1. Learning about theology is for pastors and scholars only. True or False?

Kujifunza juu ya theolojia ni kwa wachungaji na wasomi tu. Ndio au Hapana?

신학은 목사나 학자 만을 위하여 필요한 것이다.

    The response to this question will affirm the answer that 65% of you gave when you said that you disagree that learning about theology is for pastors and scholars only. For the remaining 35%, I hope it will change your mind and what is essentially a lazy attitude towards your growth in the faith.

 

    The word theology is not a scary term because it just means ‘knowing about God’. It is a term that is formed from a combination of two Greek words Theos = God and Logos = reason. These two words where then translated into the Latin word Theologia (the study of God) from which we get the word Theology.

 

    Since the creation, every single person has been called to know and praise God. This is the teaching of Psalm 148. Here are just a few verses to make that point,

11kings of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
    old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,[b]
    the praise of all his faithful servants,
    of Israel, the people close to his heart.

Praise the Lord.

          Then we find more specific commands in Deuteronomy where we see that every individual person in ancient Israel was expected by God to know Him and His ways. Let’s read Deuteronomy 6:1-9,These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

          The New Testament then builds upon the same themes in passages such a Romans 15:4,For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. And Colossians 3:16,Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts”.

 

          We cannot ignore the fact that we are called, and therefore individually responsible, to know the Lord. And we can only know Him as far as He has revealed Himself through His Holy, infallible, Word. The Bible itself does not expect us to only rely on what the pastors or theologians tell us. For example, Acts 17:11 tells us about the Bereans, they were a group of early Christians, and when they heard the word, “they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true”.

          My prayer and hope are that the believers here at UAUT will be like the Bereans and test the words and the teachings that are presented to them by the pastors, the missionaries, the chaplains, and the elders to see that they agree with God’s Word. In other words, do not be a lazy Christian and just rely on what someone else, no matter their title or age, tells you is the meaning of God’s Word. God, Himself commands each believer through the apostle Paul in Romans 12:2, “to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will”.

 

 

  1. Sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin. True or False?

Kufanya tendo la ndoa nje ya ndoa ya kitamaduni ni dhambi. Ndio au Hapana?

결혼 관계 밖에있는 생활은 죄이다.

    Again, the response of 32% of you reveals that there is some confusion or dare I say even ignorance among those who proclaim they are Christians when it comes to this subject. So, let me again affirm with the majority that this statement is TRUE that sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin according to the Word of God.

 

          Genesis 2:18-25 reveals God’s creative will in this regard,  The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame”.

          So, we can now reason that God established that marriage between one man and one woman is the only legitimate way for coming together as one flesh in both sexual and emotional union.

          In the New Testament, we see that the whole of chapter seven of 1 Corinthians is also about the marriage relationship. In this chapter, the apostle Paul’s reasoning for his teaching on this subject is given beginning in verse 2, But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. He then expands his teaching, and we will see that just the next two more verses will be sufficient to impress upon us the teaching that’s sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin, The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.

          This whole chapter, in fact, also teaches us that the only other alternative to the sexual immorality that occurs outside of marriage is, celibacy. The only conclusion then is that all sexual activity outside of traditional marriage is a sin according to the Bible.

 

 

  1. Abortion is a sin. True or False?

Kutoa mimba ni dhambi. Ndio au Hapana?

낙태 ( 임신을 지우는 ) 죄이다.

          I think the thing that surprised me the most about the response to this statement was that it was not agreed to by 100% of you. So, let’s hope that what the Bible has to say about this hot topic will change some perceptions. This is even more important because this problem of unsafe abortions is still an issue here in East Africa as it is in many parts of the world.

          So, according to many passages in the Bible, all people are made in the image of God. I don’t think any true Christian would deny that. But just in case you need your memory jolted or your belief reaffirmed, then let’s read Genesis 1:27, So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

          What this teaching, and the belief that comes as a result, means is that all people are worthy of protection from the point of conception until the day of their natural death. The only exception to this would be if they are guilty of a capital crime. This is according to the direct commands of God found in passages like Genesis 9:5-6, “And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind”.

          Probably one of the most well-known passages that affirm the sacredness of human life is found in Psalm 139:13-16 where King David says,

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

          As far as unborn children are concerned, we can look at a passage such as Luke 1:39-41,39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. This tells us that unborn children, as divine image-bearers, are living and responsive to the work of the Lord. And this is why Christians should consider the act of abortion, except in such circumstances where the unborn child would be a threat to the life of the mother, as an act of premeditated murder.

          This principle can also be clearly deduced from a passage like Exodus 21: 22-25 where God gives commands regarding personal injuries, “22 If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise”.

 

          We have just done what the Berean Christians did almost two thousand years ago and what countless brothers and sisters have done throughout the centuries in between. We have searched the scriptures and confirmed what they clearly teach.