Ask Anything: Multi Stage Philosophical Concern about Eternity

Thanks again to Keith Johnson for approaching this excellent question with an equally excellent answer.  

Keith’s Note:  This question was proposed to Discovery in the form of a philosophical argument with both premises and a conclusion.  We were asked to comment on the logic of the argument including each premise as well as the conclusion. The author’s “But” statement is positioned as a problem which from then which other questions are drawn.  In attempt to keep this to blog length and not book length, I will address each premise as well as it’s conclusion, but not all the specific follow on questions or positions which may arise.  Through this process, I will also attempt to address what I see as the author’s essential question or issue with Christianity: If God is a loving God, then why would God create a world in which most people are sent to torment hell?  Moreover this doesn’t seem very fair or loving.

Premises:

1) One must accept God’s grace through Jesus in order to be accepted into heaven.

2) This acceptance must be made during this life.

3) The only alternative to heaven is eternal torture in hell.

4) The majority of people on earth or who have ever lived have not accepted Jesus (or been law-abiding Jews).

Therefore:

5) God created a world in which the vast majority of his creation will spend an eternity in torture after a finite life.

But: (i.e. the problem)

6) God is Love

——————————————–

  1. One must accept God’s grace through Jesus in order to be accepted into heaven.
    1. Answer: In short; “Yes” this premise is correct and backed Biblically.  Reference:
      1. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
      2. John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
      3. John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
      4. John 17:3 And this is eternal life,that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
      5. Acts 2:21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
      6. Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
  1. This acceptance must be made during this life.
    1. Answer: In short; “Yes” this premise is correct and backed Biblically.  Reference:
      1. John 8:24 “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”
      2. Romans 10:9  If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Note; Obviously, in order to declare with your mouth you must be alive.
  1. The only alternative to heaven is hell.  (Note: I have intentionally abbreviated the premise here so as to not side track into the specificity of what is “hell”.)
    1. Answer: In short; “Yes”  this premise is correct and backed Biblically. Reference:
      1. Matthew 25:46  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
      2. John 5:24  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who send me has eternal life.  He does not come into judgement, but has passed form death to life.
      3. Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  1. The majority of people on earth or who have ever lived have not accepted Jesus (or been law-abiding Jews).
    1. Answer: In short; “Yes”.  This is really just a question of math in that most people of the world today are not Christian and when one looks back from the beginning of time (especially  B.C.) the math compounds.
  1. God created a world in which the vast majority of his creation will spend an eternity in torture after a finite life.
    1. Answer: In short; “No”.  This conclusion is logically flawed.  Remember the specific question in premise 4 is past tense and does not consider the future (nor can it while also upholding logical reasoning).  It presumes that just because the majority of the people of this world, prior to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, and perhaps because the majority of people up until this time, have not accepted Christ as their Lord and savior, that this trend will continue into eternity.  The plain fact is that we can not foresee the future.  We are not omnipotent.  And trends change over time.  Remember, God is playing for the long game.
    1. If that isn’t satisfying enough, then consider this; we need to understand that God gave man (meaning men and women) free will and choice to either join God in heaven or to not join him.  Reference:  Matthew 7:13-14  “Enter by the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  This means that many, after having heard the words of salvation through Christ may willingly choose the alternative.  At first blush, this may sound odd, but consider the fact that God is giving people what they want most, including the freedom to choose one’s own path in both life and death.  God blessed us with the free will to choose sin or salvation, and way back in the beginning of time, man chose sin.  Reference: Genesis 3:2.  This is why you hear many Christians say we live in a “fallen world”.
    1. The bible is also very clear in that the purpose for our creation is not to be cast into eternal hell, but to be united with him.  Reference: 1 Thessalonians 5-6 “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.”  1 Timothy 3-6 “who (God) wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”
    1. Despite our seeming predilection with choosing sin over salvation, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16.  This is why the Bible is considered to be the greatest love story of all time.

Ask Anything: Crucifixion and Bible Stories Hoax?

Another great post by Keith Johnson.  

Q: I saw this article online yesterday and I don’t have a specific question to ask about it, but it got my attention.  It’s contradicting what Christianity is all about (crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Christ).  Do you think this holds any validity or truth?

Here is the article in question:  http://higherperspective.com/2014/05/1500-year-old-bible.html

A:  Here is a synopsis:  “1500 Year Old Bible Claims Jesus Christ Was Not Crucified – Vatican Shocked”.  The article goes on to talk about the Gospel of Banabas which demonstrates that Jesus wasn’t actually crucified and doesn’t claim him to be the son of God.  Furthermore it quotes a report from “The National Turk” saying that this 1500 year old bible was seized from “smugglers is a Mediterranean operation”.  They value the book at $28 million (we presume US Dollars).  Experts in Tehran insist that the book is authentic and state it is written in Aramaic (a popular middle eastern language around the time Jesus walked the earth) using gold ink.

Here is a picture of the so called 1500 year old bible: ETNOGRAFYA MUZESI'NE TESLIM EDILEN EL YAZMASI INCIL

So enough with the preamble.  Let’s dig in here.  Do I think this holds any validity or truth?  Points to consider:

  1. The first thing I would point out is that if I owned a $28 Million dollar book, I certainly wouldn’t risk tearing the almost priceless document with a $0.02 cent paper clip!  Would you?
  2. Furthermore, even if it was 1,500 years old, that’s still about 450 years too new to have been written by an apostle of Jesus as he would have been long dead.
  3. The original texts of all books from the New Testament were written in Greek, not Aramaic.  Old Testament books were mostly written in Hebrew with only some use of Aramaic, so to find an entire “new testament gospel” in Aramaic is somewhat odd.
  4. An article written by  the Vatican Insider, in March of 2012 said that the ”discovery is probably a hoax, the work of a forger who, according to some, could have been a European Jewish scholar from the Middle Ages.” The article also goes on to state that the most criticisms have come from actual Syriac’s (whom speak Assyrian today).  They note that a modern Assyrian would not have any difficulty reading this manuscript yet it is filled with grammatical errors which wouldn’t be present in a historic religious document of such significance.  The problem with this is that it is written in modern Assyrian and not classical Assyrian which would have been used at that time.
  5. There is much more evidence used to discredit it here:

http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/world-news/detail/articolo/bibbia-bible-biblia-13182/

  1. And here:

http://catholicexchange.com/why-the-gospel-of-barnabas-is-a-medieval-fake

  1. If you don’t want to review the Vatican’s method, or the Catholic Exchange, to discredit the document, then how about the “Assyrian International News”?

http://www.aina.org/news/2012022916569.htm

  1. In short, I am quite confident that this is in fact a hoax.
  2. Just remember there are others of this world who will use every possible attempt to weaken our faith:  “Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Ask Anything: Hebrews 13:17 and How it Affects Discovery?

Q: What does Hebrews 13:17 mean to you?  How does it affect your church?

Hebrews. 13:17 states, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”

The author of Hebrews recognizes the weight of responsibility that comes along with leadership and so encourages people to “not be a burden” to leaders.  The author also recognizes that leaders often make difficult decisions that require trust, that a leader has an unequal amount of influence and therefore responsibility.  The verse ought to give every leader pause about their grave responsibility.  There is a weight of burden that comes with leadership and the author encourages people not to add to that burden.

However, I would be cautious with any church leader who wields this verse against people.

If you have questions about a decision or direction, and rather than providing insight, the leader uses Hebrews 13:17 to say, “you must trust us, you are under our authority,” I would recommend proceeding with extreme caution.  Some leadership decisions are of course confidential (personnel matters, for example), but a leader worth following ought to be authentic and open, providing perspective and insight for people, which leads me to….

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”  Eph 4:11,12

This is the passage that most affects Discovery.  No doubt, leadership is a grave responsibility and we take Hebrews 13:17 seriously, but our task as leaders is Ephesians 4:11,12.

A good leader will see their primary relationship to church members as that of “equipper” so that all people can “do works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”  A good leader ought to open a process to people, invite people in to participate and contribute and help people see their vital contribution.

If a church leader continuously replies to a legitimate inquiry with “you should trust your leaders who have authority over you,” without providing context, insight, or clarity, I would caution you about the wisdom of staying under their authority.

Ask Anything: Faith, Trust, Scammed and Deceived….

Another excellent post by Laura Brasov
Q: Why when you walk in faith and trust, it seems you just get scammed or deceived?  Is it possible to be skeptical but still believe?  Life has just seemed to prove the pet doctrines of the church to be used to measure spirituality.
These are some great questions!  I am going to address them individually, even as I recognize that they build on each other.
First, it is possible to walk in faith and trust and yet not have life turn out the way we desire.  This is why Jesus commands his disciples in Matthew 10:16, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.  Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”  In other words, we are to be thoughtful and smart in our sizing up of situations, and yet irreproachable and unwavering in our trust of God’s ability and willingness to be present in the midst of the situation.  Sometimes this will mean to leave the situation, by the way!
Second, it is possible to have doubts, to earnestly seek, to search out and even question God while having belief.  As the father of a boy possessed by an evil spirit told Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (NIV) or “I believe.  Help me with my doubts!” (MSG) in Mark 9:24. Often doubts come in momentary whispers, sometimes they come during long seasons of wrestling. Regardless, God welcomes our deeper questions and thoughts and invites us to struggle with Him through them.
The third question is more of a statement than a question, originating from the place we have all experienced personally: the place where we have felt sized up, categorized and often even diminished or dismissed by others as to our spirituality.       It is a disappointing place to arrive at not being “_____enough” – good enough, spiritual enough, smart enough, etc.   Fill in the blank; we can all relate.  The truth is that God says we are enough; yet we often look to others instead of Him to validate that truth.
When we look to others for validation instead of God alone, we find ourselves facing what theologians have referred to over the ages as the tension that resides in all of us; the tension between the depravity and the dignity of man.  In other words, in each of us resides depravity: our own brokenness, our unique tendencies to sin, our individual behavioral habits and traits that we’ve developed over the years.  Yet in each of us also resides great dignity: the gift of Himself that God bestowed upon us during creation that enables and reflects His desire that we are to be His image-bearers in our own unique, creative ways.
The tension between the depravity and the dignity of man is alive and well, in and out of the church.  Hurt often comes when we expect the church and its individuals to be different, only acting out of God’s imbedded dignity, and we instead receive more of its present depravity.  In those moments, we need to remember that we – just like the church and those individuals that make up the church – are broken and yet beautiful. We too will continue to sin, and we will continue to be forgiven. We too will wrestle with depravity and dignity inside of ourselves, just as we learn to recognize and navigate that tension in others around us.

Ask Anything: Greek, Hebrew, Unlocking Knowledge.

This guest post is from Laura Brasov.  Laura has a M.Th from Talbot School of Theology, helped launch and lead Discovery’s Women’s Ministry, and has served faithfully on our Leadership Team.  She and her husband Adiel advocate at Discovery for our Albania Partners, Ylli and Nikki Docci and have visited them several times.  Laura is a good thinker and has a deep passion for all things Jesus and people.  

Editorial note from Steve:  People who translate the Bible into the English Bibles we have in our hands are brilliant original language scholars.  Occasionally, delving into the original languages will enhance an understanding, or open up some wonder, but all of that knowledge can be accessed through english tools, as Laura points out below.  

Q: Do you have to know a lot of theology/greek/hebrew to know all the things about the Bible you need to?

A: I remember deeply wrestling with a biblical truth that was being challenged and nuanced politically and culturally during my time at college, so I asked my university pastor to help me.  Yet what I recall about that conversation was not his willingness to help me understand God’s truth and heart, but rather his conclusion statement of our time together: “Because you don’t know the original language, you can’t possibly understand the true meaning of the bible here.”  Needless to say, I left his office not encouraged but tremendously deflated and overwhelmed.

In hindsight, however, God used this pastor’s words powerfully, setting me on a different trajectory.  I did indeed learn theology, Greek and Hebrew later in the course of my life, but was also hit broadside by a far more potent aid to knowing God’s heart imbedded in His written word: His Holy Spirit.  I discovered grace.

In John 14:26, Jesus tells his disciples: “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”  One of the Holy Spirit’s roles in our lives is to illuminate God’s truth to us.  The best part of this statement is that the Holy Spirit is God’s gift to all of us who believe, regardless of our intellectual background or aptitude!

I wonder if the real question embedded in this original question submitted is not about knowing original languages as much as it is a question about “How much do I need to know about the bible?”  The answer then lies in the purpose behind the question: How much of the bible do you need to know to live day to day?  How much of the bible do you need to know in order to grow with the Lord?  How much of the bible affects a particular issue you are struggling with?  How much of the bible do you need to research in order to deliver a sermon?

If we really choose to develop a vibrant relationship with the Lord, for instance, we would naturally desire to have a growing understanding of His word written to us made clearer by God’s Spirit in us.  If we are trying to understand a particular issue in the bible, we might prayerfully  investigate context, background, and original texts as they pertain to that issue.  Regardless, the question then becomes, “What does God want to teach me through His Word?” Being guided by the Holy Spirit is both beneficial and necessary to understand God’s Word to us in the bible while knowing theology, Greek and Hebrew is also beneficial, but not always necessary.

Ask Anything: Evolution, Creation etc…

This guest post is from Jimmy Carnes, Discovery’s Worship Arts Director.  Jimmy is a highly talented musician and also a gifted careful thinker who has a passion for God and for science.  His article is long and well worth the time to dig in.  As with our other longer blogs, you’ll need to click “read more” to….you know….read more.  

Here’s an excerpt of this blog article to whet your appetite:

 The particular theory I am fascinated with is one proposed by Dr. Gerald Schroeder, an MIT alumni and professor with a dual doctorate in nuclear science and oceanography.  Schroeder compares peer reviewed modern science and ancient commentary in order to reconcile the six-day creation story with 14 billion years. 

And here is the whole post:

The three questions below are so closely related, that I will address them all in one post.

Qs:

1.What are your views on Evolution and geologic time?  How does it relate/clash with The Word?

2. How do your reconcile creation in Genesis w/science (old earth).  Such a different time line.

3. How do we handle disagreements among Christians about the age of the Earth?

A: Those who have given the great debate of “Science vs. Religion” considerable thought would likely find themselves in one of a few different camps.  Some believe that science and the Bible are forever at odds and cannot be reconciled.  They would generally believe that one must choose to either believe in science or the Bible, but not both.  Others would say that you can believe in both, but are divided in their reasons and explanations.  I fall somewhere in the second category, with one distinction; I think that science and the Bible are both great resources that answer very different questions.  Science by definition is the study of things that are observable, and therefore, is not a great place to go looking for answers to philosophical questions.  The Old Testament of the Bible, though full of historical information, is primarily intended to help us know and relate to an invisible God.  Personally, I go to science for help on understanding “how?” and the Bible for understanding “why?”

That being said, it would seem that the Bible and modern science have very different things to say about the same topic.  In the realm of science, fossils of microorganisms called stromatolites have been dated to be around 3.45 billion years old. Radiometric age measurements on earth’s rocks consistently show dates of over 3.8 billion years.  The Hubble telescope has allowed us to measure the expansion rate of the universe, and scientist’s best estimates place the beginning of the universe at nearly 14 billion years ago.  Continue reading

Ask Anything: What ever happened to Joseph after Jesus was born?

Another excellent post from guest blogger, Jake Brown

Q: What ever happened to Joseph after Jesus was born?

A: This is a question that I think has popped into the heads of most Christians at some point in their lives.  Early in the New Testament we see Joseph leading his wife to Bethlehem. (Luke 2:4-7)  We see him as Jesus’ adopted father who obviously cares about Mary and Jesus. We see that Joseph is commissioned by an angel of the Lord to care for Jesus and stay wed to Mary. (Matthew 1:20)  We see a picture of Jesus at age 12 as he is separated from his parents and stays in the temple to discuss and ask questions (Luke 2: 44-47). We know from looking at Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55 that Jesus was a carpenter and learned the trade from his father Joseph. Joseph would have taught him this trade somewhere around 12 years old but again this doesn’t tell us much about the gap between Jesus in the temple and when we next see Jesus at a wedding alone with his mother.  What happened to Joseph after this point?

From this point all we have to go on are church tradition and conjecture as Joseph is not present the next time we see Jesus in the bible. It is believed that Joseph died in the quiet time between Jesus being 12 and being ~30. During this time Jesus came to have other brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3), but his mother was still unmarried.  We can assume that Joseph and Mary had other children and that after some time Joseph passed away. Later in Jesus’ ministry Jesus is referred to as the son of Mary as opposed to the son of Joseph which would give evidence that Joseph had passed away rather than just left. (Mark 6:3) What this leaves us with is that Joseph seemed to be a man who followed and loved God, loved his wife and cared for his children including Jesus.  He set Jesus up with a legacy as a builder and showed him an example of sacrifice.

Ask Anything: Helping Teens Build a Strong Faith Foundation

This guest post is from Jake Brown, Discovery’s Youth Director.  Every week, Jake and his team serve over 100 teens so that teens may know the love of God in a life changing and foundational way.  Jake is well qualified to address this question and those who know him would echo my opinion that he is a sharp thinker with a huge pastoral heart for people.  

Q: Our young people/teens ~~ Many kids seem to fall away from God & the church when they go to college and are on their own.  What can be done to help them continue to live for Him in that time?  What can parents/community do?  What is Discovery doing?

A: This is an excellent question and one that is a huge struggle in the larger church across the US today. I don’t know that anyone has found the end all be all answer to this question, but there are some characteristics that seems to exist across the majority of Christian students in that young college age range. There are also some great books and blog posts on this topic that help to shed some light on what we as a church can be doing.

David Kinneman in his book “You Lost Me” conducted interviews with thousands of people who had identified as Christians in the 18-29 year old age group to find out if they were still walking in faith or had left a relationship with Christ behind.  The stats that he found were remarkable and terrifying. Kinneman’s research pointed to a ~70% church involvement in students age 13-17 compared to a ~40% church involvement in students age 18-29.   That 13-17 year old group is the most spiritually active age group in America with the 18-29 year old group being the least spiritually active.  We know that there is an issue.  What can be done about it?

Discovery’s plan during the 13 – 18 year old time frame is to prioritize a few important things based on the current generation that we’ll refer to as Millenials.  Millenials can be ascribed the phrase “belong before you believe” and as such our youth ministry strives to be a place that allows anyone to enter, encourages doubt and shares the truth about Christ.  Millenials, regardless of their spiritual state, are welcome and encouraged to dialogue about what they believe. Discovery also focuses on connecting Millenials to caring adults who can walk with them through times of both spiritual and emotional crisis and be that strong spiritual shoulder to lean on. These adults are tasked with partnering with parents so that there is a holistic and all encompassing approach to reaching these Millenials. Finally, Discovery focuses on creating environments that allow for what we’ll call a “conversion experience”.  This is an experience where someone comes to terms with the fact that there is a God who loves them and wants a relationship with them.  Many of our students growing up in the church have heard the stories for their entire lives, but for many there is a point where it goes from head knowledge to heart knowledge.  We seek to create environments that foster that transition to heart knowledge. We accomplish this through our Sunday and Mid-Week groups as well as retreats where students can get away and evaluate a relationship with God away from every day distractions.

This time for parents can be a tough one especially as students wrestle with their beliefs.  Students often ask the question “Should I believe what my parents believe or strike out on my own?” During this time parents are best served by asking questions and being okay with their students’ doubt. As students continue to work through what they believe having a strong parent who can help show them a path and ask tough questions is helpful. Parents can be finding ways to connect students to other caring adults so that students have a multitude of people to talk to about their questions. Finally, parents can be a calm presence during this hard time. If students see that parents are okay with where they are at then students are more likely to continue the dialogue.

This topic is by no means a closed discussion and is a big priority for Discovery and the larger church in general. We are always seeking to find how we can continue to move this generation closer to a relationship with Christ. Our prayer is that the students of this generation are able to take their faith to a new level with God.

Further Resources:

“You Lost Me” David Kinneman

http://www.churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-articles/

Ask Anything: er….marijuana???

Another excellent post by Randy Smith.  Yep, Colorado can be proud to be one of the states where churches have to wrestle with this issue.  

Q: What is the church’s position on legalization of marijuana? 

A: The legalization of marijuana in Colorado has created some interesting issues and debates since being approved by majority vote in 2012. One item of debate is whether a state law, legalizing marijuana, can supersede a federal law that still sees marijuana as an illegal substance. An interesting debate, indeed. If I chose to do so, I could cop out and say that it is still illegal in America under federal law. Therefore, still making marijuana illegal. Then, I could conveniently quote scripture to obey the laws of the land as Peter did in 1 Peter 2:13-17 or Paul did in Romans 13:1. However, that is too easy. I do not feel that is the right and doesn’t address the question, either.

So, let’s just start off from the standpoint that marijuana is completely legal.

What should the church’s position be on the matter of legalized marijuana? Should the churches position be different towards medical marijuana versus recreational marijuana? I mean, some people are utilizing this substance to get relief from real medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS, and other horrible diseases. Meanwhile, others are simply using marijuana to just get high.

So, is there a difference in opinion between these two dichotomies?

The Bible warns of drunkenness or excess. Paul tells us,

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit…” (Ephesians 5:18, NIV).

Paul is not telling us that it is alcohol that is bad, but the abuse of it, leading to drunkenness. It is bad because it clouds the mind and leads to bad judgment that can be a slippery slope.

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21, NIV).

There is also the question on whether marijuana can be smoked without getting high. You can have a glass of wine or a beer and not become drunk or have any impairment whatsoever. But, other than medical purposes, there does not seem to be any other motive for smoking marijuana but to get high. If this is the case, isn’t smoking marijuana to get high purposely committing the sin of drunkenness that Paul warns of in Galatians 5?

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19, NIV).

We, as Christians, are meant to be the literal vessels that the Holy Spirit is to dwell within. Our bodies belong wholly to God, paid for by the sacrifice Christ made to sanctify His dwelling place within us. Therefore, we can no longer treat our bodies any way we see fit. Our bodies are meant to glorify God. Deliberately sinning and abusing our bodies with impurities does build a good foundation for the house of the Lord.

Medical professionals consider Marijuana to be a gateway drug and highly harmful to all who imbibe it.  Wayne Hall, Drug Advisor to the World Health Organization just completed a 20 year study on the effects of marijuana and his results can be found here.

As to the rare case of medical marijuana prescribed for pain relief under a licensed Doctor’s care – that is between the doctor and their patient.  But for the overwhelming majority of people considering this issue, we would suggest, in the words of Paul, “everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.”

Ask Anything: What Scriptures can I read to my husband?

This guest post is written by Randy Smith.  Randy is a thoughtful and caring person who leads comfortably behind the scenes or upfront.  He currently serves on our Leadership Team among many other areas and as you’ll see below, he brings a thoughtfulness to everything he does.  

A quick editorial note:  Randy writes from a complementarian position.  Discovery has both complementarians and egalitarians.  If you don’t know what that means, you can pause, thank God and get on with your day and enjoy this excellent response below.  The blog is thorough, so you’ll have to click “read more” to see the full article.  

Q: Relationships: #5 – What scripture can I read to my husband on how to treat his wife?

Preface: First of all, I want to be careful on addressing this question, as I do not know the contextual issues leading to the question being asked. In a blog such as this, I can only assume a baseline of marital woes along the lines of; the author of the question may be feeling taken for granted, neglected, and/or does not feel respected by her husband. If there are other, much more serious problems, I would encourage counseling or possibly other professional help.

The question starts with the right premise in two ways. First, the source of information is being sought after in the Bible. Placing God as the foundation of a marriage is the healthiest thing that can be done to build a strong marriage. If you want to find out what God has to say on the subject of marriage, or any other subject, the Bible is the ideal place to begin.

Second, by how the question is worded, it seems as if she wants to read/study the Bible with her husband. Hopefully, the intent is to work together to find the answers she is looking for to strengthen the marriage. After all, the purpose of marriage is to become a strong, unified body.The Bible tells us, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24, NIV). A marriage built with a framework of unity, on a solid foundation in Christ, is what God intended when he put man and woman together.  Continue reading