So Many Problems, Where Are The Answers?
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 119 · 2 months ago

So Many Problems, Where Are The Answers?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Church is a wonderfully complex thing. It's people of all different life stages and ages coming together united in Jesus. This complexity brings up many challenging scenarios. How do you know what is the right thing to do? Where do you turn for answers? - Also known as the 1-800-CHURCH-ADVICE sermon.

Every Sunday is different, right, So I don't know if you're ready for what's coming next, but hang on to your seats for a second. Ready church, Yeah, do you want more? Welcome to d Church Advice, a special radio show where we take your questions and give you church advice. So here we go. Question one from our very beloved listeners. It says this, It says, Hi, Kevin. Our church is very diverse. We have people in all different ages and life stages, and sometimes it seems like our older people don't value our younger people, and our younger people don't respect are older people. Do you have any advice? Well, some people might save our younger people might say, if you ever heard it say before, this is not your grandma's church, right, Like, there's a lot of churches that reach old people, and our church is gonna reach young people, the next generation, the ones that are important in this world. You know, Like there's a lot of churches that are reaching the older generations, but we need to reach the young generations. And times have changed, right, I mean people that are up in years like the world is very different than it was it is today, and so they've got their views and they understand the world a certain way, and like we got in order to reach the young people, that we gotta think differently and do things differently. Or some other advice that you might hear is that from the older people, Like the young people are two different today, if you know what I mean. Right, Like the older people are looking at the younger people saying, man, I can't believe the things that those young people think is okay? Like are you serious? Right? Like they don't even wonder if these things are okay or not. And in my generation when I was growing up, we didn't even consider that at all, let alone think it's okay. Right, these young people are crazy and what what kind of life experience do they have to offer? Right, I've been on this planet for long time and they think they know it all and they don't even have kids, and they're gonna tell me how to parent and they don't even have kids. Are you crazy? You got these old people advice these young people advice. Let's go to the next question from our next caller. Here it is, here's the question. Churches are supposed to take care of the most vulnerable. Right, We've got some older people who are in great need and lots of people in our church want us to do everything we can do to take care of them. What should we do? And of course the obvious answer is care for them, right, throw as much resource, time, energy as you can to care for these people in need. Because man, churches, we they raise all this money and they build these big buildings, and you know, walls and lights and stages and chairs are expensive, and and what if that money went to people, Man, that would be so much better. And this isn't that. What the church is supposed to do anyway, is to love...

...people, and not just all people, but or not just some people, but all people, like everyone, right, regardless of how their age, or their background, or their language or or anything. Like, They're supposed to love everyone. That's one advice, or maybe maybe the other advice might be like, if the church was to care for all people in all ways, well, then how is that even financially responsible or possible? Right? Like, there's lots of people with lots of different needs, and we can't just throw our money at anybody or anything, right, we got to invest it in the right people and help them grow. And we don't want to enable people to live like a life that is destructive and hurtful to them. And so there's got to be a certain criteria that we invest our money into certain people so that they can you know, do something good with it, versus just letting it disappear. Some good old church advice, Right, church advice. How about another one? Our next question from our valued caller and our church. It's it's not just the older people in need. We have a lot of younger people in great need to what do you think the church should do for them? And so someone might say, well, hey, you gotta treat everybody the same, right, everybody doesn't matter who they are, doesn't matter what they do. Everybody exactly the same. That's the only fair way to be. And so no matter who that person is, right, we are called to love them. God is love, and so we must love them regardless of who they are or what they believe, or what they've done, or what they do or anything. It doesn't really matter what they do, because we are called to love them. Or some other advice might be, well, you know, people are different. They they are in different life stages, they're in different areas of their life, and and there there's different opportunities for them and so like an older person who's in need, you know, they're they're different than a younger person who's in need, because if you're younger, I mean you have different opportunities. You can move around, you meet new people. Um. And also like if the church were to financially support a younger person in need in some way, then like they might become dependent on that financial support. And if you're dependent upon it, and when you're young, that means like there's many years left to go to to support them. And that's a lot of zeros after whatever amount of money it is that you're investing. Right, So that's a long time some good old church advice, well as radio shows do. Go. We've got a commercial break and I'll be back in a second. Yeah, ur advice, church advice where we give you church advice. Oh I, I can't keep this up any longer. It's fun to be in the moment and play the role, but I feel like, for the sake of my own soul and your own mind, we've got to interject here for a second. What is missing the Bible scripture? I want you to to feel that because that's...

...exactly correct. We can give advice all day long, based on any question that is posed, and some of it you might agree with and some of it you don't agree with. But who's to say what's really right or what's really true. You can't just make stuff up. Right you're like, oh, I like that, or that's helpful to me, or I pulled ten people in the parking lot and three out of the tent said they didn't like it, so I think we're okay. Like, that's that's not how life works. That's not how anything works. That's not how church works. Like if you asked enough people, Okay, you are wondering should I do this? I need advice, I need help, And you ask enough people in your life, eventually somebody will tell you what you want to hear. And then you're like, oh, yeah, there you go, someone agrees with me. I'm right. I mean, you just have to ask enough people. Eventually someone will tell you. And so you know what, your opinions and your thoughts are very important, absolutely, but they have to be filtered or changed or come alongside with the truth of God's word. Amen. And so when we consider advice or church advice, any advice, you have to open your Bible and you can't just pretend like certain things are good and right and sound good. You have to turn to the Word. And so let's review or redo our sermon. Right, and let's start back in First Timothy chapter five with that question about older and younger people. What is God's words say about that? Well, Paul is writing to Timothy, and he says, never speak harshly to an older man, but appealed to him respectfully as you would your own father. Talk to younger men as you would your own brothers. And so there must be much respect for the older generation. From somebody who's younger, there is much respect. And from someone who is older. Right, you treat that someone who's younger like your brother, like your family, like you're connected, like you you respect them too. There's love, there's honor, there's togetherness. And yeah, it might be different worlds, it might be different life experiences, but we are a part of the family of God, and we can all come together. Your family without your brother, without your sister, without your mother, without your dad, is not a complete and we need all the people. And then when you think about those younger ladies, younger women in our church, in your life, we are to treat them with all purity, Like the way that we think about them should be how we think about our own sisters. Now, how do you treat your daughter or your sister? Like it's that first date, right, and that boy is asking can I take your daughter out for a date. It's like, yeah, let's meet together first and I'll show you a couple of things. Right, you gotta treat my daughter with all purity. It's the same idea. So, as a younger lady, if you are with us, I can't speak for everybody, but if you are with...

...us, I want you to know that you are loved and that you should never feel unsafe here with us at church, like we as men and and as older people and everybody, right, we need to treat you with all purity in every way. And that is is great advice direction from the Lord, from his word. And so the next question then about older people in need. Uh. The specific context here is about for Timothy, Timothy getting this advice from Paul about caring for widows, specifically widows, okay, older ladies or actually any ladies as we'll see in a second, who have their husband had passed away, And so what should we do so take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their responsibility is to show Godliness at home and repay their parents. It's by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God. Now, a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She praised night and day, asking God for his help. But the widow who lives only for pleasure is spiritually dead even while she lives. And so Paul is making this argument like, there are some ladies, some widowed ladies that desperately needed the church's help. And that's that's what it was like in the first century. They this church was new, and these new believers were part of the church, and and these people they needed the church's help. And so Paul goes on. He says, give this instruction to the church so that no one will be open to criticism. But those who won't care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers. Man, these are some hard words to consider. Like God is calling us through Paul in this passage, to care for our families, to provide for them, especially those who are are older and maybe have financial needs. And and if we don't do that, we've denied the true faith, and that we are worse than an unbeliever. Oh, like, help us God to understand what that means in our life to care for our family. Well, God loves family, He created family, and whatever we can do to help and support that, all right, that's what Paul is saying. He goes on, he says, a widow who is put on the list for support. Now, see that's the specific context of this. Like again, in the first century, there's no social programs, there's no government assistance. Being a Christian is illegal, and so if a Christian needed help, I mean, they're not going to go to the government. They'd be put in jail. And so there is no social systems that we have today to care for those in need, no government assistance whatsoever. And so they're trying to figure out how what can the church do to help those in need? And so there it looks like there was this list of of support. And now this brings up an important point about the Bible. Not everything about the Bible is specific for what we are to do today. Some things are descriptive, meaning that's what was describing what was happening in the first century when Paul wrote this letter to Timothy. Some things are prescriptive, meaning that they apply to everybody at all times. And so should our church. Should every church have a list of widows that they financially support, And here is the specific criteria that we are to follow. I don't think that's what Paul...

...intended in writing this passage, but we can certainly draw principles from these things to care for the people in our church. Well, so what let's look at the criteria this list of support for these women. They must be sixty years old. So does that mean, again, ladies, if this was prescriptive for us today that if you're over sixty years old, you should expect a paycheck from the church next week, right, I don't think that's what it's saying. Or if you're fifty nine, you're like, I can't wait. Next year. I'm gonna add to my income. The church is gonna send me a nice check. It's gonna be good. I don't I don't think that's what it's saying. But that was the criteria that Paul gave Timothy a woman must be at least sixty years old and be faithful to her husband. And we've talked about through this series the qualifications for elders and deacons. That's the same word. A one woman man or a one man woman, like, that's the same qualifications. She must be well respected by everyone because of the good she's done. Has she brought up her children well? Has she been kind to strangers and served others believers humbly? Has she helped those who are in trouble? Has she always been ready to do good? Man? What a list like, if you're looking for something to do with your life, that God would be like, Wow, that's amazing. Do that, isn't that? That's an incredible list? Like if if all of us could live that way, it would it would be a remarkable way to live. That if we were kind to strangers, served other believers, help those who are in trouble, and always be ready to do good. And I think some of the specific contexts here again in the first century, what that was that these widows they had an opportunity to serve the church, and so they weren't just like getting financial assistance to live, but they were getting like almost paid to be a part of the church to help and do ministry and care for people. And so I mean, you can't just have anybody do that, like, you gotta have the right person who's doing something that's really helpful. And so that's the the older widows being put on the list for support. And then what about the question of the younger people in need? The younger widows, well, they should not be on the list, sorry, everybody who's under sixty, right, because their physical desires will overpower their devotion to Christ, and they will want to remarry. Then they will be found guilty of breaking their previous pledge. And if they are on the list, they will learn to be lazy and will spend their time gossiping from house to house, meddling in other people's business, and talking about things they shouldn't. So I advised these younger widows to marry again, have children, take care of their own homes. Then the enemy will not be able to say anything against them, for I am afraid that some of them have already gone astray and now follow Satan. So there's a little bit of a different guidance for those who are younger. And again this is an official like government support list baby, right, and so you know, if they're younger and they can get remarried, then Paul says, do that, and if not, it's basically enabling them to just you know, work the system in a sense, and they're they've got no uh effort or energy to to do anything helpful and instead, you know, they'll be gossiping and spending their time talking about things they shouldn't talk about, which ladies. Again, I'm just the messenger,...

...okay, I'm not saying that you do those things. In fact, I am saying that it's other ladies that do those things. All right. Turned to the person next to you and say, I'm not talking about you. This isn't about you, right, This is about those other people, those other single ladies that gossip about people and talking about things that they shouldn't That's what this. That's not talking about you, all right, it's talking about those other those other people. And so Paul is giving this advice. So I missed my slide there, all right. So that do you see the difference between just spouting off whatever advice sounds good and actually opening the Bible and seeing what God's word has to say about a particular thing. Do you see the difference? And if you see the difference, then my job has been complete today I will be happy. Right, So, the next time you run into a question you're wondering about something, what should I do? How should I live? What does God want for me? Instead of running to all these different things, listening to the latest podcast, watching the news station, reading the book, doing whatever you know you usually do, if you remember, oh, I need to open my Bible, that is a huge, huge win and see what God's word has for us. And so let's practice. Okay, So here's another question. Here's another question. How come my church thinks it's wrong to even be close to alcohol, but the church down the road sells it for parties on their property. I'm confused. And on one hand, right, on one hand, alcohol is bad. It is so bad, right, Like, you could drink it and drive and kill somebody. It's that bad. And if you drink it, you're probably more likely to get an arguments, which again are bad and lead to really bad things, and it might lead you down a road of deep depression and you might die from it. And so well, we're at it, right, It's not just alcohol that's bad but drugs. Stay away from drugs, rock and roll and dancing and you'll be okay. Or you might say, well alcohol whatever. Who cares like it doesn't matter. God created everything. He created everything to be good. And God's grace is amazing, right, It's amazing, amazing Gray. So that means that the more I just what do, whatever I want to do, God's grace is gonna be so much better. And so having a drink of alcohol helps me connect with people. I mean, it's just something about having that drink in my hand that God just uses me in incredible ways to talk with people that I wouldn't normally talk to. And if you believe that alcohol is bad altogether, that's just such an old school way of thinking. We have certainly moved on from all of that advice church advice. So what do we do, Church? What do we do? You go to the Bible, you turn to the Word. And so in First Timothy, chapter five, verse twenty three, we read how Paul tells Timothy, don't drink only water. Let's see, you...

...ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often. That is the biblical advice on alcohol. Drink a little bit of it, not a lot of it, a little bit of it. And let's just throw in some medical advice here too, right, don't avoid the doctor. They're not bad use of medicine. It's okay, right, God created the doctors for helpful reasons. But you have to be controlled by the spirit. So there's other verses in the Bible that talk about alcohol, and Ephesians has a section on it too, and it says, don't be drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be controlled by the spirit. And so that's what you know. Don't be controlled by alcohol, don't get drunk, that's clear in the scriptures. Be control rolled by the spirit. So somebody who can drink a little bit of alcohol and at the same time be completely controlled by the spirit is a very rare thing. And if you were led to live that kind of way, it will most likely make people ask you some pretty hard questions like really are you You're done? Really? That's it, And it's in those moments that you must you must give a clear answer of what Jesus has done for you. Because man, that speaks right into the heart of somebody, and they have great questions about Jesus, and maybe God might use this thing about alcohol that's so strange and hard to just reach them in a fresh and new way. Okay, so you see the difference. You can make stuff up, You could add all the stuff you want, whatever you think sounds good. But what does the Bible say? What has God's word given us a direction and guidance and principles. It's not going to give you the specific answer to your question, right not everything that is around today was around in the first century when this was written. But God's word is true and his principles are eternal and super relevant to even the most unique questions in your life. So let's let's move on to the lightning round of one hundred church advice. No faces, you're like, come on, give me some more of that. All right, here we go. Question from our beloved callers. It says, to my beloved connect Us Church congregation. God has called me to be a pastor. What should my salary be? And this question was even signed, It was signed by pastor Kevin. Oh, all right, what should so so? Advice might be, well, pastors should be volunteers, because everyone else in the church volunteers, and so pastors should be too, and we should use our money to reach people, to share the gospel to make a difference in our community, and not give the pastor a nice house or or other advice might be, well, you know, the church is a unique organ is um. It's...

...an unique organization, and the leader, the pastor should be paid like similar organizations. So like if a organization has like a hundred employees or or a hundred volunteers, like the leader of that organization, they make good money, probably right, And so why why shouldn't the pastor or maybe it's like a teacher or a professor. You've got classes full of you know, maybe if you're teaching in a big university hundreds of people, you've got hundreds thousands of people, maybe you should get paid like them, and they get paid well. But then you're like, well, it's not just a professor or a teacher, it's administration. It's like you're the president of these universities and then the president of our universities. They get paid really well. So maybe we should pay the pastor like that too. Yea perfect next question, lightning round. Next question, Hey, I'm concerned that my pastor isn't the right person for this job. He made some very bad decisions and hurt a lot of people. What should we do? This one signed as well the connect Us Church family and there's a PS. Don't tell pastor Kevin. So of course you need to fire your pastor because he messed up, and who cares, right, he represents the church and the church exists to honor God, and if he did not honor God, he cannot be leading the church. And so you must get rid of him and you must punish him. Or or you've got the pastor, like he's the pastor, you have to honor your pastor. And you know what, if we're all honest, we all mess up, and we've all done things that are much worse than what the pastor ever did. And so we're really gonna punish the pastor for that. Plus there are hundreds of people that really really like him, and we might make a lot of people mad if we say anything add church advice here we go. Our church needs leaders. We've got a lot of people to choose from. Who do we pick? Well, you picked the best people, of course, right. You all get in the room and you all say okay on the count of three point of the person who's the leader. I guarantee this is the way that people groups work. Like you could just have met these people and almost everyone will point to the same person. That's just how people are. We're weird, right, or or you could say, well, we should not appoint leaders quickly because leadership is hard. It's hard work. Like if you're gonna lead in your business, if you're gonna lead in the government, you know what, like in our in our government, right, if you're working on a big job, they will background check you to death, like they want to know your neighbors of neighbors of neighbors. They want to know every place you ever lived and everybody you ever sneezed on. They want to know everybody everything about you. And if that's the way our businesses and government works, then certainly our church should do that too. Right, last question, I work for the worst boss ever. Help me, please, so forget them, right, forget them. You're smart, You're a very smart individual. You know exactly what to do in every situation, and so just do it. Don't care what your boss tells you to do. Right, You're you're better than they are, and they don't really know that much and they don't really care about you, so just do whatever you want to do. Or or you can say, hey, you should be thankful for your job, like you should help your boss it's hard being a boss. Like you should support them, serve them, and certainly don't take...

...advantage of them. Ah, I did it again. It's the lightning round and I got so excited. I forgot something. What did I forget? Turn to the word? Right, No matter how much good advice do you think? Right? I agree with that, I don't agree with that. Blah blah blah, right, turn to the word. Turned to the word, and so first Timothy Chapter five. These situations, right, how much did the pastor get paid? Well, Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid. What's the next word? Well, well, pastors should get paid well. So when we are hiring our next asociate pastor, how are we gonna pay that pastor? Okay, we're reading from the Bible here. Wait, the word is what, Well, we're gonna take care of this pastor. We're gonna do whatever we can do to provide for them financially in the best possible way. We are going to pay them. Well, we're gonna take care of them in every way that we can, because we gotta pay well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. The scriptures say you must not muscle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain. And in another place, those who work deserved their paid. The apostle Paul put two Bible verses to support the fact that pastors should get paid well. Two verses, that's all. That's impressive. Pastors should get paid well. What about pastors who mess up? Says, don't listen to an accusation against an elder unless it is confer by two or three witnesses. So there must be two or three people that all agree together, and then they must, you know, approach and call out the pastor for whatever they did. And those who sins should be reprimanded in front of the whole church. And this will serve as a strong warning to others. So if you sin right this week, let's say you do something bad, does that mean that you get to sit up here and we all get to reprimand you for the bad choices that you made. No, that's not the context, right. The context is if a person who is public and ministry does something bad, makes a bad choice, then they should publicly get discipline for it, and there's a public confession and a public restoration. Because again, the purpose and church discipline in all areas is always restoration, is never revenge. It's always to hey, we need to make this right in every in every case. What about at those who we need church leaders, Well, it says, don't be in a hurry about appointing a church leader. Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. Like if you invite somebody in too quickly, you don't know everything about them as much as you could, and so some stuff comes out later. And so if you knowing Lee say okay, yeah, you can be a church leader, but there's this big sin issue in your life that you are not dealing with, and you invite them into the group, you are sharing in their sin. And we don't want to do that, right, So we want to get to know everybody, and that's been our process here at the churches we've gotten started. We want to get to know people and see how God works in and through their life over time. It's not a fast process. What about um, your boss being the worst and this is the first century example, the people in the Roman Empire, where slaves, you know, give or take. And so that's just a way of in our kind of modern way of thinking is employer employee relationship and says all slaves, all employees,...

...would show full respect for their masters, for they will not bring shame on the name of God and his teaching. And if masters are believers, that has no excuse to be disrespectful. Those slaves should work all the harder because their efforts are helping other believers who are well loved. So we must as employees respect our bosses no matter who they are, and we shouldn't take advantage of them, even if we're brothers and sisters in the faith. And this was new, remember the Church of just getting started. And so it's like I'm I'm saved. I'm no longer like my boss, my my master is my master. But now we're like together and equal with Christ, and like what does that look like? And Paul is trying to help clear the lines of like the differences between our our spiritual level and our and our social level and and all these different things and how they all work together. So employees must respect their masters and work to help them, and so we must in all these situations, turned to the word, don't just figure out whatever advice you think is best. Turned to the word. Turned to the word, let's do the jingle one more time. I want to see you all singing along to especially to the last part. I don't know what that's for, but it is. Let's do it one more time. Advice. All right, Hey, I'm so glad to be here with you today. We're gonna close our service with communion. And I thought it was appropriate to close our service this way today because I said a lot of stuff that some of it was pretty crazy, right, pretty ridiculous. And in our life we hear all different kinds of stuff, right, It depends who you talk to, it depends what you read. Who knows. I mean, you could go out here and just here's something completely different. And it's in those moments of our life right where we have to not only turn to the word. We turned to the word, the living word. Jesus Christ, the one who was an eternity past, the the eternal word of God, who became flesh, who dwelt among us, and who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, and rose again to give us new life. That's who we turned to. And when we get confused with alcohol and church leadership structures and um, how do we care for those that are in need? And what's the church's responsibility in that? And man, my pastor is this and what like? There's so many questions and we must focus on Jesus and his death and resurrection for us. And that changes our life and it's the heart of our life. It should be the heart of our life and the heart of our church. And so I invite you to participate in communion with us. And if you are not sure about where you stand with Jesus, I will invite you in these moments to just choose to follow him. That he died for you. He loved you so much that he gave his life for you. And yes, he knew everything that you would do, every sin you would ever commit, every bad decision you ever made. He knew that. He knows that all about you. And that's not why he hates you. That's why he loves you. He died on the cross to pay for your sin so that you wouldn't have to. He was buried, and he rose again the third day to give you a new life, to for give you of your sins so that you can have a right relationship with...

God. And in this moment you can say, yes, I want that, Yes I believe that. And so if you're doing that, I invite you to join us in communion together with us. And if you're still again you're not sure about it all, I just invite you to watch and consider and pray and think about how God is moving in your life and what Jesus has done for you. And so in just a second, I want to invite you to stand up. And there's communions stuff down front and communion stuff in the middle. Um, come down, grab a cup and a and a bread and take it back to your seat and we will all take it together at the same time, and we will close our service with a song. All right, let's move.

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