Above the Sun: Decision-Making Principles: Does it appear evil?

So, what does it matter if your decisions are based on whether it appears evil? The short answer? Rebelling against God or even flirting with evil has never ended well from the beginning of humanity.

In the Old Testament, the young King Manasseh of Judah got heavily involved in witchcraft.

“He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger” (2 Chronicles 33:6).

It was only after God allowed him to be taken into captivity by Assyria that he had time to reconsider his ways. God forgave him and restored his kingdom.

Another case: King Saul disobeyed God, and so God rejected him as king and would not answer his prayer when Saul asked God’s advice during a time of war. So, Saul asked a medium (witch) to bring up the spirit of the prophet Samuel for advice. Samuel appeared but refused to help. If he had helped, this would have been an act of rebellion, and would have put Samuel in the place of God, which was something Samuel was unwilling to do. Just a few chapters earlier, Samuel compared rebellion to the sin of divination (witchcraft), and arrogance to idolatry (1 Samuel 15:23-24).

The wisest man who ever lived was Solomon. If there is anyone whose vast experiences gives credibility on the topic of good versus evil, wisdom versus folly, it is him.

“11 I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. 12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. 15 Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. (Proverbs 4:11-15).

In Leviticus 19:26-33, God gave Moses laws to pass along to the Israelites, that included a warning against seeking out spiritists or mediums.

In so-called Bible times, much like today, there were false teachers and false prophets who claimed to teach the will of God. The early Christians had evidently been deceived by them, and as a result tended to just ignore all prophecies.

In the book of Thessalonians, the apostle Paul told Christians to not just throw out all prophecies but to “test them all and hold on to what is good.” They were able to “test” by comparing anyone’s teachings to the teachings of God’s word including the teachings of Christ supported by the countless miracles He performed so that people would believe His message. Those prophecies and teachings that did not make the cut would be considered a form of evil and should be avoided (Thes. 5:21-22). The same is true today. It is always best to make decisions based on truths that are supported by God’s word. If it is not supported by God’s word, it is evil.

Have a great week!

Barrett Vanlandingham is the Youth Minister at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ. Reach him at (918) 478-2222 or barrettvanlandingham@gmail.com.

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