Is our freedom more important that our weaker brother

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by psalms109:31, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
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    1 Corinthians 8:
    9Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? 11So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
     
  2. Johnv

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    It's not a matter of degrees. Our freedom is important. But our freedom should not be used as a stumbling block for the weak. One is not "more important" than the other. It's simply an admonition to use one's freedom responsibly.

    We tend to misuse the "stumbling block" reference. For example, we tend to think that we shouldn't do something if it might cause someone to stumble. That's not what the verse is saying. It's saying we should not participate in an action that directly causes a person to stumble. A common example is consuming wine. If my neighbor has a problem with drunkenness, of which I'm aware, and I take him out and buy him a beer, I'm causing him to stumble. Of, OTOH, I take my wife out to a nice dinner, and we have a glass of wine with our food, and during that dinner, my neighbor passes by and sees us having a glass of wine with dinner, I'm not causing him to stumble.
     
    #2 Johnv, Jan 28, 2010
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  3. psalms109:31

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    For the weak to become weak

    1 Corinthians 9:
    19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

    24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

    25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.


    Isn't it easier to force people into a freedom that they are not ready for, than for us to give it up for the sake of others?
     
  4. Allan

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    For a great many, yes.

    The weaker brother is of no consquence as long as they can enjoy their personal indulgence. What is interesting is that Pauls example is often left -unpreached/taught or simply ignored by many if not most today. He states that if it cause them to stumble he will NEVER partake of it. Why? For their sakes.

    Now who is thier? Those overseas, no. It refers to those directly in his sphere of influence.

    I also agree with John that it doesn't state 'might' but it is something we already know these people view as sinful.
     
  5. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    The faith which thou hast, have thou to thyself before God..... Ro 14:22

    What does that statement mean to you all?

    I take it to mean 'don't flaunt your exercise of liberty' before others.

    If your Christian brother, who believes any indulgence of alcohol to be wrong, comes to dinner, then don't drink your usual glass of red wine in their presence. Is that hypocritical?

    (heheh.....Happy is he that judgeth not himself in that which he approveth)

    Edited by me to rephrase:

    'If someone you know who believes any indulgence of alcohol to be wrong comes to dinner, then don't drink your usual glass of red wine in their presence. Is that hypocritical?
     
    #5 kyredneck, Jan 29, 2010
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  6. David Michael Harris

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    No it is not. We must love. Is not the perfect example in Christ. This is a root cause maybe of why today's church is as it is.

    We are all so very selfish.
     
  7. psalms109:31

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    1 Corinthians 6:
    12"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13"Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."[Gen. 2:24] 17But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

    18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

    Mark 7:
    18"Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? 19For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.")

    20He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' 21For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' "
     
  8. Johnv

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    True, but just because someone, somewhere, views something we might do as sinful, that doesn't oblige us to categorically refrain from that action. The question that this verse addresses is whether our action will directly cause a reasonable person to stumble. In my example, where a Christian married couple is out at a nice restaurant, and have a glass of wine with their dinner, this might cause someone somewhere to stumble, but it won't directly cause a reasonable person to stumble. The action is therefore not only permissible, it is not in need of discouragement.
     
  9. Jon-Marc

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    My question is this. How far do we go in an effort not to "offend a weaker brother?" How many here love their coffee? Would you give it up if a weaker brother or sister sincerely believed it to be sinful? I had a cousin like that. I remember back in the 60's that she believed TV, comic books and coffee to be sinful. Her children couldn't watch TV or read comic books, and that was in the 60's when both TV and comic were clean.

    Unfortunately, they no longer are clean. The filth (especially the language) on TV is atrocious. I can't have coffee because of my extreme reaction to caffeine, but is it sinful to drink it? I quit reading comic books over 40 years ago when the price went up to 15 cents. I didn't think they were worth it. Should we change our whole life because of a weak brother or sister in Christ who sees sin in anything that is enjoyable when God says nothing about it?

    I knew a young man who believed that any game that included any kind of cards was sinful. Therefore all games involving any kind of cards should not be played by Christians. Some people see sin in just about everything; if it's fun it's sin; if it's enjoyable it's sin; if it feels good it's sin.

    Rather than condoning and joining their weakness in faith, maybe we need to seek to educate them on our liberty in Christ--not liberty to be able to sin and not feel guilty, but to be free to enjoy the pleasures of life that are not sinful and to know the difference. Just my opinion. You're welcome to tell me how wrong I am, everyone else does. :BangHead:
     
  10. Johnv

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    That's exactly the question. I believe the verse implies that we should take a reasonable step to doing so. But the measures often cited (i.e., drinking is always wrong, because it might cause someone somewhere to stumble) are way beyond reason.
     
  11. donnA

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    prehaps our churches should try properly teaching these people, and this might not be such an issue.

    depends on whose view we value more, men or God.
    some christians think computers are sinful, somethink cars, and buttons, and zippers are sinful.
    but I don't see anyone here volunteering to not cause them to stumble.
     
  12. Marcia

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    How can coffee be sinful? It sounds Mormon.

    I can understand alcohol, but coffee? Coffee is actually good for you - up to 6 cups a day.

    Would I give this up? If a Christian was visiting me and thought this, then I would not drink coffee while he/she was visiting me even though I don't get the rationale here. But that is not the same as giving it up totally.
     
  13. donnA

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    some are saying if theres a christian somewhere who beleives something like coffee is sinful, then christians should not use coffee. not just when they aren't there at your house. what if they were to find out you drink coffee, or see it in your house. nope, if someone thinks it sinful, you can not drink coffee according to what we're being told.
     
  14. psalms109:31

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    Called

    No matter what level in Christ we think we are like Paul compared to God we are humbled.

    Ephesians 4
    Unity in the Body of Christ
    1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

    2 Corinthians 12:
    9Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening. 20For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. 21I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.

    1 Peter 5:
    5Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
    "God opposes the proud
    but gives grace to the humble."[Prov. 3:34] 6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

    8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

    10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

    Isaiah 6: 5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

    6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."


    Would you go tell a message that only a tenth of the people you talk to you will listen, not believe, but only listen to you.
     
    #14 psalms109:31, Jan 30, 2010
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  15. psalms109:31

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    Romans 15
    1We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."[Psalm 69:9 ] 4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
     
  16. Jon-Marc

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    In that case we would have to give up nearly everything, because some brother or sister in Christ would believe it to be sinful. Some people go to extremes in their effort to "Be ye holy, for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:16. The Bible says to refrain from "all appearance of evil", and some take that to mean pretty much everything for fear of sinning. Their idea is "It's better to be safe than sorry."

    On the "sinful TV" I hear the phrase, "It's better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission." To some degree that is true since the person you ask might consider it to be sin even if it's not. I get my beliefs on what is sin or not from the Holy Spirit and not from man.

     
  17. Johnv

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    Either way, just because someone, somewhere, views something we might do as sinful, that doesn't oblige us to categorically refrain from that action.
     
  18. Winman

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    Yes, I used to wonder if it was OK to watch football. I don't think football is evil, but a majority of the commercials are for beer. So, am I endorsing beer by watching?

    A person has to be careful that this doesn't become an obsession. You can get to the point where you seperate yourself from the whole world because you see everything as sinful.
     
  19. Johnv

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    I concur, winman. I have two beers in the fridge. Oh, the heathen I must be.
     
  20. J.D.

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    It all depends on the social context in which freedoms are to be exercised or not exercises. No context would ever warrent flaunting one's freedom to the offense of a brother, and there may be places and times in the ministry where total abstinance from certain liberties may benecessary, and in other cases, a more or less limited exercise will do.

    In any case, our intent and objective must be to give no offense, and to dwell peacefully with all men, as much as lies in us.
     

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