AQS – #2 Tricky Questions

Answering Questions Series #2

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…

AQS – #1 Logical Impossibilities

Answering Questions Series

One major challenge teachers face all over the world is the challenge of answering questions.

Jesus faced it several times, and as bible study leaders and teachers, we face this challenge too.

One type of challenging questions we would highlight are what are termed logical impossibilities

Examples are:
-“Can God do wrong?”
-“Can a man believe in Jesus and not be saved?”
-“Can a man have an intimate relationship with Christ and not be transformed ?
-“Will the devil ever be saved?”

Such questions are termed logical impossibilities because to ask such a question in itself is to defy logical reasoning.

For example, to ask if a circle has sides like a square OR to ask if you can cut down a tree and it will still be standing OR can a mango seed germinate into a tomato plant?

In such cases, teachers need not ‘scratch their heads‘ to look for ‘loose ends‘ or ‘loop holes‘ in the answers they already know.

It is best to bring out the logical error in the person’s question and ask for a rephrasing if the person so pleases.

Eg: God is the Ultimate Good. He is the never changing and unerring ‘standard’ of the cosmos. To ask if God can be wrong is to ask if a metre rule can be measured out and found to be half a metre. Impossible! A metre rule is one metre, where ever and how ever you measure it. It can never be any more or less a metre (if it changes not) … so the question is a logical impossibility.

Again, to ask if a man can believe in Jesus and not be saved is a violation of scripture (He who believes in Him shall be saved).

Do not bother finding out meanings of the word ‘believe‘ or ‘saved’, etc. They are basic English words well understood.

To seek loop holes in the TRUTH in a sense is to doubt the truth. Truth is true, even though you can convince yourself otherwise, it still won’t make it false.

Realising questions that are logical impossibilities helps Bible teachers/study leaders answer certain questions with more ease and humility by letting the one making the enquiry realise what he/she seeks to find out about simply cannot be.

In all things, let God’s Holy Spirit be our guide and giver of wisdom, because logic is the result of God’s reasoning and not a creation/fabrication of man to try to explain an unknown world. 🙂

The series continues another time…

Coordinator’s Welcome Address

The Word !!!!…

So soon, the ding dong of the Christmas bells has faded into silence, and the sound and display of firecrackers that ushered in the new year only exist in our minds as cherished memories.

Yes, a New Year is born, and a new semester with it. We are really BACK TO SCHOOL, and did I hear someone exclaim “So soon?”  Yes oo, we are here again, and I would like to use this platform to wish you all a Happy New Year and a wonderful semester.

It is my prayer that “Christ Will Take Shape on Our Tongues” this semester. In other words, as study leaders, Bible teachers and wing members, it is my earnest desire that we all, through the words we utter, will present Christ to a world that does not need better roads or housing, better leaders or more money, but rather needs JESUS and His Love, and all other things will fall in place (Matt 6:33).

Let us be examples to others, especially in speech, and have in mind that “It is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks”

Have a FRUIT FULL semester as the union runs with the focus “Being Fruitful in The Knowledge of Christ” (Col 1:10), and remember that no tree is “self-consuming” (eats its own fruits), but rather, it bears fruit to benefit OTHERS.

Bible Study Wing Loves you, and we are blessed and thankful to God to have you back.

See You Soon