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Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Copper, May 24, 2005.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 says, "Abstain from all appearance of evil."
What does that mean to YOU?
Be hypocrites and don't do what you're thinking.
Ethically, it may mean to be so concerned with even the appearance of evil that you might change your deportment so as to not hurt your witness or cause a brother to stumble.
When in doubt don't. Don't let anything you do or say obscure your testimony. There will be plenty of others who will try to smear you. Do not let your own words and deeds hinder the gospel.
If you cannot so something in good conscience then don't do it.
It means don't do things that are evil. The verse is not talking about "appearance" without reality, as in something that may look wrong even when it's not. It is talking about things that are evil.
And "what it means to me" is the wrong question. The question is "What does it mean?" It means the same thing to everyone.
Amen, Brother Pastor Larry -- Preach it!
1Th 5:22 (KJV1611 edition):
Abstaine from all appearance of euill.
Strong's says this for 'appearance':
From G1492; a view, that is, form (literally or figuratively): - appearance, fashion, shape, sight.
Thus the phrase means that we should avoid
evil every time it shows up, in no matter what
form it shows up.
Assigning the meaning "avoid anything that
looks bad" is a stretch.
Amen Pastor Larry
There are a number of things that might “look bad” but in fact are proper. If something appears to be evil and could hurt our testimony we should abstain from that activity even if it is not evil or sinful.
Here are a few examples come to my mind.
How about giving someone cash out of the offering plate for expenses incurred during the week? Say you clean the church and the vacuum went out last week. You went and bought a new one and when you told the preacher about it Sunday he goes into the offering plate and gives you cash to cover it. Now that may well be proper, but it does not look good. How about paying anyone in cash to conceal payments from the IRS? Now you may well declare it, but it does not look right.
What about giving out food baskets at Christmas time? Now there can’t be anything wrong with that. But let’s say I send a man by himself across town to a single mother’s home. You carry the food in and spend 30 minutes there. That may be proper, but how does it look. Let’s say you have relatives on the list to receive food. So I just load you down with four or five baskets and get you to deliver them later. Maybe proper, but it looks bad.
How about counseling times? Now I never council a woman one on one without my wife there, but some preachers do. You go behind closed doors with a member of the opposite sex. You may not do anything sinful, but you set your self up for temptation, and, it looks bad. If there is an appearance of evil, abstain!
What about bus kids and bringing children to Sunday School? Certainly there is nothing wrong with that, but you need to have measures in place to ensure that children are never alone with adults. You may be a fine Christian man with perfect references. I am still not going to let you take my son off by yourself. It would not look right.
Now that can not be that hard to understand. We should not be like the Pharisees and nit pick over the law, if something might look bad, we should stay away from it.
If this ment only to stay away from real sin no matter how it appears then why would it not say "Abstain from every appearance of evil," or, "Abstain from all appearances of evil?"
The word Paul used refers to substance, not apparition. It is not merely that something might appear wrong; it is that it is substantively wrong.
Your suggestions may be good ideas to practice, but they are not what Paul is talking about. The job of the preacher or teacher is to say what the Bible says, not to give good advice that isn't rooted in the text.
The KJV - In context it reads:
20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
The NIV says:
20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.
The notes to NIV point out that not everyone who claims to speak in the name of the Lord is, and suggests that we test everything against scripture.
Way to use the context, TexasSky! Test all teachings. Hold on to the good teachings. Avoid the evil teachings that abound.
I Thess 5:22. Tittmann supports English Version, “from every evil appearance” or “semblance.” The context, however, does not refer to evil appearances in ourselves which we ought to abstain from, but to holding ourselves aloof from every evil appearance in others; as for instance, in the pretenders to spirit-inspired prophesyings. In many cases the Christian should not abstain from what has the semblance (“appearance”) of evil, though really good. Jesus healed on the sabbath, and ate with publicans and sinners, acts which wore the appearance of evil, but which were not to be abstained from on that account, being really good. I agree with Tittmann rather than with Bengel, whom Alford follows. The context favors this sense: However specious be the form or outward appearance of such would-be prophets and their prophesyings, hold yourselves aloof from every such form when it is evil, literally, “Hold yourselves aloof from every evil appearance” or “form.”
Jamieson, Robert; Fausset, A.R.; and Brown, David, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1998.
To me, it means that if it LOOKS bad, it probably IS bad, so stay away from anything that even remotely looks bad.
...We had a Sunday school lesson about this.
The Greek can actually be translated either, "Abstain from every form of evil" (ASV), or "Avoid things appearing evil." (My translation.)
Either way is important. We should avoid evil every time it appears, and we should avoid presenting things in a way that makes them look evil.
There is no way around being criticized as an evil doer when you are innocent, though. There is always someone who will jump to the wrong conclusion and not examine fairly what you are doing.
I heard someone (a seminary prof) say once that he thinks it means, "Avoid evil, no matter how it appears" or no matter "what form (appearance) it may take."
It may appear innocent, sometimes you get what is called "a gut reaction" to something and that is a warning. The wize thing to do at that point is to stop and ask God if it is the right thing.
Remember this-satan,the enemy, the father of lies, the deceiver, the destroyer, is out to get anyone he can. He is very good at what he does, he can take on the appearance of an angel.
He can use any circumstance to try to trip you up, remember what he did in the Garden of Eden?
If you feel like you are being tempted by satan,
say this: "satan in the Name of The Lord Jesus Christ get behind me" he can't stand against that- the power of the Lords Name is too great for the evil one, he will flee.
To abstain from all appearances of evil means we are not to do anything that would cause another to think we are living contrary to the christian walk we profess.
The world is watching us. They want to see us fall. If we fall, they can say, 'I told you the christian was fake' or, 'And you say you serve God?'.
2 Corinthians 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: