This portion of our website is designed to provide Biblical answers to many of the common cultural topics that surround us today. Some of these questions you may have wondered about or have had some general notions on, but were unable give a detailed explanation for your view. Some of these questions you may have had but have felt uncomfortable about asking. If there is a question that is not addressed here, then give Pastor Win an email and he will offer his thoughts and add said question to this list.

  • What is the True Church?

    Historically, Reformed Christians have held that there are three marks that identify true churches from false ones. First, they emphasize the preaching and teaching of God’s word. Second, they make right use of the Sacraments. And Third, they practice Biblical discipline. These are the fruit by which a church ought to be primarily judged.

     

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  • What about the other books not contained in the Protestant Bible?

    There are many books floating around that some people claim to be authoritative and others go as far as to say that they should be part of our Bibles. Some go as far to say that there was a conspiracy to leave out certain books and to include others. These ideas are silly at best. It should be noted that in the Council of Nicea in 325 AD did set the official “Canon” for the church, but that action was simply an affirmation of what the churches already knew and understood to be from the writing of the Apostles and Prophets.

     

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  • What do you  mean by Creation?

    While there is much debate as to the nature of God’s creative work, what I believe the Bible teaches on Creation is that in the beginning, God created all things that are out of nothing over a period of six-ordinary days and then he consecrated the seventh day as a day of rest as a model for us.

     

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  • What is Marriage?

    Marriage is a covenantal union by which one man is wedded to one woman to become a new person — one flesh in the eyes of God — bound together as long as they both shall live. Marriage, being the source of family, is also a basic building block for society. The society that undermines marriage undermines itself. As marriage is a creational ordinance, it belongs to God to define, not to man or to government.

     

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  • Why do you warn people before they take Communion?

    Paul also gives warnings, in 1 Corinthians 10, to those who would participate in communion in an unworthy way. He goes as far as to say that some in the Corinthian church have gotten sick and have died as a result of coming to the table in an unworthy way. Thus, we verbally fence the table to warn people who might otherwise eat and drink to their own destruction.

     

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  • What is the Emergent Church? Good or Bad?

    The Emergent Church has some excellent criticisms of how the traditional church has behaved and been run. At the same time, one need not abandon the institution of the church to see these criticisms addressed in a healthy way...something we are trying to do at Burry’s.

     

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  • How does one become a Christian?

    Ultimately, the answer to this question begins with God and his divine act of election before the creation of the world. Those whom he has elected, he gives to them new birth or regeneration. With this, we repent in faith and draw near to God. Thus, from our end, repentance and accepting Christ as Lord and Savior in faith is that act which we engage in as we become believers. Yet, this repentance and faith cannot happen apart from God’s initial work of electing and calling us to himself through his Son.

     

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  • What do you mean by Election and Predestination?

    In election, God, from before the foundation of the earth, chose to elect some people to salvation to be objects of his grace and mercy while at the same time, allowing others to remain in their fallen and wicked state, giving them the justice that they rightly deserve. Predestination is the word we use to describe the fact that it is God who is in sovereign control over who will come to him in faith.

     

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  • Don't we just all worship the same God?

    Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. While people of other religions may present themselves as Moral and while they might even accept all or a part of our Bibles, unless one comes to the Father through Christ the Son, wrath will be all he finds.

     

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  • What is Hell? Is it Real?

    Hell is very real. It is the place to which all of the enemies of God will be sent and judged for all eternity. It is a separation from that which is good, a process of eternally being destroyed but never annihilated, and tormented for rebellion. It is not a place that any would want to go were they to understand it Biblically.

     

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  • What is a Catechism and why should we use them?

    A Catechism is simply a tool for teaching by way of questions and answers. We use catechisms because they boil down important ideas in a very exacting and concise way that can be learned and repeated. We use the Heidelberg Catechism, an early Reformed Catechism authored by Ursinus and Olevianus in 1563. Originally, it was written to unite the German Reformed and German Lutheran churches under one document. Though it was not embraced as such in its day (the Lutherans considered it too Calvinistic), it is still an excellent document of theology written with a very personal and pastoral touch.

     

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  • Why aren't the Wise Men in your Manger Scene?

    Because they weren’t there. Matthew records the account of the Magi from the east, but when they arrive, Joseph and Mary are described as living in a house and the Greek word that describes Jesus is best translated as “toddler,” putting this event likely more than a year after Jesus’ birth.

     

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  • Why does the Apostles' Creed say, 'Holy Catholic Church?'

    The word “catholic” means universal. Though the church is made up of many parts — various faithful congregations throughout the world — it is one church universal. The Creed means to emphasize that great principle and thus is not referencing the Roman Catholic church.

     

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  • Why does the Apostles' Creed say, 'He Descended into Hell'?

    The Greek word that is translated here as “Hell” is the word “Hades” in the original Greek text. Hades, the equivalent to the Hebrew, “Sheol,” can mean the place of punishment but can also simply mean the grave — context determines how it is being used. In this case, what we mean when we say the creed is that Jesus descended from the cross and into the grave — a reminder that in death he sanctified even the grave on our behalf.

     

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  • What about Abortion?

    The sixth commandment states, “Thou shall not kill.” In context, this is not speaking of warfare or capital punishment, but of one person taking the life of another person. Since an abortion is neither an act of war nor is a punishment for a crime (can the unborn child be guilty of such a capital offense?), then abortion is not justifiable. Instead, the Bible treats it as willful murder. Though the American legal system approves of such an action, God considers it sin.

     

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  • What about Cremation rather than Burial?

    Traditional Judeo-Christian practice has been to bury their dead or to place their dead in a cave whereby which the remains may be kept in tact and honored. In contrast, burning the bodies of the dead has its historical roots in pagan practices where the body is seen as returning to nature and ceasing to be a distinct entity. Yet Christians (and many Jews) believe in a resurrection from the dead, where our bodies will be raised anew. With that in mind, we believe that even in death, our bodies are kept by Christ for that great and glorious day when he will return and raise us from the dead.

     

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  • What is the nature of Evil?

    Evil is that which does not reflect God’s character and is not done for God’s honor. Some people have come to describe evil as the absence of God, yet this is not a position consistent with the teachings of the Bible, for God even states in Isaiah 45:7 that he brings about both the peaceful and evil events. God is not the author of evil, but he uses even evil things to work his good purposes, which means he is present even in the presence of great evil.

     

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  • Is Homosexuality a Sin?

    Repeatedly, the Bible speaks of homosexuality as a sinful practice and, like adultery or other forms of sexual immorality, a practice which separates us from himself. Yet, like with other sins, in Christ there is a promise of deliverance for those who repent of their sin and who put their trust in Him.

     

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  • What is Postmodernity?

    In Post-Modernity, relativity is the theme that governs all sources of knowledge. No longer is there an absolute truth, but each person is responsible for forming and shaping his own truth on the basis of their experiences. While this is helpful in that it places emphasis on context when it comes to understanding, it is harmful as an overarching worldview because it denies any transcendent (and thus absolute) truth and rejects the idea that God is right and when we think rightly we are “thinking God’s thoughts after him.”

     

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  • What should the Role of Women be in the church?

    The Bible presents a model whereby leadership in the church is to be held by godly men with women serving in more of a support function, training children, providing hospitality, and encouraging those who are in formal leadership. At Burry’s, the way that this takes shape is that while women are encouraged to teach children’s Sunday School, work with the youth, serve on committees, and even lead singing, they are not permitted to preach or to serve on the Church Council.

     

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  • Can someone who commits suicide go to heaven?

    Yes. While a believer who is in his or her right mind should never turn to suicide, one should not underestimate the effect that depression and other illnesses can have on a person — thus taking them out of a mindset where they are thinking rightly about life and actions. Thus, if someone was a professing Christian, trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but driven to confusion and despair by depression or a similar illness, that will not separate them from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

     

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  • How should Christians Vote?

    The question is not so much about what political party one supports, but instead, are the views that the candidate holds views that are consistent with the teachings of scriptures? Christians should exercise their right to vote in the United States and be well educated on the faith and convictions of those for whom they vote.

     

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  • What are Tongues? Are they for real?

    Pentecostals hold that what they experience is the Biblical gift of tongues, yet the Bible describes tongues as 1) being a human language not studied by the person speaking, 2) a testimony against the Jew, not for the edification of the believer, and 3) not for personal prayer. Our position is that Biblical tongues has ceased to be normative for the church and that what the Pentecostals refer to as “tongues” is not the gift of the Spirit described in Acts 2.

     

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  • Why should I get Baptized if I am a believer?

    For the adult believer, entering into baptism is a sign of obedience to a direct command by Jesus; for the child or youth, it is a sign of obedience to their parents as well as to God. While baptism does not save you, as a sacrament, it is a sign and a seal of God’s grace — a sign in that it is a mark of the covenant placed upon the person — and when that sign is joined by faith, it is sealed to the person forever.

     

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  • Why should I Baptize my children?

    In the Old Testament, male covenant children had the sign of circumcision placed upon their bodies at 8 days old. In the New Testament, circumcision no longer is required but is instead replaced by baptism and as their is “neither male nor female in Christ,” both girls and boys are baptized in the Christian church. We see this even in house baptisms, when the Philippian Jailer professed Christ, his whole household was baptized that very night — which would have included children of any age as well as servants in the household.

     

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  • Why should I Join the Church?

    For all practical purposes, most things in the life of the church one can participate in without ever becoming a member. Membership does give the ability to vote as well as to serve in a committee or on Church Council. But practical reasons are not the reason that one comes into membership. Entering into membership is a public statement on behalf of the believer that this is the local body to which you are attached and under whose teaching and discipline you will sit. Jesus did not die simply to make Christians, but to build a church of which all Christians are a part — membership in a local church is an identification with that great truth.

     

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  • Is Faith Blind?

    NO! Faith is that which gives you the ability to see that which the natural eyes cannot see, thus we can walk by it. “Faith is the assurance of that which is hoped for and the conviction of things we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). In the Bible, spiritual blindness is always seen as a mark of unbelief.

     

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  • What is Sanctification?

    Sanctification is the process by which God makes us less like ourselves and more like his Son, Jesus Christ. While often unpleasant, it is a process that is ongoing, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and is one with which we either participate or fight against. At the heart of it is learning to put to death indwelling sin and live more and more unto Christ Jesus.

     

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  • What about Stem Cell Research?

    Stem Cell Research, if it is done with adult stem cells or stem cells taken from the umbilical cord is both ethical and useful. This kind of research has developed treatments for diseases and procedures that can save or prolong lives. Stem cell research from embryos, on the other hand, requires an abortion to take place and thus is a form of murder. This kind of research is both unethical and has produced very little medically beneficial results. While the former can be supported and even encouraged to a degree, the latter must be abolished.

     

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