The following questions have been asked about the church and various teachings in the Bible,.  The answers below were provided by our founder Rev. Walter Bowie, Jr. Our hope that his thoughtful insights will bless you as well.

What about the motto in church bulletins that says, "Enter to worship, leave to serve?"

This motto that is frequently seen in church bulletins is seeking to communicate the idea that what goes on in the church should not be disassociated from what happens outside of the church.  Any supposed worship of God that does not send men out to live for Him is not real worship.

But this motto should not be interpreted to suggest that worship is something that just happens in church.  Worship embraces the whole of life. We are commanded to present our bodies (whole being) to God and we can never reduce the meaning of worship to what happens in church.  Church worship is only one aspect of the worship of God, and it is only valid in the larger context of a life of worship.

Can sickness be healed through prayer?

Before any discussion of healing, there needs to be a clear understanding of sickness and its causes.  In the experience of Job, we see a man who is afflicted because God allowed Satan to test Him. Job had sores on his feet.  But until God’s purpose was served, no amount of prayer could effect the healing of Job.

In 1 Corinthians 11:30-32, we are told that many were sick because they were improperly taking the Lord’s Supper.  They were being chastened by the Lord. In this case, no amount of anointing with oil or prayer could heal them until they had repented. In the case of Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12), we are told that God’s response to Paul’s prayer did not remove the thorn.  The Lord told him that grace is sufficient. With sufficient grace, Paul was able to accept the infirmity, but he had to continue to live with it. It is not true that all sickness can be healed with prayer.  Prayer for healing, like prayer for anything else, is always subject to “if the Lord wills.”

But this motto should not be interpreted to suggest that worship is something that just happens in church.  Worship embraces the whole of life. We are commanded to present our bodies (whole being) to God and we can never reduce the meaning of worship to what happens in church.  Church worship is only one aspect of the worship of God, and it is only valid in the larger context of a life of worship.

Is reincarnation in harmony with the Bible?

No, it is not.  Reincarnation is a part of the Hindu religion.  It is the belief that people come back into this world in another existence after they die.  If a person lives a “good” life, he will come back into the next life in a “higher” form. The goal is to get off of the “wheel of existence” and be absorbed into the universal soul.  A bad life will cause one to return to this world in a lower status, maybe an animal. Each step backwards means that it will take more time for the individual to get off of the “wheel of existence.”

Contrary to this, the Bible does not teach this cyclical view of life.  The Bible view of time and life is linear. Time began when God said, “Let there be, and it will end when the angel declares that time will be no more” (Revelations 10:6).  Each of us has an allotted time in which to live and to seek God (Acts 17:26-27). The time that we have will not be repeated in any form. For the believer, one verse says it all:  “And it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Are women equal to men?

No, they are not.  Women are not equal to men, and men are not equal to women.  Equality is a mathematical concept, and it causes mischief when pressed too far in human relationships.  To talk about men and women being equal is like saying that two apples are equal to two hickory nuts. It doesn’t make sense.  The fact is that apples are apples and hickory nuts are hickory nuts; they are different.

God made men and God made women.  He did not make them alike; He made them different.  They were made to complement each other. The concept of equality among the sexes creates conflict, and fosters competition where God intended that there should be cooperation.

When man was still in his perfect state, God said that it was not good that man should be alone.  God made man a helper that was right for him. She made up for that which was lacking in man. Someone has said that God did not take the women from a man’s head to rule over him, nor did he take her from his feet to be his footstool, but God took her from man’s side to be his companion.  Both man and woman are suitable for the role that God intended. Perfect harmony can prevail only when both men and women labor to fulfill the role that God intended for them.

Is the Bible a devotional book?

No, the Bible is not a devotional book.  There is much devotional material in the Bible, but to think of the Bible solely as a devotional book is to relegate it to those times that we need an emotional lift or inspiration.  All too many people think that the Bible is to be used during times of sorrow, sickness, bereavement, etc., but at other times, it is laid aside.

Planet earth comes with a book of rules; they are set forth for us in the Bible.  In the Bible, God has spoken to us, either directly or by implications, to every area of our life.  The Bible is not just a devotional book. It is a command manual. Therefore, we should study it and seek to find the principles that God has given to us for every area of our lives.