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MINISTRY//A delicate answer

MINISTRY//A delicate answer

Our Bible institute professors field many questions from our students. Some questions are about interpreting the Bible. Many are about applying what the Bible says to everyday situations.

Sometimes those situations are not everyday situations at all.

An appropriate answer

“I didn’t know how to answer the question,” one of our professors admitted. “One of a team of students from the same church asked, ‘How should we handle the issue that our pastors and church leaders take money out of offering for themselves?’”

Our professor, of course, knows that God’s Seventh Commandment condemns stealing. But his problem was how to advise his students who lived in a different culture, with different expectations for social interaction, and with different approaches to handling malfeasance. For example, the Chinese culture prefers to avoid direct confrontation over any wrongdoing.

A careful answer

“What I say may change things for a church in China,” our professor realized. “I needed to be careful what I said.”

The solution was to talk more with his students. That way he could better understand how confronting church leaders in China may happen. Then they brainstormed an approach that would work in their situation.

What you can do: Ask the Holy Spirit to help our professors stay alert to how best to convey biblical truths in culturally understandable words.