555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

486. Is It Sinful to Do What One Considers Wrong although There Is No Wrong About It?

That is Paul's teaching, as he particularly outlines and emphasizes it in Rom. 14; I Cor. 8 and I Cor. 1023-33. He said himself that he did not consider it wrong to eat meat which might have been offered to idols (I Cor. 84, 8; I Cor. 10:25, 27)> but that if he knew of any one who might be offended by his doing so he would eat no meat at all (I Cor. 8:13). In Rom. 14:20 he says: "All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense"—that is, for the man who eats, even though it troubles his conscience. The same thought is in Rom. 14 23: "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." But our reason bears out this New Testament teaching; we know that it is wrong for a man to do something which he believes to be wrong. The whole spirit of the New Testament is away from legalism and toward a spontaneous, affectionate eagerness to please God and serve our neighbor. Where no command or prohibition is specified, each Christian is left free to follow his own enlightened conscience. To violate this is sin.