There is an old saying among the churches of Christ. The saying is “Speaking where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.”
It seems that this world is always trying to chip away at the Word of God. Over the past several decades, things that once would not have been allowed in society in general, not to mention inside any group of people calling themselves Christians, are now widely tolerated, accepted, and even encouraged in the religious world. I see articles on a pretty regular basis that talk about how religion must change. How it must become more accepting to different “lifestyles.” I even saw a book titled “Why Christianity Must Change or Die” by John Spong who is the Episcopal Bishop of Newark, New Jersey.
One review on Amazon of the book said this:
Spong refers to himself as a believer in exile. He believes the world into which Christianity was born was limited and provincial, particularly when viewed from the perspective of the progress in knowledge and technology made over the past two millennia. This makes any ideas or beliefs formulated in 1st-century Judea totally inadequate to our progressive minds and lives today. So Spong is in exile until Christianity is re-formed to discard all of the outdated and, according to Spong, false tenets of Christianity.
Anytime you see that word “progressive” applied toward the Bible, you should be careful. The Bible was delivered once and it does not change because God does not change.
Churches today are doing everything they can to change. They are allowing things such as women in leadership roles, homosexuals, full rock bands, and unqualified elders and deacons in the name of bringing people closer to God. It never ceases to amaze me that people will try to get closer to God by doing the exact opposite of what He says to do.
As humans, sometimes we compromise our ideals, but at Christians there is more at stake. When we compromise Christianity, we are compromising more than our ideals…we are compromising God’s. And when we compromise God’s ideals, we are also compromising our own salvation.
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:1-6 ESV)
Paul is speaking to the Corinthians here, and he is saying that we should not tamper with the Word of God, but rather we should tell the truth. He goes on to say that the god of this world, that is Satan, has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the beauty of that truth.
When we try to twist or tamper with the Word of God, we cast darkness over those who hear us. By telling the truth, we cast light and hope on them.
In short, Paul is saying “Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.”