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Death Penalty

Question: Could you clarify the biblical position on capital punishment? Specifically, when is the state permitted to carry out the death penalty? Should it only be used for murder, or may it be used for other serious crimes as well, such as rape? Also, how should we respond to Christians who oppose the death penalty […]

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I John 5:7

Question: “Is I John 5:7 a sufficient source in defending the Trinity?”   Answer: There is more to this question than meets the eye. First, one text is sufficient proof to teach any doctrine. The question is, “Does 1 John 5:7 teach the Trinity, and does it do so sufficiently and clearly to be used […]

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Fellowship with Unbelievers

Question: How would you respond to those who like to have fellowship with unbelievers? They argue that we are called to be the light, and in order to do so we must send our children to public school and fellowship with unbelievers.   Answer: It seems to me that there is confusion here. There is […]

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Question for Schuyler

“What do you believe is the proper way to deal with brothers or sisters who have left our Protestant Reformed churches for another, and in our view lesser Reformed church? I believe that they have sinned by going to a lesser church, but if they are still attending church faithfully and seem to walk a […]

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Child Abuse

“In the Roman Catholic Church, there have been some recent scandals regarding priests who were caught sexually abusing children. The Roman Catholic Church handles these in its own way, but this made me wonder what would happen if this situation were to arise in one of our churches. If a minister were caught abusing a […]

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Organ Donation

“Should I be an organ donor? I feel as if I am not an organ donor, it’s almost selfish to deny my healthy organs to someone who needs them. In addition, if one of our church members needed a life-saving organ donation, we would not refuse it, would we? On the other hand, I feel […]

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Cremation

Recently I received a note from Mr. Ray Kikkert, member of the Protestant Reformed congregation in Wingham, Ontario, Canada. Beacon Lights thanks him for his interest and his comments. He begins with two questions: “Who is Schuyler?” And: “Is it Mark Hoeksema, the editor?” My answer is also two-fold. First, Schuyler’s identity is a deep, […]

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Cremation

“How do we respond to a relative who has decided on cremation?” Two arguments have been used against cremation. First, we are told that it is pagan. While it is true that pagans have cremated their dead for pagan reasons, that in itself does not make the practice pagan. Pagans such as the Greeks cremated […]

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Adopted Children

Are adopted (rather than biological) children in a Christian family part of the covenant? What Bible references can you suggest for your view?   The short answer is, “Yes! Absolutely!” Salvation in neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament is biological. Sin is biological, that is, it is passed from father to son on […]

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Tattoos

What, if anything, does the Bible say about tattoos and body piercings? It seems that you cannot go anywhere without seeing people who have one or the other. I know that the Old Testament forbids tattoos, but many had body piercings. Could there be a connection between the acceptance of tattoos and the end time—“taking […]

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