When The Bible Is Silent About You Doing This Or That

Church Family:
Do you ever struggle as a Christian to make God honoring decisions? Many times we come to do a decision that needs to be made in life where the answer is given clearly in Scripture. We can find specific behaviors and actions strictly prohibited no matter who you are or in what situation you find yourself needing to make a decision. God has given us His commandments, precepts, statutes and teachings to know that we are without exception fully accountable to Him. None of those commandments are negotiable. We do not have the freedom to disobey what God has clearly commanded.

But wait, there is another category of decisions that do not have clear biblical answers. Do I go to this event; do I watch this movie; do I drink a beer; do I go see that person; do I take that job, etc. These kind of decisions can result in behaviors and actions that may be sin for one person but not be sin for another person. This sounds like moral relativism but it is not. Romans 14, informs us that this life brings possibilities for one believer to do one thing without sin but for another believer the same action is sin. To be clear, if God has clearly stated in Scripture to not do a specific behavior or action then each believer would be sinning if they did that behavior. But what about all the situations we find ourselves daily where we must do something that God has neither said do that or don't do that? How could it be sin for someone to do something if God has not said don't do that? We can participate in behaviors and actions that are not forbidden by God's word without sinning and yet someone else can do that and clearly be sinning. In Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8-10, Paul gives us principles to guide us when we face ethical decisions not directly addressed in Scripture. These are issues which God has neither commanded nor forbidden. These are matters of individual conscience. These are not issues such as stealing, lying, coveting, sexual relations or other behaviors and actions on which the Bible gives clear guidance. When Paul says in Romans 14:5, “be fully convinced in his own mind” he is specifying issues that God has not clearly spoken. In other words, as believers, we are commanded to spiritually evaluate, think, reason, and make up your own mind as to how you should behave and what things to participate in.

For example, there is no command in Scripture that says thou shalt not engage in any social media. Now for one person social media is a source of lust, anger, coveting, debauchery etc. But for another person, they can engage in social media to meet an old friend, have some great conversation, or buy a new bicycle and then turn it off without participating in sin.

So how do you make daily Christian decisions when Scripture does not clearly prohibit or urge a certain action or behavior? Ask these questions:
  • Does the Bible allow it?
  • If the Bible says don't do it: Don't do it.
  • If the Bible is silent: Ask the question does my conscience allow it?
  • If your conscience says No: Don't do it.
  • If your conscience allows it: Determine what is the effect on other Christians?
  • Determine what is the effect on non-Christians?
  • Determine what is the effect on my spiritual life?
Then move forward with confidence "fully convicted in your mind" that this is a godly decision or it is not (Rom. 14:5).

See you Sunday, fully convinced that Sunday is the day to gather in worship: Steve

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