Encouraging another Christian to stumble?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by canadyjd, May 9, 2009.

  1. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    It is sinful to cause another Christian to violate their conscience concerning an issue you don't think is sin but they do? Here is the situation.

    In another thread, a poster was struggling with whether he was saved or not. He stated:
    It seems clear to me, this poster considers drinking alcohol to be a sin. Not only that, it is THE particular sin that is causing him problems.

    In response, another member told him:
    I contend that such advice is sinning against a brother in Christ and sinning against Christ, Himself.

    I base that opinion on Paul's instructions found in the 8th chapter of Corinthians, which speaks (in v. 12) of "sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ."

    Even if you don't thinking thinking alcohol is a sin (I disagree, but save that for another thread), it is sinful to encourage someone to drink alcohol who does consider it to be a sin, because you are encouraging them to violate their conscience before God.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    I appreciate the desire and the command to help each other avoid sin. It is an important part of being a Christian.

    That said I think we all need to recognize that sooner or later a fellow believer needs to take responsibility for their own count and behavior and not worry about others so much as they need to worry about themselves.

    I say this because I have yet to get a good answer for where does one person's Christian liberty and pursuit of personal piety trump my Christian liberty to not believe certain matters are as sinful as others.

    Also, in the above situation (which I haven't entered into that thread) one of the great strongholds of defeat in many Christians' lives has been when other Christians hold them under a yoke of sinfulness that the Scriptures don't even endorse.

    Maybe I said that badly (I need a nap I think.) Basically one of the things that has afflicted too many Christians has been the supra-Scriptural dogmatism of other Christians. These ulta-pious Christians mandate a level of holiness that Paul and the Disciples would have had trouble living up to. In so doing they harm the faithfulness of many younger (spiritually) Christians and end up leaving them in a place that is so bonded over to inane, extra-biblical commands that it damages their faith. I've seen it way too often.

    Maybe I'm not making sense.

    I do agree that we need to be careful to not harm another, weaker person's faith...but where does my obligation to them end and their need to living to what Christ commanded begin?
     
  3. canadyjd

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    I don't see it as a matter of one sin being more or less sinful than another. If you believe something is not sinful, and I attempt to convince you otherwise by appealing to scripture...then we are working out of salvation together in fear and trembling.

    If, on the other hand, I tell you I am struggling with a particular sin in my life...and you simply tell me your opinion (with no scriptural support) is that what I am struggling with isn't a sin at all and that I'm beating myself up over nothing...then you are encouraging me to go against my conscience based on your morals and not on scripture.
    I'd be the first to agree with you, if some scriptural support for the position had been supplied. None was given, only opinion.
    On the other end of the extreme examples are those Christians who simply deny God expects any standards of behavior at all. That they can do whatever they want....don't worry about following scripture... God will love you anyway...do just have fun, fun, fun.

    Both extremes are to be avoided.
    Maybe not encouraging them to violate their conscience would be a good place to start.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  4. historyb

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    I contend you sinned by assuming what was happening and by trying to make everybody fit your standards. Christ called those people a broad of vipers, which your being. You didn't even ask any questions and no it was not clear what was happening, again you judged.

    It sure didn't seem alcohol was a problem to him, but the problem was people like you who love to put guilt trips on others. If you recall he even said he had not touched booze for 15 years.

    You should be ashamed and repent for trying to bind someone else conscience. Makes me disgusted
     
  5. annsni

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    It would be wrong, IMO, to hand someone a drink and have them say "I can't - it's a sin." and for you to go poo-poo-ing their conscious and say "Eh - it's just one drink. That's not a sin."

    However, it is certainly fine to tell someone who is stuck in some extra-biblical stuff to say "Well, Scripture speaks of this in this way. I have not seen that this is a sin. You may want to study it some more." or to show the Scriptures themselves to show someone that using a deck of playing cards is not a sin - or whatever. We are to teach each other the truth of Scripture and when someone has a wrong idea, it's right to show them what Scripture really says.
     
  6. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    I agree, we should always seek to base what we believe for ourselves and what advice we give to others on the Word of God and not simply our opinion.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  7. historyb

    historyb
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    Yet you give your opinion
     
  8. canadyjd

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    first, I simply responded to what he said. I didn't assume anything. He said, and I quoted him, that he was struggling with sin and specifically with the sin of drinking. It is obvious the brother in Christ struggles with the issue of alcohol.

    Second, the only standards I have suggested are those found in scripture. And scripture clearly says not to cause another Christian to stumble by violating his conscience. You have done that, sinning against a fellow Christian and sinning against Christ Himself. I Cor. 8:12 sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ
    I exposed your error, in Christian love, in hopes you would see your sin and repent and not continue to cause other Christians to stumble with your opinions which are contrary to scripture.
    I quoted what he said about sinning and about drinking. It is there in the post for all to see. It is interesting that you cannot see what he clearly said.
    ????? Who have I attempted to bind to my conscience? How did I do that? By pointing out your error?
    I was praying for Holy Spirit conviction. Maybe you will become "disgusted" with your own opinions, be convicted of that by Holy Spirit, and follow scripture instead.

    peace to you:praying:
     
    #8 canadyjd, May 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2009
  9. historyb

    historyb
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    Not likely, holy than thous disgust me. Those who think more sins then exist disgust me.
     
  10. canadyjd

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    I attempt to base my opinion on scripture, which you have not done.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  11. canadyjd

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    Why don't we debate the facts of scripture, instead of using personal attacks. Have you read the I Cor. 8 passage?

    peace to you:praying:
     
    #11 canadyjd, May 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2009
  12. matt wade

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    When I read the other thread I thought the same thing as canadyjd. The OP had come to the board wondering about his salvation and admitted that he struggled with drinking. As a recovering alcoholic (no drink in 11 years praise to God!), I was appalled that anyone would try and convince the OP that drinking was not a problem. As one who has struggled with drinking, let me tell you one drink is a problem!. If I have one drink I will have another, and another, and another.

    The OP was clearly struggling in his spirtual walk. The last thing he needed was to hear debate about whether drinking was a sin or not.
     
  13. canadyjd

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    I thank God for your 11 years of sobriety, brother! Amen and Amen!

    peace to you:praying:
     
  14. saturneptune

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    I agree with you to the extent that playing games with someone's conscience is a sin, especially in areas of disagreement of what is sin or not. At some point this person will mature and the Holy Spirit in him or her will give the answer, as He leads us into all truth.

    I just wanted you to know I have read enough of your posts that they seem very solid and believe you post Biblical truth and not opinion. I see a lot of opinion and truth get mixed here.

    As far as you mentioning another thread as to whether drinking is a sin or not, even though I do not drink, our reasoning is probably different. There are three reasons I do not drink. When in the Navy, it became really obvious I could not drink without going overboard, which is a sin without debate. The second reason is your post, the weaker brother. The most important, is, if I am teaching Sunday School, and feel it is ok to drink, then a beer in my hand should not bother me while teaching, which it obviously does. I think where we may differ is, that in a perfect setting, if there was someone who took one drink and stopped and did not hurt anyone's conscience, or was a bad example, I do believe we would differ over that being a sin.

    Really enjoy your posts.


    Mike
     
  15. historyb

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    No you did not, you took Scripture and made a very, very bad opinion upon that.
     
  16. historyb

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    Yes and it does not forbid drinking, smoking, dancing or any of your foibles
     
  17. Purple Lady

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    Thank you, Canadyjd.

    I often wonder the same thing about my own salvation, but if someone told me that my own personal struggle was not a sin, then I would be more lost. I would be looking for some Godly help, not condoning what is sin to me.

    I used to be an alcholic, too. But Praise God, I no longer struggle with it.
     
  18. saturneptune

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    I dont believe the thread mentioned smoking, or dancing. If you can find a person who does only drink one drink, or whatever short of drunk, and does not cause a brother to stumble, or set a bad example, you may be right in the generic sense of the issue.

    However, that is not the real world. A vast majority drink to get drunk. Most will set a bad example for someone. Alcohol causes families to break up, disease, death, the loss of a job, etc. What is it you are trying to prove? Are you trying to get a Biblical case for something that has no positive addition to life?
     
  19. canadyjd

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    Agreed.
    I appreciate your kind words.

    It has been a struggle throughout my life to be opinionated about certain issues, whether I knew anything or not. When Almighty God brought me to salvation, I began to understand that the more I learned...the more I realized how little I really knew.

    The doctrine of liberty of conscience has been of real interest to me lately. We all, as Christians, have Holy Spirit indwelling. It amazes me that we have such variated and contrary opinions on so many issues. As you said above, Holy Spirit will bring us to the place of understanding that He wants us to have.

    Jesus prayed that God the Father would sanctify us in the truth...His word is truth.

    Sanctify measn "set apart". So, the way we are set apart from the world is through the Word of God.
    I am always willing to learn from my brothers and sisters in Christ.:1_grouphug:

    peace to you:praying:
     
  20. Allan

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    He wont go near it, I've already confronted him on it in another thread and his misunderstanding of our christian liberty (that it's only about me). He dodged that conversation much like he is here - with personal attacks and the don't bind me stuff.

    Incidentaly that thread was talking about or got to talking about drinking as well.


    In any case you were correct in your grasp of the situation in that thread.

    1 John 3:16 says it all
     
    #20 Allan, May 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2009

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