When is a question not a question?

“When is a question not a question?…. When it’s a statement.”
When one deals with questions that are not really questions I always recall Pilate. Pilate showed his true colors with his final response to Jesus. When Jesus affirmed that His mission was to testify to the truth and that everyone on the side of truth listened to Him, he apparently pushed the Roman Governor’s hot button. Pilate abruptly cut off the meeting, asked, “What is truth?” and walked out. Like so many today, Pilate could tolerate any religious discussion except “truth talk.”
In 1 Peter 3 Peter uses the word “answer”—“be prepared to give an answer.”
Peter’s term for “answer” is the word from which we get “apologetics.” It described a reasoned and appropriate defense of what we believe. A good “answer” requires truly hearing the question and then responding with the truth.
This process always shows the exploded view–it explains the relationship of the parts. Those that just want to cite “Will I go to hell for wearing a ring?” (for instance), do not want to hear the principles involved–they are really seeking only justification.
Some people are only interested in “raising questions.” When is a question not a question? When one is not interested in attempting a solution–they don’t want to solve them, they only desire to cause more questions by their questions–and thereby never obtaining an answer.
Justification By Just-A-Citation
Citation: The act of citing. A quoting of an authoritative source for substantiation. A fragment of a larger work, A source so cited; a quotation.
Questions can help to clarify a complex subject by causing focus on smaller aspects of the whole. Questions also may have the opposite effect of obscuring the whole by demanding a focus on an aspect without consideration of the whole.
Take for example, an exploded view of a bicycle – to understand each part in the exploded view it is imperative that one sees each part in relation to every other part. The exploded view shows each part in a standalone detail BUT also shows its relationship to all the other parts. If someone with scissors cuts out a single component, thereby dismissing it from its relationship to the whole, that component may no longer make sense without the whole.
There is a deluge of scissor-nippers amongst us in these days that seek justification of error and sin by “just-a-citation.” They think they have run aground the principles of holiness by trying to blind others to the whole picture by separating and focusing on a point while dismissing the “exploded view.”
Questions such as “Will I go to hell for _______________?” These citations are not questions that seek true answers, but are used as a ploy to justify the question asker. These type questions are not seeking clarity but, in reality, are meant to blind and bind. Why? Because such questions are usually asked (or really stated) as an argument FOR an error—for justification. It is like the small rod extracted from the exploded view that considered by itself no longer can relate to the whole.
True Biblical holiness is built not only on externals, but on internal principles as well. If someone dismisses an external from its principle they cease to see rightly. The “just-a-citation” people seek justification by this sad process. Explanation of principles is imperative to each “part” of holiness of spirit, mind, emotion and lifestyle. And this “explanation” is NOT what the “just-a-citationers” are seeking.
Perhaps we should read again, 1Ti 6:4, “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings.”

— jlg —

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