Is There Authority In Biblical Silence?
By: Michael Light
(As published in the April-June issue of “Matters of The Faith”)
Part 2


        Jesus said, “If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments
(John 14:15, 21, 23); and John said, “For this is the love of God, that
we keep his commandments
” (I John 5:3) also “And hereby we
know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that
saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar
…”
(I John 2:3-4). Paul said that we are to “…rightly divide the word…”
(II Timothy 2:15). I wonder how one can keep that which is not written.
How can you rightly divide that which is not written? Friend, you can’t
even talk intelligibly about that which is not written, for it is not there. We
cannot fulfill these passages on silence. Everything that we need to go to
heaven has been written (Acts 20:32).

      The Christian walk is to be by faith. Faith can ONLY come through the
Word of God (Romans 10:17). Romans 14:23 states, “...for whatsoever is
not of faith is sin
…” These two passages together show that there can be
no faith in that which is not given by God. It is a sin to act in areas of religion
without God’s direction. It is a sin to appeal to the Bible’s silence as proof of
God’s approval. To appeal to the “silence” of the Scriptures is to appeal to
subjectivism. Each man’s own conscience becomes his guide. If we follow our
own likes and dislikes, we are not following God.

      In our everyday lives we recognize that silence authorizes nothing. We
know that “the authority” is in the statement of “what is said,” not in the
“silence of what is not said.” When a recipe calls for two eggs, does it have
to state “now this does not mean 100 eggs”? When we receive a wedding
invitation that lists the date and time as October 4 at 5:00 p.m. must it also
say we do not mean 11:00 a.m. or 9:00 p.m. etc.? If someone asked, “What
is your daughter’s name?” And I responded, “Shelby,” must I also say her
name is not Melissa, Molly or Sue? Of course not. In secular things we see
this principle very clearly. Why is it in religion so many people want to put
their brains in neutral? If we go to a restaurant and order a hamburger and
fries, and the waitress returns with one of everything on the menu do we feel
obligated to pay for them? What if, when you refused to pay she said, “Well,
you didn’t say not to bring one of everything.” The preceding should be
more than enough examples to show the principle of inclusion.

      On many occasions when discussing this principle with someone who
has just uttered the infamous words, “The Bible doesn’t say you can’t do
this and such.” I will automatically ask them this question, “Would it be
acceptable with God if we put peanut butter and jelly on the Lord’s Supper?”
Everyone so far has answered, “NO.” I then respond by calling their attention
to the fact that the Bible nowhere directly forbids such an action. They then
CORRECTLY remind me that the Bible says to use unleavened bread and fruit
of the vine. And I answer, “Amen.” Can we all not see that only that which is
authorized is allowed? If not, anything goes. The Bible does not authorize by
what it does not say, but by what it does say.


In Christ, Steve Preston



 
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