BIBLE DOCTRINES

 

ABORTION:
There are many scriptural references one should meditate on when abortion is being considered:
Exodus 21:22-23 "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 fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life."(English Standard Version)
This scripture makes no distinctions as to how far along the pregnancy is, or whether it is the mother or the baby that dies, thus encompassing any which way the situation ends. God regards the death of mother and/or an unborn child due to negligence as a serious offense.
Psalms 24:1 To Yahweh belong the earth and all it contains, the world and all who live there. (New Jerusalem Bible)
Psalms 115:1 To us belongs nothing, O Jehovah, to us belongs nothing. (New World Translation)
Ezekiel 18:4 Everyone belongs to me. Father and son alike belong to me. People will die because of their own sins. (New International Reader's Version)
1 Corinthians 10:26 The earth and the plenty of it, is the Lord's. (Wycliffe New Testament)
These four scriptures show that nothing really belongs to us, Yahweh owns all, even our lives. Therefore, the life of the unborn child belongs to God as well.
Psalms 139:13-16 For you yourself produced my kidneys, you kept me screened off in the belly of my mother....My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret...your eyes saw even the embryo of me, and in your book all its parts were down in writing. (New World Translation)
This scripture points out that God has a hand in creating the unborn child.

These scriptures give one the distinct impression that unborn human life is very precious to God.

Many disagree and hold to the "my body, my choice" concept. However, these ones fail to realize that an embryo is a separate body from the mother because of the DNA factor: As soon as the egg is fertilized it becomes an embryo with DNA from something other than the mother (as from the father's sperm), causing the DNA of the embryo to be different from the mother's. If this weren't true, then all embryos would be a clones of their mothers. Since the embryo has it's own unique DNA, it is not the mother's body, thus not really her choice. The embryo simply needs to be protected and supported by the mother's body until it can live on its own, which is the way that God created it to be. Removing it from the mother through elective abortion is the same as pulling the tubes and wires out of a baby on life-support.

Another thing to consider is that the embryo is growing, has a functional nervous system, and a heartbeat before the woman discovers she's pregnant. There is no getting around this fact: non-living things don't grow, have a functioning nervous system or a heartbeat. The embryo is truly alive before the mother knows it exists. To abort it is to end its life.

In spite of all this, some still insist abortion is acceptable in cases of rape and incest, but here is another point: The embryo is not the criminal, it is a victim, just as the mother is. If you saw a child become a victim of a crime (child abuse, molestation, bullying, whatever...) would you kill that child for being a victim, or would you protect the child? Elective abortion is the only time a victim is legally killed just for being a victim. Snuffing the victim out does not undo the original crime, instead it only adds another crime to mess. Two wrongs do not make it right.

However, this does not mean a woman must be stuck with a child she is not prepared to care for. Nothing in scripture states that a woman must keep the child she gives birth to. Therefore, there is a compassionate option that benefits both the mother victim and the child victim: Legal adoption. Adoption provides the mother with a moral way out of her situation, it ensures the child will not be further victimized by being killed, and ensures a childless couple can find the fulfillment of raising a child. Abortion is a lose-lose situation, whereas adoption is a win-win situation. There are many websites with information regarding adoption, and many adoption lawyers are listed in your local telephone book.

Please think seriously about this compassionate, win-win option. Make a choice you won't feel guilty about later.

ALCOHOL / DRUGS:
Alcoholic beverages are a common topic in the bible, the most common form mentioned is wine. Many believe the wine in the bible was simply grape juice, a non-alcoholic drink. However, if this were true, then wine wouldn't be considered a source of intoxication in scripture in scriptures such as Genesis 9:21, Genesis 19:33, Genesis 49:12, 1 Samuel 1:14, 1 Samuel 25:36-37, 2 Samuel 13:28, Esther 1:10, Proverbs 23:20-21, Isaiah 28:1, Acts 2:13-15, Ephesians 5:18, and Titus 2:3. Now, just to be clear, drinking alcoholic beverages is not a sin in itself (1 Timothy 5:23), which is supported by the fact that Jesus transformed water into wine for a wedding feast (John 2:1-10). However, drunkenness is a sin (1 Corinthians 5:11, 1 Corinthians 6:10, Galatians 5:21). A person can morally drink alcoholic beverages as long as he or she does not become drunk. We are to keep sound in mind, (Romans 12:3, Titus 1:8, Titus 2:2-6, 1 Peter 4:7), and being drunk does not allow for that. If a person is too tempted to continue drinking to the point of drunkenness, then it is up to that person to decide to avoid alcohol altogether. Even though moderate drinking is not unscriptural, it is very okay to avoid it if one is tempted to drink to excess.

Drug abuse is another topic: Yahweh gave us plants for our consumption (Genesis 1:29, Genesis 9:3). However, this is not a license to abuse plants, such as cannibis and coca leaves, since scripture states that we are to keep our minds sound and reasonable (1 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 1:7, Titus 2:12, Philippians 4:5). Jesus even refused to accept a drug when in his time of trial (Mark 15:23), which makes sense since he needed to keep his mind intact to accomplish his mission.
Legal, prescription drug use is not a sin. This is because, again, God did give us all plants for our consumption (Genesis 1:29, Genesis 9:3). The bible mentions occasions when plant medicines were used at Isaiah 38:21, Jeremiah 8:22 with 51:8, and 1 Timothy 5:23.

Most people don't realize that many of the common pharmaceuticals we use today originate from plants: Aloe, atropine, codeine, digitalis, morphine, penicillin, quinine, taxol, and many others originate from the plant life that God gave to us.

Alcohol abuse and drug abuse hurts us physically. According to scripture, we are to take care of our bodies (Ephesians 5:28). We are all given the gift of life from our God Yahweh (Acts 17:24-25) and so we must show appreciation and respect for such a valuable gift. Allowing ourselves to succumb to our addictions and cravings is a form of enslavement (Titus 2:3) and an act of selfishness (James 4:1,3) that distracts us from true worship.

ANTICHRIST:
Some are confused as to who or what the antichrist is. The only places in the bible that mention "antichrist" are in the books of 1 John and 2 John (not to be confused with the Gospel of John):

1 John 2:18-19 Little youths,it is the last hour; and even as ye heard that the antichrist doth come, even now antichrists have become many -- whence we know that it is the last hour; out of us they went forth, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us -- but that they might be manifested that they are not all of us. (Young's Literal Translation)


Clearly, the antichrist already exists and has existed since at least the apostle John's time. In fact, he even states that there have been many antichrists!


1 John 2:22 Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist (New American Bible)

This indicates that anyone who denies the Father and Jesus are also a part of the antichrist. This would include those who falsely claim to be a Messiah, for by such claims they deny Christ as the only Messiah.


1 John 4:2-3 This is how you can recognize God's Spirit: Every person that declares that Jesus Christ has come as a human has the Spirit that is from God. However every person that doesn't declare that Jesus Christ has come as a human has a Spirit that isn't from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that you have heard is coming. That spirit is already in the world. (God's Word Bible)

Again, the antichrist is already here, and anything that denies faith in Christ is the antichrist.


2 John 7 Many deceivers have gone out into the world. They do not believe that Jesus Christ came to earth in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. (New Living Translation)

This is speaking of all antichrists as a collective entity.

Those are the handful of scriptures that warn about the Antichrist. As you can see, the Antichrist isn't one distinct individual, it is composed of everyone who doesn't confess Christ, both past and present.

FATE & PREDESTINATION:
There were some instances in the bible where Yahweh foretold the birth of someone. Examples: Isaac, the son of Abraham, was foretold (Genesis 17:19), John the Baptist was foretold (Luke 1:13) and Jesus was foretold (Luke 1:31). Sometimes God even foretold that certain people would be the fathers of nations. Some examples are Ishmael, first son of Abraham (Genesis 17:20), and Jacob with his twin brother, Esau (Genesis 25:22-23). Many other instances of foretelling by God are mentioned throughout the scriptures as well. However, these are not instances of fate or predestination. These are merely examples of prophecy. Prophecy can refer to a particular event that Yahweh specially "orders" to happen, or warn of the outcome of the natural course of events. Other than that, people are not predestined in their lives. This is brought out in various scriptures such as Ecclesiastes 9:11 "....but time and chance happeneth to them all." (Darby Translation), showing that we all have risks in our lives. If we were predestined for things, then it wouldn't matter whether we used safety devices or took crazy risks with ourselves. If our individual deaths were predetermined, then safety issues wouldn't be of any concern. Also, if predestination were a fact, then God would not need to admonish us to obey him (Jeremiah 7:23-26, and 2 Peter 3:9) because we would have been already "fixed" to obey or disobey. The scriptures show that we all have free will (Deuteronomy 30:19, Joshua 24:15).

HATE
All men have the same origination: Adam (Acts 17:26, 1 Corinthians 15:22). Adam and his wife, Eve, were to procreate and start populating the earth globally (Genesis 1:27-28, Genesis 3:20). When the fallen angels came to earth to marry human women, God had to wipe out humanity from the earth in order to fix the problems they caused. Only righteous Noah's family survived (Genesis 6:1-22 and 7:23). After this was finished, God commissioned Noah and his family to populate the earth (Genesis 9:1). When the populations became numerous, God separated the different groups in order to spread the people throughout the earth (Genesis 11:1-9, Deuteronomy 32:8). Although God separated the different groups, this does not mean He favored some over the other (Acts 10:34-35, 1 Timothy 2:3-4).No man is superior to another (Matthew 12:50). Interracial marriage is not offensive to God (Jeremiah 13:23 compared with Numbers 12:1).

Some believe the dark skinned Africans are the cursed descendants from a man named Canaan, but is this true? Canaan was a grandson of Noah through Noah's son Ham (Genesis 9:18). Canaan's seed was cursed into slavery because his father, Ham, didn't have the decency to cover Noah's shame one day (Genesis 9:20-27). So, are these cursed descendants from Canaan the people that became African slaves? No. This is because the dark skinned Africans were actually descended from Canaan's brother, Cush, and were thus called Cushites (Numbers 12:1, Jeremiah 13:23), thus they are not the seed of Canaan but of Cush instead. This shows that people with dark skin are not under the curse of Canaan.

We cannot be people of God if we hate other people (Leviticus 19:17, 1 John 4:20-21). This is further illustrated in the parable Jesus gave of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37 compared with John 4:9). Jesus demonstrated that he didn't practice hate, as he also healed a Samaritan along with the non-Samaritans (Luke 17:11-19). Divisiveness is not a godly trait, it is a wicked trait (1 Corinthians 1:10, Galatians 5:20-21). God abhors all wickedness (Psalms 5:4, Romans 1:28-32, 1 Thessalonians 5:22). The belief in racial superiority is wicked, as all men are the same in God's eyes (Acts 10:34-35) and we should banish prejudice from our daily living. It is not enough to practice "tolerance," because people need to be more than just tolerated. We need to actually love them as well (Proverbs 25: 21-22, Matthew 5:43-48).

MEN:
Men of responsibility in the congregation must be upright, monogamous, moral, and in proper control of their families (1 Timothy 3: 1-10,12-13,Titus 1: 6-9). Men are the heads of their households (Colossians 3:18) but must still respect their wives (Colossians 3:19, Ephesians 5:25, 28-33). Fathers are responsible for the spiritual upbringing of their children (Ephesians 6:4). Men are to be the spiritual heads of their families (1 Corinthians 14:35). This is supported in that the original sin is considered to be Adams failure, even though it was Eve who first took the forbidden fruit (Romans 5:14, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 1 Timothy 2:13-14) Husbands are to stay with their wives (Ephesians 5:31). Men are to treat their wives with honor, remembering they have less physical strength (1 Peter 3:7). There is no sin in a man marrying a woman (1 Corinthians 7:1-3, 28). There is no sin in a man choosing to remain single (1 Corinthians 7:27).

 

SIN / SUFFERING:
People were not originally created into sin, the original pair introduced sin into the human race (Genesis 3:1-24). Before this particular incident, they hadn't done anything wrong.

Many believe the act of sexual intimacy was the original sin, the "forbidden fruit," but is this true? According to scripture, God told Adam and Eve to procreate and fill the earth at Genesis 1:28. God intentionally created male and female to naturally reproduce offspring together (Genesis 4:1-2), for the purpose of filling the earth (Genesis 1:27-28, Genesis 9:1). God's purposes always prevail (Isaiah 55:11), and God doesn't tempt us with evil (James 1:13). Nowhere in scripture is such intimacy between a married couple condemned as a sin (Genesis 2:24, Proverbs 5:18-19).

According to scripture, original sin didn't happen until some time after God forbade the eating of the fruit from the tree of life (Genesis 3:1-17). Eve ate the fruit first, and then gave some to Adam. So if they are the ones who sinned, why do we have to suffer for their mistake? It has to do with the issue of who has the right to universal sovereignty. Because this particular point is addressed under the heading "Why There Is Suffering In The World?" on the "Bible Topics" page, we recommend reading that article to get the full scope of the issue.

 


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