Lacuna is a legal term which refers to a situation in which a matter is not covered by the constitution or law of the land. It is like a loophole or gap not filled by the law. The bible is not left out of lacunae as there are several of them in the bible. There are no criminal laws that expressly address every conceivable kind of mischief and crime. An omission or silence on specific issues in the bible is not an endorsement for unrighteousness if it has already been addressed in principle. Matters that are not expressly addressed in the bible should be judged by one or more of these principles.
- Is it morally right?
- What is my conscience saying about it?
- What would have been Jesus view about the issue?
- What is the position of the civil law of the land on the issue
- Does it bring hurt to a fellow man or deprive others of their rights?
- What is the position of the culture of the people on the issue?
- Does the act bring honor or shame to the society?
- What is bible position of related matters?
We shall look at some of these biblical lacunae:
GAMBLING: Bible is totally silent about gambling; gambling is the act of playing for stake in the hope of winning by paying a price for a chance to win a prize. There is no particular scripture that condemns gambling but we all know that gambling is the product of greed and laziness and that automatically makes it unbiblical.
MASTURBATION: Many have justified that masturbation is not a sin because it does not involve two opposite sex and no biblical chide against it. But like the former lacuna, masturbation is a product of lust and negative thoughts which make it unattractive to biblical law and doctrine. Would Jesus have masturbated? Is it morally right to masturbate? Can people who masturbate be proud of it? Does is it feel like defiling one’s body – God’s temple? Will it bring glory to God?
SMOKING: Smoking is another issue that is not clearly addressed in the bible. Smokers all over the universe know that smoking is dangerous to their health. Will God encourage us to engage in things that will damage and cut short our lives? Why are some countries making legislation against smoking? If it is not good for our health, it can never be good for our spiritual life.
ABORTION/EUTHANASIA: It is very easy to jump into conclusion on the issue of abortion as being termed as murder. But what of abortion done to save the life of the mother? Euthanasia is an act of killing someone whose dying seems better than the pain borne by a victim. Most laws frown at euthanasia, murder and suicide and therefore can never be right in the sight of God. Some other laws give conditions under which abortion, euthanasia and manslaughter are not criminal offences but only God and the civil authority reserve the right to take a life in whatsoever form.
DRESSING: There are only two definite things said about dressing in the bible. In the Old Testament; DON’T WEAR WHAT BELONGS TO THE OPPOSITE SEX. In the New Testament; BE MODEST. The lacunae are;
- The bible did not define what kind of clothing belongs to the men folk and those for the women folk
- The bible did not set a limit to what is modest – what is modest in America may not be applicable in Africa.
It is therefore necessary to consider the culture, how much nudity is covered, how revealing the clothes are etc. There are dress code examples in the bible, but what we wear is largely determined by our environment and our conscience.
TRANSGENDER: This is the reversal of gender either in part or in full. The scripture is also silent about this obviously because it is a new trend. The intention of God for making the law that forbids one from wearing clothing belonging to the opposite sex would be to address gender misplacement. Being a Transgender is like saying God is not wise enough to have known that I was to be made a man/woman.