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Allow Speech, but Test Everything

1Thess 5:19-22
Do not put out the Spirit’s fire;
do not treat prophecies with contempt.
Test everything. Hold on to the good.
Avoid every kind of evil.

People with the gift of prophecy are often despised in a church. For, much as with the Old Testament prophets, they tend to point out sin. And they speak with absolutes, quoting the Bible, which may conflict with people's opinions and thus bring conflicts. Thus prophets are suppressed, often through institutionalism dictating who is allowed to speak and who is not. As popular Christianity is dominated by a spirit of ecumenical pluralism, such prophecies that demand unity on the basis of Biblical truth, rather than political correctness, are suppressed. Let them speak.

However, only the Bible is above scrutiny, and even so interpretations, applications, comments and preachings and teachings based on the Bible should be scrutinized. And this includes those who speak prophecies. "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge."1Cor 14:29 So both speaking and judging should be allowed. One without the other is not in balance. Of course only men are allow to prophecy in the public assembly, as it says, “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.” 1Cor 14:34 (And if prophecy is "the declaration of an application of scripture", consider this a prophecy)
Christians must learn discernment in many things and not get discouraged by accusations of being too judgmental. Christians should be able to discern false doctrine and false teachers.“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”1John 4:1

As for avoiding every form of evil, there are those who take this too far in saying that this means to avoid any kind of circumstance in which people might falsely accuse you of evil. But Jesus said, "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is proved right by her actions." Mt 11:19 There are those who accused Jesus of violating the Law concerning the Sabbath, and like things. The fact is that if you're going to minister as Jesus did you're going to end up being falsely accused by others of doing evil. That's not something you should necessarily avoid. What you should avoid is committing sin. But test everything, and don't discard that which is good.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

Last Update: Oct 18, 2020