Dealing w/ Our King's Silence
First, if we are seeking to please God, we will only do that which we know is pleasing to Him. We will examine what He does say, and base our practices on what is revealed by our Shepherd. Jesus gives us a great example of this in John 5. In verse 19 He says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” He says in verse 30, “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” Is this not the kind of attitude we need to have if we want to please God? We should only want to do what we know is pleasing to Him; what we know will bring Him glory. The reason why we shouldn’t want to act on silence is because it is acting in an area of the unknown when it comes to God’s will. If we don’t know if it is pleasing to God, we should not want to do it as His people!
We need to remember: The ONLY way we can know for certain that something is pleasing or displeasing to our King is if He reveals it to us through His Apostles and Prophets in the New Testament. When God is truly 100% silent on a matter, we (as those who desire to please Him) need to show some caution in saying that God condemns or approves of something. It is dangerous to be presumptuous either way when God does not reveal His mind on a matter. God is the only One who can properly commend and approve, and He is the only One who can properly condemn and disapprove. Silence should not be seen as a reason to condemn an action or commend an action. “We don’t know” at times is the best thing we could say. We should stick with the old saying that we "speak where the Bible speaks and are silent when the Bible is silent."
Second, God is not silent about as many things as we think He may be. Here are two reasons as to why this is the case:
- First, there may be some general principles or commands that apply to a subject not specifically mentioned in the New Testament. For instance, God also does not specifically mention dancing or condemn dancing in the New Testament, but He is not totally silent about it. He gives other commands in scripture that show that some kinds of dancing are displeasing to Him. In Galatians 5:19-21, in Paul's listing of the “works of the flesh,” he condemns what is variously translated “lewdness” or “lasciviousness” or “licentiousness.” These words carry the idea of “indecent bodily movements that can arouse indecent sexual desire.” That describes many kinds of dancing done today.
- Second, we also need to remember that not everything that is authorized must be specified. General authority is given often, which includes matters not specifically mentioned in scripture. For instance, we are commanded to go into all the world to preach the Gospel. The specifics of how to "go" are not given. This being the case, we have the freedom to choose any mode of transportation and to use the various forms of electronic communication that we have been blessed with to teach God's word.
I could say more points about how to deal with silence, but I will leave it at this. Hopefully these are at least some helpful things to think about when thinking about the “silence” of our King.
Do you have any specific questions about the silence of the scriptures, let me know in the comments below!