“What is Right with It?”

Many times when Biblical authority is challenged, it is asked, “What’s wrong with it?” This position assumes that anything not intrinsically wrong is acceptable. Is this a scripturally sound approach? In writing to the church at Thessalonica, Paul said, “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). This statement implies a process of “culling out” that which is not good. We know from other Biblical references that this process is not based on man’s resources (Isa. 55:8-9; Jer. 10:23; Prov. 14:12).

Using this pattern of thought, “defenses” would be dissolved. For many years, those in many religious circles have used the “What is wrong with it?” method of ascertaining authority for something or other. Use of instrumental music in worship, the organization of the body of believers and leadership, observance of the Lord’s Supper, and a number of other practices have been included under this process. As people seeking the New Testament pattern, Christians should ask and be able to answer questions concerning that doctrine and practice found in the pages of the New Testament (1 Pet. 3:15).

We must likewise insist that the Lord’s church have authority for things taught and practiced. In ever-increasing circles today, there is an abandoning of authoritative doctrine for purely subjective ideas. New approaches to hermeneutics (methods of interpretation) have “thrown open the doors” for any number of “improved” practices. Female elders, deacons and preachers are no longer something on the horizon to be anticipated, but (in principle, if not practice) are with us today. Some have boldly stated their intentions along these lines. Our question today must not be “What is wrong with it?”.  Instead, we must insist on New Testament authority.  We must not be afraid/ashamed to ask, “What is right with it?”.  Popularity with man has never been a gauge of God’s authority.  We must insist that God’s word be that gauge (John 12:48).  May we all study more diligently in our process of ascertaining authority and seeking compliance with God’s will – His good, perfect and acceptable will.

(from Pat McIntosh, with edits)