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Faith Related Q and A
» My question deals with the consumption of alcohol. I believe drinking is ok if done responsibly, but my friend believes any alcohol consumption is a sin. The friend believes that the word "wine" in the Bible has different meanings such as to be happy or joyful. The friend always uses the example that God would never say a little viewing of pornography is fine, just don't overdo it. He takes the case that the over- consumption of alcohol can lead to sinful acts. He also believes that Jesus wouldn't had wine at the Lord's Supper only juice. How do you address this train of thought?
» I often give in to the sin of watching porn and feel bad and pray to God apologizing and get Communion, then end up falling into temptation again and repeating. I know if you ask for forgiveness but repeat it then it's not being truly repentant. I want to stop and feel super bad if I don't take Communion, but know I will sooner or later fall back into my old ways. What should I do? I don't feel right talking to my pastor about it either.
» Hello. My question might be confusing but please bear with me. I have been a believer in Christ for some time now. I’m also a fan and avid watcher of Japanese anime. Yet I struggle with addiction to pornography, including lusting after the girls in anime, or I should say the sexually explicit form of the medium known as hentai. I strive to break free from the addiction and treat the girls in anime with love as I would girls in the real world. Further complicating matters, I suffer from OCD, which is a mental disorder that causes doubt and unwanted thoughts. The OCD has caused me bad ideas that anime girls will be cursed by God due to all of the time I lusted after them. So my question is: would God curse anime girls by changing them in any negative way for me as punishment for my sin? Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this question.
» Pastor, I have a question that has made me very confused and unworthy of being loved by God. I have long tried to get rid of the feelings towards the same gender, but they do not go away. I have prayed to God, but the feelings remain. I have not acted on these feelings and will never do so, but they never go away. They are a part of me, but that doesn’t mean I am not a follower of God. What should I do? I feel alone. I’m scared that I am not enough and will be left when he comes.
» If I'm reading the Athanasian Creed correctly, it says a belief in the Trinity is necessary for salvation. Could you please elaborate on this a little bit? How could a person be lost if they don't believe in the Trinity, which is a difficult concept for people to comprehend. I believe in the Trinity, but I've always found the Athanasian Creed a bit troubling because I do not fully understand how a belief in the Trinity relates to the Gospel. Maybe it is simply because the Athanasian Creed was written to combat heresies that said Jesus was only a man?
» Does an adult have to be confirmed before they can be baptized?
» My granddaughter is 11 years old and is just going to be baptized. How do I explain to her what she all needs to know? She has had no religious teaching. Her parents are separated and so far has had a hard life. The only reason she is getting baptized now is because I said I would like to see her baptized before I pass away. Help.
» I was talking to someone who told me that the Bible says that people can put a curse on me. He also said that in the Bible there is a prayer that will remove a curse. How do I answer that? I have read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation a number of times but never read this about curses. Can you give me some information about curses in the Bible?
» I recently heard of something called the Euthyphro Dilemma in Plato's Dialogue, which paraphrased, asks the question, "Are morally good acts good because God commands them or does God command them because they are good?" The dilemma is designed to somehow separate God and "religion" from morality, and basically suggests that morality is independent of religion. I know this is wrong, as I understand that everything God commands is perfect and holy. I am just wondering what a good counter argument to this dilemma is.
» After Satan's fall from heaven, why did God put Satan on earth in Paradise with Adam and Eve instead of another part of the universe without life?
If you died and God stopped you at the gate to heaven and asked, “Why should I let you in?” -- what would your answer be?
 
What God Demands
God demands perfection -- no more and no less -- because he is perfect and just. God created us to be perfect too. Since Adam and Eve, people are born imperfect and live far less than perfect. But since God is the same, the requirement of perfection remains the same. We may not like
that requirement, but God is God. He makes the rules.
 
What God Sees
As much as we'd like to deny or hide it, no one can claim to be perfect -- without sin. We'd like to believe that we are but, if we're honest, even our own hearts won't let us get away with that lie. Our Ways of Coping with that Truth Our hearts don't want to believe we're sinful, that there's something wrong with us, and we'll try anything to avoid admitting it. Trying to balance the bad things we do with good things, promising to do better next time, and comparing our lives with others may make us feel better for a time, but they don't solve the problem!

God Has Provided the Solution! 
God's remedy centers on a person. That person is God's own Son, Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus was God from all eternity, but that he became a human being. But Jesus was unlike any other human being. He never sinned in any way. Yet he was put to death. We're told why. "The Lord has laid on him the iniquity (sin) of us all." (Isaiah 53:6) In the same way, Jesus' perfection, righteousness, was credited to us. "God made him who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

If you died and God stopped you at the gate to heaven and asked, “Why should I let you in?” The answer is because of Jesus! Jesus died for my sins. He was punished for them, not me. I have been declared not guilty through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus!

This priceless gift which God has provided for all and that he gives through faith in Jesus Christ is the starting point for our life in him, with him, and for him. It is in this grace of God that we live and grow. Everything we do now, we strive to do out of thankfulness for what he has done. We can't earn his love or make him love us any more than he already does! As his Holy Spirit continues his work in us through Word and Sacraments, we experience more and more the blessings of God: freedom from guilt, power for godly living, answers to prayer, and guidance for life. This is life -- God's kind of life. This is peace with God through Jesus. And he gives it to you.
 
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