This weekend I preached a message entitled “How to Discern: Questions from Romans and 1 Corinthians,” and asked people to consider the following ten questions (adapted from similar questions in Mark Driscoll’s book, Radical Reformission) when they are attempting to discern what will be pleasing to the Lord in any given gray matter.
I’ve copied these onto the “Deaths” page at the front of my Bible so that I have them handy whenever I need to think through a gray moral issue. After all, does anyone really use the “Deaths” or “Births” or “Marriages” pages? Is it astounding to anyone else that publishers still put these in Bibles? Can people really not remember who got born? Or who’s dead? Anyway…
I have found these questions to be enormously useful and have already used them to help myself through some decisions about (1) getting a tattoo and (2) watching ultimate fighting. I’m a big fan of both of these things, but I’m not sure whether I should be or not. I don’t know. If you’re into either of these, work through the questions below and let me know what you think.
Question 1: Is it a violation of the laws of my city, state, or nation (Rom. 13:1-2)?
Question 2: Can I do this with a clear conscience (Rom. 13:5)?
Question 3: Will this cause me to sin by feeding sinful desires (Rom. 13:13-14)?
Question 4: Does my participation proceed from my faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 14:23)?
Question 5: Is it beneficial to my progress and maturity in the faith (1 Cor. 6:12)?
Question 6: Will I lose self-control and be mastered by what I participate in (1 Cor. 6:12)?
Question 7: Will I be doing this in the presence of someone who I think might fall into sin as a result (1 Cor. 8:9-11)?
Question 8: Am I doing this to help other people, or am I just being selfish (1 Cor. 10:23-4)?
Question 9: If I do this, or fail to do this, will I lose opportunities to share the gospel? (1 Cor. 10:32-33).
Question 10: Can I do this is a way that glorifies God? (1 Cor. 10:31).