14 April 2009

Discussing Adiaphora

It is possible, or ought to be, by the very nature of the case, to discuss adiaphora (those things which are free, because God has neither commanded nor forbidden them) without implying any condemnation against those who practice such things differently. It is also possible, in such cases, to discuss and debate the relative merits and demerits of various practices, which, while free, are not all as profitable to the catechesis of the Word and the confession of the Gospel.

But I have noticed, at least in my limited experience, that those who tend to be the least free and most legalistic about adiaphora are usually not those who have received and use traditional rites and ceremonies, but are often those who refuse and reject such traditions in the name of "freedom." Of course that is not universally true, but it is a trend I have noticed. That is to say, the legalism seems to run more often in the direction of forbidding what God has not forbidden, rather than commanding what God has not commanded.