Causing another to stumble vs. concern over what man thinks

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by webdog, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. webdog

    webdog
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    I see many here and elsewhere avoid doing certain things or avoiding certain places as to "not causing another to stumble."

    I tend to think this is code word for "I'm concerned with what so-and-so will think of me" much of the time it is used, or is combined with the above approach (which would nullify the godly intent, IMO).

    When and how do we discern which is actually true? Shouldn't it be our responsibility to educate a lesser brother / sister on the offended action instead of trying to appease such ignorance?
     
  2. righteousdude2

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    Very Good Point, and Excellent Post!

    I have found, over time, that there will always be critics and self appointed judges. We cannot appease everyone with the way we do things, how we talk, and where we go! Again, the following is JMHO!

    It is good to explain oneself when another calls you on the carpet (so-to-speak) for something they believe is questionable behavior, etc., but what it boils down to be is how you think God will see your action, and if you feel comfortable, and not convicted by God, then after attempting to "educate" the offended party, it may come down to you still be accused of a sin and making them (or someone else) stumble, and at that point in time it is best to continue to live your life as you believe God and your interpretation of Scripture have taught and led you! And again, we must be cognizant of the difference between His conviction of a behavior versus accusations of another who sees and understands things differently than you!
     
  3. Don

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    Knew a pastor in Mississippi (not Luke) who stated from the pulpit one Sunday that even if it was practically a hurricane outside, he wouldn't stop and give a lady a ride because people might see him alone with a woman who wasn't his wife, and he needed to avoid all appearance of evil.

    Suffice to say, I don't agree with him.

    That said, I immediately think of Romans 14. Paul uses the first half of the chapter to teach us that we shouldn't judge each other for exactly the things WebDog mentions above; but then turns around in verse 15 and tells us that we do need to worry about what they think of us. It may just be me, but I read this verse as saying that if we know something is not wrong, and we do it in front of someone who thinks it is, then we're not walking in love in front of that person.

    I think the ultimate point of chapter 14 is actually wrapped up in the first two verses of chapter 15: We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

    Just my two cents, that no one asked for. :)
     
  4. convicted1

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    Acts 18

    24And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

    25This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

    26And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

    Here is a good example of what we should do when we find someone who is weaker in knowledge. They could have "lambbasted" him for teaching this, but they took him aside, and taught him the ways of God better. So, they did pick up the weaker Brother, so-to-speak. We should give a helping hand to those who need it, and not kick them whilst they are down.
     
  5. JesusFan

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    I am reminded of Chuck Swindoll line on this...

    paraphrasing it..

    I will agree to "limit" my freedom in Christ in order NOT to offend you in an area of your weakness, but also am praying for you that God will emable you to GROW UP!
     
  6. HankD

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    webdog, isn't that a big part of it? What others think?

    Others who don't have the maturity in Christ to understand what Christian "liberty" is all about.

    Who are babes, led according to a set of rules of do's and dont's... instead of being led of the Spirit, walking by faith.

    So, personally I think it's not totally nullified.

    1 Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.​

    HankD​
     
  7. webdog

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    Not really, as if this was a big part of it we could also justify ignoring the great commission and going along with the crowd.

    I'll give you an example. Recently someone said that while they do not believe the Bible forbids drinking alcohol, and do not drink themselves, they will not even buy a bottle of wine to cook with as someone "might" see them buying it.

    Is this really what Paul was talking about, or was his intent in stating what he did pertain to things that could appear to be pagan and NOT physical liberties? I think the context is the latter.
     
  8. Don

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    I think the context may have been about meat sacrificed to pagan idols; but the overarching principle is about being a stumbling block to others.

    JesusFan and Hank have probably put it best.
     
  9. webdog

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    What is being a stumbling block exactly? I've never heard what this is. If someone is ignorant on the matter, isn't it our responsibility to educate them and not succumb and go along with their ignorance? Isn't their ignorance a "stumbling block" to someone who "gets it"?
     
  10. JesusFan

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    One of the best examples that I faced personally was when an IBF friend of mine invited me to his church openning/dedication, and as I was attending an Assemblies of God at the time, knew to take MY KJV, dress in a suit, and not raise "Holy hands" during praise and worshipl

    I would have been a big time 'stumbling block" if I did not function as a IBF in their own setting!
     
  11. webdog

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    Is personal extra-biblical preferences what Paul had in mind when he penned that?

    If it offends a vegetarian, am I supposed to avoid eating meat at dinner? If it offends a diabetic, do I avoid dessert? Where are we supposed to draw the line...and what is "stumbling"?

    What you describe is conforming culturally, you were being respectful, not avoiding causing another to stumble as there is no biblical violation in not using a KJV, raising your hand or wearing a suit. If their walk with God stumbles due to this, it is on them, not you, and it might actually be good for them to come out of their legalistic shell and start walking under grace. I have to question the validity of someone's walk when they abide by so many man made rules as the pharisee's did.

    I think political correctness has seeped into the church.
     
    #11 webdog, Sep 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2011
  12. Don

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    Actually, I think it's rather simple: It derives from motive. If I do it because I don't care what others think, then I'm being selfish and having no regard for others.

    When we invite others over to have dinner with us, we ask them if they have any preferences; they inform us about allergies, or foods they don't like. If we serve those foods anyway, what does that say about us? Seems pretty disrespectful to me that a guest in my house says they don't like liver, and I say, "well, I'm going to serve liver anyway."

    If I have a discussion with someone about using wine to cook with, and they refuse to hear me, then I'll make sure I don't "throw it in their face" or "flaunt" my use of it.

    I don't have time right now, but I like your question about more specifically identifying what a "stumbling block" is.
     
  13. 12strings

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    As for the "appearance" of evil, there are those who argue that the word should be translated "form"...as in "avoid every form of evil." in other words, avoid all kinds of evil.

    If that is the case, I am not disobeying that verse if i as a married man am carting around other women in my car... I'm disobeying different verses about making provision for the flesh, putting myself in temptations path, hurting my wife's trust in me....and opening myself up for accusation...which I should seek to have a clean consience in the sight of God and men.

    That said, you cannot avoid every appearance of evil. If I bought a bottle of coke a Walgreens, and they gave me a brown paper bag for it, and as I was walking home I had to walk by a liquor store, and you saw me walking and it looked to you like I was leaving the liquor store with a bottle-shape brown bag...what would you think? Whatever you thought, it would not be my fault for not taking a different path home.
     
  14. righteousdude2

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    Words to Live By...

    I am not perfect....just forgiven! :thumbs:
     
  15. Iconoclast

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    We are perfect in Christ,and forgiven.

    To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect

    10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
     

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