It was recently suggested to me that we should refrain from all appearance of evil, which can be referenced from 1 Thessalonians 5:22. The concept seems to be that we shouldn’t do anything or go anywhere that might seem bad to anyone.
Here is the concern I have with this way of thinking. First, we belong to God, and so we need not fear anyone but God, though we do need be wise when we make decisions so we don’t deliberately offend someone. But we cannot control what people think when they see us ministering to someone as we are led by God to do.
Second, the verse referenced in Thessalonians, in King James uses the wording “abstain from the appearance of evil”, but other equally valid translations use the wording “refrain from all forms of evil”.
Ok, so to be clear, we aren’t supposed to sin. The issue at hand here is how much we should be concerned about whether we “look like” we are sinning to someone when we are doing what God tells us to do.
In answer to that question, I can only say that if you joined CMA to minister to bikers on the highways and byways, in the hopes of reaching the lost with the Good News of jesus Christ, then you are very likely to find yourself going to places that many people will view as sinful. So, do I go to places a “good Christian should never go”? Yes I do. Do I go there for the sin, no. I go for and more accurately with Christ who leads me. Am I subject to temptation when I go to these places? Yes, but it is Christ who is my strength.
So, should you go where I go? Only if God asks you personally to do that. If God hasn’t asked you to go, then don’t go. It would be pointless anyway because God is the one who does the work, we only carry His message.
One final reminder; If you are going to be a light for Christ in a dark place, you may have to go to the dark places to do that.