What About the Issues Scripture Doesn't Address?

The Bible is explicit in matters of sin. We don't have to think too hard about what Scripture says about deceit, theft, adultery, idol worship, etc. But what about things that fall in the middle? There are no biblical passages about movies, football, card playing, rock n' roll, appropriate hair length, or other issues that are debated by Christians. How are we supposed to make non-legalistic decisions about issues not addressed in Scripture? Here are a few questions to ask ourselves when venturing into gray territory:

  • Will it be spiritually profitable? We don’t want to look at our lives with the attitude of "I can do this and get away with it." We want the perspective of life that asks, “Can I do this and have it increase my godliness?"

  • Will it slow me down in the race? If we are running to win the prize, then we have to ask ourselves, "Will this action slow me down?" Even if it isn't sin, is it just needless bulk, something that weighs us down, diverts our priorities, takes our attention, sucks our energy, and dampens our enthusiasm for the things of God?

  • Will it bring me into bondage? There are many things that can enslave us that come from creation, which God designed to be ruled by us. How many people let their lives be totally run by a television, which is a bunch of wires connected to a box that man invented?

  • Will it hypocritically cover my sin? The guy who says, “God made horses, I’m free to go to Santa Anita Race Track. I just go out there and enjoy God’s creation.” Yet all day long he’s dropping money gambling. This is a cloak of liberty put over the top of an evil intent, which is to gamble.

  • Will it help other Christians by its example? Even little things in our lives: the discipline of our lives, the fact we watch our diet, or we set aside a certain time to study says volumes to people who are checking in for patterns to follow.

  • Will it be consistent with Christ's likeness? Much of the time we know Jesus wouldn’t have said what we just said, or Jesus wouldn’t have done what we just did. Asking ourselves that before we do or say something and not after, prevents us doing things we regret. Would Jesus do it?

This article is adapted from chapter seven of Truth Endures by John MacArthur.

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