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Question and Answer

"Peace about it"


I frequently hear people praying about something until they had "peace about it" and also "God opens and closes doors." Are these statements biblically incorrect?


Your question indicates that you are not willing to just go along with everything that sounds spiritual, and with that concern I would certainly agree. And I think the fundamental problem here is the loss of an objective standard. By that I mean something outside of me that tells me in clear words what is true as over against what is not true, and what is right as over against what is not right. We, of the historic Reformation faith, find that objective standard in the Bible. We believe that any serious Christian who makes good use of the Bible (with the help of such things as a good dictionary, and sometimes a concordance) can find out what God does say about what is true and what is right, and what is not true and what is not right.

I heard a true story some years ago about a Protestant church denomination that was facing a serious crisis. There were some who wanted to open the offices of minister, elder and deacon to women. But (as you probably know) the Bible says both elders and deacons must be men (see 1 Tim. 3 and Tit. 1). And there were some who knew very well what the Bible says about this issue but were also afraid to be outspoken in their opposition. So what did they do? Well, they said "we need to pray about this." And the end result was that the opposition gradually weakened, and those who knew better began to say that God had opened the door to this and that they had peace about it.

The sad fact is that a lot of serious damage has been done by calling for prayer when the need of the hour was to stand up for the authority of the Bible. Your note indicates to me that you sense this danger. May the Lord strengthen you in this conviction as you always put first the authority of the Bible.

About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

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