In this series, another set of questions posed to Bible teachers or study leaders will be discussed. We will term them as tricky questions.
Tricky questions mostly have the motive of either trapping the teacher in his words, or the enquirer seeking a way to justify his/her self-righteousness or unrighteousness. Jesus was one major target of tricky questions.
Eg; The woman caught in adultery (John 8:3-6), issue of paying tax to Caesar (Matt 27:17-21), issues on Sabbaths and Jewish rituals.
All of the above and more sought to put Jesus in a corner or trick Him with His own words. Other instances, men sought to justify themselves by asking certain questions. The key to answering tricky questions is WISDOM from God’s Holy Spirit. It takes God’s Holy Spirit to reveal the hidden motives in men’s hearts and to answer with wisdom that cannot be refuted. James advices that we ask God for wisdom, because he gives it freely without partiality (James 1:5)
Some modern day tricky questions include
-If we are saved by faith and not works, then my works do not matter, do they?
-Faith alone cannot save, your works must also count, right?
-Why would an all loving God allow such evil in this world? It’s either He is weak, or He simply doesn’t exist or?
-What is wrong with kissing? The Bible even says we should greet each other with a holy kiss.
In the examples stated above, teachers are advised to look beyond the question and probe into the hidden motive for asking such a question. Let us not tread on the edges of the temptation that all those out to ask tricky questions have “evil motives”. Some may simply not know the motives in their heart and God may shine light on their hearts through the wisdom He will speak through you.
First and foremost, we are saved by GRACE (Eph 2:8) , faith is just the medium or pipe through which grace flows to us. Faith in itself does not safe, neither works. One who downplays the power of grace to save through faith in Christ may seek to justify his self-righteousness, and one who downplays the power grace has to produce “good works” through faith , may simply seek to continue living a passive life and claim a “grace” he may not really understand. Genuine faith in Christ has the power and potency to transform lives positively through the grace He gives.
With the problem of evil, God is not the creator of evil because He is the “Ultimate Good” (Matt 19:17). “Evil” actually exists because of the existence of God. If there was no God, no one can have a standard to say “this is right” or “this is wrong”. Who set the standard? God, and because standards have been set, free moral beings with free will (men) can CHOOSE to deviate from it. God has a solution for evil (Jesus Christ), and Peter advises us not to take God’s slackness in judgment as weakness but rather as His patience, not desiring that any should perish (2 Pet 3:9). Think about it, the real evil is in the “hearts of men” (YOU and ME) . If God really wants to “deal” with evil, He would simply wipe out humanity. It would also be on a good note to make the one posing the question realise the problem has never been with God, but rather with men. Christ is the first step in solving the problem of evil, and that step, God has taken.
-Kissing the cheek and feet as a form of greeting and respect was a culture in ancient Bible times and even in some middle eastern parts of our world today. The issue is really not about the kissing, but about LUST and sexual gratification outside the recognized union of MARRIAGE. If you can kiss or fondle someone you aren’t married to without having any emotion of LUST (which is highly impossible), then go ahead. But if the act may lead on to something graver and may stir lust in you, don’t start in the first place, you may only end up seeking to justify your wrong.
Comments are very much welcome.
To be continued…