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Answers to your questions about life, religion and the Bible

Pastors get some of the most interesting questions from people they meet and people in their congregations. Here are a few questions that I’ve gotten during my years of ministry and via email for this column.

Dear Father Paul: My wife and I are having serious marriage problems. A friend at work said that we need to get “Christian marriage counseling.” We are believers, but are not active in any church. What is Christian marriage counseling? What should we expect ... and do you provide Christian marriage counseling? — (No Name Please).

Dear Sir: I believe (strongly) along with most pastors, that the answers to each and every problem we have is found through a relationship with God and knowing what he says in his “instruction manual” for the human race ... the Bible. This includes building a happy and successful marriage, problems with kids, relationships with others, job and work related problems and on-and-on. The list is almost endless.

If you’ll stop and think about it, it is perfectly logical to expect the one who made us to provide instructions on how we can live productive, happy, and fulfilled lives. Many of us spend years seeking the world’s solutions to our problems when the answers are right there in front of us all the that dusty old Bible that we may not have picked up in years.

An experienced Christian counselor listens closely to both the husband and the wife, then prays and searches the scriptures for godly counsel and lastly, helps the couple apply what the Bible declares as truth for their specific situation. Christian counselors do not provide psychological therapy, but rather spiritual counseling and guidance, and it is important to understand the difference. Sessions usually last an hour or so and run from four to six weeks, sometimes longer. Many pastors and their wives counsel together.

Judy and I have been married for 43 years and in that time have learned a thing or two about marriage. We enjoy counseling with couples as God allows. Couples are not required to attend or join our church.

Dear Father Paul: Who do you plan on voting for for president? — Andrew

Dear Andrew: None of your business. Just kidding.

To be honest,I am one of those (Independants) who has not yet made up his mind. There are things that I really like a lot about each of the candidates for president and vice-president, and I am spending serious prayer time asking God to tell me who “He” wants to occupy the White House for the next four years. Put another way,I am seeking to know who “He” wants, not necessarily who I like.

With all the negative things that are happening in our nation and the world right now, I can’t think of any presidential election in my lifetime that was more important than our upcoming election on Nov. 4. Every believer needs to get on his/her knees during the next few weeks.

Dear Father Paul: What were the “Tree of Life” and the “Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil” mentioned in Genesis and Revelation? — Rick.

Dear Rick: The Tree of Life and the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil (I believe) are literal trees with literal (real) fruit. But the Bible often refers to trees and fruit as a manifestation of the thing producing the fruit (Galations 5:22)

Considered this way, I believe that these two trees were and are really a matter of whether or not mankind would be obedient and love and trust God or disobey God and suffer the consequences.

Taken in this context, The Tree of Life is literally “life” itself while the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil (that God forbad Adam and Eve from eating in the Garden of Eden) is literally “death” itself. We all know that Adam and Eve ate from The Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil and thus chose death rather than life. Because of this, all of us today live on a “fallen planet” with all of the suffering, death and hurt we see all around us.

But even though “we chose death” God intervened and provided an antidote for the poisoned fruit we ate. The antidote? His Son, Jesus. Through belief in him, we overcome death. Wow! What wonderful good news.

Got a question for the column? Email me at or call me at 678-457-3050.

Do you have a prayer need and no one to pray for you? Email or call me and I will pray for your need. I do not need to know your identity.

Paul Massey is pastor of Church of the Holy Cross Charismatic Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Ga. Information, worship times and directions are available at

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