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Frequently Asked Questions - Christian Life

No. A person becomes a Christian, not by being born to Christian parents but, by an individual and personal decision to follow Christ. Even if your ancestors were Christians for a 100 generations, that still would not automatically make you a Christian.

One becomes a Christian (follower of Christ) by believing the gospel, repenting of sin, confessing Jesus as Christ and being buried in baptism (immersed in water) into Christ's death in order to rise to new life. After taking these initial steps, one must then live a godly life. For more information about becoming a follower of Christ, please see the booklet The Process of Salvation.

There are several parts to this question:

1) Is it permissible to celebrate Communion at home?

Of course it is. There are many examples in the New Testament where the followers of Christ met together in houses. The church is not a specially consecrated place or a sacred building. The church is the people who follow Christ. They may meet anywhere, including in their homes, to worship and to remember Christ.

2) May a family celebrate Communion together?

Certainly. Jesus told His disciples to eat the bread and drink the cup in remembrance of Him (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Therefore, if family members are followers of Christ they are not only permitted, but commanded to take Communion.

3) Who may preside over Communion or administer the bread and cup to others?

Many people say that only a priest or an ordained minister has the right to administer Communion. However, the Apostle Peter points out that, in God’s sight, every follower of Christ is a priest (1 Peter 2:4-10). Since this is the case, every follower of Christ has the right to administer Communion to others. He is set apart by God whether he has official recognition from some church “authority” or not.

4) How often should we celebrate Communion?

Jesus did not give specific instructions about how often we ought to take Communion. He merely said, “ often as you eat this bread and drink this cup...” (1 Corinthians 11:26) However, we know from history that the early church celebrated Communion every week, on the Lord’s Day, that is Sunday. There is no definitive or clear example that they took it on any other day. It is probable that they based their practice on that of the priests of the Old Testament who ate the “Bread of the Presence” once per week (see Leviticus 24:5-9, 1 Samuel 21:6).

Since Jesus did not give specific instructions, many people think that we are free to take Communion more often than once a week. Some think we should do it daily. Others believe that we should celebrate Communion only on Sunday. In such matters the Apostle Paul writes that we should follow our own consciences, “...Let each man be fully assured in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5)

The use of alcohol for medicinal purposes is permitted. While the drinking of alcoholic beverages is not forbidden, drunkenness is severely condemned. Because of the poor example it sets and the possibility of alcoholism, it is best for the followers of Christ to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages altogether.

Scripture makes it clear that God intended for marriage to be between one man and one woman for life. However, if one of the partners dies, the surviving partner may marry again.

Though polygamy (having more than one wife) and polyandry (having more than one husband) is not explicitly forbidden, it is clear that this is not God's ideal. Marrying more than one person after becoming a Christian would be looked on with extreme disfavor. If someone already has more than one wife or husband before becoming a follower of Christ, he or she is not required to divorce all but one of them. However, a person with more than one wife is disqualified from becoming an Elder or Deacon in the church. (See 1 Timothy 3:2, 12 and Titus 1:6)

God's intent was for marriage to be between one man and one woman for life. He never intended for marriage partners to divorce. Jesus said that the reason God permitted the Jewish people to divorce was because of their hardness of heart. (Matthew 19:8) Christians should not be hard-hearted. Instead wives and husbands are to respect and love each other with the same kind of love that Christ has. (See Ephesians 5:22-33)

In light of the love which should exist between husband and wife, Jesus said that, except in cases of infidelity, to divorce and re-marry is equivelent to adultery. (See Matthew 19:3-12 and Mark 10:2-12)

The Apostle Paul writes that if one marriage partner is a follower of Christ, and the other is not, the believer should not divorce the unbeliever. If the unbeliever divorces the believer, however, the believer is free to marry again. (See 1 Corinthians 7:12-15)

Christ has also said through the Apostle Paul that marriage partners should not separate, but if they do they may not divorce or marry someone else. (See 1 Corinthians 7:10-11)

On the basis of Malachi 2:13-16 some feel that though God hates divorce, He permits it as an escape from violence.

In summary, a Christian may divorce only if:

1) His or her spouse has committed adultery. (Though it is not necessary to divorce in this circumstance.)

2) His or her unbelieving spouse requests it.

3) It is the only way to escape violence. 

If a Christian couple feel they can no longer live together, they may separate, but they may not divorce or marry someone else. 

Christians are not commanded to pray certain ritual prayers or to pray at certain set times. Scripture says that the followers of Christ are to pray "at all times" (Ephesians 6:18), "in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and "without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). What this means is that prayer is not a ritual but should be a natural part of a Christian's life, just as breathing is a natural part of his physical life. Prayer is a conversation between a Christian and his heavenly Father (God). In addition to vocal prayers, the spirit of Christ's followers should be in constant communication with God's Spirit.

One reason God doesn’t answer our prayers is because of on-going sin in our lives. We want the benefits of serving God without submitting ourselves to Him. Isaiah 59:1-2 says, “Behold, Yahweh’s (that is, God’s) hand is not shortened, that it can’t save; neither his ear heavy, that it can’t hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” If God is not answering our prayers we need to examine ourselves to see whether we are deliberately living in opposition to His will.

In other cases, God might not answer because we have not acted on what He has already told us to do.

Many times, however, God does answer our prayers but it is not the answer we expected. Unless God gives us a ‘yes’ answer we think that He has not answered. The truth is that God often answers our prayers with something other than ‘yes’. Here are some other possible answers:

‘Not Yet’
‘Not That Way’
‘My Grace Is Sufficient’ (See 2 Corinthians 12:9)
‘If’ (Sometimes God’s response is conditional or dependent upon what we do. For example, see Matthew 6:14-15)

We need to realize that these are just as much an answer to our prayers as ‘yes’ is.

Jesus declared that all foods are clean. (Mark 7:19) Blood, however, is not considered a food and consuming it is forbidden. (See Genesis 9:3-4 and Acts 15:29) Christians should also avoid eating food which has been dedicated to idols - not because the food, itself, is unclean, but to avoid participation in idol worship. Christians should also abstain from eating anything they cannot eat with a clear conscience or which would cause offense to others. With these exceptions, no food is forbidden, as long as it is eaten with thanksgiving. (See 1 Timothy 4:3-5)

Fasting is not commanded in Scripture. Jesus said, however, that His followers would fast. (See Matthew 9:14-15) There are 3 important circumstances when it is appropriate for Christians to fast:

1) In preparation for an important change in life. For example, Jesus fasted before beginning His ministry.

2) As part of intercession on behalf of someone else.

3) To abstain from food in order to give it to the less fortunate. 

Christians are instructed to meet together for worship on the first day of every week, that is, Sunday. Aside from that, no holidays are commanded in Scripture. Though they are not required observances, many Christians celebrate the holidays of Easter and Christmas.

Easter is a holiday on which Christ's resurrection from the dead is celebrated. The holiday is not mentioned in Scripture and the followers of Christ, therfore, are not required to observe it. Since Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead near the Jewish feast of the Passover, Easter is celebrated about that same time every year. Passover is calculated using a lunar calendar, so the date of Easter is not fixed. It always falls on a Sunday, sometime in March or April.

Just before His death, Jesus asked His disciples to remember Him by partaking of what is called 'The Lord's Supper.' According to the scriptural example, this should be done each Sunday. The 'Supper' consists of unleavened bread which represents Christ's body, and fruit of the vine (juice or wine from grapes) which represents Chirst's blood which He gave for the forgiveness of our sins. The 'Supper' not only reminds the followers of Christ of His death, but of His resurrection, too. Instead of celebrating His resurrection only once a year at Easter, it seems more appropriate to do what Jesus asked and remember Him each week by partaking of the 'Supper.'

Christmas is a holiday celebrated by many in honor of Christ's birth. Observance of this holiday is not required by Scripture, nor is it even mentioned. The actual date of Christ's birth is not known, but Christmas is usually celebrated on December 25th.

Christmas is a time of family gatherings, singing songs about the birth of Christ and the reason for His coming to earth, feasting and the giving of gifts. The gifts are a reminder of the gift of salvation which God gave the world in Christ.