Child Dedication – Burial / Funeral – Herbal Medicine – Prohibited Food
- Correct teachings on (A) child dedication (B) wedding and (C) burial services
1a) Example: (Hannah with Samuel) (great men buried Stephen and lamented AND 2nd Samuel 3:31-38) . ANSWER: 1a) Hannah with her son Samuel in 1 Samuel 1:27-28 is an example of child dedication, even though Samuel was a special case in many ways. I think Psalm 127:3-5, Ephesians 6:1-4, and Psalm 78:4-7 are great verses in relation to parents and children. There is of course Proverbs 22:6 also. I think child dedication, when it is done, should be mainly focused on charging the parents to be faithful examples who teach the child God’s ways by deed and word. I think it could be a great time to pray for God’s intervening, guidance, etc in the child’s life and to have God’s protection over him/her as they grow up. It could also be a great time to remind the church how their choices and actions influence others. They should want this child to grow up to be a man or woman who loves God. They need to be a demonstration of the excellence of this and not a stumbling-block to the child as he or she grows up. I also don’t see in Scripture that there is an absolute need to have a child dedication, but to publicly pray for the child, the parents, and to remind the church of these things is still a very good thing to do.
1b) I don’t think people are as willing to listen to serious preaching at a wedding as much as they are at a funeral, so as a general rule I don’t see a wedding as a great time to evangelize and instruct from God’s Word like a funeral often is. I think that if a couple wanted to go in front of a judge and get married instead of having a ceremony at church, that is fine. Of course they should have the church leadership’s blessing and any sincere objections from church members should be taken seriously, but none of that means that the wedding has to be at church. In my opinion the leadership should consider the wishes of the couple and let them do what they think good regarding where and when they have their wedding. But with that said, they need to avoid luxury of course. We know weddings are notorious for vanity and foolish financial expense. They should also be cautious about inviting a lot of people if they want to have something more than a small private ceremony. There is the potential of bad behavior from the guests and the possibility of stirring up unnecessary strife due to not inviting this person or that person. If they keep the lines solid like only church members and immediate family, that could be okay. It is wise though to make sure the godly outnumber the godly at weddings. In my opinion a lot of trouble and money can be saved by just going before a judge or having the wedding at the end of a church meeting. The Bible doesn’t give direct instruction about how to go about a wedding, but it is interesting that Jesus’ first miracle was done at a wedding. I think overall reading the specific situation, considering the wishes of the couple, and using general godly discernment are the keys to handling this well.
1c) Stephen’s burial in Acts 8:2 shows that mourning over the dead as they’re buried is a normal thing for Christians burying a fallen Christian. 2 Samuel 3:38 could be a text to preach from when the deceased was one who evidently was a faithful Christian who fought mightily for His kingdom. One thing that has bothered me at a funeral was the preacher officiating going back and forth between remembering the deceased and trying to save the souls of his hearers. In my opinion, if the person proved they loved God then their life can be described by things which describe godly people in Scripture- and that can flow naturally into pleading with the audience to come to Christ and follow in the deceased’s footsteps to heaven. Otherwise, I think a good approach is something positive things about the person if such can be honestly said- and then call the people to get right with God because they could be called to meet Him at any time and… (whatever the Lord leads regarding salvation). I don’t see the need to say anything about the deceased one’s own salvation in that case, unless maybe they died a death like Ananias and Sapphira that was obviously a judgment from God. That is rare though. Luke 16:19-31 is a text a guy I know who has preached at funerals has used because it proves that both those who die in righteousness and those who die in wickedness want the living to be called to repentance and to so avoid the torment of the flames of hell.
2. Are Christians prohibited from any food and are we allowed to use all herbal medicines (blood – Gen 9:4 “But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.”
1Co 8:10 “For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;”
ANSWER: If it does not involve eating blood nor losing sobriety (i.e. getting drunk or high) nor known to be used in sacrifice to idols then it is lawful. I can’t think of any other reason why a food or an herb would not be lawful.
Bro Aaron can be reached at [email protected]