Intentional Silence

When God is silent on a matter, it is not accidental but intentional. This can be deduced from II Peter 1:3 and Jude 3. Since God has given to us “all things that pertain to life and godliness,” then there is nothing of value that He has neglected to share. This truth cannot be overstated. “The faith” has been delivered once for all time. This implies that God has nothing more to reveal to us, and the things He did reveal are precisely what He wanted to reveal. God didn’t forget anything in His word; His silence on certain matters is intentional! We are presumptuous if we think we can or need to improve upon the Scriptures in any way. If we desire to be disciples of Christ, we must abide in His word (John 8:31,32)–which is impossible if we interpret Biblical silence as permissive. If we conclude that where God’s word doesn’t specifically forbid something then we are free to practice it (i.e., the silence-is-permissive approach), we are making a terrible mistake.

Let us consider three passages to elaborate on this point: II Corinthians 5:7 coupled with Romans 10:17 and Hebrews 11:6. We are to “walk by faith” and “faith comes by hearing” God’s word and “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” In other words, if we desire to please God, we must walk by the word of God. To affirm certain practices as acceptable because the Bible is silent about them is not to walk by faith since faith only comes from hearing the word of God (not silence). This principle of faith is broad and universally applicable in any context.