Mailbag

The Mailbag: Asked and Answered

Good Monday morning, readers. It is an honor and a joy to serve you in Christ. Welcome to all the newbies and to you seasoned veterans of the blog.

Because some of y’all are new, you aren’t yet aware of all of the resources here to help you. Or maybe you’ve been around a while and haven’t noticed something that might be helpful. Let’s remedy that!

First, if you’re new (or if you’ve never read it), check out Blog Orientation for New Readers and Old Friends. It’s like a CliffsNotes intro to the blog.

Second, be sure to familiarize yourself with all of the tabs in the blue menu bar at the top of the page. That’s where I keep the info I’m most frequently asked about.

Third, there’s a search bar at the bottom of every page (and one in the blue menu bar at the top of every page) which might help you find what you need.

Fourth, if you don’t find your question answered in one of these ways or below, you might want to check previous Asked & Answered articles and The Mailbag: Top 10 FAQs.

And finally, let me get you new readers some answers to the questions several of you have asked. Some of you long time friends may have missed these along the way, so I hope they’ll be helpful to you, too!


I’m a man who wants to use one of your Bible studies for my personal quiet time. Is that OK?

Is it OK for a man to teach one of your Bible studies to a co-ed class?

I don’t get this question frequently – maybe a handful of times a year – but that’s enough that I’ve added this statement to the Bible Studies tab (in the blue menu bar at the top of this page):

“From time to time I receive inquiries from men about using my studies for their personal quiet time or for teaching a co-ed or men’s Bible study class. It is my personal conviction that it is more in keeping with the spirit (though not the letter) of 1 Timothy 2:12, Titus 2:3-5, and related passages for men to use Bible study materials authored by men rather than by women. Therefore, on the honor system, I would request that men please not use my studies for personal use, or when teaching a class with male members. (Vetting the studies for your wife, daughter, or the women of your church, is, of course, fine. Encouraged, actually.)”


Is it biblical for a woman to pray at the opening of the church service?

Is it biblical for women to participate in gathering the giving on Sunday morning?

Is it OK for women to ask questions in a co-ed class or group if the pastor or teacher invites those present to do so?

Great questions! I’ve answered all of them in my article Rock Your Role FAQs. Numbers 15, 22, and 4, respectively.


Is The Bible Project a doctrinally sound teaching resource?

No. I’ve addressed that in this article. Pastor Gabe “WWUTT” Hughes has written an excellent article about the biblical (technically heretical on some points) issues with TBR. I went ahead and linked it at my Popular False Teachers and Unbiblical Trends tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.


You seem to be saying we should talk to God during prayer, but we should not try to listen for God’s guidance during prayer…But are we not supposed to pray about big decisions before we make them? If someone is deciding on taking a different job, or moving to another state, or getting married, isn’t that person supposed to pray about making the right decision? There isn’t a passage of Scripture that says “Jane Doe should marry John Smith in AD 2022.” What about pastors, who say God “called” them into ministry?

Do you think instead of praying specifically about a decision, we are supposed to pray for wisdom according to James 1 and then make our own decision, trusting God has given us the wisdom to choose correctly?

You’re circling the bullseye. I think my article Basic Training: 8 Steps to Finding God’s Will for Your Life will help. I didn’t specifically address pastors having some sort of Damascus Road-type “calling” to the ministry in that article, but the same principles apply. The Bible doesn’t say men will receive some sort of supernatural calling to the ministry. It says, “If any [man] aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task,” (1 Timothy 3:1) and that he must meet certain biblical qualifications. If a man desires to be a pastor and he meets the biblical qualifications, he should start prayerfully putting the principles in that article into practice, trusting God to guide him in his pursuits.


As Christians, do we participate in celebratory life events of sin? For example- I had a family member (professes to follow Christ) throw a housewarming party for another family member living with her boyfriend. They bought a home together & are not married. I also had another family member (professor of Christ) become pregnant outside of marriage & naturally my family wanted to throw a big baby shower. How do those of us who honor Christ with our life handle such events?

It can be an uncomfortable invitation to receive, for sure. I’ve addressed the baby shower question in my article The Mailbag: Should I Attend the Baby Shower?. And let me just clarify a distinction between a shower for a woman who conceived out of wedlock and these other scenarios. A woman who conceived out of wedlock sinned – past tense. She may have since repented. Also, the purpose of a shower is to give her things she will need for the baby, not to celebrate or help perpetuate an ongoing sin such as the ones mentioned below. That is something to weigh if you’re trying to decide whether or not to attend a shower.

Amy and I briefly addressed the “housewarmings for shack ups” issue in our Pride, Pronouns, & Prodigals episode of A Word Fitly Spoken:

Let’s get things kicked off with a question that really came to the forefront a couple of years ago when same sex “marriage” became legal: Should Christians attend homosexual weddings?

And really, this answer also applies to any sort of event that celebrates, normalizes, or helps codify an ungodly union: events celebrating transsexualism, homosexual wedding receptions or showers, housewarming parties for a homosexual couple or even for a heterosexual couple that’s going to be living together, a celebration of adoption for a homosexual or non-married heterosexual couple, or even – I don’t know if these are still a thing or not, but divorce parties.

The short answer is, Christians should not be helping people celebrate their sin. We should be sharing the gospel with them so they can get saved out of their sin.

Attending a wedding or any of these other events implies that a person is in favor of the union or the sin that’s being committed, and no matter how much we love the person, Christ calls us to love Him more and not participate in or give approval to sin.

You might also wish to read my article The Mailbag: Should Christians Attend a Homosexual “Wedding”? since some of the same principles mentioned in it apply to these other scenarios.


You regard John MacArthur as someone who is biblically sound – I beg to differ with you, as he claims (and directly answered a question asked of him) if after taking the mark of the beast, can a person change their mind (claim Christ) and still get to heaven….his response was “yes.” Absolute unbiblical doctrine….that’s all I’m bringing up at this point – he is leading people to HELL!

No he isn’t “leading people to HELL!” and you’re making a slanderous false accusation against (assuming you’re a genuinely regenerated Believer) a brother in Christ. Repent.

This claim against John MacArthur is the urban legend that will not die, no matter how many times it’s clearly and biblically refuted (I guess because people with this attitude want to discredit him and will grasp at any straw to do so, no matter how flimsy.). It’s been going on for over ten years now. I get some form of the screaming neemie “JOHN MACARTHUR IS A FALSE TEACHER!!!!!” email or message several times a year. I’ve heard it all before and it’s all still a lie. No need to send me any more messages about it.

I’ve addressed this issue here.

Seriously, stop. Repent.


Is it wrong to bail on a Bible study if you find error in the teachings?

Nope. In fact, most of the time, I would recommend it, as long as you’re sure it’s the study, not your beliefs, that’s in error. You may find my article The Mailbag: Should I attend the “Bible” study to correct false doctrine? to be helpful.


I was wondering if you have any info on homeschooling on your site that is biblical?

Yep, on both of my sites. Amy and I recorded an A Word Fitly Spoken podcast episode on homeschooling called NOW are you ready to homeschool? And, a while back, my readers suggested some Christian homeschooling blogs here.


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

2 thoughts on “The Mailbag: Asked and Answered”

  1. Jumping behind the first question in this list, is it biblical for men to use hymns written by Christian women? There have been several in the last two centuries at least that have written biblically sound hymns (Annie Johnson Flint, Elizabeth Prentiss, Mary Slessor, and Francis R. Havergal are a few).

    Like

    1. I would probably answer that basically the same way. It doesn’t violate the letter of the law. I don’t have a personal conviction against it, but it would be up to the pastors and elders of individual churches to decide. If you had to defend the practice, I think a decent argument could be made in favor of allowing hymns written by women by noting the songs by women in Scripture (e.g. Miriam’s song in Exodus 15:20-21, Deborah’s song in Judges 5) and the words of women in Scripture. Men were present for and probably participated in those songs. Men today read those songs and learn from them, as well as from the other words of women in Scripture. But I honestly don’t think it’s an issue.

      Liked by 1 person

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