The "Better Safe than Sorry" Fallacy

Recently, when having conversations with some of my more traditional, conservative friends about Christian liberty, they'll cede my point, but reply with "Yeah, but I just want to be on the safe side." This "Better Safe than Sorry" mentality is broken, because it starts with a failed presumption. This mentality assumes that Christian liberty is the fine line between holiness and carnality, and that one can be "more" holy by avoiding exercising Christian liberty. This is called asceticism. Paul speaks on this in his letter to the Colossians (Col 2:16-23):

16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. 18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, 19 and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.

20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

In Corinthians, Paul says that people who are unable to exercise liberty are weaker Christians, not stronger Christians. Christian asceticism is a weak form of Christianity!

We're not made holy by what we do or what we don't do. Yes, there are things that are black and white sins. But, as a mentor friend of mine says, we should whisper where Scripture whispers and shout where Scripture shouts. If the Bible doesn't clearly define something as a sin, don't add to the Bible because you're uncomfortable with it. Just as someone can go too far with liberty and abuse it, so can someone go too far the other direction and become legalistic. Both are sins.

Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." If you add to the burden because of a "Better Safe than Sorry" mentality, and it causes someone to stumble under that unnecessary burden, you're as responsible for their lost soul as you would be if you told them that praying to a bowl of Fruit Loops would result in the forgiveness of sins.

Do you want to be safe, not sorry? Then be Biblical. Don't add to Scripture, and don't steal away from it. Don't prooftext to find some straw to support your conclusion; look to the whole body of Scripture and find the whole message. If you don't align with Scripture, change yourself, not what you see in Scripture.