11 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Doing Something the Bible Doesn't Explicitly Call Out as Sin

31 Aug

Just listened to a sermon by Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church, titled Slowing the Pendulum Swing.  In it, he unpacks what it means to “walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time” (Colossians 4:5).  He makes the point that, oftentimes, the Bible does not say much with regards to how Christians are to practically engage the culture that we are in (e.g. school, family, friends, etc.) with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • “Am I to be just like my non-Christian friends and do whatever they do so that they don’t think I’m some kind of religious freak?”
  • “Am I to hang out with them, but just not do the ‘bad stuff’?  If that’s the case, then what exactly are the ‘bad stuff’?”
  • “Am I to not hang out with my non-Christian friends at all?  But then, if I do that, how can I reach them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?”

These are a few questions that may or may not arise when we start thinking about exactly how we, as sinners saved by grace, are to relate to non-Christians whom the Bible clear commands us to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with.

To help us out, Matt Chandler referenced in his sermon a list of 11 questions to ask ourselves before we decide to engage culture – especially when it involves doing something the Bible doesn’t explicitly call out as sin.

This list of 11 questions comes from Mark Driscolls book titled, Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out – a book I would highly recommend to all thoughtful Christians on how we are to – well… reach out without selling out.  Below is the list of 11 questions:

  1. Is it beneficial to me personally and to the gospel generally? (1 Cor. 6:12)
  2. Will I lose self-control and be mastered by what I participate in? (1 Cor. 6:12)
  3. Will I be doing this in the presence of someone who I know will fall into sin as a result? (1 Cor. 8:9-10)
  4. Is it a violation of the laws of my city, state, or nation? (Rom. 13:1-7)
  5. If I fail to do this, will I lose opportunities to share the gospel? (1 Cor. 10:27-30)
  6. Can I do this with a clear conscience? (Acts 24:16)
  7. Am I convinced that this is what God desires for me to do? (Rom. 13:5)
  8. Does my participation proceed from my faith in Jesus Christ? (Rom. 14:23)
  9. Am I doing this to help other people, or am I just being selfish? (1 Cor. 10:24)
  10. Can I do this in a way that glorifies God? (1 Cor. 10:31-33)
  11. Am I following the example of Jesus Christ to help save sinners? (1 Cor. 10:33-11:1)
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