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Builders of Faith Explorer I:  Exploring Bible Truth

  • Lesson 17—Other Christian Standards

 

 

1.  What kind of music should Christians be listening to?  Is it simply a matter of taste?

 

Answer:  As we learned in the previous lesson, music is not simply a matter of taste, although it’s partly that.  Regardless of the style of music, good music has its rhythm (beat) subordinate to the melody and harmony, and any syncopation must be occasional and not excessively repetitive.  Beyond that, both the music and lyrics (if any) should avoid a repetitive nature that has a tendency to become a mantra that can even partly hypnotize or alter one’s state of consciousness.   Moreover, any lyrics must not represent an anti-Christian message.  Even so-called “feel good” music can violate one or more of these principles, and it should be avoided if it does.

 

 

2.  What is wrong with a little dancing between friends?

 

Answer:  First, note that Scripture never speaks approvingly of dancing between the two sexes, but only with the same sex.  Given sinful human nature, the reason is obvious that dancing between the two sexes very much encourages sexual feelings and thoughts, whether it is old-fashioned slow dancing or more modern styles of hip-moving dancing.  Second, even dancing with the same sex in Scripture is always pictured as a celebratory dance, without the dancers touching each other in any way that would encourage wrong feelings or thoughts.  Finally, we would acknowledge that ballet dancing is more a form of exercise and artistic expression, so we cannot say that should be prohibited.

 

 

3.  What principles should guide the Christian’s choice of entertainment?

 

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”  Philippians 4:8.

 

Answer:  First, recreation, in which the body gets good exercise, is better for both the body and the mind than entertainment.  But occasionally, a little entertainment is not automatically wrong.  However, whatever we read, hear, and/or see as entertainment should follow the principles outlined in this text above.  And if we are honest with ourselves, that leaves very little room for most forms of entertainment available today.  Specifically, sex, sexual innuendos, foul language, explicit violence, anti-authority sentiments, anti-Christian messages, and anything that undermines the truly Christian lifestyle should be avoided in our entertainment choices.  Attendance at carnivals and theme parks may occasionally relieve undue stress.  But care should be given so that a person does not get addicted to sheer physical pleasure, for that will undermine the spiritual soberness that every believer should possess.

 

 

4.  Is gambling a sin?  And what constitutes gambling?

 

“He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!  A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.”  Proverbs 28:19-20.  “And the second, like it, is this:  ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’…”  Mark 12:31.

 

Answer:  Gambling in any form involves a game of chance in which the player pays for the long shot of winning at the expense of others.  This includes, but is not limited to, poker and other betting games, betting on sporting events (including office pools), casino gambling, lotteries, children betting with marbles, and so on.  Gambling tends to undermine the work ethic in an attempt to “get rich quick”.  It also violates the spirit of loving your neighbor as yourself, for in gambling you are attempting to take something of value from your neighbor (defined as anyone with whom you come into contact) on the basis of luck.  Gambling is also highly addictive to many people, so the believer should not engage in anything that is addictive or that might encourage someone else to become addicted; for then the “game” controls the person.  Besides, Christians don’t need luck; they need blessings from God!  Even the use of playing cards, because of their much association with gambling, should be avoided in order to prevent you inadvertently influencing someone else to return to the gambling habit.

 

 

5.  May Christians safely observe certain Christian holidays?

 

A.  Christmas—We know that Jesus was not born on December 25 because shepherds in Judea are not in the hills during the winter.  That date was selected in the 4th century because it was the holiest day in the pagan sun-worshiping world at the time.  But if God wanted us to know Christ’s birthday, He would have revealed it to us.  At the same time, a celebration of the Incarnation of the second member of the Trinity into human flesh is certainly an occasion worth celebrating.  If it is observed without the trappings of the world—like Santa Claus and over-commercializing—we find no objection to Christmas, for it does not cause anyone to break any of the Ten Commandments or other Bible standards.

 

B.  Easter—The very name Easter is derived from the ancient Babylonian fertility goddess of Ishtar.  And although it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, its Christian observance was pushed by the Church at Rome in association with its pushing of the weekly Sunday observance.  Therefore, this holiday is definitely associated with anti-Sabbath practices and should best not be observed by faithful Commandment-keeping people.  Moreover, the use of hot cross buns and Easter eggs both originated as sacred food in various ancient pagan religions.

 

C.  Halloween—The very name refers to the evening before All Saints’ Day, set up in the Medieval Church to honor the saints of the Church.  The whole idea of saints as special, holy people in the Church who can help mediate between you and Jesus in heaven is unbiblical, for (1) we have already seen that the New Testament calls all believers saints, and (2) it distracts from the glory of Jesus’ merits, which He alone possesses and offers to people for their salvation.  Then there is the unbiblical teaching about ghosts and goblins inhabiting the earth.  Finally, the “trick or treat” mentality, when you think seriously about it, teaches our children to extort things from others on threat of mischief against a person’s house or other property!  We suggest using Halloween as a time of year to collect canned food items to give to the poor, perhaps followed by a spiritually-safe party back at a home or the church.  That gives children something fun to do without being influenced by unbiblical teachings.

 

 

6.  May a Christian join a secret society such as the Freemasons?

 

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers….”  II Corinthians 6:14.

 

Answer:  Many believe that secret societies are harmless, charitable organizations.  But first, many of them (including Freemasons) are actually religious organizations.  They recognize an unknown deity to whom they pray and conduct forms of worship, although it’s most definitely not Christian in nature.  So how can Christians unite with unbelievers?  Second, they all have different levels of membership, and their members’ activities are hidden to those below them.  They are so shrouded in secrecy that an ordinary member has no way of knowing what the higher levels are doing.  Yet, whatever they do is done in the name of the entire society, then all ordinary (or lower) members bear some responsibility for the unknown actions of those other members.  And that is dangerous for a Christian to be in such a position.  Third, many oaths are required in most of these societies, oaths that usually promise blind obedience to the higher members.  No believer should consent to offer such obedience except to God.  Finally, the trappings of the secret societies—things like secret hand signals and passwords—violate the spirit of humility by tending to puff up the member who has knowledge that others cannot yet possess.

 

 

7.  Aren’t Eastern meditation techniques, astrology, tarot cards, palm readers, séances, and Ouija boards simply de-stressing and innocent fun things to do?

 

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.  Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’  And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.  Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first….”  Matthew 12:43-45.  “For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”  Revelation 16:14.  “There shall not be found among you anyone who…practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord….”  Deuteronomy 18:10-12.

 

Answer:  Regardless of the specific technique, all Eastern meditation is designed to alter the person’s state of consciousness so that he can feel a oneness with himself and/or with some god.  That means the conscious mind is emptied of all conscious thought.  In Jesus’ parable quoted above, such emptiness allows for demons (fallen angels) to possess that person.  Therefore, Christians should avoid any of these practices like the plague!  According to the Bible, demons are real supernatural, evil beings who are out to deceive the world.  Engaging in the activities described in the question above, or in other related activities, is literally playing with the Devil.  And when you play with trash, you will get spiritually dirty!  So avoid any occult practices, and those who practice them, at all costs.

 

 

8.  Is there a spiritual dimension to sex, and if so, what are the major implications?

 

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”  Genesis 2:24.  “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her?  For ‘the two’, He says, ‘shall become one flesh.’  But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”  I Corinthians 6:16-17.

 

Answer:  These two texts make it clear that the sexual act between a married couple represents the spiritual union that each one is to have with the Lord.  So any sexual activity with anyone other than a person’s spouse breaks the spiritual union with God and is therefore sin.  On this basis alone, we must conclude that casual sex between two unmarried people, sex with a prostitute, adultery, incest, rape, homosexuality, bestiality, and masturbation are all sinful behaviors, as confirmed below:

 

A.  Casual Sex—See I Corinthians 7:2.

 

B.  Prostitution—See I Corinthians 6:15-16.

 

C.  Adultery—See Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10.

 

D.  Incest—See Leviticus 20:11-12.

 

E.  Rape—See Deuteronomy 22:23-29.

 

F.  Homosexuality—See Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; and Romans 1:26-27.

 

G.  Bestiality—See Leviticus 18:23.

 

H.  Masturbation—See I Corinthians 6:19-20.  Since our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, then whatever we do with our bodies has spiritual implications.  Giving oneself sexual pleasure is then contrary to the spiritual purpose of sex, and thus is sin.

 

Special Note:  Many people today believe that homosexuals are born that way, and thus homosexual sex must be what God wants for such people.  Yet, God plainly reserves lawful sex between spouses, and the Bible defines marriage as between a husband and his wife.  Some individuals may indeed be born with homosexual desires.  We are all born with certain specific sinful desires, but under the righteousness of Jesus, we are not condemned unless we consciously yield to those desires.  So just because someone is born with homosexual desires does not make it God’s will for them anymore than someone born prone to being addicted to alcohol makes it acceptable to God for that person to become an alcoholic by practice.

 

 

9.  Is abortion really a sin?

 

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.”  Psalm 51:5.  “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.  But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life….”  Exodus 21:22-23.

 

Answer:  We know that King David (author of Psalm 51) was not conceived out of wedlock or any other sinful circumstance.  Therefore, he is teaching that sin begins at conception in the form of the sinful nature (review Lesson #5).  If sin begins at conception, then the fetus must be reckoned by God to be a human being.  And if a fetus is killed even in an accidental way, the death penalty would be imposed in the Old Testament, then surely the intentional killing of a fetus must be regarded by God as murder.  But what if the fetus is conceived as the result of incest or rape?  A prayerful conscience must be your guide under such circumstances.

 

 

10.  Can’t a Christian eat anything that he wants to as long as he eats in moderation?

 

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”  III John 2.  “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”  I Corinthians 6:19-20.  “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  I Corinthians 10:31.

 

Answer:  Scripture makes clear that God is just as concerned about our physical health as He is about our spiritual and mental health.  As the temple of the Holy Spirit, we belong to God, not to ourselves.  And that includes glorifying God even in what we eat and drink.  If His Word says that some things are not fit for food, then we ought to pay attention to those instructions since He is the One who made our bodies in the first place.

 

 

11.  What was mankind’s original diet?  When were vegetables added?  And when and what kind of animals were permitted to be eaten?

 

“And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed…and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.”  Genesis 1:29.  “…And you shall eat the herb of the field.”   Genesis 3:18.  “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.  I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.”  Genesis 9:3.  “You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal…two each of animals that are unclean….”  Genesis 7:2.

 

Answer:  The original diet consisted of fruits, nuts, and grains.  Vegetables were added after sin; we know this is what Genesis 3:18 means because botanically speaking, a vegetable that is eaten means the plant is killed, and there was no death before sin.  Finally, meat was permitted, although Genesis 9:3 must be viewed in the context that Noah knew that there was a distinction between clean and unclean animals.  The following lists the requirements for food to be considered clean:

 

A.  Animals with Split Hooves and that Chew the Cud—See Leviticus 11:3.  Note that both features must be present.  Meat typically eaten in modern nations that are considered clean include the cow, lamb, goat, and deer.  Those that are unclean include the pig (any pork product) and rabbit.

 

B.  Water Creatures that have both Fins and Scales—See Leviticus 11:9.  Perch, trout, haddock, and halibut are commonly-consumed fish that are clean.  Those that are unclean would include catfish, lobster, shrimp, crab, clam, scallop, and all mammals that live in the water.

 

C.  Birds have No Visible Features—See Leviticus 11:13-19.  Leviticus only lists several unclean birds, but their common characteristic is that they are all scavengers or birds of prey.  This means that chicken, turkey, and quail would be considered Biblically clean birds.

 

Special Notes:  In addition to not eating unclean meat, Leviticus 3:17 also tells us to avoid eating the blood or fat of any animal.  Today we know that most of the harmful viruses, bacteria, and so on tend to be concentrated especially in the blood and fat of an animal.  Common to almost all of the categories of unclean animals above is that they are either scavengers that will eat anything or that they routinely eat their own dung.  Many of them provide a positive service of cleaning up garbage and chemical pollutants.   But that is precisely why we should not eat them.  Even non-religious researchers have confirmed that what the Bible calls unclean meat is toxic to humans.  Therefore, we know that God had His people’s physical health in mind when He classified animals as clean and unclean.  And since there is no difference in the biology of Israelites, Jews, and Gentiles, these Health Laws are meant for all human beings.  At the same time, modern practices and knowledge also confirm that a vegetarian diet is the healthier choice—even though it is not required.

 

 

12.  But I thought the New Testament declared all meat clean?

 

A.  Mark 7:18-19:  “…Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?”—The context here is that Jesus’ disciples were criticized by some Pharisees and scribes for not washing their hands in the traditional way before eating.  Jesus condemns their tradition of ceremonial cleansings, which was not given by Moses.  The Pharisees were concerned to keep themselves clean by these ceremonial rituals, but Jesus made the point that it’s what is inside a man’s heart that defiles him.  Therefore, His point about food is that nothing is made unclean by failing to follow the Pharisees’ tradition.  So this passage says nothing about clean and unclean meat.

 

B.  Acts 10:10-15, 28:  “…he [Peter] fell into a trance and saw…a great sheet….  In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.  And a voice came to him, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’  But Peter said, ‘Not so, Lord!  For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.’  And a voice spoke to him again the second time, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’  …Then he said to them, ‘You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation.  But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.’”—Peter’s vision here had nothing to do with clean and unclean meat.  God was simply using unclean meat to illustrate what Peter thought of Gentiles.  And Peter himself got the point when he said in verse 28, “But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”  To conclude that God was also cleansing all meat is to ignore the context.  The vision had nothing to do with food, but with people that Peter (and other Jews) thought were common and unclean!

 

C.  I Timothy 4:1-5:  “…some will depart from the faith,…commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”—Note that the context is talking about food that can be received with thanksgiving “by those who believe and know the truth.”  That truth concerns food that is “sanctified by the word of God” as well as prayer.  In other words, all food that is sanctified by God’s Word is to be received with thanksgiving and prayer.  Do we really believe that prayer alone can make a glass of poison clean and acceptable to drink, for example?  Therefore, this passage is not speaking of clean versus unclean meat, but about food that “God created to be received with thanksgiving….”

 

 

13.  May Christians drink alcoholic beverages in moderation so as not to get drunk?

 

“Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper.”  Proverbs 23:31-32.

 

Answer:  In both the Old and New Testaments, the word for “wine” can refer to either unfermented (grape juice) or fermented (alcohol content).  Sometimes the context is not clear as to which form of wine is being discussed.  Here in Proverbs the context makes clear that the subject is fermented wine.  Please note that it is the very nature of this kind of wine which is condemned, not just its abuse.  Today we know that even small amounts of alcohol first affects the frontal lobes of the human brain—that part of the brain where our conscience and moral judgments are made.  How can a Christian advocate anything that even in small amounts affects that part of the brain?

 

 

14.  But didn’t Jesus make wine as His first miracle?

 

“Now there were set there six waterpots of stone,…containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece.  Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the waterpots with water.’  …’Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.’  …When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine,…he said to him, ‘Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior.  You have kept the good wine until now!’”  John 2:6-10.

 

Answer:  It is often assumed that the Greek for “well drunk” means that the guests were already drunk.  So when Jesus made water into wine, He must have made the same kind of wine they had at the beginning—fermented wine.  However, that Greek word is sometimes used in the Bible with the sense of “freely drinking” without a reference to intoxication.  Here it could not have been fermented wine for two reasons:  (1) If the guests were already drunk, then the taste buds would have been dulled so that no one could taste that Jesus’ wine was of better quality; and (2) if the guests were already drunk, then Jesus would have enabled them to become even drunker; and all Christians agree that Jesus would never contribute to anyone’s drunkenness.  Therefore, the wine that Jesus made was unfermented wine, or pure grape juice.

 

 

15.  Paul seems to approve of moderate use of wine even for church elders and deacons.  Doesn’t that prove that moderate drinking of alcohol is acceptable?

 

A.  I Timothy 3:2-3:  “A bishop then must be…temperate…not given to wine….”—Those who approve of a moderate use of fermented wine ignore the word for “temperate”, which means “abstainer (from wine)”.  The phrase “not given to wine” literally means “not near wine”, which means that a bishop must not go to parties or places where alcohol is expected to be served.  Some modern translations read, “not addicted to wine”, implying that moderate drinking would be acceptable.  But such language is a mistranslation.

 

B.  I Timothy 3:8:  “Likewise deacons must be…”not given to much wine….”—The word “likewise” means, in context, like the bishops.  Those who approve of moderate drinking focus on the word “much”.  But if deacons must adhere to what bishops do, then Paul is contradicting himself by declaring that a bishop must abstain from fermented wine, but a deacon can use a moderate amount of the same wine.  Moreover, verse 11 refers to deacons’ wives as being “temperate” (which means “abstainers [from wine]”).  So a deacon’s wife must abstain from fermented wine, while the deacon himself may drink it moderately.  That makes no sense at all!  Instead, we must understand the phrase “not given to much wine” as another way of saying that he avoids fermented wine.  Remember that what is condemned in “much” is not automatically approved of in “small” amounts.  For example, when Peter says that the wicked “think it strange that ye [believers] run not with them to the same excess of riot…” (I Peter 4:4, KJV), he does not mean that Christians were moderate rioters.

 

C.  I Timothy 5:23:  “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.”—Even if the wine here is fermented wine, it is advocated only in “little” doses for medicinal purposes.  However, the testimony of many men in ancient times was that unfermented wine was better for stomach ailments.  Thus, it could well be that Paul told Timothy to use a “little [unfermented] wine” because the local water may have not been of the best quality.

 

Special Note:  In addition to alcohol, any substance that is inherently addictive should be avoided by the believer because an addictive substance controls the person.  For a Christian, the Holy Spirit should be the only One who has direct influence over you (even though He does not control you per se).  This means that tobacco and caffeine should be avoided—in addition to all the medical problems now known about both substances.  And naturally, the use of recreational drugs and the abuse of medications should be avoided.

 

 

16.  How is what we put on our bodies a spiritual issue?

 

“And they [Adam and Eve] were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”  Genesis 2:25.  “Then [after they sinned] the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”  Genesis 3:7.  “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.”  Genesis 3:21.

 

Answer:  It was only after they sinned that Adam and Eve knew that they were naked.  Obviously, then, spiritual nakedness was the issue.  Notice that although they clothed themselves, it was not acceptable to God—for He clothed them Himself.  Specifically, God clothed them with tunics of skin, implying that an animal had to be sacrificed.  Since this is a spiritual issue, that animal must have represented Jesus, the Lamb of God, who would one day become the substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (see John 1:29; I Peter 1:19).  Therefore, the fig leaves Adam and Eve made for themselves represents righteousness by works, and the animal skins that God clothed them with represents righteousness by grace through faith in the Lamb of God.  Ever since our first parents sinned, clothing has become a metaphor for one of these two spiritual paths, as shown below:

 

A.  Job 29:14:  “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me….”

 

B.  Isaiah 61:10:  “…For He [God] has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness….”

 

C.  Revelation 3:5:  “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments….”

 

D.  Revelation 7:14:  “…’These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

 

 

17.  How does God view the issue of jewelry and other ornamentation of the body?

 

Answer:  Please note from the following Bible passages that whenever God’s people put on jewels and paint, He reckons such behavior as reflecting their desire to beautify themselves to attract other lovers (gods) in order that they might save them.  On the other hand, when God Himself is pictured as figuratively bedecking His people as His bride, it is a positive thing that He does:

 

A.  Ezekiel 23:40, 45:  “Furthermore you sent for men to come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and there they came.  And you washed yourself for them painted your eyes, and adorned yourself with ornaments.”  “But righteous men will judge them after the manner of adulteresses….”—All of Ezekiel 23 condemns Samaria and Jerusalem for being spiritual harlots and serving other gods.

 

B.  Ezekiel 16:11-14:  “‘I [God] adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck.  And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head.  Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth….  You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty.  Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you,’ says the Lord God.”—Notice that the ornaments and clothes which were figuratively given to God’s people was God’s own splendor that He gave them.  Therefore, we conclude that when God’s people put on jewels and other ornaments, it leads to their own self-glorification; but when God puts those things figuratively on them, it represents His righteousness and glory.  God loves jewelry, but apparently with our sinful natures, we cannot handle it this side of heaven.

 

 

18.  But does the New Testament also forbid God’s people from wearing jewelry and other ornaments?

 

“…in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”  I Timothy 2:9-10.  “Do not let your adornment be [merely] outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit….”  I Peter 3:3-4.

 

Answer:  Please note that the English word merely in I Peter 3:3 was supplied by the translators; there is no Greek word there at all.  Thus, the messages in I Timothy and I Peter are in full agreement.  Women should avoid fancy hair arrangements and expensive and/or outlandish clothing that call attention to themselves.  Neither should they wear ornaments or jewelry.  In keeping with these principles of modesty and simplicity, painting the eyes, lips, and nails would simply make those things living ornaments that should also be avoided.  While these words were specifically written for women, naturally they must also apply to men.  Also, a fancy well-jeweled watch can be just as much an ornament as a necklace, bracelet, or ring.

 

In some cultures, a married couple not wearing wedding rings is considered unmarried, and living together in that circumstance would very likely reduce one’s Christian witness.  Therefore, where it is a cultural imperative, we have no burden if the couple wears simple wedding bands.  In that case, simple wedding bands would not be considered ornaments at all since they would function as a necessity in that culture to certify two people are married.  But that should not become an excuse for wearing ornamentation.

 

 

Quiz for Lesson 17—Other Christian Standards

 

1.  Which of the following statements about dancing are true? (3)

  In the Bible, dancing between couples was restricted to special occasions.

  Scripture never speaks approvingly of dancing between the two sexes.

  Dancing between the sexes encourages sexual feelings.

  The Bible speaks of dancing as a celebration of joy.

Answer

Scripture never speaks approvingly of dancing between the two sexes.
Dancing between the sexes encourages sexual feelings.
The Bible speaks of dancing as a celebration of joy.

2.  Which of the following statements about gambling are true? (3)

  Buying lottery tickets is a form of gambling.

  Gambling tends to undermine the work ethic.

  Gambling is addictive to many people.

  A small bet among a few friends is a harmless form of gambling.

Answer

Buying lottery tickets is a form of gambling.
Gambling tends to undermine the work ethic.
Gambling is addictive to many people.

3.  What statements about holidays below accurately reflect the Bible’s teaching? (2)

  It is safe to observe Christmas as long as you don’t get carried away with over-commercializing the holiday.

  Easter has pagan origins, but if you stay away from Easter bunnies, and just celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, that is good.

  Halloween should be avoided entirely because it is based on the false theology of honoring saints (defined as holy people who can help intercede on your behalf).

  Easter should be a Christian’s favorite holiday.

Answer

It is safe to observe Christmas as long as you don’t get carried away with over-commercializing the holiday.
Halloween should be avoided entirely because it is based on the false theology of honoring saints (defined as holy people who can help intercede on your behalf).

4.  Which of the following things below should be avoided because they are part of the occult (devilish) world? (4)

  Eastern meditation (like yoga)

  Attending séances 

  Palm reading

  Ouija game

  Being awake between midnight and 2:00 a.m.

Answer

Eastern meditation (like yoga)
Attending séances
Palm reading
Ouija game

5.  The gay lifestyle is sin because it perverts the spiritual meaning of a sexual union. (1)

  True

  False

Answer

True

6.  What does the Bible teach about abortion? (2)

  Sin begins at conception, which means that God regards the fetus as a human being.

  A pregnant woman has authority over her fetus, so she may have an abortion if she wants.

  Abortion is regarded by God as murder.

Answer

Sin begins at conception, which means that God regards the fetus as a human being.
Abortion is regarded by God as murder.

7.  Which of the following foods were part of the original diet of mankind? (3)

  Clean meat

  Fruit

  Nuts

  Grains

  Vegetables

Answer

Fruit
Nuts
Grains

8.  Which of the following statements about clean and unclean animals are true? (2)

  Water creatures must have both fins and scales in order to be considered clean.

  Catfish is an example of a clean fish.

  Land animals must have split hooves or chew the cud in order to be considered clean.

  The pig or hog is the best example of an unclean animal that should never be eaten.

Answer

Water creatures must have both fins and scales in order to be considered clean.
The pig or hog is the best example of an unclean animal that should never be eaten.

9.  What does the Bible teach regarding the drinking of alcoholic beverages? (1)

  Drink in moderation so that you never get drunk.

  Jesus made pure grape juice (unfermented wine) at a wedding feast.

  A bishop should not drink alcoholic beverages, but a deacon can do so in moderation.

Answer

Jesus made pure grape juice (unfermented wine) at a wedding feast.

10.  What do Bible principles teach regarding the issue of jewelry and other ornaments that some people wear? (3)

  The total appearance of our bodies is a spiritual issue, representing either righteousness by faith or righteousness by works.

  Jewelry should be avoided except for a bride on her wedding day.

  Jewelry such as finger rings and necklaces are acceptable, but earrings or other jewelry that involves body piercing is prohibited.

  Painting of the lips, eyes, and nails makes those body parts living ornaments, and such practice should be avoided.

  The wearing of a simple wedding band is acceptable if the culture requires it in order to be considered by others as truly married.

Answer

The total appearance of our bodies is a spiritual issue, representing either righteousness by faith or righteousness by works.
Painting of the lips, eyes, and nails makes those body parts living ornaments, and such practice should be avoided.
The wearing of a simple wedding band is acceptable if the culture requires it in order to be considered by others as truly married.