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 Vol. 4, No. 7 

July, 2002

Since You Asked

~ Page 20 ~

typewriter That Special Someone

By Louis Rushmore

Good day to you! I was hoping to get some insight regarding an issue that I am most puzzled about. GOD has that special someone for most of us, right? I've heard Pastors say that the LORD has someone for me and I will know it when that special person comes into my life, If I marry her or not is up to me. I believe I met this person and she has the basic qualities I'm looking for, i.e. Is a believer but she has a 7 year old child that I did not expect. My question ... Could the LORD really send me my mate with a 7 year old? Am I looking at her having a child something that I should not necessarily take as a negative, but a blessing? HOW? GOD also says to obey my Mom and Dad and If they feel I should not be with her, do I take that as good advise because they are judgmental and don't want me to be involved with someone that already has a child? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as this is something that is really bothering me. GOD bless, Frank

There is nothing in the Bible of which I am aware that teaches "GOD has that special someone for most of us." Obviously, God presented one woman, Eve, to Adam and she was "that special someone" for Adam and there could be no others. Further, God may have determined and executed through providence that certain others in biblical history should have opportunity to marry certain ones (e.g., Ruth and Boaz, Esther and a Persian king, Mary and Joseph, etc.). However, this side of genealogies pertaining to the carnation of the Messiah, Scripture does not reveal whether God 'sends' anyone a mate.

Instead, God, through Scripture, indicates who are biblically permissible candidates for marriage from whom each may choose a marriage partner. It is apparent from Matthew 19:9 that (1) the never married and (2) the innocent person who divorces his or her spouse for adultery are permitted by God to marry; "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." In addition, (3) a widowed person may marry with God's approval (Romans 7:2-3). Further, (4) whomever one marries must be a person who does not influence his or her spouse to sin (1 Corinthians 6:14-19; 7:39). It is best that practicing Christians marry practicing Christians (1 Corinthians 7:10-16).

The presence of a child, irrespective of whether the result of fornication (for which one has repented) and an illegitimate birth or from a previous marriage (which ended due to the death of a spouse or as an innocent party divorced an adulterous spouse), is immaterial to the biblical qualifications of marriage. Whether one who has a child is a suitable prospective spouse is a matter of personal decision, as long as Matthew 19:9, Romans 7:2-3 and related passages about marriage are not violated.

When two people marry, they are to leave and cleave (Genesis 2:24). Therefore, to a large extent, every married couple is to establish itself as an independent home, which does not permit either set of parents to rule that home. Yet, at least from a practical consideration, one ought to carefully consider how one's choices as an adult (including marriage) will affect his and his family's relationship with in-laws on both sides -- before making those choices. Respect for one's parents (Ephesians 6:2) ought to prompt even adult children to evaluate parental advice, even though one may not be still a child who is obligated to submissively obey his parent's wishes (Ephesians 6:1).

Ultimately, based on biblical considerations such as those expressed in the foregoing, you have to make a personal decision whether a woman with a child is a suitable candidate for marriage for you. Your prospective spouse bears weighty responsibility also regarding the biblical qualifications (as so do you) by which God will approve your marriage.

Galatians 6:6, 10

By Louis Rushmore

Image The scripture you quoted from Galatians has nothing to do with the collection. Yes, I feel I should do good for anyone I come in contact with as I have opportunity. But that has nothing to do with the collection for the saints. ~ Loria McCrimon

You failed to discern the observations made relative to Galatians 6:6, 10. Both verses are in the same context, the same breath, if you will. They read: "Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things" (Galatians 6:6, emphasis added, ler) and "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:10). Whatever the revenue source is for verse six to financially support preachers (edification and evangelism) is the same revenue source for verse 10 to financially support the needy (benevolence). One cannot logically exclude congregational finances from Galatians 6:10 and retain congregational finances in Galatians 6:6. Supporting preaching or benevolence is neither exclusively individual nor congregational responsibility.

The Greek word for "communicate" in Galatians 6:6 is "koinoneo." It is translated "be partaker," "communicate" and "distribute." The word means "to come into communion or fellowship with, to become a sharer, be made a partner." The same word appears in the following passages: "Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality" (Romans 12:13). "It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things" (Romans 15:27). "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only" (Philippians 4:14). (Emphasis added, ler.) (See also 1 Timothy 5:22; Hebrews 2:14; 1 Peter 4:13; 2 John 11, though they do not pertain to financial support of godly activity.)

A related word to "koinoneo" is "koinonia," which also means partnership or sharing, but also can mean "a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, as exhibiting an embodiment and proof of fellowship." Passages in which it appears and may refer to a contribution include Acts 2:42; Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 8:4; 9:13; Philippians 1:5.

The bottom line is that Galatians 6:6 pertains to financial support for a preacher, which all agree may be accomplished by payment from the church treasury (though not limited to the church treasury). At the same time, in the same context, benevolence of Galatians 6:10 requires some type of expenditure of money or items money can buy. Otherwise, James says one's faith is dead (James 2:14-26).

"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:14-17).

If the context of Galatians 6 is limited to individual responsibility, then financial support of the preacher is not a congregational responsibility, but an individual responsibility only. If support of the preacher in verse six can be a congregational responsibility, then benevolent activity in verse 10 likewise can be a congregational responsibility. The only reason that anyone doubts the obvious teaching of Galatians 6:10, respecting congregational participation in benevolent relief of non-Christians, is because of a sincere, but misguided selfishness toward church money. The empty sweep of the pen of denial does not disarm what the Bible clearly teaches in Galatians 6.

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