Category Archives: Question of the Week

Does God Expect Me to Tithe?

Question: I’m in a bad way financially, and I haven’t been able to tithe on a regular basis (and when I do, it’s not very much). I feel very guilty, because I know we’re supposed to give 10% or more. Does God hold you back from increase if you’re not giving what you should? I would so appreciate an answer!

Answer: The subject of “tithing” is a very important one, and easily misinterpreted. There are many preachers (in churches and on television) who will tell you that you need to “give to get.” They say that the only way God will bless you is if you give to Him. Even more, they say that the reason you should give is to get God’s financial blessing.

This has no basis in Scripture. In fact, tithing is more of an Old Testament concept (under the law) than a New Testament concept (under grace). The principle that should guide our giving is a willingness to give. The Bible says that God loves a “cheerful” giver, not one who feels obligated, or who is simply giving to get something material in return.

At the same time, if this is something that’s bothering you, you can always give something. God would never want you to go further into debt in order to give, but perhaps there is something you can do. Jesus commended the widow who gave a very small amount above those who gave out of their wealth. Here’s the story from Mark 12:41-44:

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

This has to be between you and the Lord. Pray and ask for wisdom. Don’t be foolish, but on the other hand, listen to your heart. The Holy Spirit may be prompting you.

What have we done?

Do our church services, largely built around the sermon of one man and the worship program of an established “worship team,” reflect the core principles of the New Testament church—or are they at odds with them?

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Drinking and Smoking

Question: What does the Bible say about drinking and smoking? Is it okay for Christians to drink and smoke?

Will We Know Each Other in Heaven?

Question: When you get to heaven, will you recognize friends and relatives who are in heaven? Will you be able to communicate with them?

How does the Bible apply to us today?

Question: There are many passages in the Old and New Testament that appear to be conversations between individuals or groups of people many, many years ago. I don’t always understand how a conversation between people hundreds of years ago is also supposed to be for me as an individual today. When Jesus was talking to others giving instructions etc., were his words not directed to that particular circumstance or person? How can I understand that all the passages or written words in the Bible apply to me today? I hope this question makes sense to you, because it doesn’t sound like I’m communicating very well. I guess you can see than I’m confused.

What is true baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Question: In your book Knowing the Bible 101, you say that Spirit baptism is the way God brings you into the body of Christ (that is, the church), and that you don’t have to ask for it. If this is the case, then how do you explain that Jesus instructed the apostles “to wait for the gift my Father promised” (Acts 1:5), and when the gift arrived (Acts 2:2-4), they were filled with the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues? I personally, along with many other believers, see the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a separate experience and much to be desired. What is your insight on this?

Will people of other religions be saved?

Question: John 3:16 is the most famous verse of salvation in the Bible. How can I interpret that verse to include people of other religions who do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God?

Why does God allow children to suffer?

Question: Lately it seems as though children are suffering needlessly and for no apparent reason. Why does God all these horrible things to happen?

Should Churches help their members financially?

Situation: I have been off work for three months. I have started a new job, but I don’t get paid for two weeks. My rent is due next week and I am a $300.00 short. If I don’t pay my rent by Tuesday I will be charged a $100.00 late fee and a daily charge each day it is late; by the time I get paid I will owe an extra $500.00. Last week I asked my pastor if the church could help me out. He gave me application to fill out; I fill it out and turned it back in the same day. Today I asked if they were going to be able to here and I was told they were still processing my application.

Question: Is this right? They asked us for money every Sunday, tithes, offerings, building fund, pastor’s anniversary, etc…. Should we have the church to fill out an application before we give?

Speaking in Tongues

Question: I am saved and was baptized in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues, but it seems like I have lost it. I haven’t spoken in my prayer language in a long time, and I’m wondering if I am still filled with the Holy Spirit. Does the Holy Spirit leave us if we grieve Him when we sin?

Is it Okay to for Christians to Play the Lottery?

Does the Bible have anything to say about playing the lottery? Some people say it’s just a game, others say it’s gambling. What do you think?

What Does It Mean to Be Baptized?

How are you to be baptized and how do you receive the Holy Spirit? A friend and I have been debating this question for so long that I just want to know the truth and put an end to it. Please help!

Should Christians be in debt?

Should Christians carry heavy credit card balances?
Should Christians purchase cars and houses that keeps them living week to week?
Should Christians pay tithes (like you can really pay God) when they can’t pay their bills?


Ive been a musician at my church for about 5 years. Im not the kind of person that likes confussion. The first couple of years i was there i didnt associate with people alot meaning i didnt want to get to know people personally and find out who didnt like who. To make a long story short i got to know people and that was the worst mistake of my life. I understand that people talk but i didnt and dont understand this one thing. i told the choir and i went to the pastors house that i wanted to step down from my position. i told him why and he said he understood but today he preaches about me over the pulpit. Saying he dont chase people, Ill be back with my brittches dirty, the choir is better off without music,that everything that sound good aint good for u. I also confided in him about a relationship that i was in . I wanted his blessings. I shared things with him that i never told anyone. I shared the good and the bad. I told him in the beginning of our conversation that the only reason im telling him these things is because i know that what we talk about will stay in this room. WRONG!!! HE tells his wife and she tells everybody in the church what me and the pastor talked about. i felt betrayed!!!!! no aplogy or anything! IM HURT! CAN U PLEASE HELP ME TO UNDERSTAND ANYTHING!

Seeking Help!

I have been burned and hurt by the church in the past. How can I overcome this and renew a passion for church and a desire to attend church?

How Can I Gain Courage?

Question: I have had an ongoing issue with being very shy around people I do not already know. I’ve always been like this. It has held me back from doing a lot of things that I would of liked to do or thought of doing, and I feel very uncomfortable when put in situations where I do not know anyone or am unfamiliar with my surroundings. I know this is a silly sort of question but I doubt that God wants something such as being shy to hold me back from doing things or experiencing things. It is hard for me just to go to church by myself. As a result, I don’t really have many Christian friends. Do you have any suggestions for me so I can gain some courage?

Will people who don’t know Jesus be saved?

Question: I believe that a person needs to believe Jesus is the Son of God in order to be saved and go to Heaven. What about the people who don’t know about Him? Or the people who believe in Buddha, or the Jewish people who don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah. Will they be saved? Will they be banished to Hell?

How do you experience God?

Question: When people ask Jesus Christ to come into their hearts, how come they don’t experience God’s immediate divine intervention? I asked Jesus to come into my heart, but I didn’t experience God. How can I kinow for sure that God has not forgotten me? I know that the vehicle for salvation is God’s grace and not works, but why do preachers use scare tactics from their pulpits? All they do is make people afraid of God and cringe in fear. That is not healthy theology.

If God is good, why is there evil and suffering?

There is no question that the world is filled with an appalling amount of evil and suffering. We are impacted by this reality every day on all levels: emotional, intellectual and practical. As such, it is not surprising that people have a difficult time reconciling this harsh reality with the idea of an all good, all powerful God.

Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. Psalms 73:1

Should Christians hold each other accountable for their actions?

The discipline of a Corinthian believer (2 Cor. 2:6) points to one of the important functions of the body of Christ—to hold its members accountable for how they conduct their lives. In the case mentioned here, the censure of the church caused the offender to repent and change his ways, restoring his spiritual life and bringing joy to the church.

Accountability is easy to talk about but difficult to practice. No one likes to be judged by others. In modern society it’s especially easy to feel that one’s personal life is no one else’s business.

Question: I am a minister at my church, last week I found out that one of the other ministers who is married is having an affair with one of themembers. Every Sunday he is up front leading the service and praying for people. My Pastor knows about, but he seems to be sweeping it under the rug. What do I do as minister, should I say something to my brother?

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