Saturday, November 8, 2008

Expediency - What is It?

I often hear people talk about how things are authorized or pleasing to God because they are expedient. Expediency is a word we often use loosely. It’s important to know that it is not a source of authority but a term to describe why we do a certain thing.

Expediency is defined as: appropriate to a purpose, convenient, a means to an end.

In our Bible study, we looked at a few important characteristics of expediencies that we must remember before we start using the term to describe our methods of worship or our individual actions. We listed four characteristics of expediencies that must be remembered:

1) It must be lawful.
2) It cannot be specified
3) It must edify
4) It must not offend the conscience of a brother.

Let’s look at these individually and elaborate.

1. An expedient must first be lawful. This is a basic truth in that an expedient authorizes nothing…it must first be proven to be lawful before one can consider it.

2 John 9 -11: Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 ¶ If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Also see 1 Cor 6:12; 10:23 and how Paul describes expediencies.

2. An expedient must not have been specified. When God specifies a certain action, we have no choice to accomplish it His way to be pleasing to him.When God specifies a certain action, we have no choice to accomplish it His way to be pleasing to him. As we have seen in previous posts, Noah was told to make the ark of gopher wood (Gen 6:14). God was very specific and Noah obeyed. He may have found a more convenient wood in the area but it would not have been an authorized expedient to use it since God had already specified a certain wood.

Some examples of specified commands include singing ( Eph 5:19; Col 3:16), baptism or emersion for the remission of sins ( Rom 6:4), and elders overseeing the local church only (1 Peter 5: 1-4).

3. An expedient must edify.

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

When we have leeway in our actions for things that are not specified and yet authorized, we need to ensure that they are edifying. We don’t want to be divisive in our actions and cause a split because we want to press our own agendas.

4. An expedient must not offend the conscience of a brother.

1 Corinthians 10:31 - 33 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

Of course, this only applies to matters in which we have leeway not things specified. We must consider one another in our actions and think of those that may be weaker, more immature or less knowledgeable. To not consider them is to not love them as we should.

Our next class, which I will write about, will cover specific examples of expediencies in action.


same said...
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same said...

It has been brought to my attention that churches who enjoy non-profit legal status(even those without elected elders) all have an appointed board of directors who hold all legal authority concerning the property and finances of their particular groups ‘meeting place’. While this is not a command and I can find little if any example or authority for it in the scripture, some might argue that it is a necessary ‘expediency’. Today it seems to be an unquestioned adopted mode of operation by ‘modern congregations’ who do not meet in thier own homes. Even when the elected elders and groups split, the board of directors continue in thier control of the church and it's property, they have been given much say and control of the church.

same said...
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same said...

Expediency as it applies to the subject; is in my opinion, this: It must be to fulfill the heart of God’s law to uplift and edify, The intention is to ‘do the right thing’ as quickly as possible’ and not to do anything that would cause the one watching or listening to you to stumble or think that you are in anyway doing something ‘wrong’.
Christian music? I believe it is OK to listen to the voices singing even as it is mechanically recorded, yet you should not hear anything mechanical in church or home or car that is “Christian” praise or worship music”. It is OK to listen to the voices of the singers but no capping should be heard, some elders say that is sinful and for them it is.. You must not listen to instruments or allow them to be played on church property. Violins being played after the service is over is OK at some locations, if it was a wedding. If you enjoy Christian music use your own, I think that tapping your toe is OK. But I’m don’t know who might see you doing that? Anyone wanting to find something wrong will and it has been said that the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. Expediency? Is it a command. . . what does the bible say about . . . not all things are_____”?

same said...

The numbers (chapters and verse) added to the scripture are one example of an ‘excepted’ expediency. And there is nothing wrong with that unless the reader is using them to show off his or her ability to recall the numbers as they quote the scriptures..

Cary said...

I think you meant 'accepted' rather than 'excepted.'