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Adiaphora Principles

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Nathan Sutton

on 7 April 2015

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Transcript of Adiaphora Principles

To Do or Not to Do?
That is the Question

Something neither commanded nor forbidden by God in the Bible. Therefore, Christians are free to choose whether or not to do/not do this thing
NIV Galatians 5:13-14 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature.

NIV Psalm 119:66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands.

NIV Psalm 119:104 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.
NIV 1 Corinthians 6:12 "Everything is permissible for me"-- but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"-- but I will not be mastered by anything.

NIV Romans 14:23 But the man who has doubts (his conscience is bothering him) is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
NIV 1 Corinthians 8:4 -13 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one... 7 But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. 9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
NIV Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Is this really an adiaphora? Does the Bible really say nothing about this matter? Any other principles that would command or forbid this?
Wise or not wise?
NIV Galatians 2:3-5 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4 This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. 5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.
Is the Gospel at stake? Is someone trying to steal our Gospel freedom?
Loving or Unloving to Weak?
Goal = Serve one another in love.
Does my conscience condemn me?
1 Define "adiaphora"
2 Identify examples of adiaphora
3 Develop and apply key principles regarding Christian love and adiaphora.
"For by doing what he thinks is wrong, a person does what he thinks will grieve God, and the willingness to grieve God by one’s acts is itself grievous."
Moreover, acting against one's conscience blunts and desensitizes it; indeed repeated thwarting of one's conscience might eventually kill it. The subjective sinner therefore risks moral suicide." 20-21 Plantinga
NIV 1 Corinthians 9:19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

How can I use my freedom to help spread the gospel?
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