THE GRAY'S OF THE BIBLE
by Charles Robey
(Trussville AL USA)
IS THIS RIGHT OR WRONG?
I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others (1 Cor 10:23-24).
How do you feel about gray areas in scripture ? You can call me a "dinosaur", if you may, but I still believe in the "old time religion". What's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong. So. what are the gray areas and what does the scripture say about these gray areas.
Gray areas are issues that Scripture does not take a dogmatic stance on, or at the very least, issues that Scripture does not discuss in depth. Instead, the Bible gives Christians the liberty to make God-glorifying decisions based on their convictions (Philippians 1:21).
Some examples of gray areas are eating, drinking, smoking, dating, kissing, clothing, music, television, birth control, dancing, spending money, home schooling, working moms, etc. And the debate goes on-an-on, as the scripture is very pathetic on these subjects.
This subject alone, seems to have caused a rift with many believers and many a congregation. So, often times the decision to do or not do something is based on personal conviction in association with ones interpretation of the freedom in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13). Does this particular thing glorify the Lord ? Does it hinder my testimony with weak believers, or the non-believers that I associate with daily ?
I must be careful here, not to forget the doctrine of free grace (Eph 2:8-9) by venturing into the legalistic side of the gospel.
We should always be on guard, as to not hinder weak Christians or unbelievers. The Apostle Paul givers comments, regarding rifts, in the following scriptures: (1 Cor 6:5-6) (1 Cor 14:22-23) (1 Thes 4:11-12) (1Tim 3:66-7).
One of the main measures, regarding the gray areas, is how does it play on ones conscience (Romans 14:22-23) (1 Tim 1:5,19) ? For example, whenever we feel convicted of sin so that we confess, repent, and turn our feet back to the paths of God’s Word (1 John 1:9), we can know that the Spirit has been moving in our lives to reshape our thinking (John. 16:8-11) (Psalm. 119:59-61). It behooves us, therefore, to make time in our lives for the teachings of God's Holy Spirit, when it comes to the gray areas of our Christian experience (Ps. 139:23, 24).
So, in conclusion, it is important for believers to understand the difference in the two "P's", preference and principle. When we separate these two "P's", we will become more grounded in our Christian experience, and we will take advantage of the freedom, that was dictated through the "full gospel" of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1-4). However, we should always remember not to confuse our Christian preferences with another fellow believer's principles.
The most important thing for us to ask in prayer:
"Lord, am I doing, or about to do sin ? Will what I am doing, or about to do, have a negative effect on my fellow believers or affect my testimony to unbelievers ? And, Lord, is Your Holy Spirit showing, through my conscience, that it goes against Your providential will for my life".
Questions for discussion:
Do you give people grace in gray areas?
Do you remember a time where you were not given grace in a gray area? How did it feel?
What are some gray areas in which you tend to judge that you can begin to be gracious in?
What are practical ways you can begin to believe the best in others?
Are your decisions answering the five questions in ways that are pleasing to God?
"4. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5. made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."(Eph 2:4-5)