Questionable Practices

<<doubtful activities or beliefs>>

Do not be forced into believing or doing something that you are unsure about, that doesn’t seem to agree with Bible principles or that you are not comfortable with. Don’t compromise your integrity as you continue to grow in your understanding of life.

It is important to have a clear understanding of the Bible teachings, its non-negotiable commands and guiding principles. Even mature believers can

Know and live by what the Bible teaches

unwittingly be coerced doing things that are not completely right in God’s sight. This may be because of ignorance, self-gratification, or the very real pressure to please others. However, into remember we will all be answerable to Christ as to how we have lived our lives (Eccl 12:14; 2 Cor 5:10). Be an example of honourable actions and reactions (1 Tim 4:12).

Many things in Scripture are either clearly permissible or forbidden, and so are to be done or not done, as the case may be. In essential matters of the faith all Christians should be in agreement. In non-essentials or areas where no clear teaching is given we are at liberty to choose what is an appropriate response to make, provided we do not to cause another to stumble in their Christian walk. We can act as our conscience permits whilst remembering  that whatever we do that does not come from faith is sin, and the bottom line is doing everything for the glory of God (Mt 18:16; Rom 14:1-23; 1 Cor 10:31). For example, Scripture says the private parts of the human body are to be covered, yet there are no specific regulations governing the level of the female dress hemline or how revealing the top is. These are individual choices, dictated in part by climate and suitability to the occasion, as well as personal understandings as to what would cause men to become immorally aroused in their thoughts. Each is to be fully persuaded in their heart while being open to concerned input or advice from others if they consider the standard is not suitable for a Christian wanting to walk uprightly and set a godly example. Paul said, “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited” (2 Cor 6:3). He didn’t want God’s name being ridiculed or disgraced. If it doesn’t take you closer to God it will take you further from Him.

Temptation often takes the form of pushing the boundaries further than we have in the past, a continual eroding of standards. There is always pressure to compromise. Err on the side of caution, so you are not led away or bring

If in doubt, don’t!

discredit to Christ. “I can do anything I want to if Christ has not said ‘No’, yet some of these things aren’t good for me…I will not be mastered by them” (1 Cor 6:12, 10:23). Obedience is better than sinning then repenting, and our freedom in Christ is not an excuse to sin (1 Sam 15:22; Gal 5:1). Although sin can be forgiven, consequences are long-term liabilities.

Even though we are not under the OT Jewish ceremonial laws, the principles behind them (of worshipping and loving God) still apply to us today. The principles of the civil laws of the OT should guide our daily conduct. The moral laws, such as the Ten Commandments, reveal the nature and will of God and must be strictly obeyed, not to obtain salvation but to live in ways that please God (Rom 10:4; Gal 3:23-26; Eph 2:15,16).

Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, it is not ours to do with as we want, so don’t contaminate it by doing what is questionable or will likely cause regret later (1 Cor 6:19,20; 2 Cor 1:22). Do not let carnal, personal desires and curiosity lead you down sensual, selfish, sinful paths, nor peer pressure. Ask yourself, are there Scriptural or ethical principles that would be violated or compromised if I did this?

The Bible not only says, ‘don’t sin’ but also advises to stay away from all ‘appearance of evil’ (Eph 4:26; 1 Thes 5:22; 1 Jn 2:1, 3:9). Ask or observe what particular stratum of society is adopting this ‘new’ custom; does their lifestyle reflect God’s values? What is the image being portrayed?  Whatever is of God is good, uplifting and beneficial to all involved as opposed to the ploys Satan uses – alluring, selfish, demanding, demoralizing and destructive tactics. Listen to your conscience; it is a good indicator if something is right or not. Anything we do that violates our inner ‘policeman’ is sin. If we have to justify or make excuses for our actions we have gone too far (Rom 14:22,23; 1 Jn 3:21).

See also: accountability, compromise, conscience, consequences, controversial issues, laws, liberty, peer pressure, pure/purity.




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