Question: How can we recognize those moments when God is leading, and we as a church need to be courageous and do something that looks risky?
Answer: When lives are being transformed, people are coming to Christ, marriages are being restored, and members are committing to new avenues of service, it’s a God thing—not a man thing. When it happens, the church will recognize it is the Holy Spirit at work, and people may be led outside their comfort zones to take the risk of a mission trip, a new church plant, sharing their faith with strangers, or increasing their giving without being manipulated to do so.
Question: My kids changed denominations. Now they want me to. But I say once a Baptist, always a Baptist. Should I stick to my guns?
Answer: You need to look at the beliefs of the other denomination. Make sure you are a Baptist because of the teachings, methodologies, and practices of the SBC, not just because you’ve always been a Baptist. Rejoice that your children have found a place to worship and serve, but you may have to tell them you are exactly where God wants you, and in that case, stay where you are.
Question: What does the Bible say about cremation? My husband wants it, but I’m not sure.
Answer: In I Samuel 31:8-13, Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle and the Philistines used their bodies for target practice. The men of Jabesh-Gilead recovered their bodies, cremated them, and buried their ashes. While that was an extreme case, I don’t know of any reason a believer cannot be cremated. Many soldiers and sailors have been buried at sea or killed in an explosion, and God will have no problem resurrecting them and giving them an eternal body.
Pat Pajak is IBSA’s associate executive director for evangelism. Send questions for Pat to Illinois Baptist@IBSA.org.