This is said by some who want to do what God has not authorized. It recently came up in a conversation about instrumental music in worship. The answer is, so what? It does not matter what you see or believe, nor what I see or believe. What matters is the truth (Prov. 23:23; 1 Thess. 5:21). We do not establish was is right and wrong; God does.
To illustrate the absurdity of “I don’t see any harm in it” as a basis of authority, let’s look at some Bible examples. Eve ate the forbidden fruit after being tempted by the serpent (Gen. 3:1-6). No doubt, she did not see any harm in it. Regardless, there were terrible consequences (Gen. 3:7-24). Nadab and Abihu took fire from a place other than where God had commanded them and paid for it with their life (Lev. 10:1-2). Could they have protested, “We don’t see any harm in it? It was fire. It burned the incenses. We were doing it to honor You”? What of David and the ark (2 Sam. 6:1-7). Out of his deep respect for God, in an effort to honor Him, David moved the ark. However, in a manner other than what God had declared. Was there any harm in it?
Moreover, one who makes this argument is arrogant. It assumes God did not know what he was talking about in reference to instrumental music in worship or any other subject. In other words, “God, I know better than you” (cp. Rom. 3:4). Likewise, it assumes God will be pleased with whatever man is pleased with. Look at society and you will understand this is not so (cf. Rom. 1:18-32). Was God so dumb or ignorant that He simply overlooked some things? Did He fail to reveal that which He would have us to do to honor Him? Certainly not! “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness …” (2 Pet. 1:3).
It matters not whether you or I or anyone else can see any “harm in it.” What matters is what God has said (1 Pet. 4:11). We are to observe all things commanded, not adding to or taking away from them (Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Jn. 5:3; 2 Jn. 9; Rev. 22:18-19).
Steven F. Deaton