What is the temperature? That is a question that is often asked throughout the year as one prepares to leave the house, and especially when there are extreme temperatures or weather. We want to know what the temperature is in order to better prepare for the outdoor elements. Many people will watch the evening news and see the local meteorologist’s temperature forecast preparing for the next day; others will turn to a weather channel or a weather app on their phone for more up to the moment weather conditions. So what is the temperature? The temperature at this moment is 41 degrees. However, there is a problem. The question might be asked to 10 different people, how does it feel outside? The temperature may be 41 degrees, but it is very possible to receive 10 different answers or guesses.
The temperature of 41 degrees may feel like 32 degrees to one person, 50 to another and for others anywhere in between. Asking what is the temperature and how does it feel are two different questions that will receive two different answers. How the 41 degrees feels may depend on the person, whether it is cloudy and humid or raining, if there is wind and how strong the wind is, and if it is sunny. The temperature of 41 degrees is measurable and accurate, but how it feels depends on a number of factors. What is the temperature? In order to find that out one must look at a standard and that would be a thermometer.
When it comes to religion and decisions concerning the Lord’s church it is much like the temperature. These questions have often been asked. First, what does the Bible say about a certain subject, and second, how do you feel about a certain subject. The truth is that the Word of God may say one thing, but a person can feel another. Paul wrote; “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). He went on to write; “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2). To the Galatians Paul wrote: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another…” (Galatians 1:6-7). There is not an example in the New Testament where Paul, Peter, James, John, etc., encouraged Christians to make decisions according to their feelings and not according to the inspired Scripture. In fact, over and over Christians were pointed to the Scripture for the final authority.
Should we have women leadership in the church in the form of elders, preachers, and leading the worship in a public manner? I feel that…. Wait! What does the Bible say? Should we add instrumental music to the worship to make it more appealing so that more people will be present? Well, I feel that adding music is… Wait! What does the Bible say? Shouldn’t we liven up the Lord’s Supper a little bit by changing the elements used and having a play during it to help us grasp the meaning? I feel that it would be very… Wait! What does the Bible say?
When members of the Lord’s church are tempted to make a decision by feeling then that is the exact time to say “Wait! What does the Bible say?” What is the temperature outside? I feel that it is…. To me it seems like it is… Wait! What does the thermometer say? Paul wrote; “And whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” (Colossians 3:17), that is in accordance with his will.
by Wayne Brewer