Seeking Answers to the Wrong Question

We sometimes feel consolation and even justification in the fact that someone is unable to tell us something we want to do is wrong. There are two problems with this approach.

To act in faith we must understand and accept that what we are doing is true from God’s word. Others cannot study it out and grasp the details for us. Anything other than personal understanding places our faith in men rather than in God, even if the men are right. Additionally, the response of others may be unknowingly tainted by ignorance, prejudices, experiences, likes and dislikes, and the desire to please and not hurt the feelings of others.

So, when others say they see nothing wrong with something it still is not permission to act. Confidence is only found in knowing God’s will from Scripture, not in what others say (no matter who they are or how many there are of them).

Wrong Question: Asking whether something can be proven to be wrong may be a starting point, but it isn’t an adequate ending point. When the scripture says, “Test all things, hold fast what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21), it gives us what we’re supposed to be looking for. We aren’t just looking for what tests out to be bad, we are looking for what is proven to be good. We are only permitted to “hold fast”— believe, act, continue to do—what we know is good. It isn’t enough to say, “I’m not convinced it’s wrong and so I’ll do it.” We have to be able to say and show from God’s word, “I know it’s right and so I’ll hold to it.”

Asking, “Is it wrong?” is not necessarily the same as asking, “Is it right?” We may not have clear statements in Scripture saying that something is wrong (especially for modern forms of some actions), yet if we also can’t be certain it is good in the eyes of God we must not act. We must be “fully convinced” in our own minds (Rom. 14:5) that it is right before acting. This kind of certainty does not come from the “It doesn’t say not to” argument—it only comes from knowing what God thinks about it as revealed in His word (1 Cor. 2:6-16).

Are you asking the right questions and getting the right answers? Your soul may depend on it!