QUESTION: "You mentioned the problem of the population explosion. Didn't God command Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply? These two positions seem irreconcilable."
ANSWER: God did command Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28). However, that command in no way obviated the need for intelligent planning and birth control. The Bible does not condemn family planning.
By focusing attention on the population explosion, we mean to get across the seriousness of the overpopulation dilemma — and resulting famine — facing mankind. However, we are not necessarily espousing human solutions that others may advance. Rather, we mean to show that man cannot effectively solve the problem as long as he is largely motivated by selfishness, greed and vanity.
Children are a heritage of God (Ps. 127:3). All married couples should intelligently plan — unless there are extenuating circumstances — to have children.
However, it is plain that God never intended man to procreate like a mindless animal.
Man's mind is patterned after the mind of God Himself — in whose physical and mental image man was created. Man's mind should be exercised toward the intelligent direction in every facet of life.
The cost of caring for children also enters the picture. Paul told Timothy: "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (I Tim. 5:8). And, "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children [grandchildren]..." (Prov. 13:22).
If a married couple has more children than the family head can comfortably support, the children may never reach their full potential in later life.
Q. "Our family has just finished reading your free booklet Ending Your Financial Worries. We are determined to get our family finances on a sound footing. What are some other books that can help us with more detailed information?"
A. The following are books on the subject that are among the most readily available in libraries and bookstores:
Sense With Dollars, Charles Neal (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1968)
How to Live on Your Income, Editors of Reader's Digest (Pleasantville, N. Y.: Reader's Digest Association, 1970)
How to Stretch Your Income, U. S. News and World Report (Washington, D.C.: U. S. News and World Report, Inc., 1971)
Managing Your Family Finances, J. K. Lasser Tax Institute (Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1968)
New York Times Guide to Personal Finance, Sal Nuccio (New York: Harper and Row, 1967)
Q. "I don't think God meant us to eat horsemeat. Please mention this one way or the other."
A. You are right! Horsemeat was not intended for human consumption. Horses do not have divided hooves, do not chew the cud and are, therefore, unacceptable as food (Deut. 14:3-8). This whole biblical health principle is explained in our reprint article "Is All Animal Flesh Good Food?" Write for a free copy.
Furthermore, most who raise and show horses will tell you that a horse is not conformed to be a meat animal. A 1000-pound horse butchers to approximately 400 pounds of meat.
Q. "I realize that the Bible states that no man other than Jesus Christ has ascended into heaven. However, the following scripture would seem to indicate just the opposite: 'And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book...' (Rev. 5:3). What 'man' does that refer to?"
A. The apparent problem can be solved by determining the correct usage of the word "man" in Revelation 5:3. According to The Analytical Greek Lexicon, the word "man" in this particular passage comes from the Greek word oudeis which means "not one, no one, none, nothing." Hence, most modern translations translate the verse to read "one" instead of "man." There are times when a modern version makes certain sections clearer than the King James.
Q. "I just finished reading the article in your November issue of The Good News entitled 'Why Be Baptized in Water?' I would like very much to be baptized in water, but I do not belong to a church or know of anyone who could do this for me. Could you please give me some information on how to be personally baptized in water? It would be greatly appreciated as I am convinced I must have this done."
A. Ministers of the Worldwide Church of God are available for counsel concerning baptism in most cities of the United States and the British Commonwealth, plus many other parts of the world.
Mona, you have been notified how you can contact a minister. Other interested readers may obtain this same information by writing to us.