In general, if asked what A Christ Walk Church's position is on most social situations or problems, we are likely to respond "Well, it depends . . . Tell me the specifics." Most situations DO have a "standard" interpretation, but exceptions almost always exist. We do not think Christians should be "forced" into one course of action or loaded up with guilt after choosing an alternative to a church's doctrine. The Bible SHOULD be used for reference. That might occasionally allow slightly different interpretation from the interpreted teachings of any specific church (including ours!). Always use the Bible as the ultimate authority.
We do not EVER challenge the (original) Bible. We are sometimes concerned with a choosing specific translation when several possible translations are possible. (Many original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic words have several meanings.) We are sometimes concerned with the broadly-applied and often-rigid interpretations developed by some church scholars who chose one particular translation to achieve specific goals they desire. We believe instead that God is Loving and Compassionate as Jesus told us He is. Such a Wonderful presence would certainly NOT impose absolutely rigid rules.
Common Questions and Answers Q. WHY ME? Why did I lose my girl friend/boy friend/spouse? Why did I get injured, sick, cancer? Why did MY mother die? A. As humans, we are pretty spoiled at generally having our way. All life is not like that. At some point, every person you know will die. Nearly all of us get very sick or seriously injured several times in our lives. We ALL experience horribly intense emotions when personal relationships disintegrate. It is necessary for us to learn how to cope with such adversity. The only way we learn to cope with such things, AND TO REALLY UNDERSTAND THEM, is to have to deal with them personally.
God does NOT HATE us and is NOT PUNISHING US in these situations. He just knows what He has planned for each of us, and He knows that each of us needs preparation and discipline to be ready for His needs. We believe that God does not CAUSE these events to happen to us, but just knows that we must each work out our individual resolutions of such problems. The stress and pain we experience in these difficult times is necessary in the learning experience.
If you think about it, you'll realize that we learn very little when things are going our way. That's unfortunate, and it becomes necessary that we be exposed to such adversities in order to learn the important lessons of life.
IN NEARLY EVERY SUCH SITUATION, we can come out with a new valuable insight. If it's the end of a relationship, you'll probably be more aware and appreciative of the positives you miss. You will either be more tolerant of the negatives or be more selective to avoid people who carry such negatives. If it's a serious illness or injury, you'll probably be more aware of birds singing and flower smells and many more of the gifts God has given us that we often overlook. In a way, you might be thankful for such new insights, rather than angry at being subject to the adversities.
Q. Is it sinful to: try to become rich? A. Well, it depends . . . If the reason for doing it is to ensure financial security for one's family, and it is accomplished through hard work and not through deception or illegal or immoral activity, no sin is involved. However, if the motivation is greed or lust for power or lust for fame, sin is present. If the activities to accomplish it include immoral or illegal or unethical acts, sin is definitely present.
Trying to become rich is a little different from actually getting there. Often, people who actual become financially wealthy, even in proper ways, lose their way. If this happens, all manner of OTHER sins can quickly sprout up, and vigilance is needed.
Q. The modern world seems so messed up. Is it out of God's control? A. No, it is not. God created each of us uniquely and individually. He has a purpose for each of us. We may not understand His reasons. We may be confused and frustrated at life's apparent unfairness. We at A Christ Walk Church believe that He does not CAUSE any "bad" things to happen to us. We believe that He may sometimes not "protect" us from such things BECAUSE THERE IS SOMETHING WE NEED TO LEARN THAT WE COULDN'T LEARN IN ANY OTHER WAY. This is NOT (repeat, NOT) God's punishment of us. He wants and needs us to each learn proper reactions and behavior to a wide variety of situations, and so He must sometimes allow us to deal with situations that seem totally unfair. HE LOVES EVERY ONE OF US. He wants each of us to grow and become complete. If He always protected each of us from every problem the devil provides, we would never learn to deal with ANY adversity and we would each be forever incomplete. Life often seems unfair to us, but that is not because God doesn't love us or wants to punish us; it is because there is something we need to learn. God does NOT allow us to have to deal with more of the devil's burden than we can handle, but it sometimes seems so to us! When we, individually or collectively, experience tremendous loss of something or someone we treasure, it is NOT God's punishment of us for weakness or failure. It is instead an OPPORTUNITY to learn.
Q. You don't seem to ask for donations or gifts or pledges or tithes. Why? A. It is certainly true that the Bible tells us to support the Church. (1Cor 16:2, 2Cor 8:12, Deut 16:17, 2Cor 9:7, 2Cor 8:3, etc.) We agree with that. Modern conventional Churches often have large, new buildings which create big utility bills and big mortgage payments. This puts added strain on Ministry to bring in cash, and the Church activities might get affected by materialistic motives. We hope to avoid that.
Of course, we have numerous expenses, too, but we choose to trust the Holy Spirit to touch congregation members as appropriate to support our efforts. We hope to NEVER have to ask or pressure our members for donations.
Q. Why do bad things sometimes happen to good (Christian) people? A. God has a "bigger" plan for us than we can often comprehend. We humans tend to be rather short-sighted and only look at effects that directly affect us. The Lord is FAR more intelligent than us.
An example could be: the apparently meaningless deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1994. It is very sad that those people lost their lives, especially in such a gruesome way. But if we try to look at a far bigger picture, that incident has initiated a Nation-wide awareness of the problem of wife-abuse and has also caused considerable study of racial problems in America. How else could we quickly have come to a variety of programs to assist and resolve wife-abuse situations? Many thousands of abused women have chosen to come forward to seek help SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE of the publicity about Nicole's abuse and death.
Most of our personal catastrophes probably don't have as clear an end benefit. Most probably occur because there is some aspect of life that we need to learn more about or that we were too cocky or complacent about.
God does NOT actively "take a two by four across our noggin" but he may have the Holy Spirit hold back from helping us resolve some difficult situations. This is NOT to HURT or PUNISH us for past sins. It is rather to allow us the opportunity to think through a situation. We need to develop discipline, and this is His way of helping us learn. As mentioned before, we don't seem to pay very much attention when life is going well. Our learning curve gets a lot steeper when we have adversity to deal with. The Lord will NOT subject you to more adversity than you can handle, but He needs to stand back sometimes in order to let us each learn necessary lessons.
Keep in mind that He wants us to each be prepared to participate in the activities He has planned for Christians in Heaven. In the same way a parent sometimes yells at or grounds a child to teach a needed lesson, the Lord must do the same with us!
He loves every one of us dearly.
Summary All of these discussions involved you analyzing a particular situation to determine your ACTUAL motivation for your thoughts and actions. This is NOT the same as what you might tell others (where you KNOW it is not the full truth). It has gotten popular lately to blame abusive or alcoholic parents for everything one does "wrong" as a way to slide by the responsibility of one's acts. This trick doesn't work with God. If you are a man who has been caught beating up your spouse, you might try to rationalize your actions as having been imprinted in you as a child in an abusive family. BUT, if your actions are even partly driven by any of the following, you are commiting serious sins, even if police or judges or psychologists justify your actions: If you ENJOY beating your spouse; If you feel POWERFUL by doing it; If you feel MACHO by doing it; If you feel JUSTIFIED in doing it; If you feel she DESERVES the beatings; If you feel it's NORMAL for a man to beat his spouse. Even if no one else knows these feelings of yours, God knows! Modern society's tolerance and compassion for people who are accused of crimes often causes gentle reaction to such terrible behavior. God is not tolerant AT ALL for such behavior.
There ARE rare individuals who were very seriously affected by growing up in dysfunctional families. If the TRUE net effect is a complete lack of understanding of morals and values, where the child grows up to be an adult who TRULY doesn't comprehend the consequences of his behavior, then possibly sin might not be involved. But just trying to USE this as an EXCUSE for anti-social behavior just adds MORE sin (of deception) onto the initial sin done.
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