Churches too often focus on evangelism to the exclusion of discipleship. You confess Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and the Lord of life. You’re done, right?
Nope. I’ve already covered three of Brownlow North’s six rules for new Christians, and I believe they really apply to all Christians.
If you are in doubt as to a thing being right or wrong, go to your room and kneel down and ask God’s blessing on it (Col 3:17). If you cannot do this, it is wrong.
I like this. It touches on the somewhat instinctual nature of moral duties. Normal people know the difference between right and wrong. My daughter, for example, knows what she is and is not allowed to do. She knows that she has to listen to mommy and daddy when we tell her to do things. She doesn’t, but whenever I get into it with her, she admits that she knows when she does something wrong and understands that it is wrong.
Similar to this would be asking yourself questions like
- How would my best friend feel about me if s/he knew I did this?
- Would I feel comfortable if my actions were reported on the front page of the newspaper?
- In my place, would my hero/mentor act this way?
As Dr. Tom Morris points out in Philosophy for Dummies (yes, I’m reading Philosophy for Dummies), these sorts of questions presuppose a generally good nature. Humans, according to the Bible, are so enslaved to sin that we can often rationalize the most heinous of behaviors. However, since we are made in the image of God, we have (at our core) a smattering of goodness that enables us to know the difference between right and wrong.
Asking whether we could, in good conscience, pray God’s blessing over an intended course of action is a great acid test for the validity of such an action.