami nang questions, pero wala pang answers… paging Pastor D…

    B: according to the book (A Life God Rewards), salvation is from Christ (key to heaven), but good works are rewards (after you get into heaven). then again, we know someone who doesn’t agree with that book… so…

  9. I’m still formulating my answers. Hopefully, we’ll have everything settled by next Tuesday. (A secondary purpose for the comments is so that nobody forgets the questions.) Hehehe.
    By the way, does the book say that good works themselves are the “rewards”?
    I wonder who that person is, who doesn’t agree with that book?
    As to the emails: I find the majority of them a waste of time. I would rather sit home and read a good book. (But that’s just me…) Anyway, one question down; several more to go.

  10. To Judson (or J from hereon in): To answer the first part of your question, if a believer sins, the Bible is clear: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). The believer who sins should respond first in repentance (sin after all, does not belong in the temple of the Holy Spirit), and in thanksgiving (’cause we have Christ, who is continually advocating before the Father in our behalf). I’m not sure if I’ve covered all the prepositions in that last sentence…

    To answer J’s subsequent question(s)… Please note the following quotation, which we will discuss in detail on Tuesday. “Grant what Thou commandest, and command what Thou dost desire.” — Augustine of Hippo

  11. Oops. Sorry. Two comments ago, I said, “As to the emails: I find the majority of them a waste of time. I would rather sit home and read a good book. (But that’s just me…)”
    I meant that in response to M’s comments regarding chain emails:
    “How do you guys feel about emails that make you feel guilty for not forwarding? something like, “If You Love God… And are not ashamed of all the marvelous things HE has done for you… Send this to ten people and the person who sent it to you! ”
    Sorry if that wasn’t made clear.

  12. no… the book said that if you do good works, you will get rewards in heaven. More good work=more rewards.

  13. Using initials here reminds me of a monologue delivered by comedian Stephen Fry. In it he portrays Mr Lawson-Particle, a solicitor who is assigned the account of Count Dracula. He doesn’t know Dracula’s sinister nature and the following conversation ensues:

    Dracula: What blood type are you?
    Lawson-Particle: Ey?
    Dracula (louder): I said what blood type are you?
    Lawson-Particle: Oh, B!

    A Starbucks to the one who can figure out the joke (Hint: It’s British humour so it’s a bit cerebral.) =)

  14. I want to ask the reason why you don’t eat dinuguan. Is it sin or you just don’t eat it to avoid offending others?

  15. I kind of convinced myself that eating blood is unbiblical. I know that others would disagree with me, but when the Bible, especially the NT, give restrictions re food, blood is defined as anything but food. I mentioned somewhere before that jut because you can put something in your mouth, it doesn’t mean that something is automatically food. Since I believe it is a sin to eat blood, it would be hypocritical of me to encourage others to do so.
    More detailed explanation to follow, soon.

  16. it was in the yahoogroup before! i copy-and-pasted it…

    ——————————————————-

    To QCEC Friends:

    Gers recently posted a question on a topic that is somewhat controversial.
    That’s not only because there are two sides to every issue, but people on
    both sides are always very adamant about their beliefs. Here’s my reply. I’m
    going to use scripture to show you what food is allowed and what is not, and
    why. Hope you find it useful.

    Warning! Let me say from the start that my post is really going to make a lot
    of people mad or at the very least upset. That’s ok, but if you have any
    objections to my piece, please rebut me from the scriptures and not from
    secondary matters like tradition, or your feelings, or “what mommy told me,”
    etc.

    (another) Warning! I’ve updated this and I’ve added some things which might
    make your stomachs queasy upon reading. It’s not my intention to make anyone
    sick, and I’ve tried to be as sensitive in my choice of words as I could.

    Thanks for reading.

    The Theology of Food Or, “Why Christians Shouldn’t Eat Blood”

    “Can Christians eat blood (stew) (dinuguan)?”

    The short answer is “no.” The long answer is, well, long, and is given
    below. Based on the given scripture, it is obvious that man was created to be
    a vegetarian. After the flood, man was allowed to include meat in his diet.
    The question now is whether blood is included in the list of food.

    (Side note # 1, I’ve often heard this said, but it hasn’t necessarily been
    proven: Some vegetarians say that too much meat in our diets could result in
    the breeding of harmful bacteria in the bowels. This is not a problem with
    carnivores, like lions, dogs, and cats, because their intestines are shorter.
    This is further proven by biology, which shows man having a gastro-intestinal
    setup similar to most herbivores, like cows. One point of similarity is the
    long intestinal track [bowels]. Most carnivores, like lions, dogs, etc., have
    shorter intestines.)

    * * * * *
    Passage and Context
    Genesis 1.29 The text suggests that God’s words were given on the sixth day,
    subsequent to Adam’s creation. God had just told Adam of his mandate to rule
    over the animal kingdom, and it would seem that part of that mandate included
    what he could partake as food.

    Comment: God gave man “every plant yielding seed…” and “every tree with seed
    in its fruit…” to have as food. Man is vegetarian, and his diet is mainly
    fruits and vegetables. Blood is not mentioned, as there is no need to do so.

    * * * * *
    Passage and Context
    Genesis 9:3 After Noah and his family left the ark, God told Noah that He has
    put the fear of Man into the animal kingdom. In God’s own words, He had first
    given Man plants to serve as food (see above); now He gives everything,
    plants AND animals.

    Comment: After the flood, and for reasons that are still being debated* God
    included “every moving thing” as part Noah’s gourmet choices. And, (for the
    squeamish out there) the list would include worms, bugs, snails (escargot, to
    all the French-speaking people) and other “icky things.” Please note in
    verse 4, the blood is definitely and unambiguously excluded.

    (Another side note: Some (like Rebecca Brown, M.D.) have argued that God
    allowed Noah and his family to eat meat because the meat contained some
    element (maybe protein?) to protect the family against demonic attacks. It’s
    a cute theory, but there is no scriptural basis for it.)

    * * * * *
    Passage and Context
    Leviticus 11 Leviticus 11 is God’s list of what to eat and what not to eat.
    This is part of the ceremonial law of the Mosaic covenant. As an added
    comment, I would like to point out that many people believe God’s choice of
    allowable animals were really clean, not just in a ceremonial sense, but even
    in the physical sense of the word. For example, he disallows eating shellfish
    (oysters, clams, etc.) and we know that these mostly filter the water for
    food. Any dirt or bacteria go through their digestive tract, making them
    potentially dangerous to humans. But we eat them anyway.

    Comment: God limits the things the Israelites can eat. Reasons behind the
    distinction in diet are varied, but like most of the ceremonial laws, it is
    meant to separate Israel from her pagan neighbors. Please note that the
    distinction still comes after Le. 7, where the command not to eat the blood
    is repeated.

    As an added comment, I would like to point out that many people believe God’s
    choice of allowable animals were really clean, not just in a ceremonial
    sense, but even in the physical sense of the word. For example, he disallows
    eating shellfish (oysters, clams, etc.) and we know that these mostly filter
    the water for food. Any dirt or bacteria go through their digestive tract,
    making them potentially dangerous to humans (Red tide?). But we eat them
    anyway.

    * * * * *
    Passage and Context
    Mark 7:19 (Some Bibles omit part of this verse) Jesus is here teaching his
    disciples about what makes a man unclean. This is proof text for the doctrine
    of Total Depravity – that sin has infected every aspect of our humanity (i.e.
    our minds, emotions, will, bodies and souls). There is the total inability on
    our part to do any good that would earn God’s favor.

    Comment: This is a favorite passage for those who insist it’s ok to eat
    dinuguan. However, the passage merely says that, “he (Jesus) declared all
    foods clean.” Letting scripture interpret scripture, food is what’s stated in
    the above passages. He did not say that “anything and everything you can put
    in your mouth and swallow is clean.”

    Here are two illustrations: There’s a French man in the Guinness Book who can
    eat entire airplanes, and special, (I-don’t-remember-what-they’re-called-but-
    doctors-use-them-to-see-inside-someone’s-stomach) cameras prove that the
    guy’s stomach acids really do break down the metal contents of the plane. But
    it would be the height of folly to say that airplanes are food.

    Another example: I once saw a video of this guy in Thailand who’s made it his
    business to eat human feces. Yup, he eats things that we normally (I love
    that word) flush down the toilet. The video actually showed him eating feces
    and enjoying it. Ironically the girl who volunteered to give hers (yup there
    was somebody who “donated”) was already ready to throw up just by watching
    him eat. And to think it’s HER feces. To say that is food…

    To summarize: Blood is NOT food, unless you’re Count Dracula.

    * * * *
    Passage and Context
    Acts 10 This is one of the decisive moments in the New Testament. Christ had
    given the command for His disciples to carry the message of the gospel to the
    whole world (Mt 28.18; Ac 1.8), but so far 99% of outreach programs had been
    limited to Jerusalem. God’s reminder (to a recognized leader of the church)
    is both dramatic and effective.

    Comment: Some people still use the story of Peter and the giant tablecloth
    from the sky to defend the practice of eating blood. Note that there is no
    mention of blood at all. The context should tell us that the animals are
    symbolic of Gentiles. It is God’s way of commanding (encouraging?) the (then
    mostly Jewish) church to begin reaching out to Gentiles, because God had
    already broken down all barriers in Christ. (Galatians 3:28)

    * * * * *
    Passage and Context
    Acts 15 This is another decisive moment in the early church. After Gentiles
    have professed faith in Christ, some “sipsip kay Moses” Jews insist that they
    become proselytes to Judaism, as part of the “salvation package.” The very
    first church council is convened to resolve the issue.

    Comment: The Jerusalem Council issues a decree concerning the Gentile
    Christians. The command to refrain from eating blood is once again given,
    along with reminders to refrain from fornication, etc. The problem is, if
    it’s now ok to eat blood, then we must be consistent and allow fornicating as
    well. They are after all part of one directive clause. We don’t need to go
    too deep into the matter to see that the proposition is foolish.

    Some questions and nitpicks:

    “It is not what goes into a person’s mouth that makes him unclean…”

    The point to Christ’s words is that being unclean (i.e. being sinful) is
    internal and has absolutely nothing to do with whatever we put in our mouths.
    This whole discussion, however, is not about what we put into our mouths, but
    about OBEDIENCE to God’s command. God says to us not to fornicate, let’s stop
    acting like Bill Clinton when he tried to redefine the vocabulary of sex to
    justify his adultery. God commands us not to eat blood, so let’s stop making
    excuses to do so.

    “It’s plain, old legalism.” or “You’re being legalistic.”

    Speaking as a pastor, I have yet to meet someone from church with a clear
    grasp of legalism. “Legalism” is a word that is often used and abused, but
    never fully understood. (I’m preparing a paper on legalism due very soon. For
    the time being, let me summarize legalism as: “Obeying God’s commandment,
    apart from God’s Spirit, with the purpose of obtaining salvation.”)

    For the record, to tell people to refrain from doing or eating something
    because Scripture plainly forbids the doing or eating is not legalism. It is
    being faithful to God’s word. Will (or must) we be accused of being
    legalistic if we tell people not to fornicate or, to worship idols, or to
    expose homosexuality?

    “What about the tiny drops of blood that we sometimes swallow when we eat
    chicken at KFC, or any medium cooked meat for that matter?”

    Well, the command does not say anything about unintentional (or otherwise)
    ingestion of miniscule particles of blood. (Interestingly, we drink a little
    of our own blood when we have our teeth pulled, or when we bite our tongue.)
    Granted there is a command to drain animals of blood before their meat can be
    consumed, but an observation of animals being slaughtered will show that
    there is no way the blood can be drained down to the last molecule. The sin
    is not in eating a few drops of blood; the sin is in intentionally collecting
    the blood and making a full course meal out of it.

    This writer knows from experience that dinuguan is a very popular dish, and
    understandably so. It is delicious. But faithful believers must refrain from
    eating blood because to do so would be an act of disobedience to the Lord.
    There will always be some of course, who would insist that there is freedom
    in Christ. OK. There is freedom in Christ, but not the kind of freedom that
    would go against a direct command of God.

    There are hundreds of other things to eat. Let’s not be like Adam who
    concentrated too much on ONE forbidden thing.

  17. “Acts 15: 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.”

    I remember that we did discuss that eating food sacrificed to idols is forbidden IF it causes a brother/sister to stumble. Otherwise, we are free to eat.

    I am confused why one is allowed while the other is forbidden when they are both found in the same must-abstain verse. Is it because Paul qualified the restriction on eating food sacrificed to idols later (in Corinthians) but never on blood? And what about meat of strangled animals? ( I will not argue with the sexual immorality issue.)

    Kindly clarify. Thanks!

  18. can someone post the question that wasn’t answered (fully) last night? about the soldiers that fell to the ground? what passage was that from?

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