How does one determine?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by menageriekeeper, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    In the modesty thread, I read quite a bit about "not causing a brother to stumble".

    So my question is, how does one determine this? Are we mind readers?

    Second question: How much responsibility does one's "brother" have to keep themselves from stumbling?

    This thread is not to dissolve into the particular issues of modesty, drinking, dancing, card playin' or KJVOism. Please stick to the topic.
     
  2. Helen

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    Job said he had made a covanant with his eyes.

    I think that should apply to all men! You cannot help what you see, but you sure can help staring and thinking about it!

    We women have a responsibility to be modest and feminine, which does not necessarily mean being covered from chin to ankles! Somewhere between that an a bikini down mainstreet....LOL....

    There are many, many times in the Bible when we are told to seek God, to think on what is pure and right, to stay away from evil, etc. That applies to all of us. If we were to follow that, then I think all of us would be better able to cope with a world around us which is immodest, licentious, rude, vulgar, violent, mocking, etc.

    Only God can change their hearts, but we can imitate Job and make a 'covenant with our eyes' -- and minds! And we can treat each other gently and with grace and simply endeavor to show Christ in our lives at all times.

    We can refrain from gossip, from showing one another pictures which could cause thoughts not appropriate, and even from starting or participating in threads here which could cause some of our brothers and sisters to think thoughts they may have been trying to stay away from.

    Thank you for bringing this up. I'm going to try to remember my own words!
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    That's a great question, MK, and deserves an fair discussion without, as you say, sliding down the slippery slope of debate again.

    Also, Helen, good points.

    While we are to clothe ourselves, speak, act, and generally live our lives in respect not only to God, but to others, we can only go so far in that effort.

    Once we have done our part to tame our own lusts, idle tongue, and ill deeds, our brothers and sisters are on their own.

    Just a couple of examples here. Let's take a woman who is dressed modestly and is not making an attempt draw attention to herself with her clothes or actions. A man who guards his own heart may look at her and a flicker of impurity may pass his mind, but that particular man, because of his spiritual maturity, will not allow that flicker to erupt into flames. Period.

    By the same token a man who regularly watches the Sopranos, The Girls Next Door, and The Man Show will not only have problems controlling his thoughts and possible actions when seeing this modestly dressed woman, but he will also have problems controlling himself just watching something as benign as the female postal worker walking down the steet delivering the mail who isn't even aware that he is watching her.

    And the exact same principle applies to women as well. Women who emerse their minds, thoughts, and hearts, in Sex and the City, Cosmopolitan magazine, soap operas, and the romance novel of the month are going to view a man's worth of character and a man's body from a purely selfish standpoint. They will constantly compare men to other men in a host of ways and find most of them lacking by the worldly standard of the perfect man. They will crave the unattainable man who doesn't exist and insist that their boyfriends or husbands measure up to a false evaluation of what a real man is.

    This woman will look upon every man she sees and think of two things: How much money does he have and what is he like in bed? And she won't ask herself those questions in necessarily that same order.

    An innocent man who is modestly attired and behaving in a gentlemanly manner will have no control over her uncontrolled thoughts.

    The truth be told, we all have a problem with modesty because we ALL at one point in our lives have allowed filth to enter our minds in the first place.

    Let's work on creating a pure heart and mind for ourselves and behaving, speaking, and dressing modestly ourselves.....in a fashion that God is pleased with.

    If we just do that alone, it will take up a great deal of time.

    And if we do achieve that and our brother STILL stumbles, it is not our fault nor ours to change ourselves any more.



     
  4. Dale-c

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    My 2¢ worth is this:

    Since the Bible talks about causing WEAKER Christians to fall, then we shouldn't be worried about the self righteous pharisees that are the usual ones that get "offended"

    Of course if it is something that is outright wrong in it's own like showing up to church in your underwear, then that is a sin in and of itself. But remember, it is the WEAKER brother and yet most of the time is the "wise stronger, righteous ones" that make the complaints.
     
  5. Lagardo

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    Good observation...worth more than $.02

    Very often, people want to discuss what someone else is doing to cause them to stumble without thinking of their own responsibility. In the book, Every Man's Battle a lot is given to the practice of "bouncing the eyes." Basically, its training oneself to immediately look away from what you know you shouldn't look at. Takes some discipline but, as the book says, it does eventually become a habit. I found it strange, though, that having grown up in church, I have heard so much about what a woman should not wear to keep someone from stumbling and nothing of my own responsibility until I picked this book up a couple of years ago.

    As for causing someone to stumble? Maybe the fact that we begin to think, "they ought to know better" is a sign that maybe they don't? I dunno...
     
  6. menageriekeeper

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    Good responses so far.

    Let me restate the question. How much responsibility do we have for keeping ourselves from stumbling when we see someone engaged in an activity that we believe is inappropriate for a Christian?
     
  7. Dale-c

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    Total responsibility.
    I don't think that anyone is excused for sinning just because someone else sins as well.

    Here is the difference.

    1. A man sees a perfectly modest woman and lusts after her. The Man alone is at fault.
    2. The same man sees an immodest woman, and lusts after her, they are BOTH at fault.
    3. The Man sees an immodest woman turns his attention away from her and goes on about his day. Only the woman has sinned.

    Is that what you were looking for?
     
  8. Rufus_1611

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    How did you determine that it is wrong and a sin to show up to church in your underwear?
     
  9. Brother Bob

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    Yea, thats deep stuff. If you going that far why not just say "birthday suit"? Do you think there is any among us who would think it is modest, I wouldn't be surprised.
     
  10. Dale-c

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    I thought that was the 14th commandment. :)
     
  11. Dale-c

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    I hope not actually "smong us" but I am sure there are those that would!
     
  12. Brother Bob

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    Instead of a church, we could start a nudist camp.:)
     
  13. Rufus_1611

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    So long as the foundation for what is appropriate apparel is according to the world's fashion, it would not surprise me either.
     
  14. Allan

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    Cain asked the the same thing to God when God asked where Able was??
    "Am I my brothers Keeper?" Am I responsible for looking after him??

    The answer is YES. It goes as far as is NEEDED that one may grow righteously in the Lord by good examples NOT ONLY by the same sex (male to male) but also cross gender so THEY can know what a God fearing woman looks, acts, and personifies a Godly charactor. Guess what Gods charactor does?? Looks after you that you may grow in Him.

    Love the Lord your God ... AND
    Love thy neighbor as thyself.

    We are not to dress, live, eat, or drink without considering God and WHAT WE KNOW causes a weaker brother to stumble. Get to know your brethren but know also there are tendencies of sin that are prevelent in men. And one is to much flesh leaves to much room in mans eyes. So ask some men what they feel they would like their daughters to wear on dates. He will respond modestly but lets get honest when we ask as it should be to know where those bounds are and not disagreement.

    That's my nickle.
     
  15. J.D.

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    Moved the Gospel Liberty thread.
     
    #15 J.D., Dec 21, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2006
  16. menageriekeeper

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    Good answer but not quite what I was looking for, let me ask the question a different way using Allen's example.

    Let me turn this around a bit. Did Able's actions provoke Cain to sin?

    Able certainly knew that God was pleased with him and yet not pleased with Cain.

    Ge 4:8And Cain told Abel his brother. And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.


    Now, we're not told exactly what Able's response was but it we are told that he went on to work and time passed. During this passing of time, something Able did or didn't do (or say), allowed Cain's anger to fester and eventually led to the sin of murder.

    Now, can it be said that the stonger "Christian" caused the weaker brother to stumble?

    Dale is correct in that we are totally responsible for our own actions. But I'm more interested that folk know WHY we are responsible. I'm tired to death of being told that every little thing I do may cause someone to stumble, but I read the passage in a different light.

    My take on the entire passage is that we do nothing to intentionally make a weaker brother to stumble.

    Ro 14:21It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor [to do anything] whereby thy brother stumbleth.

    This verse implies knowledge of the brother's struggle. Anything more causes us to feel as though we MUST at all costs be perfect, when we know perfection is something we are working toward but won't be accomplished until the next life. Attempts to be perfect, lead eventually into to legalism and lists of manmade rules in order achieve perfections without the understanding that it is not our own perfection that pleases God, but Christ's perfection within us that pleases God.
     

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